The Bartow County Farm Bureau (BCFB) will hold its annual meeting Tuesday at Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse, 450 Henderson Drive, at 7 p.m.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the Etowah Valley Historical Society’s Map Gallery, which features interactive online maps detailing various facets of Bartow County’s history. Specifically featured will be the most recently completed map, titled “Historic Farming of Bartow County.” The maps have been completed gradually since 2012 in conjunction with Kennesaw State University’s Geographic Information Science Department. The farming map was inspired by BCFB President Dean Bagwell and local historian Mary Norton.
EVHS Vice President Joe Head — a former dean of enrollment services at KSU — said the mapping project is a new development, one that will hopefully engage a younger audience and retain Bartow County’s history for future generations.
“It’s a unique project. ... It’s the first of its kind in Bartow County to use digital maps, interactive digital maps, to illustrate history [with a] visual quality,” he explained. “We think in the long run, [in] the large scheme of things, that it’s going to be very significant because it reaches the current youth of today and the future of what we think educational tools are and research tools for any individual. ... We think that the future is the Internet and digital delivery, and if we don’t adjust or step up to that medium, any historical society would be lingering and not as effective in their mission of preservation. And it also adds a 24/7 feature that people can access data through the Internet 24/7 throughout the world.”
All-in-all, the gallery features 14 maps, each pertaining to a different subsection of Bartow County’s historic sites. The BCFB meeting will feature an overview of the gallery and look deeper into Bartow County’s historic farming.
Head said he is enthusiastically looking forward to presenting the material.
“I’m very excited. We have been fortunate to have several occasions to be at civic clubs and educational meetings ... where [we] have been invited to show pieces of this as we bring them online. This will be the 14th map that we’ve brought online and gone live [with] since the project started three years ago, and this particular map has sort of a unique purpose [and] mission ... because Bartow County certainly was one of those counties that had a strong agricultural beginning. ... It really allows a means [by] which to document our farming unfolded here in Bartow County. And this might be the first phase of this map. There may be another phase of it, but at least it’s a beginning to allow us to illustrate how farming in Bartow County got started.”
According to a press release, the program will also cover how the digital maps benefit the Bartow History Scholar program at local middle schools.
Tickets are $16 per person, and the community is invited. A buffet meal will be served. Those who attend are asked to RSVP to 770-382-2951 by today. The maps are accessible online at EVHS’ website, http://evhsonline.org/. The presentation will be delivered by Head and former KSU GIS intern Garrett Bollinger, who assisted in the completion of the maps.