It was the 200th birthday of the United States of America, a Fourth of July weekend celebrants in Dade and across the nation will never see again.
It was also the biggest “happening” here, this Bicentennial celebration, that residents have ever seen locally – unless one counts for the festivities 36 years ago when Dade “re-joined” the Union; however, that event pales in comparison to the color, excitement and activities highlighting local participation in America’s gigantic birthday party.
Flags lined U. S. 11 in Trenton for blocks, were unfurled from many businesses and homes, hung majestically around The Brock House, and bedecked autos, trucks and other vehicles.
Crowds packed the sidewalks and filled courthouse square for the gala parade, nearly a mile long, cheering and applauding as the various floats, cars, fire engines and marchers came into view after the noon bell-ringing.
Entire families came to town, and many citizens of all ages were dressed out in patriotic attire or in Colonial costumes. As the crowds entered into the spirit of the celebration, trouping from one activity to another merriment, a feeling of kinship with one’s neighbors throughout the county and nation, and pride in a country entering its third century prevailed.
At the opening ceremony of the day, the American Legion, Post 106, conducted an impressive service on the east lawn of the courthouse, honoring Dade’s servicemen lost and killed in action during the various wars.
The Rev. Herb Wilson gave the invocation which was followed by remarks by Legionnaire John C. Campbell, who then presented Sentinel Editor, Elbert Forester.
Mr. Forester gave a brief review of wars and sacrifices since Independence Day, 1776, and urged young people, as well as adults to become more familiar with the true meanings of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
The Legionnaires, in precise formation, presented the colors and fired the gun salute under the direction of Adjutant Joe Atchley.
Open house at the new Dade County Bicentennial Library, moved last week to the renovated Trenton Depot Building, coincided with the hours for The Brock House tour and the number of other activities taking place in the art gallery, outbuildings and on the grounds.
A formal ceremony was held in front of the library, with Board Chairman Henry Elliott as master of ceremonies. He recognized members of the local and regional board of directors, Cherokee Regional Library, the library staff, also acknowledging efforts of the many, primarily Mrs. D. E. Morrison and including county, city and board of education participation, who have made the library an asset to Dade.
He pointed out that the library is something citizens may justly feel great pride in.
Mr. Elliott gave special thanks to the Dade County Jaycees who took on the task with Col Rideout of building and finishing the bookshelves, completing their community project in time for the Bicentennial Celebration.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program members were credited with making and providing the curtains, and it was noted that Mrs. Jack Sells had contributed permanent flower arrangements for the library.
An “appreciation list” posted inside the carpeted and spacious, air-conditioned interior of the building carries the names of a number of other persons.
The open house also featured exhibits, one of which was a Bicentennial quilt made by Mrs. Roy Moore. Another was a display honoring J. C. Carter, one of the country’s most highly decorated veterans.
The morning hours also featured judging of the beard and costume contests on the parking lot of the Waffle Shop, new Dade Auto Parts store and Trenton Drugs, which also celebrated its grand opening and served refreshments that day.
Exhibits and booths on the square were arranged by RSVP members, who also sold “snow cones,” and the congregation of Trenton First Baptist Church. There was also a booth where citizens could register to vote. A historical exhibit was placed in front of Trenton United Methodist Church, and homemade ice cream was also sold there.
(Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)