Restoring Darien’s history: Oglethorpe Square

Coastal Electric Cooperative got to help with a very special project in Darien this spring—restoring a historic square that dates back to the time of Gen. James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of Georgia.

Under the direction of Certified Arborist Jerry Holcomb, Coastal Electric employees teamed up with McIntosh County Academy students on April 18 to plant nine 100-gallon, container-grown live oak trees on the former site of Oglethorpe Square.

Founded in 1736, Darien is the second-oldest city in Georgia, and according to City Manager Richard Braun, this particular square was part of Oglethorpe’s original design for Darien.

The original square was erased decades ago when the former McIntosh County Academy (now McIntosh County Middle School) and its associated parking lot were constructed. Former McIntosh County Schools Superintendent Dr. James Pulos kicked off the project by having asphalt and concrete removed, and the ground leveled to reestablish the square as a public park and green space.

Coastal Electric lineworkers brought in bucket trucks and other equipment typically used to set power poles to unload trees, rescue another vehicle stuck in the sand— and even raise a flag pole for Old Glory.

“Community development often looks like building some- thing new to enrich the lives of the people who live there,” says Chris Fettes, Coastal Electric CEO, “but it also looks like preserving some- thing enduring, investing in the rich history that makes this place we call home so special.”

After the trees were planted, McIntosh County officials held a ceremony on April 21 dedicat- ing them to honored community members. The ceremony was part of Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols’ Coastal Earth Day Summit.

“Rural cooperatives have always given back to their communities,” Echols says. “Coastal Electric has done this up and down Georgia’s 100 miles of coast, and here they are in Darien, making an investment in Oglethorpe Square and going above and beyond.”

To see the first stages of the Oglethorpe Square project and hear more from the local people involved, scan the QR Code on this page.

QR code to view progress at Oglethorpe Square