BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
The phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” originated in France in medieval times around circa 1190.
The collection Li Proverbe au Vilain was the first publication to mention it. The phrase didn’t make it to English until an English playwright John Heywood, who lived hundreds of years ago, was published in 1953.
Rome itself was founded in the year 753 BC. It started as a small village, then it expanded to becoming home of two million people at the end of 300 CE. In other-words, it took more than 1,000 years to build Rome.
The phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” is one of Georgiana’s Mayor Frank Betterton quotes when discussing the amazing re-vitalization of commerce in Georgiana.
In a short span of three years, business has almost doubled. Ribbon cutting ceremonies for grand openings for new businesses in Georgiana have been more than abundant of late.
Georgiana commerce is growing which begs the question, why? To quote Mayor Frank Betterton again “It’s nothing I’ve done.”
After the tragic closures of the hospital, Fred’s retail store and a drug store departing, Georgiana seemed to be destined for ghost town status.
The recent resurgence can only be attributed to, as Mayor Betterton puts it, “Opportunity.”
I can agree with that statement, I personally thought opportunity when I purchased Lowery’s old hardware building downtown. I would like to think that I was the match that started the fire of the resurging commerce boom for Georgiana, but I’m not.
WSFA channel 12’s Brian Henry’s report on the Family Dollar coming to Georgiana and the other TV report on saving the crossover walking bridge, definitely put Georgiana in the lime light and could have been the spark.
Businesses such as Pharmacare followed suite and it has snowballed ever since.
Not to be nostalgic but in the seventies, Georgiana was a small but a thriving city. Georgiana like many other small towns in America suffered due to textiles and other business leaving the country.
The forties and fifties were great for Georgiana; it was a thriving and vibrant municipality as the photo above suggests.
My grandfather and others told me stories what the town was like in their hay day. Until to a few years ago, one might have shaken their head in disbelief.
The commerce and economic resurgence of Georgiana is nothing short of wonderful with restored murals adorning buildings, new businesses coming in, and an air of opportunity rather thick floating about.
But with this new growth comes definite problems to solve in order to continue prospering. Problems such as an aged and failing infrastructure can stifle new growth if you let it.
Georgiana spells opportunity these days and this should be its motto.