Representatives of the Cherokee County Historical Society (CCHS) recently visited each of the winners of the 2020 Historic Preservation Awards, delivering bronze plaques that they would have received if the annual banquet had not been canceled. Visit www.rockbarn.org for more information on the historical society.
Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Woodstock
In 1866, Mount Olive Church was established on Mill Street in Woodstock, on land donated to a group of freed slaves who had been meeting at a nearby brush arbor. The current brick structure was built in 1954 and is the third church building on the site. Mount Olive has served the spiritual needs of its congregation for more than 150 years, and its present members are leaders in the African American community.
Dixie Speedway, Woodstock
Dixie Speedway has been a favorite family sporting venue for more than 50 years. Built in 1968, the track was purchased by Mickey and Martha Swims in 1976, and they converted the asphalt track to Georgia red clay. Other than adding seats and a VIP suite to the tower, the Speedway retains its original features. Still operated by the Swims family, Dixie Speedway has been inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and draws 150,000 attendees yearly.
Wheeler-Roberts Home, Ball Ground
The Wheeler-Roberts Home was built in 1902 by local businessman, John Wheeler. In 2018, the house was damaged by fire and Wheeler’s granddaughter, Sylvia Roberts, and her son, Mayor Rick Roberts, renovated the structure. The family worked diligently to restore the wood floors and original features of the historic home. Working with David Bray of Landford Thompson Interiors, the renovation included installing or restoring antique hardware and period lighting fixtures.
Edwards-Wood-Irizarry Home, Ball Ground
This home was built in 1935 by C.M. Edwards and purchased by Dewey and Florence Wood in 1938. The Woods owned the property for more than 45 years, and operated a cattle farm on 160 acres surrounding the house. The property retains some of the original outbuildings, including a washhouse with its brick fireplace. The house recently was renovated to preserve the historic character.
Holbrook Campground, Alpharetta
Since 1838, people have made an annual pilgrimage to Holbrook Campground for 10 days of prayer and fellowship. The present gable-type arbor was built in 1890, and is encircled by 53 cabins, with another 19 cabins on an outer half-circle. The cabins still are referred to as “tents,” and have been passed down through generations of Cherokee County families.