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Memoried Glances: 1966 — Groundbreaking approaches for West Point Dam

Memoried Glances

Julia Dyar

Contributing columnist

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Marches past, 50 years ago.

From the LaGrange Daily News, 1941.

Front Page News

Plans Taking Shape for West Point Dam Groundbreaking — The program for the West Point Dam groundbreaking ceremonies scheduled for April 16 is fast being put into final form, Herb Crane, general chairman, reported today.

Weather permitting, the ceremony will take place on the dam site, approximately three miles north of West Point on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River. At 10:30 a.m. the U.S. Infantry Center Band from Fort Benning will entertain early arrivals with a 25-minute band concert.

A fly-over by a formation of Air Force jets at 10:55 will initiate the formal part of the program.

Already, valley towns are beginning to scrub and paint up in anticipation of a large influx of visitors from all over the Southeast and Washington, D.C.

Welcome committees are being formed and many types of entertainment are being planned.

At the dam site itself, roads are being improved, parking areas are being laid out and observation platforms are being built.

All precautions are being taken to make this a historic and festive occasion.

West Point Dam Will Be The Fourth Largest — The creation of the West Point Dam and reservoir will make it the fourth largest of seven such projects in Georgia and will open up another potentially vast recreational play ground in an area of rapidly expanding population.

Although the primary purpose of the dam is “flood control,” the recreational and resulting economic values cannot be overlooked.

In plans advanced by the Savannah Corps of Engineers, indications are that some 39 park sites around the 27,000-acre West Point Lake will be available to state, county, city governments or other specified organizations.

Although by far the greater portion of the lake will be in Georgia, it will effect an equal number of counties in the two states.

A great amount of earth-moving equipment is now on site in advance of the official groundbreaking on April 16.

Construction Slated By Summer On Bypass Route For LaGrange — Construction may begin this summer on the $300,000-plus LaGrange bypass, according to City Manager Bruce Lovvorn.

As now planned, the first leg of bypass construction will start from a point off the Whitesville Road, close to the temporary termination of Interstate 85, and proceed to Cooley Road.

According to the plans of the Troup County Planning Commission, the Whitesville-Cooley sector will be completed within two years.

The temporary termination of I-85 is scheduled to be completed by 1969.

Retail Sales $81 Million, Up 12 Percent Over 1964 — Retail sales in Troup County soared to a record $81,240,092 last year, a 12 per cent increase over the previous year.

Retail sales for the previous year, 1964, were $72,450,296. These figures were released by the State Chamber of Commerce.

Retail sales for the last three months of 1965 were $23,207,640, as compared with $19,873,590 in the last three months of 1964.

Retail sales figures are based on the actual bank deposits of the Georgia State Sales and Use Tax collection.

School Board Approves Kindergarten — A Headstart project kindergarten for Troup County’s school system received approval Tuesday at the regular meeting of the county board of education. Approval came on a 3-1 vote of the board members. The project, under the Economic Opportunity Act, will be operated on a countywide basis at the Ethel Kight School.

The one center will serve the entire county and will be operated for eight to 10 weeks.

Four Mahaffeys at Clemson University — The four Mahaffey boys of LaGrange, who by the 1969-70 season, will have played basketball for Clemson for 11 consecutive years, got together this past Tuesday night in Clemson when the Clemson Tigers played Georgia Tech.

The brothers are Tommy, who coached the Tech freshmen against the Clemson Cubs; Donnie, who was at the game as a spectator; Randy, a member of the Clemson varsity now; and Richie, who has just completed his freshman cage season for the Clemson Cubs.

“Big Boy” Was Lonely When Gene Went Away — Six months ago when Eugene Donaldson of LaGrange went into the Navy to serve his country he had to leave “Big Boy,” his registered German shepherd, behind.

Even his master’s parents, who tried very hard, could not fill the void left by their son’s absence. So they decided that “Big Boy” might be happier fighting for his country too.

They enlisted the shepherd in the Air Force. He has been accepted and now is waiting for a special crate in which he will be shipped to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for training.

“Big Boy” will be in Texas and Gene is serving in San Diego, California. Both are doing their part to defend our country.

Julia Dyar, a retired journalist, is active in the Troup County Historical Society.