Maybe Nina King’s elegy on the sad demolition of Remerton’s Strickland Mill will spur enough people to get involved in the community so next time a monument is threatened with demolition we can find the resources to save it, and we can bring things the community needs now, like fast affordable Internet access for all.
Greg Gullberg reported for WCTV 11PM News last night, Demolition Of Remerton Mill Has Begun, in which Nina King said:
“Well, it breaks my heart, and it’s so sad. And I don’t understand why anybody would want a historic old building torn down like this.”
King was raised in Remerton, and her father and brother worked in the mill. A demolition request came up in 2012, that’s when she helped start a campaign to save it.
“We held meetings and we had people come testify as to what the mill meant to them. And we worked really hard,” King said.
One year to the day after Emily Foster and Céline H. Gladwin spoke in a Remerton City Council Work Session, Nina King gave this elegy for the mill on WCTV. More people spoke at the 11 June 2012 Remerton City Council Regular Session, and Ransom Gladwin wrote a letter to the editor of the VDT. Still more people spoke at the 10 September 2012 Regular Session at which the final decision was made.
Well, I understand that many people around here think if a building is old or unusable for its original purpose it’s just an eyesore ready to be pulled down. But we could think further, as I mentioned on camera:
It could have been something like the Riverwalk in Columbus which a cotton mill is a feature of that or like the old Cotton Exchange in Savannah, but no, they’re tearing it down.
I also remarked that it was a treasure that should have been on the National Register of Historic Places.
It turns out that Bibb Mill in Columbus, threatened with demolition in 2007, was listed on The Georgia Trust’s 2009 list of Places in Peril. Curiously, two weeks after it was listed, it caught fire and burned in October 2008.
Even after the fire, the Bibb Mill serves as a focus of oral and other history and education:
The Riverwalk goes to Bibb City, which was the Remerton of Bibb Mill.
Back in Remerton, Greg Gullberg remarked:
Glenn Gregory on behalf of the owners asked the Remerton City Council 10 September 2012 whether the council would consider accepting if the the owners donated the 2.88 acres and the original building. They said they’d have to think about it. And apparently they didn’t accept it, or the owners didn’t donate it, because the demolition is going on right now.
Eyewitness News tried calling the owner, Joe Tillman. Our calls were not returned.
The irony, with Joe Tillman’s number in digits a foot high on that sign: (229)259-9490, firstname.lastname@example.org But to Remerton City Council one year earlier he said the owners had exhausted every avenue they could think of for preservation and they were very concerned about public safety:
Maybe the demolition of Remerton Mill will spur more people to be active in the community, so the next time a historical monument is threatened with demolition, enough people can get involved early enough to find the resources to preserve it. And maybe enough people can get involved to bring things we need now, like affordable Internet access for everyone.