Skip to main content

Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza scrapbook

 Collection — Box: 1, Object: 1
Collection number: MSS-022

Scope and Contents

Tommie LaCavera (1938-2016), a member of the committee and contributor to the Athens Banner-Herald, created the project scrapbook, chronicling the committee’s efforts by preserving correspondence, newspaper clippings, official documents, photographs, and publications. The scrapbook begins with a series of clippings and other documents pertaining to the initial proposal for a memorial, including a copy of the open invitation to enter the competition for the memorial’s design; it progresses with more clippings and documents pertaining to fund-raising efforts; and, finally, much of the later part of the scrapbook consists of photographs of the parade and ceremony dedicating the memorial.


  • 1985-1990

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has no restrictions. This collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required. Apply in the Heritage Room for access.

Biographical / Historical

In 1984, the Clarke County Board of Commissioners began planning to build an annex and parking deck for the Clarke County Courthouse, both to meet the needs of a growing population and to alleviate the demand for downtown parking. The Athens Veterans Memorial Fund Committee sought to include a memorial in the project. Athens had memorials to honor those who served in the American Revolution and the Civil War, but not for soldiers in the wars of the Twentieth Century. The Board agreed, October, 1985, to provide a site for the memorial in the space between the expanded Courthouse and the parking deck.

The Memorial Fund committee created rules for a design competition and selected a jury of local Purple Heart recipients to choose the best ten designs. From these ten, the committee selected the three finalists: Brian Kent; Darci Heil and Shane Shook; and David Lunde, John Threadgill, and Horace Farlowe. After reviewing the artwork and models for each proposal, in May, 1986, they chose Brian Kent's proposal. Kent is a graduate of Cedar Shoals High School and the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design. The committee launched a fund-raising campaign for the memorial. Among the events held during the campaign were a bicycle ride organized by Sunshine Cycle Shop, a radiothon, and a Veterans Day banquet. While the campaign fostered public interest and generated funds sufficient to cover roughly one-third of the construction costs, estimates of the memorial plaza’s costs were higher than expected; the County ultimately covered the rest of the costs.

The memorial was dedicated with a parade, May 25, 1990. Tommy Clack, wounded in Vietnam, gave the memorial address. Veterans from four wars served as grand marshals for a parade leading to the ceremony. From the First World War, John L. Silbereisen, Navy; Arthur Johnson, Sr., Army; Robert Lee Van Barcom, Navy. From the Second World War, Major H. Randolph Holder, Army. From the Korean War, George Smith, Army. From the Vietnam War, Lee Ellis, Air Force.


1.21 Linear Feet (One document box measuring 18.5 inches x 14.5 inches x 3 inches)


Scrapbook detailing the planning, construction, and dedication of the Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza.


The collection is organized in a single series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Tommie LaCavera

Related Materials

The Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee collection (MSS 034) provides additional material relating to the planning and construction of the memorial.

The scrapbook contains radio editorials by H. Randolph Holder, owner of radio station WGAU. More of his editorials can be found in the H. Randolph Holder collection (MSS 011).

Additional materials related to Tommie LaCavera can be found in the Elijah Clarke Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution scrapbook collection (MSS 014).


Tommie Anne LaCavera obituary. Legacy, Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald, Oct. 17, 2016.

Physical Description

Good except for items no longer being held to the scrapbook pages by the adhesive.

Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza scrapbook
Justin Kau
September 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library Repository

2025 Baxter Street
Athens GA 30606