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When "Dawson County, Georgia Heritage 1857-1996" was published, Dawson County Historical Society members didn't visualize that 27 years later there would be a third printing. For several years, there have been no copies available for sale, but this year they had a limited number of books reprinted and are now offering them as a Christmas special for the price of the original book, $65.

Actually, reprints in limited number are more expensive and the price was set at $80 per book.

"A number of people had encouraged us to get the reprints, and we want folks to know that we do have them," said society member Peggy Hulsey.

The books are for sale on Wednesday afternoons at the historical and genealogical society's room, on the first floor of the Historical Courthouse on the square and at the Dawson County Library.

They can also be ordered by mailing to the society at P.O. Box 1074, Dawsonville. A $5 fee for shipping and handling will be charged.

As a matter of fact, the two other society publications are similarly available: "Cemeteries of Dawson County" for $30 and "A Pictorial History: The First Hundred Years" for $43. Genealogists especially find that cemetery books are extremely valuable.

The heritage book is not an official history; that one is being compiled and hopefully will be ready by the end of 2014.

The heritage book is, however, a unique treasure because it is the story of families, written by family members themselves. Some are written in first person; most are written with a great deal of pride. A few even reveal "skeletons in closets." It is filled with family pictures and interesting details and it captures the flavor of a rural county and the struggles and pleasures of everyday life. It is fascinating reading even if you don't really know the people involved and even more so if you do.

Although I am very much involved with the production of the heritage book, I have been rather out of circulation and "on the shelf" during the last few years, especially the last few months. Thus, I was not aware of this latest reprinting and I daresay there will not be another.

So, if you have roots in Dawson County or if you are a present resident and would enjoy knowing more about the families and institutions that have molded this area, you should take advantage of this "Christmas special."

Personal P.S. - Special Thanksgiving blessing: being home, even on walkers.

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