In 1777, the Georgia Constitution provided for public buildings…a courthouse and jail…to be built in each county. The Commissioners entered into a contract with Benjamin Few and William Chandler to construct the facilities at Brownsboro, in close proximity to North Columbia Elementary School.
Patrick Blanchard, with the Columbia County Historical Society, says, “then the northern part of Columbia County was developed by the Virginians. Grovetown and Harlem developed as railroad towns in the 1830's, along with Martinez and Evans in the 1890's.”
Blanchard grew up in the county. His grandfather, John Pierce Blanchard, helped establish Columbia County. Blanchard remembers Evans before the growth, when all there was to do was fly kites at the large Marshall family hay fields. Blanchard also remembers social changes and even technical adjustments in the past decades such as the way you vote.
Blanchard explains, “I remember the days when you voted with machines. And I think it was in the morning hours before they knew the totals.”
Blanchard remembers Evans when it was nothing but rolling fields, and only one school took up the land…long before the Columbia County Government Complex and the courthouse were established.
“Judge Franklin Pierce, who was a Superior Court judge, ordered the County Commission to update the courthouse in Appling. The county commissioners and leaders began looking at county offices in this region of the county to make it more accessible to the growing population. So, they bought this property from the Marshall family,” says Blanchard.
In the mid-1950s, the southern part of Columbia County, specifically Evans, became an expanding housing community. It's the memories and great people that leaves native Patrick Blanchard honored to walk the grounds in Evans, which is named after General Clement A. Evans…a soldier, lawyer, minister, and statesman of his time.
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