Locals want to commemorate the Great Fire of 1916 - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Locals want to commemorate the Great Fire of 1916

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The 100th anniversary of the 1916 Great Fire will be coming up in the next few years and people in the community are already looking at plans to commemorate the tragic event.  

FOX54 spoke to locals who put together an ad hoc committee and shared why this is so important.

"It's human nature to be intrigued by a disaster," said Nancy Glaser, executive director of Augusta Museum of History  

An informal meeting of people involved in Augusta tourism and preservation met the other day to discuss how the city should commemorate the Great Fire of 1916.

"I would hate to see the 100th anniversary of what I consider to be the most devastating  disaster in the city's history to go unrecognized," said Bob Young, former Augusta Mayor.  

A tragic event that historians say changed Augusta forever.

"It's not the only disaster that happened here in Augusta but it seemed to be the most devastating," said Glaser.

The fire wiped out the majority of the downtown area, forcing people to rebuild and develop going further west of the city.  

"It basically took out a major portion of what was Augusta, Georgia," said Glaser. 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was one of the many buildings destroyed by the fire but after rebuilding its walls, it stands today as a symbol of how Augusta has overcome disaster and standing strong.

Only three years shy of the 100 year mark, the efforts to commemorate the fire is in the early stages. The committee told FOX54, they are keeping an open mind about specific plans.

"Maybe we will have a 5k run through the area that burned as part of the activities," said Young.

Regardless of what they decide, the ad hoc committee does not want this anniversary to go unnoticed.

"We as the community ought to take this opportunity to look back at our city and what happened 100 years ago," said Young.  

The ad hoc committee welcomes any ideas or anyone who would like to be a part of the planning process.

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