Mystery in Millen: What have they found?

MILLEN, GA (WTOC) - Fresh chain link and barbed wire surround the Bo Ginn federal fish hatchery outside Millen. News that archeologists recently dug up history have everyone in town talking.

"Folks are very curious, especially the people up in age a little bit," explained Robert Pierce Sr., a lifelong Millen resident. "When they put the fence up, that got everybody running their mouths."

A Fish and Wildlife spokesperson in Atlanta said by phone they could not announce yet what had been found, but promised a major announcement soon.

Despite rumors of its closure, Magnolia Springs State Park remains open and historic markers there offer a few clues. A prison camp for Union soldiers, Camp Lawton, sat nearby during the War Between the States. An estimated 10,000 soldiers stayed there and hundreds died there before Sherman's march shut it down. But what's been found remains anybody's guess.

With the archeologists and the hatchery people saying little or nothing, imaginations in town have gone wild. You'll find few other topics inside places like Cindy's Cafe.

"Oh, we've heard it's gold. We've heard it's Sherman's horse and saddle. We've heard all kinds of crazy stories," explained Connie Lee.

"They think it's gonna put Jenkins County back on the map in the next 2-3 weeks," Pierce added.

The thought of even a few tourists is welcomed in a community with closed stores, factories and the highest unemployment in the state.

"It would definitely be a blessing. This community needs something. no doubt. We're in desperate need of business in Millen," Lee assured as she waited on customers at Cindy's.

But the thought of disruptin what's been buried so long troubles some.

"I just don't believe in disturbing those who've gone on, I'm an old line primitive Baptist," stated Dan Womack.

For now, everyone has a few more weeks to wonder and imagine. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service anticipate making that announcement in mid-August.

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