Wylene Tritt, 84, poses for a portrait behind her family’s barn in Marietta, Georgia, on Monday, October 3, 2016. The barn was built by Tritt’s father-in-law, Will Tritt in the 1940’s. 
Photo: David Barnes/AJC
Photo: David Barnes/AJC

Actual Factual Cobb: ‘What is a Tritt?’ It’s not a ‘what’ but a who

Howdy! This is "Actual Factual Cobb," and thus is much better than the rest of the Internet. In this column series, I — Ben Brasch — will keep rootin' for answers and tootin' news about Cobb County from questions you ask until the esteemed AJC fires me upon realizing how much of the newsroom's coffee budget is expended on me.

When Merrie submitted her question, she was probably expecting a history lesson (which she’ll get) but I bet she wasn’t thinking we’d wade into what is currently one of Cobb’s most contentious issues.

Merrie simply asked: “What is a Tritt? (As in the road name Post Oak Tritt)”

Ah, but Merrie, the answer is not a “what” (as I pull a quarter from behind your ear like a magician) but a who. (Applause break for sweet magic trick)

Just like with our Actual Factual on Johnson Ferry Road, Christa McCay, collections manager at the Marietta Museum of History, has the historical goods.

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Post Oak was and is a district in Cobb County, she said. It is listed as a militia district in old census records. 

Real quick: A post oak is a medium-sized tree with wood that is “durable in contact with soil and used widely for fenceposts, hence, the name,” according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s forest service that hasn’t changed since 2007.

Now, back on task.

The road at one point was referred to as “Post Oak-Tritt Road” — the hyphen connected the East Cobb district and a family name. So in this case, it’s the Post Oak area where the Tritt family used to live. She doesn’t know where the hyphen went or when it went away.

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Easy! There we go. You’re welcome, Merrie.

Come on, y’all don’t keep this column in your hearts and minds because I answer the surface question. I’m all about some context.

The Tritt family, which has been in the area for centuries, has been in the news recently because of its property.

The county pledged to fund $40 million of park bonds after a November 2008 referendum passed with a 67 percent vote from Cobb residents.

Wylene Tritt’s property spans a quarter mile deep into the woods in Marietta, Georgia, on Monday, October 3, 2016. Tritt is trying to sell her land to Cobb County as a historic park so it can be enjoyed by future generations. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

But the county hasn’t done that yet. In fact, The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted against issuing $24.7 million in park bonds in November.

An advocacy group, The Friends of Tritt Park, has been trying to get the 54-acre Tritt property to be considered a candidate for a park.

But Commissioner Bob Ott said in October that the Tritt land isn’t on a list of potential parks.

A citizen advisory group first recognized the property’s potential as a greenspace in 2006.

“I just want it to be something that’s good for the people,” Wylene Tritt, 84, previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Tritt has lived on the property in a house built from wood of nearby trees for more than 60 years.

“There’s so many children that don’t even know the kind of trees that grow on land,” she told the newspaper.

So there you have it, Merrie. You got lessons on dendrology (the study of trees, of course), history and the current state of park bonds. Not too shabby for a 12-word question.

 I, Ben Brasch, am a reporter with the AJC. To submit “Actual Factual Cobb” questions, contact me at ben.brasch@ajc.com or on Twitter at @ben_brasch, or via the form below.

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