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Remerton: A Walk Down Memory Lane

Written By : Sarah Turner
If Remerton were anything like it used to be, students could take the trolley home after too many drinks.
Every night, students crash the landlocked walls of Remerton, Ga. The city within a city became incorporated in 1951 and was a striving, vibrant, Beaver Cleaver-type community. While the community still strives economically, its reputation has taken a turn.
“Well, when someone says that they’re going to Remerton tonight, it’s understood that they’re drinking tonight,” Taylor Harrington, junior speech pathology major, said.
Today the city is economically dependent on retail, service and real estate. Even the mayor agrees that the bars are a primary factor in the economy.
“The introduction of Remerton Square has really boosted our economy in the last ten or so years,” Cornelius Holsendolph, Remerton mayor, said. “The bars, as well as a couple other businesses we have along Baytree Place add to the economy too.”
Remerton grew around the Strickland Cotton Mill that was built in 1899. The factory was the prime source of income for early Remerton. Aerial images of the city show the mill village with farms, fields and woodlands between Valdosta, Ga. and Remerton. Try envisioning crops, cows and horses to your left as you’re heading to the mall from campus.
By 1922, Remerton held 71 houses, two churches and a school with the mill still dominating the city. In 1945, nine girls from (GSWC) VSU were touring the mill with its president when the elevator cable snapped. Only one girl was injured; however, Mr. Strickland suffered from broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
The mill shut down in 1979.The factory still stands today behind the Valdosta Pawn Shop; however, a recent decision was made to do away with the remnants of what made Remerton, and only the tall brick tower of the building stands today.
There is some history behind the streets you take to class everyday also. Alden Avenue used to be the Valdosta Street Railway trolley line.
The street with three different names crossing Baytree Road next to Slap Daddy’s has always been tricky. In 1972, Jerry Jones Road was realigned to connect directly with Melody Lane at Baytree Road. Once Melody Lane was paved, it connected directly to Lankford Drive.
“It’s hard to imagine Remerton being anything other than it is today,” Harrington said. “I don’t see it changing very much in the future.”
Although the city doesn’t have much room to work with, it does have a new factory-sized lot with nothing on it. As for the economic future of Remerton, real estate might dramatically expand in the future.
“We are looking to build some new complexes, possibly over where the old mill used to be,” Holsendolph said. “We are expecting something there in the near future, and that would definitely be a big boost to our economy. But technically we are not the owners of that so we really don’t know what they are going to put there yet.”
You can now indulge your intoxicated friends about the history and future of where you’re sitting the next time you’re enjoying your long island iced tea at the local bar.

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