Last week The Times ran articles concerning MLK Jr. Boulevard and tourism on the square. The Longstreet Society stands in a unique position relative to both of these community resources. We own one of Gainesville’s oldest and most historic buildings, Lt. Gen. Longstreet’s Piedmont Hotel at the corner of MLK and Maple.
Our long-range planning committee is currently in the final stages of planning for a 19th century garden on the Piedmont grounds. This will help us anchor a beautification for the west end of MLK.
Our location just two blocks from the midtown greenway enhances the value of that as a local resource and helps encourage synergy between destinations in Gainesville. We bring people to town from across the country and internationally who are interested in Longstreet and the Civil War, and encourage them to visit other sites in the area. We are fortunate to have other local organizations such as the Northeast Georgia History Center and Alta Vista Cemetery send people to us.
We have expanded our library to include a quantity of local history material received from Judge William Norton for whom our community center is named. We offer that center as another service to the community.
We are in the process of developing more events to bring people to us and to encourage local and tourism and out-of-town visitors. We invite everyone to come see us and talk about history, fried chicken, gardening, historic preservation, old time music or whatever you like. Everything that the Longstreet Society does is without any taxpayer funding.
Peter Gayton Claymore
past president, Longstreet Society, Gainesville