Tag Archives: Lake Park

Dr. Elsie Quarterman is 102 years old today

Elsie Quarterman is 102 years old today. Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis She was born in Valdosta in 1910, played basketball for Hahira High School, graduated from Valdosta High School, got a B.A. from Valdosta State College, and taught English in Morven, Naylor, Columbus, Lake Park, and Lyons, Georgia.

Dr. Elsie Quarterman got a Masters and a Ph.D. from Duke University in in botany and plant ecology. Elsie, coneflower, Gretchen While studying for her Ph.D., she was a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was one of the first women full professors and was the first woman department chair (Biology). She specialized in the cedar glades of central Tennessee, including one now named after her by the state. Elsie, Gretchen, cat There is an annual wildflower festival named after her. She rediscovered the cedar glade Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis, which previously was thought to be extinct, but has since been taken off the endangered species list, partly due to her work. Her wikipedia page has more information about her work and her many honors.

Patrick and Elsie Aunt Elsie still lives in her own house in Nashville, connected to her nephew Patrick’s house, where Patrick and his wife Ann live and take care of her.

Here is world traveller Elsie in 2006 leading a family group on the Isle of Skye in Scotland:

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Upset in Lower Lowndes

In today’s VDT Upset about development:
Bill Herndon and his neighbors are unhappy about a development being built in their backyards.

Marvin Peavy, owner of Peavy Properties, has already rented some of the Mar-Mel-Go apartments, and about 70 of the projected 150 apartments have been completed. The other 80 units are scheduled to be added soon.

The two-story apartment buildings rise uncomfortably close to the homes of Pinebrook Drive residents, such as Herndon. Windows of the complex look directly into their backyards and homes.

Marvin Peavy, now why does that name ring a bell? Ah, yes, CEO and CFO of Lower Lowndes, Inc. the corporation that bought 62.53 acres on Quarterman Road and attempted to rezone it from E-A to R-21 back in 2007. One of the neighbors saw the sign out front and a bunch of us helped convince the County Commission to deny the rezoning.

This time it’s so bad another developer is complaining:

Robert Eddington also lives on Pinebrook Drive. He is a builder and said everyone has a right to develop their property. What he’s disturbed about, among other issues, is that the plans they were shown are not being followed. Eddington was told most of the trees would be spared to protect their privacy, but when he came home several days later, they were all gone except a few.

Eddington and his neighbors successfully fought a similar development on nearby Water Oak Drive four years ago. They had no such opportunity this time, he said. No notices of any hearing were posted. Neither Herndon nor Fuhrer saw any notices posted announcing zoning or development hearings by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners.

Hm, given that the ULDC got changed a year or so back to require notification of rezoning mailed to adjoining property owners, in addition to a notice in the newspaper and a sign out front, if there was no sign and neighbors didn’t get notices, I wonder if there’s a legal problem with the rezoning.

Ah, this takes me back:

Eddington’s fence was damaged during Mar-Mel-Go construction. When contractors finally fixed it 17 months later, he said his wife asked about the gate that was supposed to be installed. The site manager told his wife that it wouldn’t be installed until the rest of the apartments were completed. Eddington said they were originally told these would be “luxury condos,” but are very different from the way they were described.
The previous subdivision (not Peavy’s) that did get built on Quarterman Road (because its zoning was grandfathered in way back in the 1980s) involved a builder shoving building trash through my fence into my field. And streetlights that were installed by the developer but never turned on until the subdivision residents got the Commission to institute a special tax district to pay for them.

Curious how yet again “the plans they were shown are not being followed.”

Maybe if the neighbors go to the county they’ll get redress:

Herndon and his neighbors pooled their money several years ago and spent $4,400 to pave Pinewood Drive, so they feel they have a stake in how the road is used. He approached the Lowndes County Commission about the residents’ concerns and was eventually connected with County Engineer Mike Fletcher.

Fletcher said a $30,000 siren-controlled gate would be installed on Pinewood Drive for emergency vehicle access only, eliminating unwanted traffic through their neighborhood. The property owner is responsible for installing the gate, said Kevin Beals, Lowndes County development reviewer.

Ah, finger pointing! Not the county government’s problem; it’s up to the property owner. Nevermind the county commission approved the development with certain plans and requirements.

Well, maybe if the neighbors escalate to the county manager:

Lowndes County Manager Joe Pritchard said he thinks Pinebrook Drive residents “have some legitimate questions and we ought to be able to provide a reasonable answer.” Pritchard said he plans to meet with County Engineer Mike Fletcher and Zoning Administrator Carmella Braswell on Monday to discuss the development and see what remedies might be available.
Yes, we’ve seen that process many times before. Note he doesn’t say they’ll provide any actual fixes to any of the problems, just “a reasonable answer”. We’ll see if these neighbors get any satisfaction this time.

According to the County Commission calendar, there’s a work session coming up Monday 13 July at 8:30AM and a commission meeting coming up Tuesday 14 July at 5:30PM. The Tuesday public meetings always have an agenda item for Citizens Wishing to the Heard. The work sessions usually don’t, but if you go you can hear what the commissioners have to say about subjects that have come before them, and often you can talk to them directly before or after the meeting.

Road Closings, Lowndes County, Georgia

Roads closed in Lowndes County, Georgia, as of 9:38 a.m April 6th, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. This map shows locations and terrain. It’s a Google map, so it’s interactive: you can zoom and pan and change to satellite view, street map, street view, etc. Some of the locations are guesstimates from the cryptic descriptions in the VDT article. The one green blob is the one reopening mentioned in the article: “North Valdosta Road Withlacoochee River Bridge opened at 10 p.m. Sunday.”

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Central Florida Commuter Rail

DMU Exterior View Meanwhile, four hours to the south, Central Florida Commuter Rail Sunrail has received planning commission approval to start a commuter rail line centered on Orlando:
Existing CSXT railroad tracks are utilized for the planned route. CRT trains consist of 1-3 cars and can carry up to 218 passengers. Maximum operating speed is generally between 65-79 mph.
Hm, using existing CSX tracks, just like the GS&F (now CSX) route from Hahira through Mineola, Remerton, Valdosta, Dasher, and Lake Park.

Current Owners of Valdosta Train Stations

So who owns the land where the old Valdosta train stations were?

The old Atlantic Coast Line station lot, at the U-turn between Patterson and Ashley just north of the downtown overpass, is owned by the City of Valdosta. That's kind of moot, since there are no tracks there now.

The old Georgia & Florida Station lot between Toombs and Patterson and between Savannah and Florida is owned by Lowndes County, as shown here:


As found on Lowndes County Property Record Search by searching for owner CSX.

The county Health Department is in the middle of it, but the tracks run against the back parking lot. These are the tracks that go to Moody.

And the old Georgia and Florida station lot, just south of that, is owned by CSX, as part of a strip along their tracks from Toombs St. to Railroad Ave.:


The old GSF Station lot, just south of that, between Toombs and Patterson and north of Florida Ave., is owned by Norfolk and Southern.

PO BOX 2408
KNOXVILLE, TN 379012408

It looks from the aerial maps like it's being used for a park, and there's some sort of tiny building on it, too. These are the tracks that go to Hahira, Mineola, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park.

If you select aerial photography you'll see that the tracks are currently located slightly differently than the map above shows.

However, it appears that new Valdosta train stations could be constructed with agreement from nobody other than Lowndes County and the railroads. Well, them and the planning commission, and the county commission, and the Valdosta City Council, and the various cities the passenger service would run to. But the Valdosta station land itself seems to be in the hands of a small number of appropriate parties.

Valdosta Train Stations

In The TitleTown Express, I guessed at where a Valdosta train station should go. I was thinking where West Hill Ave. crosses the GS&F line from Hahira, but that’s a mile from downtown: too far out. Why not look to see where the Valdosta train station was before? Well, it seems there was not one, not two, but three stations in Valdosta, at least in 1919:

Valdosta, Georgia Train Stations, 1919

Source map found in Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin

There was one station each for:

Atlantic Coast Line R.R.
between Patterson and Ashley just N. of Savannah Ave.,
where the U-turn now is before the overpass;
these tracks were rerouted when the overpass was built;
ironic considering that’s the line that caused Valdosta to be located where it is

Georgia and Florida R.R.
W. of Patterson between Savannah Ave. and Branch St. (now W. Florida Ave.) about at where S. Toombs St. now crosses;
these tracks go under the overpass;
these are the tracks that go to Moody

Georgia Southern & Florida R.R.
Just W. of Patterson S. on Branch St. (now W. Florida Ave.);
these tracks go under the overpass;
these are the tracks that go to Hahira, Mineola, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park
All next to Patterson Street south of Hill Ave., and within easy walking distance of each other and downtown.

So 2 out of 3 station locations still have running tracks (and the third I think also has running tracks; they were just rerouted to go under the underpass). I have no idea who owns the station footprints. Wouldn’t have to be precisely the same locations, anyway; somewhere within a block or two would have the same advantages of accessibility to each other and to downtown.