The Georgia Trust

2009 PLACES IN PERIL: METCALFE TOWNSHIP

Story/significance:  The railroad played a major role in the establishment of Metcalfe in South Georgia during the late 19th century. Through its more productive years, Metcalfe was a center for commerce and the trade of agricultural products. The township contains many examples of late 19th century commercial and residential vernacular architecture.   

Challenge/threat: Metcalfe has endured being unincorporated, the loss of rail transportation, and the installation of a large lumber operation. Recently, the township caught the attention of developers due to its low cost of housing and land and proximity to Tallahassee. The possibility of new inappropriate development threatens a town already suffering from neglect, inappropriate infill, lack of building codes addressing mobile homes, and no sewer system.

Progress:  On December 11, 2008, almost 100 people gathered at the historic commercial bank building in this deserted township to discover its history and learn about the rehabilitation initiative for this small hamlet.  The spotlight event was co-hosted by The Georgia Trust and Thomasville Landmarks.  Soon after the event, a community group for Metcalfe Township was reinstated.  They are currently planning a community-wide clean-up day for the local community center.  In addition, the preservation project to evaluate Metcalfe’s economic potential was awarded $7,000 by The Georgia Trust as part of the Partners in the Field program. 

Impacts/outcomes:  The creation of the Metcale Community Association board has been instrumental in working to bring a resource team to evaluate the economic potential for the rehabilitation of this south Georgia township.   

Next Steps:  The Georgia Trust continues to promote appropriate redevelopment of the Metcalfe Township.  The  resource team visit is planned for November 2009.  The Trust will assist in the implementation of the team’s recommendations.

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