Letter to the Editor: Vote for Revitalization

I lived in Winnsboro for 25 years and participated in my community in many ways. Although I now live away from Fairfield County, I continue to be vitally interested in a place that will always be near to my heart.

I support the proposal before council to revitalize property with historic significance and put it to private use that blend with the residential neighborhoods. This would include Mt. Zion and all other historically important properties in the county.

Coming back from losing a major source of income can be especially difficult for rural counties and towns. But tough times can also be an opportunity for recreating the vision of a county and town.

I commend Fairfield County Council and County Administrator Jason Taylor for thinking outside the box to begin resolving this issue as noted in this quote from The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County, “ Town Council believes it is in the best interest of the citizens of Winnsboro that surplus public property with historic significance to the Community be revitalized and put to private uses that blend with the residential neighborhoods while creating jobs and bringing quality commercial enterprise to the Town.”

There are those who think that the 1936 building at Mt. Zion is not historically important. However, it was built under the direction of Architect Urquhart using WPA labor and helped to pull America out of the Great Depression. Almost every community in the United States, including Fairfield County, had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the agency.

On May 6, 1935, FDR issued Executive Order 7034, establishing the Works Progress Administration. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people.’

Even though our county has potentially lost a main economic driver, it has other assets that it can use to spur the local economy. Resilient counties have the ability to adapt to changing conditions and even reinvent their economic bases if necessary.

Please vote to revitalize this historic building to adaptive reuse and make the Mt. Zion walking path, Monument Walk, and the Mt. Zion Green a focal point to Winnsboro, Fairfield County and South Carolina.

Brenda Miller

Pawleys Island, SC