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Attorney, Historian Uses Best Tool To Keep Going | News

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Attorney, Historian Uses Best Tool To Keep Going

You could point out nearly any property in Bleckley County and 68-year-old Lonnie Barlow likely knows who owns it.  

Barlow, a Cochran native, says he's practiced real estate law for 40 years and found his passion in the dealings and history of land ownership.  His office holds about 9,000 real estate transaction records.

"The way land is handled, who owns it, the way it's transferred and how you acquire it," said Barlow.

In the midst of researching wills, probates and transactions, the attorney found himself a hobby.

"The most wonderful thing about Bleckley County is its religious heritage. We have over 40 churches," said Barlow.

Barlow says he could tell you who owns 85 percent of Bleckley County's property and likely how it happened. 

"I like to think that I came to this office not to make money but to help people," he said.

Barlow says he first learned about real estate through his father, who built the county's first Dairy Queen, located on N. Second Street, in 1955.  Barlow says the most expensive item was a banana split that cost 45 cents, but he says those pennies added up to pay for his education.

After attending Mercer law school, Barlow enlisted in the Navy and later helped represent Bleckley County in a discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In 2004, he was named county historian.

"I was asked to speak at a lot of things then, I had a voice then," said Barlow.

Doctors told Barlow he had a paralyzed vocal cord a few years ago.  But Barlow plugs away, using what he calls his best tool, his memory.

So while his voice may not be as bold as it once was, Bleckley County families still lean on Barlow to tell the stories of their homes and neighborhoods, the names and buildings that lay the foundation of who they are, pieces of history not to be forgotten.












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