Folks in Sylvester, also famous for peanut production, have a LOT of downtown pride. Their historic downtown is close to full occupancy, with places to shop and eat, and tradition is respected, as citizens keep grand historic homes alive.
"People love it! You can walk around the block, say hello, eat a great lunch, eat a great dinner. People here know you, they care about the services they give you. And it is evident in their shops and in their success," said Karen Rackley Sylvester-Worth Chamber President/CEO.
Rackley thinks the success of downtown has a lot to do with the synergy created between local leadership and business owners willing to invest. And a recent "Main Street" designation also helps!
Repairing a historic, grand home
Just a short walk from where we are here at the Train Depot is a grand, historic home that is in need of some TLC.
Many happy memories have been made for people in Worth County at this beautiful home. It's been in the care of the Sylvester Women's Club for many decades.
An unexpected sewage back-up caused major damage to the old structure. The Kiwanis Club has been leading the volunteer effort rebuilding the kitchen.
Volunteers have put in new floors and cabinets and made other repairs. It's more than nostalgia that motivates the community to save the building.
It's preserving this small town's history.
"It has a lot of memories here to it, and I think it is important to preserve a lot of what we have here in Sylvester," said Joe Thomas of the Sylvester Kiwanis Club.
The two bathrooms inside the building have to be totally renovated because of the damage, and, it needs a new air conditioning unit.
The cost to finish the job is estimated at $20,000. If you want to help restore this Sylvester treasure, send a message HERE.
New eats in Sylvester
It's worth the trip to Sylvester just to try some of the delicious food because several new restaurants have opened.
The most recent is Huff's Chicken Coop on Highway 82, which opened earlier this month. The owner is a Sylvester native and wanted to invest in his hometown.
"We try to keep business in town. And give them quality service and quality food at a great price, a good price. And a good place to sit down. Just because you are serving fried chicken doesn't mean it it doesn't have to be a nice place," said Michael Huffsteler of Huff's Chicken Coop.
Huff's Chicken Coop serves lunch and dinner every day but Sunday.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.