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New brochure highlights Sumter sites

Valuable driving tour booklet available at Americus ­Welcome Center, downtown

AMERICUS — A 24-page color brochure touting Americus and Sumter County’s prominent monuments is the latest guide that tourists can pick up at the Americus Welcome Center downtown.
The rack-card brochure, designed as a driving tour for visitors, is titled “Monumental Americus and Sumter County.” Text for the brochure was written by Steve Short, office assistant at the Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council. The brochure is the culmination of a yearlong project for which extensive research was begun last year.
“A lot of time was spent on research and verifying accuracy,” Short said. “The brochure is something we at the Welcome Center are proud of. It’s a great asset for people looking for sites to see in Sumter County. The monuments include those in Americus, as well as in Andersonville, Plains and Leslie. There’s a lot of history right here in our county that we sometimes take for granted.”
Among the monuments spotlighted in the brochure are the “Spirit of the American Doughboy,” the “Charles Lindbergh Statue” and the Griffin Bell Golf Links & Conference Center’s statue of the “Blind Lady of Justice.” In Andersonville, the POW/MIA Memorial and the Wirz Monument downtown are among the highlights. Plains’ monuments include the Jimmy Carter Monument, Julia L. Coleman Monument, and the Smiling Peanut, which has been named as one of the top 50 roadside attractions in America.
The Georgia Rural Telephone Museum Bell, cast in 1888 by Meneely Bell Foundry of Troy, N.Y., is also spotlighted in Leslie.
Other monuments listed in the brochure include the Confederate Memorial, Rosalynn Carter Statue, Daniel Webster Westbrook Memorial Bell Tower, Habitat Global Village & Discovery Center’s “The Great Commission,” Luther H. Story Memorial of Honor, Sumter County Courthouse Bell, Founders Memorial Park Bell and Oak Grove Cemetery, all in Americus. Monuments also listed in Andersonville include several at Andersonville National Historic Site and Cemetery. Other listings in Plains include the “J-Who the Depot Dog” monument, Maxine Reese Park Monument and Lebanon Cemetery, site of what is believed to be the two tallest monuments in a Sumter County graveyard. Lebanon Cemetery also is one of only five cemeteries in the United States where the parents of both a U.S. president and first lady are buried.
The brochure text includes detailed descriptions of all the monument sites and their historical value. Street locations of each monument, as well as a road map and a mileage distance chart between the towns, are included.
Copies of the new brochure are available at the Welcome Center, at 101 W. Lamar St. According to Short, copies also are available at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Plains and the Andersonville Welcome Center in Andersonville. Others will be sent to visitor centers throughout the state.
— Submitted by Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council Inc.