Kudzu, Red Doors and Volunteer Fire Departments

October 28, 2019

Sometimes, I just can’t settle on a straight-up historical story. If you have written anything that requires research, then it was probably assigned to you by a teacher like me. You know how grueling that was. I didn’t have time for that this week, but I have made a plan for a couple of series. What I did have time for is sharing a few things that I have found and thought might be of interest to someone besides me.


First, a few years ago I found an advertisement that was printed in the March 7, 1948, Dade County Times. Here is a photo of the ad. Rex Blevins is going to love this. I am sure that it will only fire his contempt for Georgia Power.


Plant Kudzu Now! was the title. The advertisement touts the idea that “the middle of April is the best time to plant Kudzu—the vine that builds good soil and helps stop wasteful erosion.” It goes on to inform the reader that it is wonderful for grazing.


Erosion was a big problem and soil conservation was and is still a big issue, but Georgia Power was incorrect about all of the points made in the advertisement. After getting over the shock of reading this ad, I had a good chuckle and spent some time thinking. That was probably not the first or the last mistake that Georgia Power has or will make. (Right, Rex!) But who among us hasn’t believed in something or someone which or who turns out to be a mistake? Looking backward affords a person to attempt not to repeat the errors of those who went before.



Have you wondered why the Trenton United Methodist Church has painted the doors of the church red? Here is an answer which was sent out by the church to the membership, and I thought that the good people of Dade might be interested in the reason.


There are several reasons associated with red doors. The tradition dates back several centuries. Red symbolizes the sacrificial blood of Christ that saves those who come to him. Red is also a reminder of the Passover and a sign of the Holy Spirit. Church doors began to be painted red as a way of remembering the ultimate sacrifice that others have made for their faith.


The red doors of churches traditionally signaled a place of sanctuary, refuge and safety. Those in need would not be captured or harmed inside the holy walls of the church, which offered physical and spiritual protection.


Of course, we have seen that churches are not the safe haven that they used to be with the heinous shootings and bombings of the recent past. Maybe we Christians and churchgoers in Dade could join forces and paint a few more doors red. If not a red door, then maybe a big red ribbon would signal to folks that we are striving to be a shelter in the storm for all.


Needed: old church photos

Next on my list is a plea for OLD photos of churches in Dade County. We are in the process of creating our next historical calendar. This year’s theme is Churches of Dade County. Bring your picture to the library and someone there will scan it for you and add it to our collection of churches. If you have some history of the church, then please include a page telling what you know about it. We hoped the calendar will be ready for sale by Thanksgiving.


Lastly for today, I am working on many things, but the next series that I plan to write will be about the history of the fire departments in Trenton and then the rest of Dade County. I have determined that the need for a fire department became evident when the home of I. H. Wheeler Sr. burned on July 3, 1952. A picture of that house was the May photo in this year’s historical calendar. It was another one of those two-story beauties that no longer exist in Trenton. The town almost burned down that night and Clarion Kyzer (who almost lost his business) was moved to begin a volunteer fire department in Trenton. He worked from 1952 until his death and his son, Jerry, serves

 as chief today. I think Mr. Kyzer Sr. must have started taking Jerry with him by the time Jerry was five or six.


--Donna Street


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