1966 Birth of the "Little Big Horn"
Chattooga High School Football Stadium

When the new Chattooga High School was completed in 1965, there were not enough funds to build a new stadium. The 1965 Indians continued to play at Sturdivant Field next to the old school on Rome Boulevard.

Thanks to the efforts of many, funds were raised and work began at the new campus on the construction of a stadium to be called the Little Big Horn.

Drainage tiles were installed under the supervision of a county work camp foreman. This and the next two photographs were made in April 1966.

Bricks were used for the field drainage system. Students and coaches did much of the work.

Ricky Smith, George Doster, Junior Brewster, and Steve Baker feed the soil grinder to produce the right mix of soil for the new football field. The building behind them is the east side of Chattooga High School.

These Chattooga football players expect the stadium to be ready by the September 2, 1966 opening game against South Cobb.

The Chattooga High School Marching Band played for the Indian's opening game in the new stadium.

at the field
The cheerleaders were ready to cheer against the team from South Cobb. From left to right: (sitting) Honey Echols and Claudette Ponder; (kneeling) Jeanette Ponder and Yvonne McCollum; (standing) Nancy Marks, Pam Hubler, Bettye Busbin, Jan Parham, and Susan Brooks.

On October 21, 1966, Georgia Gov. Carl E. Sanders visited Chattooga County for the stadium dedication. Beforehand, he addressed a group of business and civic leaders at the Riegeldale Tavern in Trion. Seated to his right are businessman John Bankson and attorney F.H. "Pete" Boney. Bankson served as Master of Ceremonies for the one hundred assembled guests.

Gov. Sanders spoke of his efforts to bring industry to Georgia. He also spoke of the sliding stretch of U.S. Highway 27 at Taylor's Ridge, assuring the audience that the Highway Department would soon resurface the troublesome road.

Gov. Sanders spoke with local businessman John Bankson. Next to Bankson is Congressman John W. Davis.

After the ceremony at the Tavern, Sanders traveled to Summerville for the dedication of the Little Big Horn. From left to right: John Bankson, Gov. Carl Sanders, and F.H. "Pete" Boney. Sanders dedicated the new $60,000 stadium, noting that the funds for the stadium were raised entirely by the local community without the need for state or local funds.

game time
After the dedication, the Chattooga Indians played the Cedartown High School team, winning 14 to 6.

In February 1967, some of the coaches and players displayed a plaque to be erected near the Little Big Horn main entrance. From left to right: Coach Dexter Poss, Junior Brewster, Tony Gill, Mackie Bridges, Tom Blackmon, Richard Lindsay, Jimmy Day, Coach Jack Shamblin, Coach Jim Mullins, and Guinn Hankins.

Is the plaque still there? The names on the plaque were a "who's who" of local leadership, circa 1966. If you run into Robert Floyd or Bill Selman, tell them "thanks" for helping fund and construct the Little Big Horn.

Photographs by T. Emmett Nunn. Courtesy of Chattooga County Library.
Information from the Summerville News.

Copyright 2014 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.