Growth of the Chamber

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Growth of the Chamber

Back in 1967 there were a number of business folks who realized it was time to put together a Chamber of Commerce for Fayette County. 

They needed some secretarial help and I was drafted. A local attorney put together all the legal necessities and one was born.

There were very few places to meet in the county at that time and no funds to rent an office, even if one were available.

Consequently I ran the Chamber out of my living room its first four years.

We used my home telephone number for the Chamber number on any advertisements. One of our first members was the district manager for the area phone company, located in Jonesboro. While I’m sure this phone number arrangement had come to his attention, he graciously chose to ignore it..

The building south of the old courthouse was pretty much occupied by Fayette County departments, such as the tax collector and voting registrar. There was a small space not occupied and the Chamber was allowed to move in, during its fifth year. It was at this time it finally had its very own telephone number.

The Chamber felt a brochure was needed expounding the attributes of doing business here and I set about putting one together. It was in black and white, of course, dotted with photos I took of a couple of businesses such as the rock quarry in Tyrone and High Brand Foods in Peachtree City. 

The strip center in Fayetteville where Michael’s and Radio Shack are now located was just a big, empty field. It contained a sign reading “Shopping Center Coming Here Soon.”

The sign had been there for some time, however, and the sun had bleached out the bright lettering to a dull lettering.

I remained undeterred, however, and this brochure read “Shopping Center Coming Soon” in Fayetteville.

Our first couple of annual meeting dinners were held at the Masonic Lodge in Fayetteville. The dinner consisted of pot luck items we all brought from home.

And oh yes! One of the duties of being secretary for the monthly executive meetings was being there a half hour ahead of time, to have the large coffee pot already turned on, and a cake that I had baked that afternoon sliced and at the ready . 

Obviously the Chamber grew and grew and its annual meeting was held last week at the Dolce Conference Center in Peachtree City. There were just over 300 Chamber members and guests on hand and yes, you had to pay big bucks for your lunch, but it definitely was not pot luck.