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Area historians share stories in documentary

A new documentary based on the Foxfire book, “Memories of a Mountain Shortline — A History of the Tallulah Falls Railroad,” will premiere Saturday at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School’s Rearden Theater.

The documentary will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at 339 Nacoochee Drive in Rabun Gap. Admission is free.

The 54-minute documentary is a combination of video and still images featuring the art, voices and on-camera appearances of 18 prominent Northeast Georgians. Instead of a single narrator, co-producers David Greear and Emory Jones used the voices, faces and art of the people who know this railroad and the surrounding area best.

“That decision made this a community project, with lots of local involvement and support, which I think is wonderful,” said Brian Boyd, director of communications for Tallulah Falls School.

The local historian, author and one of the documentary’s narrators explained the scope of the film reaches far beyond just the railroad.

“It also includes tales of Tallulah Falls, Clayton and goes into the building of the dams that created Lake Burton and Lake Rabun and the development of Tallulah Gorge State Park,” Boyd said. “David Greear and Emory Jones have done a wonderful job weaving a great collection of rare historical images, vintage film clips, and colorful interviews with local experts into this production, making it something every person who loves this area will want to own and watch time and again.”

Some of the North Georgians featured in the documentary include:

Douglas Bleckley, Rabun County resident and actor in The Great Locomotive Chase

Paulette Carpenter, historian and former Foxfire student

Kaye Carver Collins, educator and former Foxfire student

Teka Earnhardt, executive director of the Rabun County Tourism Authority

Rutherford Ellis, author and railroad historian

Matt Gedney, author and historian

E. Lane Gresham and The Tallulah Falls School

John Kollock, author and historical artist

Mary Law and the Rabun County Historical Society

Ken Morris, businessman and historian

Dess Oliver, former industrial arts teacher at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School (the film is dedicated to him.)

Mary George Poss, artist

George Prater, author and historian

Buck Snyder and the Cornelia Railroad Museum 

Paige Spivey, associate head of school for advancement/Rabun Gap Nacoochee School

Josh Scott, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee Railroad Museum intern

Barbara Taylor Woodall, author and historian

The film is dedicated to the late Dess Oliver, a longtime industrial arts teacher at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.

The DVD will be for sale at the premier and in numerous retail stores throughout Northeast Georgia $19.95.

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