But getting to this point has taken time itself. The committee originally had plans to transport the records to the Tate Depot after renovations there were complete. The depot would act as a welcome center for the county, and the Georgia Marble records were to be stored and displayed in the building. But the depot project, which was being funded through a Georgia DOT grant, slowed down when issues arose with the state transportation agency. The Tate Deport project is still underway, but details have changed, leaving the Georgia Marble documents out in the cold.
“Things changed and the project changed,” said Lawton Baggs, another member of the local committee. “But I am delighted that John found a place we could put them. Maybe our original plans were unrealistic, to think that we could have the kind of environmental control and specialized storage for archiving. In a way I’m disappointed they won’t be in Pickens, but I think this way they will have a bigger impact.”
When plans to store the records at the Tate Depot derailed, Edwards contacted Dr. Tamara Livingston, Associate Director for Museums, Archives & Rare Books at Kennesaw. Dr. Livingston requested the documents be assessed for their historical value before agreeing to take on the daunting task of archiving, which includes transferring the materials to new containers designed to prolong the life of the documents, and the indexing and description of each document, which will eventually be available online.
Dr. Randy Patton, Professor of History, stated in his recommendation, “The Georgia Marble Company played a significant role in the history of north Georgia. These records should be preserved as part of an effort to document important aspects of the social and economic history of the region.”
The preliminary appraisal of the collection revealed a variety of records dating from 1960 to 1980, as well as a leather-bound scrapbook of promotional material generated by the company, which dates from 1910 to 1929.
According to Edwards, Polycor has turned over custodial rights of the documents to the Pickens County government and Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones contacted Polycor to arrange for their final transfer to Kennesaw.
“I really want people to know that the county and Commissioner Jones took charge of this and really wanted to do it,” Edwards said. “I think it is wonderful for the county to take the steps to preserve these important documents. I give Rob Jones full credit.”
The Georgia Marble Company dates from the late nineteenth century. It operated as Georgia Marble Company from 1884 to 1969, when it was purchased by the Jim Walter Corporation.