County Historic Sites receive State Preservation Awards

Lawrenceville, Ga. – Two of Gwinnett County’s historic sites were recently recognized by the Georgia Trust for excellence in preservation efforts during its 38th annual Preservation Awards ceremony on April 17 in Athens.

 “I am so proud that the Georgia Trust has recognized two of Gwinnett County’s most important historical sites,” said Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “Our county has a proud history, and as we approach our bicentennial, I am pleased to see that leaders in the preservation community recognize that Gwinnett is hard at work preserving its history and telling our story.”

The Chesser-Williams House, a vernacular I-house dating to the mid-19th century, has been the focus of an extensive preservation effort undertaken by Gwinnett County and the Environmental and Heritage Center Foundation. Donated to Gwinnett County by the Williams family in 2008, the house was relocated to the EHC campus, six miles from its original site. The exterior paintings, which are attributed to a German itinerant artist, were removed for future display in a controlled museum environment and then painstakingly recreated on the restored structure. For this meticulous and scholarly work, the EHC was awarded an Excellence in Preservation Award by the Georgia Trust.

“One of the goals of the Chesser-Williams House project is to use the home as a resource for teaching students – and the public at large – about the importance of historic preservation,” said Dr. Debbie Daniell, a trustee of the EHC Foundation and director of social studies for Gwinnett County Public Schools. “The EHC and its foundation are honored to be recognized by the Georgia Trust and look forward to seeing the Chesser-Williams House provide thousands of area students with firsthand knowledge of historic preservation, archaeology, conservation sciences, cultural history and curation techniques.”

Fort Daniel was built in 1813 as a critical supply station and defensive battlement during the 

War of 1812.  It was later abandoned, and its log structure faded in obscurity. The site of the Fort was rediscovered in 2007. Five years later, Gwinnett County purchased the site, which is currently managed by the Fort Daniel Foundation.

The Fort Daniel Foundation sponsors an annual Frontier Faire and is developing educational resources for critical hands-on experiences that foster an understanding of local history, archaeology and the importance of preservation.  These efforts led the Georgia Trust to recognize the Fort Daniel Foundation with an Excellence in Preservation Services award.

“The Fort Daniel Foundation is pleased and honored to receive this distinguished award from the Georgia Trust,” said Dr. Jim D’Angelo, president of the Fort Daniel Foundation Board.  “The core of our mission is to educate the public about the site and the processes involved in preserving it.”

For more information about the Georgia Trust, visit To learn more about the Environmental and Heritage Center’s Chesser-Williams House, visit, and the Fort Daniel Foundation, visit