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Former North Augusta mayor shares memories, oral history of former businesses and city locations

Going down memory lane and sharing stories of the olden days of the city, former North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones shared his sentiments for the community in a one-time lecture.

Jones spoke highly about childhood favorite stories and businesses including Mitchell’s Grocery, Amber House, the Marrh Theater, the Seven Gables and more.

“I tell folks that if I could get in a time machine, I would go backwards and I don’t care about the future, I want to go back,” said Jones, who served as mayor from 1997 to 2017. “I think every little community has its own history and uniqueness and I tried to point some of that stuff out with the movie theater that had a special room for babies and smokers and stuff like that.

“You don’t see that kind of stuff anymore. I like to pass that along because so much now is wanting to erase the bad aspects of history and we cannot do that. Let’s remember the bad and correct it and celebrate the good.”

Milledge Murray, who attended the lecture at the municipal building Thursday, Feb. 23, and introduced Jones, said it was important to remember the oral history of the town.

“One of the key people for the reason for this building to even be here (is) Lark Jones. When we had our heritage council meetings, we had this particular program pretty much. It was an exciting program to have because we are going to learn about businesses that are no longer here. Lark knows about every one of them; he used every one of them,” Murray said.

Jones was pleased to be able to share his own memories of his community with others.

“Everything you see here is personal to me,” Jones said. “If it's personal to you and brings up a memory to you, that’s part of the purpose of what we are doing here, to make you rekindle some of the past memories and things that you admit to you growing up. Most of these places, it's not what it was. It was the experiences that we had at that place that gives us the memories.”

“It just brought back so many memories, just flooded with memories,” longtime North Augusta resident Margaret Fowke said. “North Augusta is very special. It is very unique and what they do in North Augusta is very well done.”

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Samantha Winn covers the cities of North Augusta and Augusta, with a focus on community oriented business and events. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews

Samantha Winn covers the cities of North Augusta and Augusta, with a focus on community oriented business and events. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Instagram: @swinnnews.

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