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North Georgia authors gather to be featured at annual Fall Celebration
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A photo of the book Celebrate! by Alma Kennedy Bowen in Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

While rocking on the front porch of Hardman Farm Historic Site, 10 local authors will sign their books during the annual Fall Celebration Oct. 14.

The North Georgia authors will gather on the porch of the old store and post office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the entrance to the site at 143 Ga. 17 in Sautee-Nacoochee.

“We’re excited about having all these wonderful authors and historians at our event,” said Leigh Vinson, Hardman Farm Historic Site preservationist. “What a great opportunity to meet some of your favorite writers and get a signed book or two for Christmas.”

Authors scheduled to attend include Bobby Adams, “Before I Forget”; Alma Bowen, “Celebrate — A History of the NE Georgia Forest and its People”; Lindsey Brackett, “Still Waters”; Abigail Hosford Cutchshaw, “Ask Lula Belle — Inside My Heart”; Doug Dahlgren, “The Son” series; Duncan Dobie, “Dawn of American Deer Hunting,” “Arthur Woody” and “Legend of the Barefoot Ranger”; Matt Gedney, “Living on the Unicoi Turnpike” and “Desperately Seeking Helen”; Phil Hudgins, “Foxfire” (due early 2018); Emory Jones, “The Valley Where They Danced” and “Distant Voices”; and Nancy Kollock with the John Kollock books and the new Kollock biography due late fall.

Bowen, retired executive editor of The Times, said she is “tickled to be included” in the list of featured authors at the event.

“I was delighted to be asked to come and be among the other authors,” Bowen said. She will be signing her two books, “Celebrate!” and “The Cement Duck.” 

“Both of my books are based on the historical happenings in Northeast Georgia,” Bowen said. “‘The Cement Duck’ is about a bank swindle in Cornelia that happened in 1971. I had to change the names, but it really happened and it was reported on by the Wall Street Journal during that time.”

Her second book is about a sawmill in Helen.

“In about 1910, it was supposed to be the largest sawmill east of the Mississippi River. The characters are fictional, but it tells a true story of our history,” Bowen said.

“Celebrate!” explains how the Helen sawmill worked, the railroad from Gainesville to Helen and the trams that hauled timber out of the mountains. Living conditions in Helen at the time, which is early in the 20th century, are described in detail.

The lumber company just about ravished nearby mountains of timber, but “Celebrate” focuses on the revival of the forests through replanting by the Civilian Conservation Corps and work of foresters such as Arthur Woody. Much of the territory used by the lumber company later became the Chattahoochee National Forest.

From fiction, nonfiction to biographies, the authors will be the highlight of the festival this year.

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