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Learn more about Lake Lanier history at upcoming meeting
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Robert David Coughlin will make a presentation next week concerning his book "Lake Lanier: ‘A Storybook Site'," at the Dawson County Historical and Genealogical Society meeting.

The June 6 event at the county library is open to the public. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Coughlin has just updated and republished his 1996 history of the construction of Buford Dam.

The updated version contains, among other things, a detailed listing of the lots of land purchased for the lake reservoir and hundreds of pictures of structures that were flooded as the lake filled.

The photos include not only houses, barns and bridges, but also many spots of interest such as a dirt track speedway, one of the forerunners of our current NASCAR race tracks. 

There are also accounts of archaeological research of evidence of prehistoric residents, as well as other historic sites.

Both the original book and this version include descriptions and many illustrations of the dam construction from the ground breaking in 1950 to the dedication ceremony in 1957.

They also cover the development of the Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola River System from the early 1800's to the sweeping post-war river and harbor legislation of the 1940's.

But not up to our present Alabama, Florida and Georgia controversy.

Although residents of this area now regard the 38,000-acre lake primarily as a recreational gem, Coughlin reminds his audience that it was primarily created for flood control and navigation purposes with power production, water resources and recreation as attendant benefits.

In his preface, Coughlin reveals that his history first took form as a slide presentation intended for use in the classroom.

In 1981 he had taken a summer position as a park ranger and became familiar with individuals and resources that formed the basis of an as yet untold story of this particular phase of the area's history. Thus, he began the process of chronicling that history.

"Dawson Countians are fortunate that Mr. Coughlin is willing to share some of his slides, experiences and information with us," said Judy Harris, historical society president. "You are invited to meet him at 5:30 p.m. at the library on June 6."