“(Residents) should have a place to come together and get to know each other,” Wolk said.
Wolk’s user-friendly website FortOGeorgia.com brings people together by spotlighting every angle of Fort Oglethorpe from cultural events to city government, schools, businesses and area attractions. One can find straightforward information on FortOGeorgia.com, such as a history page with links to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and the 6th Cavalry Museum.
“I put the website up in January 2011,” she said. “I’d always wanted to do a community website. My husband passed away a year and a half ago and I needed to throw myself into something different.”
In addition to offering visitors and neighbors a cyberspace hangout Wolk wants to establish a real world space where people can gather “face-to-face.”
Wolk is preparing FortOGeorgia.com Headquarters & Hangout for a late February opening. The store is at 2738 LaFayette Road just north of the Sear’s Shoe Store in Fort Oglethorpe.
“This is a place to buy things but is also a place to do things,” Wolk said.
She says she had hoped to open in January, but delays in renovation put her behind schedule. Wolk is doing most of the work herself, with some help from her grown sons and friends.
“I’ve learned endless skills,” Wolk said. She has laid carpeting, painted walls and signs, cleaned up concrete dust and assembled store shelving in the past several weeks.
Along with the physical labor of readying her store to sell souvenirs, novelties, history and other non-fiction books, quality Dover coloring books and art supplies she is laying the foundation for local artists, authors and performers to share their skills. Wolk plans to display artwork and books by local artists’ and writers. She also intends to present the history of Fort Oglethorpe and the military park along one 30-foot wall. The civic-minded storeowner has a stage in the corner set up for drama and public speaking workshops. Wolk said she also would hold workshops in drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, puppetry, health issues and writing, and conduct “brain games” for people of all ages.
“As we find people who can teach these things we’ll keep adding to our repertoire,” Wolk writes on her website.
Wolk said the workshops also might be taken “off site” to local churches, schools and civic groups. On FortOGeorgia.com she writes the in-store workshops would range in cost from $2 per person to $25, depending on the topic.
“We’re working on a price structure for off-site workshops,” she writes. “We’ll also be doing ‘guinea pig’ workshops which will be free. When we develop a new workshop we (would) like to try it out on a friendly audience and people are usually pretty friendly when something is free.”
Classic Blades owner and Downtown Development Chairman Jeff Epperson said any business that promotes the community and relates to local history “is a great thing.” Epperson is one of several Fort Oglethorpe business owners that pay to advertise on FortOGeorgia.com’s “shop local” page.
Wolk moved to the tri-state area from Philadelphia, Penn., 30 years ago. She is passionate about sharing her adopted hometown’s rich history. Wolk said once her store is up and running she’d like to develop a historical walking tour of Fort Oglethorpe.
Wolk describes herself as “a writer by trade.” She’s drafted position papers, board presentations, website copy and fundraising letters for non-profit organizations. Wolk also worked in bookstores, built non-commerce websites, tutored, designed ads and organized events.
“I’ve pretty much always worked for myself,” she said.
This time around, she’s open to old and new friends stopping by the headquarters and hangout to lend a hand, Wolk said.
FortOGeorgia.com Headquarters & Hangout
· Set to open in late February
· Located at 2738 LaFayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe near Sear’s Shoe Store
· Merchandise will include books, arts, crafts, gifts and novelties like rubber duckies and bendables
· Workshops in art, drama and public speaking are planned
· To contact storeowner Tamara Wolk, email email@example.com.