Candler County Historical Society and Metter High School Performance and Production Arts Club are making final preparations for the second Lore of the Lake Cemetery Tour at Lake Church Cemetery on Highway 46 East of Metter. 

The Tour will be Saturday, Oct. 12, starting at 5 p.m. Tours will start every 20 minutes and will last about 45 minutes as participants ride through the cemetery. 

The Tour is a living tribute to the history of Metter and Candler County as told by the MHS student actors who are portraying these prominent citizens whose final resting place is Lake Church Cemetery. Heidi O’Conner and Alton West are MHS sponsors.

Previous articles gave brief biographies of Nita Belle Lee Bland, Miss Maude Maxwell Simmons, Judge/Mayor L.C. Anderson, Undertaker/Mayor Perry Lee Rountree and Farmer/Mayor Terrell Trapnell. 

Also scheduled on the tour are Ira Edwin Fordham and William Lawton Brannen.

The booklet each participant will receive while riding the tour will contain much more information about each of the permanent residents portrayed in this event than contained in the article series or the students’ presentations.

Tickets are available at the tour site or in advance by contacting Barbara Hunnicutt at 685-2902, Steve Waller at 314-1536, or by writing CCHS at PO Box 325 Metter.

I.E. Fordham

Ira Edwin Fordham, known to his friends as I.E., was a Navy veteran who joined the Navy in 1938 at age 17. At age 23 he became the youngest Chief Machinist Mate in the Navy at the time. He was very proud that he ran the engine room on the famous World War II destroyer the USS Laffey, a ship that became famous for its war activities. 

I.E. was present while the USS Laffey was being built and commanded the engine room on her first trial run. He was stationed aboard the magnificent destroyer during the Normandy Invasion. After several years of sea duty, I.E. became an instructor in the Engineering School in Newport. He also served on the USS Tarbell. 

I.E. married Leta Sconyers, and they have two daughters: Gloria Fordham Sills and Lynda Fordham Leeb.

Lawton Brannen    

William ‘Lawton’ Brannen was an accountant for a firm of CPAs in Savannah in early 1914. In the fall of 1914, he came to the newly created Candler County to go into business for himself in cotton ginning, warehouse management, automobile sales agencies, saw milling and the construction industry. 

He farmed extensively and later was a partner in Brannen and Hendricks Insurance Agency. 

His wife Zada Watson Bird was very interested in history and genealogy and encouraged Lawton to also become interested and involved. 

Lawton Brannen provided the challenge and leadership and contributed the major portion of funds to construct the Brannen Room for Local History and Genealogy at Statesboro Regional Library. Lawton and Zada were very instrumental in helping many trace their ancestry.

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