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Author’s books dive into Georgia’s underwater farms, towns

March 9, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A woman has written a book about the towns and farms engulfed by water to create man-made lakes in north Georgia, such as Lake Allatoona.

Lisa Russell, a Dalton High School graduate, teaches at Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Kennesaw State University, The Athens Banner-Herald reported.

The book follows some historical themes from her first book, “Lost Towns of North Georgia.” She also has an upcoming book on old mill villages that have disappeared. The books are published by The History Press.

Russell said that “most of the lakes were on farmland and land that was owned for generations by people who lived off the land.”

American Indian sites were submerged as well.

She doesn’t believe the people who lost their farms were fairly compensated when their land was taken. When the people who lost land used the proceeds to acquire more property “they really didn’t even break even,” she said.

“They lost a lot,” she added.

There are also towns underwater in places such as Lake Allatoona. Among them was Etowah.

“It was an industrial mill town. They made iron,” she said.

When the lake is low, people can actually see an area where a mansion once stood, The Banner-Herald reported.

The author’s family moved to Georgia when she was a child. After graduating from Dalton High, she received a degree from Shorter College, then earned a master’s degree from Kennesaw State University.

“I’m not a historian or archaeologist, but I’ve spoken at history centers and at archaeology conferences,” she said. “The topic is interesting to people because I tell stories.”

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Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com