It was a beautiful day to cut the ribbon with commissioners, descendents of the Hudson and Nash families, members of the Gwinnett Historical Society, Sons of Confederate Veterans, campers and those instrumental in getting the park ready.
The Yellow River Post Office at Hudson-Nash Farm on Five Forks Trickum Road is a 5-acre historical tract that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and preserved through the use of Gwinnett's SPLOST funds. The parcel was given to the county by Scott Hudgens.
The site is part of a 562 acre farm that was settled by Thomas P Hudson and his family in 1839. It includes the post office building, built in the 1840's, during which time he operated a general store that served travellers going from the railroad depot in Stone Mountain to Lawrenceville. There is also a wash house, a barn and a share-cropper or slave quarters.
After the Civil War, the property was sold to Lewis Nash in 1876; he served as postmaster of the post office from 1866-1867; he and his family were among those who organized Yellow River Baptist Church.
The farm was purchased by his cousin, William Thomas Nash in 1880 and remained in the family until 1996. The land was divided among their children who built houses on the property; the land war farmed through the 1950's.
Today, the site is a significant example of what farming and commercial activity was like in the mid-19th century thanks to the Gwinnet County Government Environmental and Heritage Center. Not only have the historic buildings been preserved, there are walkways and signage for self guided tours. Programs for school-age children will begin this fall.
The ceremony commenced with Presentation of the Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and a brief prayer by Scouts from Pack 503 - The Blue Phoenis Patrol, Flaming Arrow Den, based out of Trinity Christian Church from Dacula.
- Kim Hall, the 3rd Great Granddaughter of Thomas Hudson and Gwinnett Historical Restoration and Preservation Board's Chair, spoke to the rich history of the site. He described Thomas Hudson as a man who was "giving of himself and those around him."
- Charlotte Nash, who visited the site with former Gwinnett Chairman Wayne Hill several years ago, credited him for his interest in preserving historical sites and properties across the county. Though her family is no relation to the Nash family who owned the land, she felt we could all relate to sense of family and community expressed by the families who worked this farm.
She thanked Scott Hudgens and his family for the many contributions they have made to Gwinnett County.
- Gwinnett District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau pointed out that the property had changed little, though it had endured so many great events during the time that the Hudson and Nash families lived on the farm. "They are great examples of service to the community." He pointed out that we are just stewards of our time and moments, and history provides the connection that allows us to property take care of our community. "We are temporary office holders of history."
- Lynette Howard, Commissioner for Gwinnett District 2, was a teacher at the Environmental Heritage Center. She encourages children to visit all the sites and get involved.
Commissioner Howard also set up a table at the Post Office site for visitors to sign letters to soldiers, much like the letters that came through the office more than 150 years ago.
- Gwinnett Recreation Authority Chair, Dr. Steven Flynt, invited the Hudson and Nash families along with those who were pivotal in the reconstruction of the site to be part of the official ribbon cutting.
An honor guard comprised of four Metro Atlanta camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans were on site dressed in Civil War apparel to pay tribute. Each spoke of their ancestor's part in the Confederacy.
Commander Barry Denard, from the Eli Landers SCV Camp 1724, was among those who fired the cannon. Eli Landers wrote more than 100 letters home ... and they all came through the Yellow River Post Office.