Though surrounding areas like Chickamauga and Chattanooga have been working on the project for some time, Fort Oglethorpe has not given up on showcasing its own part in the battle.
On Monday, Feb. 18, five members of the DDA brainstormed once again on how to draw visitors to the area. It is a conversation continued over the last few months.
But instead of just voicing the urgency of creating a plan, member Harold Silcox came prepared. Silcox showed the group a prototype of a sign he plans to submit to the city council Feb. 25. The sign is longer than it is wide and has one date, the date of the Battle of Chickamauga, so it can be used every year to draw visitors.
Silcox said he has submitted the draft to a local sign company and expects to get a price per sign to submit to the city council. The council was asked to set aside $5,000 for the marketing of the battle, according to Silcox. He hopes the money was budgeted for expenses related to the anniversary that will pay for the signs.
In a recent conversation with Chickamauga city manager John Culpepper, Silcox learned that if the city wants to take part in the battle celebration this summer, then it must do it alone. Other cities planning on drawing visitors are doing their own marketing of the event and Fort Oglethorpe can’t afford to wait any longer, he said. Just like the division of the Civil War, north Georgia cities are divided in their efforts to market the 150th anniversary.
“Ringgold has momentum. We want the best for all of us but we need to do something for the city,” DDA chair Jeff Epperson said.
Talks about promoting the city of Fort Oglethorpe have been ongoing with little development. The sign developed by Silcox is the first step in marketing the event.