McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Over the years we have sought to bring educational and interactive programming to the community and we ask that you join with us in supporting this endeavor. We believe that museums can be exciting places for persons of every age and background. In the next few years we will be embarking on a new and exciting journey as we build a children’s museum and continue developing exhibits at the new McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Stayed tuned for more changes and feel free to contact us!

And keep up with events on our Facebook page!

Contact us at:executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com


Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show Competition taking entries

"Winter Cottonwoods," photo by Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia.

“Winter Cottonwoods,” photo by Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia.

Entry is under way for “Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show,” which will be displaying its juried selections starting in April at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

For 2016, the Call for Entries closes at midnight, Sunday, March 6.

This is a juried photography exhibition comprised of strictly nature photography – no man made elements should be present within images submitted for judging.

Entry will be available online. For full entry details go to the Simple Pleasures website:


Photographers across the globe compete for cash prizes and talent recognition.

The nature photography show was added to the Simple Pleasures calendar in 2015 with Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia being named as the inaugural winner, followed by Vinson Smith of Stockbridge whose work was recognized with the 2nd place award.

The competition is open annually in the spring and opens with a reception on the first Saturday of April at 3 o’clock in the afternoon at the McRitchie Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street, in historic downtown Newnan, Georgia.

Annually, the opening reception is held on the first Saturday of April which for 2016 will be April 2nd. All events related to Simple Pleasures are held at he McRitchie Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street in historic downtown Newnan, Georgia.

An entry form to download:

Simple Pleasures  The Nature Show Entry Form 2016


Saying goodbye to Downton Abbey


Join us at the NCHS McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Sunday, March 6, from 4-7:30 p.m. for an advanced screening of the final two-hour episode of Downton Abbey. High Tea will be served from 4 to 5 along with desserts and pastries. DVD Screening will begin at 5 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public but we do require reservations. Please call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at (770) 251-0207 to save your spot!!


Join our inaugural Easter Egg Roll!

2016-02-12 09.10.28

Join the Spring fun at the inaugural NCHS Easter Egg Roll at McRitchie-Hollis Museum 10 a.m. to noon March 26.

This will be a fun event for the whole family! Join us for an egg roll race, Easter egg hunt on the lawn, face painting, hat contest, egg decorating, dance performance by Southern Arc Dance and much more.


Get ready for Shakespeare Smackdown


Join Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at the Depot 7:30 p.m. April 21 as we remember the accomplishments of English poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare. April 2016 marks the 400th anniversand ary of his death. Prepare your best Shakespeare reading or scene and compete for prizes. Hosted by Dale Lyles, who will also have two “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” pre-event workshops 7:30 p.m. March 22 & 29 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.


A Coke and a Smile …in Senoia

Coke Exhibit - Carrie (1)

Join our friends at Senoia Area Historical Society 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, for the opening of their new Coca-Cola exhibition!

The Coca-Cola bottle’s iconic hourglass shape just turned 100 years old in November. Meanwhile, the City of Senoia is commemorating its 150th birthday this year. To celebrate these milestones, the Senoia Area Historical Society (SAHS) is sponsoring an exhibit of Coke-related artifacts this February at the SAHS History Museum.
Coca-Cola is a hallmark brand in the South, and Senoia has enjoyed a long relationship with the company. In the early 1900s, Blount & Williams ran a Coke bottling operation in the basement of the Baggarly property on Senoia’s historic Main Street. The building has been home to a long string of businesses, making it the third-longest continuously operating commercial structure in Georgia. Today, the sixth generation of the Baggarly Family owns the building and operates the Buggy Shop Museum there.
Items that will be displayed at the SAHS History Museum during the Coca-Cola exhibit include many on loan from the former Sewell’s General Merchandise Store collection. The store had been located on Main Street for many years, and today, the Coca-Cola items belong to Hal and Vicki Sewell. The Sewell Family’s artifacts include straight-sided pre-1915 Coke bottles, Coke thermometers, and a clock from the General Merchandise Store.
A wide variety of other Coca-Cola artifacts have been loaned or donated to SAHS for this event, including branded signs, serving trays, and a metal lunchbox. Some items are part of the Museum’s own collection.
The exhibit will kick off with an evening of Coke and chips and other light refreshments on Friday, February 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the SAHS History Museum, located at 6 Couch Street, Senoia. The event is free and open to the public, with donations to the SAHS gratefully accepted. After opening night, the exhibit will be open between 1 and 4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from February 12 through February 27 at the SAHS Museum.
The upcoming Coca-Cola exhibit is the third annual SAHS temporary exhibit held during the month of February. In 2014, there was a display of vintage valentines, then last year, it was vintage jewelry. Those previous romance-inspired exhibits were scheduled during February to coincide with Valentine’s Day. In keeping with the theme, SAHS invites you to come out on February 12 to enjoy a Coke with your sweetheart!

2016 Coke Exhibit (1)JPG


The next Textile Trail regional meeting is Feb. 19 in Carrollton!

(See the poster for details on registration.)

2016 Textile Trail Regional MeetingsJPG

Speakers include Cindy Eidson, director of Tourism Product Development at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, whose family has deep roots in the Arnco-Sargent mill villages!
Folks do need to pre-register so organizers can plan for and order lunch. You may register on the Trail website at http://westgatextiletrail.com/ and bring either check or cash to the meeting.
Don’t forget that we have copies of the new Textile Trail pictorial history in the NCHS gift shops at the McRitchie-Hollis and Male Academy museums.


Family Fun Day set at Male Academy for Black History Month

A Family Fun Day complete with storytelling will be held at the Male Academy Museum Feb. 27 to help celebrate Black History Month.

The free event will run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Male Academy located beside the city park on Temple Avenue at College Street near downtown Newnan.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has arranged for “Sistah Olufemi” (Christine B. Arinze-Samuel) of Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia to entertain youngsters with a story session at 11 a.m. That will be followed by a craft time.

Sistah Olufemi

Sistah Olufemi

Sistah Olufemi will perform her story, “The Secrets of the Quilts — on The Underground Railroad as Harriet Tubman.” The theme ties into the continuing quilt exhibitions on display at the Male Academy.

Following the performance, children and families will be invited to participate in African-American and quilt-themed crafts. Among the activities, youngsters will create their own quilt-inspired designs. They will also help assemble the NCHS Dream Quilt from colorful cards on which participants have shared their own dreams. The project is in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dream Quilt box - Copy

In recent weeks NCHS Graduate Research Assistant Harvee White, a grad student at the University of West Georgia, has distributed boxes around town and at the historical society’s McRitchie-Hollis and Male Academy museums inviting the public to share their dreams. Anyone may stop by one of the participating downtown businesses or the museums to fill out a card. The cards will be gathered for assembly at the Feb. 27 event.

Sistah Olufemi considers herself to be a natural “storyteller.” She specializes in telling the Underground Railroad story as Harriet Tubman. She is a veteran educator with more than 30 years of service, having taught every grade level and adult education as well. Her stories are tailored for the family.

As an educator, she said, she understands the importance of keeping the history of her culture in the forefront as a storyteller as well as the inclusiveness of all humanity. It is her desire to continue the oral tradition of storytelling and loving to tell stories that are meaningful, uplifting, thought provoking, informative and most of all stories that can be enjoyed by a genre of audiences.

As a published poet, she understands the rhythm, rhyme and the power of words.

Sistah Olufemi is co-chairperson of the initial inception of The Metropolitan Atlanta Kwanzaa Association (MAKA). She also has performed for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta and was a part of the first NBAF parade.

For more information contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at 770-251-0207.


Hank Williams program at Wadsworth rescheduled
due to metro Atlanta’s recent winter weather
Dr. Steve Goodson

Dr. Steve Goodson

The program with Dr. Steve Goodson and music of late country music star Hank Williams Sr has been rescheduled to Feb. 20. The original Jan. 23 date was canceled due to the recent winter weather that moved through metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

Tickets available at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Anyone who purchased the $5 tickets through Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum or Male Academy Museum and cannot attend the new night may turn in the tickets for a full refund.

Dr. Steve Goodson, chair of the history department at the University of West Georgia, has co-written a book about Hank Williams Sr. He and his co-authors are to be at the program, complete with live music.

Newnan’s Wadsworth Auditorium will be host on the new date, Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m., for “The Life and Music of Hank Williams,” a program of readings and songs celebrating the country music legend led by University of West Georgia historian Steve Goodson, co-editor of “The Hank Williams Reader.”

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams and his Driftin’ Po’boys Band will perform Hank Williams’s songs throughout the evening, along with vintage recordings and video.

Daniel accompanied Dr. Goodson during a well-received program last summer on Hank Williams in the garden of McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

A book signing follows in the Wadsworth lobby courtesy of Carrollton’s Underground Books.

This program is sponsored by the Hollis Trust, the UWG College of Arts and Humanities, the UWG School of the Arts, and the UWG Newnan Center.

Ticket outlets in Newnan include Grannie Fannie’s Antiques, Let Them Eat Toffee, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, and the Male Academy Museum.


February art workshop planned at Male Academy

Artist-in-Residence Ken DeWaard painting at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Artist-in-Residence Ken DeWaard painting at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

We hope you’ll join us for Ken DeWaard’s upcoming art workshop, “Exploring Interiors through Design,” hosted by Newnan ArtRes and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Feb. 18-20. Contact Millie Gosch at milliegosch@gmail.com .

DeWaard is the artist in residence for February 2016. He spent a rainy day on Feb. 3 painting interior views of the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Ken DeWaard painting of McRitchie-Hollis living room.

Ken DeWaard painting of McRitchie-Hollis living room.


DeWaard has a joint show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, the art cottage and the University of West Georgia Newnan Center next door on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 21, from 2-4 p.m. His art may be purchased during the show at McRitchie-Hollis.

He also will be giving a free demonstration at McRitchie-Hollis the evening of Feb. 23 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be an auction of the piece he completes that evening.

For details on the Male Academy workshop see the accompanying flyer and contact Millie Gosch.

Art Workshop flyer


Art show “Written in Paint” at McRitchie-Hollis

Photo by Bob Fraley

A show of work by plein air artist Millie Gosch continues in the downstairs rooms at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St.

It is a homecoming of sorts for Gosch, who grew up in the residence that is now McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Tour hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.


NCHS MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL time is here! If you’ve already renewed for 2016, thank you so much! Look for your recently-mailed notice with a membership renewal card and return envelope, or renew online at giftshop.newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com. Thank you for your support!

Art of Carl Charles Tait at McRitchie-Hollis
Original art by Carl Charles Tait

Original art by Carl Charles Tait

As a special treat for the holidays and early 2016 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum has been the art of late LaGrange artist and businessman Carl Charles Tait. He created a line of greeting cards in his early years and his original art is on display. Early in his career Tait worked for B. Altman’s department store in New York City and developed a line of table linens and handkerchiefs. The handkerchiefs are popular collectors items. See his original art with new samples for February. An auction is in the works to benefit the planned Children’s Museum project.
Ongoing exhibit at Male Academy Museum
Glenn Rainey with Odd-Fellow pattern quilt by Ina Yates.

Glenn Rainey with Odd-Fellow pattern quilt by Ina Yates.

Local actor Glenn Rainey is proud to have his quilt as one of the 10 currently on display at the Male Academy Museum for the exhibit, “Labor of Love.”
“I feel honored to have one of my Big Mom’s handmade quilts,” said Rainey, a participant in the exhibit featuring the mill town of Arnco and one of its residents, Ina Yates. “The first one she made for me, a double wedding ring pattern, was stolen from me when I was a student at UGA. I was heartbroken, but she stitched another for me, the beautiful Odd Fellow, no two matching pieces. And nothing could match the love she had for her family, as evidenced by the amazing number of quilts she selflessly and lovingly hand stitched.”
See the exhibit at the Male Academy through February. at the corner of College Street and Temple Avenue.



Don’t forget to stop by the recently re-opened and re-decorated Male Academy Museum gift shop. We still have a few of the Main Street Christmas ornaments. The 2015 edition features the NCHS Children’s Museum art project, “All Roads Lead to Newnan!”

We also still have our “History of Coweta County” on sale for half price, $25.

Can you help us with a little mystery?
These three photos are in the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society archives from the United Daughters of the Confederacy collection. They are great pictures except we don’t know who they are! Neither do the remaining UDC members.The NCHS Collection Committee is hoping the public can help identify these men. If you can help, please email us at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com, send us a note at NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264 or call the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 770-251-0207.
UDC image 1
UDC image 2
UDC image 3
  • PROGRAM RESCHEDULED DUE TO WINTER WEATHER — Hank Williams program at Wadsworth - Dr. Steve Goodson, chair of the History Department at the University of West Georgia, will be reading excerpts from his recently published book, “The Hank Williams Reader,” in a program at Wadsworth Auditorium 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20  (Rescheduled from Jan. 23.)
  • Artist Millie Gosch is presenting an exhibition of her work in a show that opened Dec. 1 and continues through early 2016 in the main floor rooms at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. She is planning a painting demo in early March — stay tuned for details.
  • Southern Crossroads literature series continues with Part 3 – “Between History and the Page: The Fugitive Moment,” with Melissa Dickson Jackson, MFA, Creative Writing, Poetry. Her program is 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24 at Newnan Carnegie Library, 1 LaGrange St. in downtown Newnan.  The series continues through May. Part 4 is 2:30 p.m. April 28 at the Carnegie with “The Female Aesthetic in the Modern South: A Confederacy of Water Moccasins” presented by Dr. Rebecca Harrison, Ph.D., associate professor of English. Concluding the series 7:30 p.m. May 19 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum will be “Is It True What They Say About Dixie? Southern History Through Song” presented by Dr. Steve Goodson, Ph.D, chair of the Department of History and professor of history at UWG.
  • At the Male Academy Museum – Arnco Village provides the focus of the newest exhibition at the Male Academy Museum, which opened Dec. 5 and runs through February. Ina Thornton Yates, known to her family as “Big Mom,” learned to quilt at the age of 8, and wound up making quilts for all of her loved ones from her home in Arnco. More than 20 quilts have been passed down through the exended family, including the Raineys.
  • The original work of LaGrange artist Charles Tait is on display at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Tait was a creative and wonderful artist, with claims to fame such as a large mural in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, airport, and Christmas cards distributed by American Artist’s Group. He even designed a line of handkerchiefs and table linens that was available exclusively through B. Altman & Company department stores.
  • John Wallace Trial – A spring 2016 exhibition is planned on the police case and trial of John Wallace that led to the book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County” in conjunction with a new theatrical production of the story, “Flies at the Well.”
  • David Boyd, Jr. and his father, cartoonist David Boyd will have a joint show of their art coming in 2016.

Look for events and programs for Black History Month in February, Historic Preservation Month in May,  and the evolution of the long-running “Possum Eater’s Convention.”

We are cooperating with the Coweta County Genealogical Society to plan joint programming extending into 2016. This will include a spring “block party,” in conjunction with the University of West Georgia and the Artist-in-Residence program. Main Street Newnan will also participate. The theme will be “Art and Architecture.” And we are planning another edition of video recording sessions to preserve memories of life in Coweta after the successful fall edition Nov. 21, 2015.

For more information stop by McRitchie-Hollis at 74 Jackson Street or call us at 770-251-0207. We keep our web site at www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety updated, as well as regular posts on our Facebook page.


McRitchie Hollis Museum, the new home base for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, is a 1937 home restored to elegance of the era. The museum has constantly-changing exhibitions telling stories related to the history of Newnan and Coweta County.
Entry/tours –  $5 general admission or $2 for students and senior citizens. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-noon and 1-3. The museum is located just north of downtown Newnan at 74 Jackson St., beside the new University of West Georgia – Newnan campus. There is plenty of parking in the lot behind the museum.
The Male Academy at 30 Temple Avenue is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. currently features exhibitions related to quilts, along with furnishings from Coweta’s early years. Donations accepted.