COVINGTON, Ga. – Main Street Covington and the Newton County Visitors Bureau have partnered to show downtown Covington’s history through a glimpse into the past with the “Re-Taking History Walking Tour” project.
The self-guided tour will take visitors around downtown Covington and visually show them the history through granite pavers in the sidewalk. The tour will take visitors by almost every business in downtown Covington.
Director of Tourism and Marketing for the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce Jenny McDonald said the city is missing a history piece in its tourism efforts.
“What we want to put together is similar to our ‘Walk of Stars,’ but this is of our historical buildings downtown,” she said.
McDonald said the Chamber and Main Street spent time collecting and digitizing photos from residents and other resources to create a library of old photos.
Each paver will include a photo, an arrow so visitors will know which way to face to replicate the image in present day and GPS coordinates of the location.
“It benefits Main Street in that you will be putting people right in front of storefronts,” she said. “As you’re looking at the paver, you’re looking at the store as well, so it has tourism and Main Street mixed in there together.”
The pavers will be paid for using filming permit fees that were collected by Main Street Covington in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Covington Main Street Director Lauren Singleton said the plan is to start with 10 pavers and grow from there. The goal is to have the pavers in place by October 2018.
"You will literally stand in the place where the photo was taken," she said. "You can look down and see how it looked then and look up and see how it is today."
The tour will focus on the architecture of the buildings and how things have changed over time.
City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said the Covington City Council previously made the decision to not allow for additional pavers in the downtown area, so this particular walking tour would require council approval.
"I'll be honest with you, I don't see a reason why we don't want pavers in the downtown area," she said.
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said it sounded like the council was interested in the walking tour and suggested reviewing the paver policy.
Knight said it would be added to the agenda for the May 21 council meeting.