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New Lanier park dedicated to board counsel Oliver
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Visitors at Lake Lanier can now enjoy a new, small park area with an overlook view of the lake.

Oliver Pointe, a newly developed park area dedicated to long-time Lake Lanier Islands Authority legal counselor Sam Oliver, is located behind the Legacy Lodge near the wedding pavilion at Lake Lanier Islands.

Oliver served as counsel to the board until his death due to cancer in 2011.

According to Stacey Dickson of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau, a trail marker has been placed at a new walkway that leads to the park area. It is approximately 2 acres in area.

“It’s more of a vista, a scenic viewpoint, of the lake and a great place to have a photo op or go and meditate or (a place) to enjoy (the lake),” Dickson said.

She said the site was dedicated to Oliver because he would have enjoyed the view at the park himself.

“He was just a true lover of the lake,” she said.

“He just believed in the lake, adored the lake for its recreational aesthetic purposes and for its community improvement purposes. (He) was such a strong advocate for the highest possible use of the lake for all those years, just consistently dedicated, and he was just a really ... good human being, to boot.”

Oliver worked as counsel to the authority board for more than 28 years. He worked closely with all members of the board and was a main influence on most legal decisions it made.

“I just really thought so highly of him,” said Lonice Barrett, chairman of the Lake Lanier Islands Authority Board. “He was always the sort of person that he didn’t mind giving you his legal opinion as well as his common sense opinion.”

Barrett said the decision to dedicate the site was easy for developers, and that it was fitting someone who enjoyed nature so much and dedicated his work to the lake’s development receive a piece of land with his name on it.

“We just thought it was absolutely appropriate to commemorate in some way his life and his many contributions to the Lake Lanier Islands Authority, and what you see at Lake Lanier Islands today, in many respects, bears a lot of influence over the years on the good advice we got from our legal counsel, Sam Oliver,” he said.

Virgil Williams, Grier Todd and the management team at Lake Lanier led the development initiative, he said.

“It was a good team project,” Barrett said. “There were folks that joined together. The Lake Lanier Islands Management Co. was a great benefactor in the project and did a lot of the hands-on labor work.”

Oliver worked for the law firm of Hulsey, Oliver and Mahar. Barrett said he dedicated a good deal of time during his busy schedule as an attorney to helping the board.

Over almost three decades, Oliver advised the board on state and federal law regarding contracts, expenditure funds and construction projects.

“It was a labor of love for all of us that were involved to remember and commemorate a really outstanding man,” Barrett said.

Dedication of the site was private and mostly family attended. The park area is now open to the public at the resort.

Because the park is inside the gate at Lake Lanier Islands, visitors would pay a resort gate fee of $10.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the need to pay a gate fee to visit the site.