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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. NCHS continues to develop ever-changing exhibits telling the story of Newnan and Coweta County and the West Georgia Region at our McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Historic Newnan Train Depot. Stayed tuned for more on programs and events, and feel free to contact us at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com or write to Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264.

And keep up with events on our Facebook page!

Consider helping us continue our mission through membership via our online gift shop or a tax-deductible donation.

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Come see what’s new at the museum!

Simple Pleasures Fall Photography Show

The Simple Pleasures Fall Photography Show is now on display in the downstairs rooms at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. An awards reception is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 30.at the museum. Admission is free for the public reception.  Come meet and congratulate the talented photographers whose work was selected for this year’s fall show! Hear observations from our returning judge, renowned Newnan-based photographer Billy Newman. And this week through the reception time Saturday, come vote for your favorite for People’s Choice!

Billy Newman

Billy Newman

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COMING SOON: A reprint of a classic favorite, “Coweta School Days,” available for the first time in many years, and with a new introduction! Reserve your copy today by calling us at 770-251-0207.

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New Historical Exhibit!

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Would you believe Newnan was once home to a “Possum Eaters’ Convention?” It’s true!

AND NCHS is holding its own Old-Fashioned Possum Supper Nov. 8!

Beginning in 1894, prominent politicians from all over the state would gather in Newnan, a few months prior to the official Democratic convention, to determine the slate of officials (including the governor, Supreme Court, and other high-ranking members) before a single vote was ever cast.  Over plates of delectable home-grown possum and sweet ‘taters, back-room deals would be made as they merrily discussed agenda items such as “Our Friends, the Lawyers” and “Responsibilities of Citizenship.” It was at the Virginia House hotel on the Newnan square that Newnan’s own William Yates Atkinson was “appointed” governor by those gathered, and thus Georgia’s first “possum governor” went on to serve a successful two terms. Several other “possum governors” followed, anointed at these famed Possum Suppers, and eventually even the president-elect, William Howard Taft, had to get in on the act, making a special trip to Atlanta to feast on a Coweta County whole possum for good luck in his administration. (The affair was covered in all the national newspapers, leading to the creation of ‘Billy Possum” as a follow-up to Theodore Roosevelt’s ultra-successful “Teddy Bear” craze. Both the new “Billy Possum” toy and the new administration did not fare well, however.) A group of local fellows formed a civic club in 1912 specifically to keep the local possum-eating tradition alive — and they did, carrying it well into the mid-20th century, with local officials such as Sheriff Lamar Potts, County Commissioner Johnny Brown and many others getting in on the act. Come to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum to see one of the original invitations, and see a dinner table set for some good ol’ possum and ‘taters!  (Special thanks to the McKoon family for use of period photographs.)

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Our Old-Fashioned Possum Supper has been moved from the originally-planned Sept. 21 to WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Depot. Tickets, $25, available at McRitchie-Hollis Museum or on Eventbrite.com — Here is the link for the dinner details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nchs-old-fashioned-possum-supper-tickets-37657472514

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TombTales & ArtFest Oct. 14

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s second annual fall tour event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum and Newnan’s historic Oak Hill Cemetery returns Oct. 14. Tickets for the TombTales & ArtFest history event are now available at McRitchie-Hollis Museum and online at Eventbrite.com.

Join NCHS as we tour at dusk through Newnan’s Historic Oak Hill Cemetery on a guided walk of select gravesites. Storytellers and guides captivate guests with lively, engaging tales while dancers, musicians and artists also contribute to this special event that celebrates living, history and the arts. Limited tickets available. Tours, $22 Adults / $11 Children 12 and under, start every 20 minutes from McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan. Refreshments. Not recommended for young children.

Here is the link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tombtales-artfest-oak-hill-cemetery-tour-tickets-36900813326?aff=es2

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Furnishings from Taylor Glover collection in McRitchie-Hollis dining room.

Furnishings from Taylor Glover collection in McRitchie-Hollis dining room.

New exhbition of 1930s furnishings on view

Throughout McRitchie-Hollis Museum is a recently-acquired collection of 1930s furnishings from a grand home in Florida. The furnishings are a gift of Taylor Glover and family and went on display in spring 2017.

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Marker at 62 W. Washington St.

Marker at 62 W. Washington St.

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORIC HOME in Newnan? Let everyone know by placing a marker from the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society marker program! See new ones going up at 62 West Washington Street and 20 West Broad Street. We will assist with the research! Call us at 770-251-0207 for more details.

Marker at Wall-Dent-Strain Home on College Street

Marker at Wall-Dent-Strain Home on College Street

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Consider a contribution or membership to NCHS

Consider being a member of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. Get our email newsletters and keep in touch with what’s going on.

A student/teacher/senior membership is only $25 annually. Individual is $50 and a family membership $75. There are donor levels for supporters and an opportunity to help with our Capital Improvement Fund — all tax deductible.

Members get free admission to our museums and a 10 percent discount on gift shop items. Just download the membership card, fill out with your address, phone and email (so we can send newsletters) and send with your check to NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264.
Thank you!

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Planned/Upcoming (Subject to Change):
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  • 45 Years, 45 Objects —  In Fall 2017 NCHS will be celebrating a big anniversary with a special exhibition telling Coweta County history through objects. We plan to show 45 objects, either from our collection or loaned for this exhibition, which opens in October. If you have an idea of an object you would like to see displayed, call us at 770-251-0207 or send an email to executive@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com .
  • Native American Plants — Tony Harris, an expert on Native American plants, makes a return visit to Newnan to share his knowledge. His previous program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum was well-received. He returns for a program at the Newnan Train Depot 7 p.m. Nov. 2 in conjunction with Native American Heritage Month. Learn how Native Americans used the plants around them for food and healing. Admission is free for NCHS members/ $5 for non-members (pay at the door).

    Speaker Tony Harris, listing uses the Cherokee found for many native plants.

    Speaker Tony Harris, listing uses the Cherokee found for many native plants.

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

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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 of decorative arts and telling stories related to the history of Newnan and Coweta County and the West Georgia Region.
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 University of West Georgia – Newnan campus. There is plenty of parking in the lot behind the museum, with the driveway entrance off Clark Street.
Our Civil War collection is housed at the Historic Newnan Train Depot, 60 E. Broad St., which is rented for events and is open for tours by appointment. See artifacts, a series of paintings by Newnan artist Martin Pate depicting events surrounding the Battle of Brown’s Mill which took place south of Newnan, as well as information on Newnan and Coweta County’s development from pioneer days to the present. For details on rentals or tours, call 770-251-0207.