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.


Reserve your table space forSept. 10 Rummage Sale

Vendors welcome!


Got stuff that needs a new home? Turn it into cash with a table at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s Community Rummage Sale Sept 10.

Call for your spot on our lawn at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. It’s only $25 for a prime spot. Bring your table, tent and whatever you want to sell. Plenty of free parking behind museum. Vendors welcome.

Call 770-251-0207 to reserve your spot, or email us at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com — include your name and telephone number so we can get back to you.


GET YOUR TICKETS at Eventbrite.com

First Historic College Temple Storytelling Festival Sept. 24

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Look forward to a September evening of listening to great stories by great, great storytellers in lovely and historic Newnan, Georgia.

That is what you’ll find with the upcoming Sep. 24 Historic College Temple Storytelling Festival.

Not only will there be an appearance by internationally famous storyteller and musician Helena Byrne from Ireland, but attendees will be treated to tales by nationally recognized storytellers Akbar Imhotep, Barry Stewart Mann, Betty Ann Wiley and Michael Scott.

You will listen as they weave their magic of stories starting in the garden at McRitchie-Hollis Museum and moving to two historic homes in the nearby College Temple neighborhood. At the homes storytellers will perform from the porches.
Mark your calendars for Sept. 24, from 4 -6:30 p.m. and get your tickets — $20 adults and $10 children 12 and under, which may be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, by calling 770-251-0207 or by visiting the NCHS office at McRitchie-Hollis museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan, GA 30263.

For more on the festival and artists see Upcoming Events.


Walk With Newnan’s Old Souls … Story Tour of Oak Hill Cemetery


Walk with Newnan’s old souls. Tour at dusk through Newnan’s Historic Oak Hill Cemetery on a guided walk of selected gravesites. Actors portraying some of Newnan’s most colorful citizens from the 19th and 20th centuries will beguile you with tales from Newnan’s past.

Timed tours begin every 20 minutes from Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street. Ample free parking behind museum. Enjoy refreshments and entertainment by “spirit dancers” from Southern Arc Dance before or after your tour.

Tickets at eventbrite.com or call 770-251-0207.


Quilt Expo returns Oct. 6-8 at Newnan’s Historic Train Depot


Second annual Quilt Expo will be coming to the Depot History Center, 60 East Broad Street October 6-8, 2016. It includes displays of colorful and creative quilts and vendors with quilting supplies and gear. Admission $5 at the door.

Vendor space available. Call 770-251-0207.


Talk on Gen. Sherman’s Destruction of Georgia Railroads set at Depot Sept. 13

Robert C. Jones

Robert C. Jones

A lecture on Georgia’s railroads as targets of attack during the Civil War is coming in September at Newnan’s Depot History Center.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will host author Robert C. Jones, who will present “Sherman’s Destruction of Georgia’s Railroads” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Newnan Depot, 60 East Broad Street.

Jones is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics from Georgia history from its founding through the Civil War years, as well as various topics on the Civil War, Revolutionary War, World War I, the War of 1812, the Old West and American Railroads. He will have copies of his books on historical topics available for purchase that evening at the Depot.

Jones served as president of the Kennesaw Historical Society for 21 years (1994-2015), and he also served as a member of the executive board of the Kennesaw Museum Foundation for 17 years (1998-2015). The Museum Foundation helped fund the 45,000-square-foot Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA.

Jones has written more than 40 books on Civil War and Revolutionary War themes, including “Lost Confederate Gold,” “A Guide to the Civil War in Georgia” and “Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution.”


Included is “McCook’s Raid and the Battle of Brown’s Mill”

In late July of 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman sent two large cavalry forces under Edward McCook and George Stoneman south of Atlanta to destroy the Macon & Western Railroad. On his way, McCook destroyed railroad infrastructure in Palmetto, Fayetteville and Lovejoy’s Station. McCook was supposed to meet up with Stoneman at Lovejoy‘s, but Stoneman never showed. McCook was forced to retreat through Newnan, chased by cavalry under the command of Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler soundly defeated McCook at the Battle of Brown’s Mill on July 30, 1864. The book contains 49 photos, maps and period newspaper articles.

For more on Jones go to http://rcjbooks.com/


Continuing Exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis:

Salute to Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics

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Open for July and August at McRitchie-Hollis Museum is our salute to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the Torch Run that crisscrossed the U.S. mainland and made its way through Newnan and Coweta County 20 years ago.

As Unites States athletes compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Newnan-Coweta Historical Society reflects on the ’96 Games with and assortment of items, particularly from our own board member John Thrasher and State Rep. Lynn Smith who were both involved with operation of the Atlanta Games.

Thrasher has shared memorabilia including the torch he carried along Bullsboro Drive in the days leading to the ’96 Games. It should be noted that the torches were manufactured in part from aluminum pieces made by William L Bonnell Co. in Newnan and pecan wood milled by a local firm.

There are also pins, souvenirs and photographs from various events.

Included are uniforms worn by Thrasher as a volunteer for Georgia Power Company and at the opening and closing ceremonies, and a security uniform worn by Cowetan Frank Reece.

Lynn Smith served with a committee that worked with the team from Benin, a small country in Africa. In return for the hospitality shown his team, the coach insisted that Smith take the ceremonial robes he wore in the opening and closing ceremonies in ’96. Since that time she has used them whenever speaking about her experiences at the ’96 Games.

Come share your own memories of the Summer Games in Atlanta 20 years ago in a memory book journal we have available.

For more see our What’s New page.


Travel the old Dixie Highway with exhibit at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

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Featured at McRitchie-Hollis Museum for July and August is a visiting exhibition on history of the old Dixie Highway through Georgia.

The exhibition is on loan from the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia in Dalton. It traces development in the early 20th century of the highway that was a route for tourists from the North headed to the Florida and Georgia coast.

A cottage industry sprang up in northwest Georgia with colorful chenille bedspreads hand-made and displayed for sale to tourists along the route. The tufting process led to development of the carpet industry around Dalton, Ga.

For more on the exhibition see our What’s New section.


Bathing Beauties:
The Evolution of Swimwear
Friends Swimming Hilley's Mill LOWRES
Open June through summer 2016 upstairs at McRitchie-Hollis Museum is our exhibition Bathing Beauties on the evolution of swimwear styles with period examples from the NCHS collections!
Bathing Suite_Blue&WhiteThis exhibition, researched and organized by NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell, will shareshares about the evolution of swimwear styles from the 1890s through the post WWII years.
More Planned/Upcoming (Subject to Change):
  • September/October – Simple Pleasures photography show at McRitchie-Hollis. Awards reception is 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. During September visitors viewing exhibition will vote on People’s Choice award.
  • September 24 – Storytelling Festival. Enjoy an afternoon of stories from porches and locations in the historic College Temple neighborhood, headlined by Irish storyteller Helena Byrne. Afternoon event starts at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Tickets on Eventbrite.com .
  • Second annual Quilt Expo is coming to the Newnan Historic Train Depot, 60 East Broad Street October 6-8, 2016. It includes displays of colorful and creative quilts and vendors with quilting supplies and gear.
  • October 15 – “Walk With Newnan’s Old Souls” – Tour Oak Hill Cemetery –Actors will portray local historic figures during the afternoon and early evening walking tour. Starts at McRitchie-Hollis with refreshments and entertainment. Tickets on Eventbrite.com
  • October 22 – “Spirits” Stroll is being planned by NCHS for downtown Newnan.
  • November 1 – “Spectrum,” the art of Tiffany Thomas, opens at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
  • December - “The Founder,” a mini-exhibit celebrating the opening of the movie about the McDonald’s founder filmed partially in Newnan., at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Film opening has been moved from August to December.
  • December 2 – Candlelight Tour, Newnan Presbyterian
  • December – Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Christmas Party and our new “Festival of Trees” event.

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.


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 new 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, 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.