Author Uses Satellites to Track Georgia History

By Neleski, Patricia | The Florida Times Union, January 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

Author Uses Satellites to Track Georgia History


Neleski, Patricia, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Patricia Neleski, Times-Union correspondent

********************CORRECTION January 25, 2003

To The Letter is a publishing house in St. Marys. Because of a correspondent's error, the company was misidentified in a story on Page B-1 yesterday.

*************

ST. MARYS -- While researching her first book, Valerie Goddard wore white cotton gloves, "rode the streets" and used a Global Positioning System (GPS) device.

Goddard has published a guide to historical roadside markers from Camden to Chatham counties, titled Get Off the Interstate. She is working on a second book about Florida historical markers from Nassau to Dade counties.

The book emerges from Goddard's lifelong love of travel and writing. She said she was unhappy that she could rarely learn much about the history of backwoods places she visited. That's when she decided to do the research herself and write the book.

"There really was nothing else like this anywhere," Goddard said. "There was just a listing of the markers. Nobody had ever done the background information."

Goddard researched her Georgia book for two years by leafing through centuries-old documents in the Georgia Historical Library in Savannah, where she had to wear cotton gloves to protect the ancient documents. She also talked to area historians and consulted a list of historical markers provided by the Georgia Secretary of State's Office. And she searched the Internet.

Then she would set out for the woods.

Every other Monday, her day off as a secretary at the Trident Refit Facility at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Goddard and her editor, Christine Lindblom, searched for markers along the backroads between Chatham and Camden counties. …

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