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ASK THE EXPERTS

Want to hear a true murder tale?

POSTED: August 8, 2012 4:00 a.m.

It's like a story of which movies are made and it really happened in downtown Dawsonville.

On Aug. 21, a descendant of one of the participants will tell that story at the Dawson County Historical Society meeting.

Most people agree that in the 1920s, many Dawson County families included whiskey-making (moonshining) as a cash crop.

Although there was very little stigma attached, that means of livelihood of course put them at odds with the sheriff's department, as well as federal revenuers.

In 1924, matters came to a head when a local garage owner warned Sheriff Will Orr not to come on his property.

Those who attend the August meeting will learn details of that event and the manhunt and trial that followed.

David Wallace, a great-grandson of the defendant, is the storyteller.

Because so many of the society's members are senior citizens who do not like to drive at night, meeting time has been changed to 5:30 p.m., with refreshments and fellowship beginning at 5 p.m.

Meetings are held in the Coleman Meeting Room of the Dawson County Library, and the public is always invited. This month, because of interest in this bit of generally unpublicized history, society members believe that many residents will want to attend.

And they will be welcomed.

As a matter of fact, you are also welcome to become a member, although that is not necessary just to attend special programs such as this.

There are hundreds of contemporary Dawson Countians whose roots are deep in local history, as well as newer residents who are just interested in history and/or genealogy.

Unless there are more younger participants, however, there will soon be no organization dedicated to preserving local history.

Of those who founded the Dawson County Historical and Genealogical Society and who gathered the material and published the Heritage Book in 1997, most have already died and those presently serving are aging.

Surely there are those among us who want to continue their work. Why not step forward and claim your heritage?

You are not obligated to join the society, however. You can just join those listening to Wallace's tale on Aug. 21.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.

 

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