This is Part 2 of a newspaper article from 2008, partially quoted, about the history of Carl Lewis at Stockmar Park. You will find the PART 1 link above.
CONTINUED FROM PART 1. Stockmar and Lewis spent two years cleaning up the property (at Stockmar Park), building panning troughs, cutting roads and laying out more than 200 campsites before they opened the area to the public. “We opened it up in 1993 and it was open until a little after Dodgie was killed in a plane crash in 1999,” Lewis said.
Lewis ran the gold mines for nearly three years, but he was having trouble keeping the signs he purchased to market the property from being torn down every weekend by the city’s community service workers. So, in 1995 he decided he needed to work from the inside.
“I went to the city in 1995 to get a job because I thought, ‘I’ve got to get in there and know those people because that’s who I’ve got to deal with,’” he said. “They told me they had a job as a meter reader and I said, ‘I don’t care what the job is just so I can be around City Hall to stick my nose where it needs to be stuck.’ I’ve been with the city ever since.”
The late Don Cranford took over the recreational prospecting operation when Lewis left and ran it even after Stockmar died in 1999, but Lewis continued to be involved in the commercial venture. Even after Lewis became employed by the city, he kept working with Stockmar to acquire more of the historic portions of the gold-mining operations along Stockmar Road that were owned by someone else at the time.
The property in question changed hands several times, but Lewis was never able to acquire it because the owners wouldn’t break up the acreage that fronted the road. However, in 2001 the 28 most historic acres were acquired by the city because the owners finally decided its rocky features would be too expensive to develop and they had reservations about possible contamination related to cyanide use in the early gold-mining operations. The city’s property fronts Stockmar Road and is connected to the 32 acres Lewis and Stockmar operated on the backside of Pine Mountain that is now part of the Stockmar Airport property.
“Dodgie never knew that we saved his homeplace,” Lewis said.