Friends of Historic Woolsey

Preserving Our Yesterdays for Tomorrow 

Preserving History: The Stories and Legacy of Woolsey, Georgia

Nov 20, 2022 by Jamie W. Lovett
Henry Lambert, C. R. Woolsey & Jimmy Wilcox

The Importance of Stories

There’s something comforting about hearing familiar stories. They serve as a bridge that connects us to our past, helps us understand our present, and shapes our future. Stories, especially those pertaining to family and ancestry, hold a special place in our hearts. I was fortunate to grow up with a father, Jimmy Wilcox, who was an ardent lover of family history and storytelling. He would visit courthouses, cemeteries, towns, relatives, write letters, and read books – all in pursuit of uncovering and preserving our family’s past. And as his little girl, I was his constant companion during these trips, an eager audience to his wonderful tales.

The Journey of I. G. Woolsey

One of the most endearing stories my father shared was about I. G. Woolsey, his wife, Arva, and four children. They embarked on a bold journey from Tennessee to Georgia in a buggy, carrying everything they owned, in search of a new life. When my father's great grandfather, Charles Reagan Woolsey, was still a young man, I. G. presented him with a choice – an education or land. Charles chose education.

My father would often ride his bike four miles just to visit and listen to the captivating stories of his great grandfather. My father passed down these same stories to me, and they continue to resonate with me to this day.

A Legacy Continued

I vividly recall my father telling me how I. G. Woolsey took special care to ensure the preservation of the historic church in Woolsey. He stipulated that if the church no longer used the building, it would revert to his descendants. As a result, one hundred and twenty years after his death, Rev. I. G. Woolsey, M.D. is still a binding force who brings families and community members together. We are currently working on a project in Woolsey, Georgia, and we feel humbled that he entrusted his life’s grand mission to us. Secure in the knowledge that along with members of the community, we would do what is right for the town.

Preserving and Promoting History

Our mission doesn’t stop at preserving the church and cemetery. We aim to preserve and promote the stories of the people who lived in, settled in, and built the town of Woolsey, Georgia. Stories that tell where a town's citizens have been and what they hope for in their future. We, at Friends of Historic Woolsey, believe that Woolsey's yesterdays matter. We invite you to join us on our journey, one that will connect us through the lessons, stories, and people of the past.

Share Your Stories

We're eager to hear your Woolsey stories of the town and its citizens. Please share your stories with us so we can help preserve them for future generations. Your stories, like those of I. G. Woolsey and Charles Reagan Woolsey, are important. They are threads in the fabric of our collective history, and by sharing and preserving them, we ensure that our past continues to illuminate our path forward.