Today's Commission is made up of five citizens who reside within the city
limits of Jefferson. The expertise they bring to the Commission are varied but each has a unique set of skills and interest
in dealing with historic preservation.
Al Westmoreland, Chair
Traci Bledsoe, Vice Chair
Len Sturkie, Secretary
Hilda Johnson Smith
- Lifetime Jefferson resident.
High School Graduate, Class of 1966.
- University of Georgia, 1970, BS
- University of Georgia, 1972, Master's Education.
- Taught and coached for five years in the Hart County School System.
- Twenty-five years in Human Resources.
- Retired in 2011
from Harrison Poultry as Corporate Director of Human Resources.
31 years to Anita. They have two children, Jeff and Jenni, both Jefferson High School graduates. Grandfather of
- Hobbies include attending JHS and UGA athletic events.
Traci Loar Bledsoe
Traci Loar Bledsoe moved to Jefferson in 2001 from her native
Savannah, where a deep love and respect for our great state's rich history was fostered from childhood. As a real estate
attorney in the historic district, she had the opportunity to experience every aspect of the preservation and restoration
of historic properties. In the past twelve years, she has fallen in love with the charm and character of Jefferson and is
delighted to learn more about its past. She is even more excited to be able to help preserve it for the future as a member
of the Historic Preservation Commission in the town she now considers home.
Traci is the mother of three daughters, two of whom are students at Jefferson High School.
Her eldest is a new graduate of her alma mater, the University of Georgia. Traci is a "Double Dawg," obtaining
her bachelor's degree in journalism from UGA in 1990 and her law degree from the UGA School of Law in 1996. She has practiced
law in Georgia since that time. Traci is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Jefferson where she serves as Church
Clerk and Chair of the Fellowship Committee.
- Served in US Air Force/Air National Guard.
Greenville Technical College.
- Retired / Daimler AG
- Owner of Von Kaylen Antiques.
/Auto enthusiast - History - Art and Antiques
- 4 year member and Secretary
of the Jefferson Historic Preservation Commission.
- [Attended all required
State and Regional Historic Preservation Training Sessions]
- Three year
member of the Jackson County Historic Courthouse Restoration Committee.
year member of The National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Member of
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Member of the American Truck
- Member of the South Carolina Historical Aircraft
- Member of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.
- Member of the Hoschton Heritage Arts Council.
- 25 year owner/resident of the Bell-Maddox House [Downtown Historic District], the original home of Judge Horatio
W. Bell, Jackson County Ordinary Judge and overseer of the construction of the 1879 Historic Courthouse.
- Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Graduated in 1983 from
UGA with a BFA in Graphic Design.
- Moved to Jefferson in 2007.
father is an architect. She learned to appreciate historic buildings from him and worked for him for 10 years as his
- She loves interior design. Her and her father designed the renovation
for her home in Jefferson.
- One of her favorite buildings is the Pantheon in Rome, the inspiration
for Brunelleschi's Dome in Florence which kicked off the Renaissance in Italy. She has a print of it on the wall right
next to her desk.
- She co-authored a book on healthy indoor environments entitled, Detox
the Air in Your Home. They are now in the process of transforming the book into a Continuing
Education class for Real Estate agents.
- She works part-time as a freelance copy writer and
graphic designer. In her spare time (when she has it), she paints portraits, her joy!
Hilda Johnson Smith
Hilda Johnson Smith is a native of Jefferson, having grown
up here as well as graduating from Jefferson High School. Hilda graduated the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the
University of Georgia with a Master's in Education. She worked for several years at the Georgia Egg Commission, Johnson's
Wax and Reynolds Aluminum before moving to Jacksonville, Florida, where she raised four children, worked in a family business
and taught several years in secondary education. Hilda is employed by Great Promise Partnership and is proud to once again
call Jefferson her home.
Jefferson Historic Preservation Commission
28 College Street • Jefferson,