Six historic property owners in Cherokee County — including two in Woodstock — were recognized for their outstanding work in historic preservation recently, during the annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet.
Awards are given by History Cherokee to encourage and educate the community about the benefits of protecting the county’s unique history. Properties are judged by the attention given to preserving historic features and maintaining the integrity of initial design.
The 2021 Winners
• Grogan House, Woodstock
Reputedly built by Charles James Grogan around 1917, the wood frame house features a stone foundation and wood porches dating to the 1930s. The interior of the home contains original wide pine-plank flooring, chair rails and a chimney with “penciling” paint still visible. The current owner, Patrick Hurley, purchased the property in 2017, and has added vintage wallpaper over
board-and-batten wood walls, and has refurbished an original clawfoot bathtub in one of the bathrooms.
• Bakner Manufacturing Building, Canton
Built circa late-1930s/early-1940s, the two-story structure formerly housed the Cherokee Poultry Chick Hatchery, B&T Feeds and B&L Feed Co. Current owner Matthew Wagner renovated the structure for his own company, Bakner Manufacturing, which produces gloves utilized in poultry processing. Interior features of the structure include the original windows, wood floors and freight elevator. The upper level of the building features a unique barrel vault ceiling, rarely seen in an industrial building of this size.
• The Mill at Etowah, Canton
Current owners Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk’s vision for creating the Mill on Etowah development included retaining as many original features as possible, while adding updated elements, such as an entertainment area and exterior restrooms as a means to attract people to the multipurpose venue. Built in 1900, the structure originally was Canton Cotton Mill #1, which operated until 1981. Today, the brick structure with a smoke stack retains its original sized windows, doorways and custom-made transoms, along with maple flooring, ceiling beams and wood columns.
• Old Sixes Schoolhouse, Sixes Community
Present day owners Steve Rich and Nathan Rich, of Construction Management Services, purchased the property in February. The first project of saving the historic structure included safely stabilizing the building, while maintaining and respecting its historic integrity. The structure was built in 1876, and served as a school for the Sixes community until it closed in 1950. The building features original heart pine flooring, wood walls, ceilings and an arched doorway between the two main rooms.
• Wofford-Watkins House, Ball Ground
This house was added to the Cherokee County Historical Society’s Sites Worth Saving list in 2016. Property owners Lee and Brittani Lusk are no strangers to saving history, having rehabilitated multiple properties. The house originally was built circa 1910-1920, and now is in operation as a restaurant, Lora Mae’s. The structure features original shiplap and plaster, heart pine flooring, as well as the original exterior siding, windows and doors.
• Granger Building, Woodstock
Built in 1914 as Chandler’s Funeral Service, the Granger building features the original Mesker iron works façade, solid brick walls, pine-plank flooring and upper-level ceiling rafters. The upper level features two different original brick walls, as well as the ghost line of the original staircase. The upper level of the building was utilized as casket storage for Chandler’s, but current owners Les Granger and the Granger family lease the space as a makers market to local vendors and artisans.