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 at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com !

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.


Closing reception this Thursday, June 30 for Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show

Until then, Vote for the “People’s Choice” award!

Julie Dice Wynn, “Morning Reflection” – FIRST PLACE WINNER, with show director Carla Cook Smith.

Julie Dice Wynn, “Morning Reflection” – FIRST PLACE WINNER, with show director Carla Cook Smith.

Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show is on display through this Thursday, June 30 in the downstairs galleries at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street, Newnan.

A closing reception will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

At that time, the 2016 winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced. Voting is ongoing with ballots at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum for those viewing the photography show.

The reception also provides an opportunity to say goodbye to Simple Pleasures show founder, Carla Cook Smith, who is stepping down from her position as executive director and will be introducing the new face of Simple Pleasures who will continue to raise funds for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society via the two annual shows: Simple Pleasures (whatever a photographer deems a simple pleasure to be) in September/October and Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show that opens in April.

While she will no longer have an active role in the national photography competition, Carla Cook Smith will be a part of the show as Founder Emeritus of Simple Pleasures.

The show has been noted by Georgia Conservancy Board member and judge Kathryn Kolb as one of the strongest nature shows in the state.

If the date of the closing reception does not meet with your schedule, be sure to see the exhibit before it closes June 30 and cast your vote for favorite photograph for the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Fine Lines Art & Framing and New Tech Photo.

First, second, third and honorable mention winners were recognized at a reception April 2.

20160801Simple Pleasures_Fall_CallForEntriesVertical

Entry is under way for the fall Simple Pleasures competition –

The fall contest is for images of any simple pleasure — and the photographs should have a human or animal element.

The show opens the first of September at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. An awards reception honoring the winning artists will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. During September visitors will be able to vote on the People’s Choice award, which will be presented Oct. 1 along with the awards from the panel of judges.

Watch the Simple Pleasures website www.simplepleasuresfoto.com and the NCHS Facebook page for more information.

Entry forms may be downloaded below or at the Simple Pleasures website at  www.simplepleasuresfoto.com .


Simple Pleasures Entry Form 2016 FALL


Classes offered by Artisans Heritage Guild

NCHS is teaming up with the Artisans Heritage Guild to offer the community some exciting new classes this summer!

Tina Persons is teaching classes on preserving family history in an entertaining and fun way. To join her, sign up for classes by emailing her tinasfav50@gmail.com.

Tina Persons_PreservingFamilyMemoriesClass

There are also classes in a variety of heritage crafts from metalwork to needlework to drawing. Most sessions are being held at our 27 Clark Street collections building. Contact the artists for registration.



Drawing class continues June 21 and 28 at the Train Depot. Anyone interested in future sessions may contact Andrew Gaillard, 404-849-7499.

Drawing Classes June 7, 14, 21 AND 28


Beyond Cups & Bowls show, sale at Male Academy

Beyond Cups & Bowls fine art clay show is on display at the Male Academy Museum for June and July.

Beyond Cups and Bowls Image BlockLOWRES

The inaugural show for this juried fine art exhibit of clay works opened with a reception and preview sale Friday evening, June 3. The full show opened to include outdoor booths and pottery demonstrations Saturday, June 4 from 10 to 5.

Classes are planned in conjunction with the exhibition. For details download the flyer below or go to www.beyondcupsandbowls.com. To register stop by the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Ave., Newnan, or call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society office at 770-251-0207.

Beyond Cups and Bowls flyerCLASSES flyer


See our exhibition on pivotal 1948 John Wallace murder trial

There are only a few weeks left for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s exhibition about the 1948 murder case that sent Meriwether land baron John Wallace to Georgia’s electric chair.

“Flies at the Well,” new musical drama based on the events of the case and Newnan trial, premiered this spring April 1-3.

The play, presented by Newnan Theatre Company, sets the events of the 1948 Newnan murder trial of John Wallace against a score of Shape Note and gospel musical tradition.


The historical exhibition opened in the upstairs galleries at McRitchie-Hollis Museum April 1, the night of the premiere. It shares information on the actual case and trial that sent Wallace to Georgia’s electric chair and features artifacts and memorabilia on loan from Joe Crain Sr. of Newnan.


Learn about the Wallace murder case and trial recounted by Margaret Anne Barnes in her book “Murder in Coweta County,” and that were the basis for  the1983 CBS made-for-TV movie starring Johnny Cash as Sheriff Lamar Potts and Andy Griffith as John Wallace. “Flies at the Well” incorporates 19th century Shape Note and gospel music as a background for the story of the 1948 murder and trial. Learn some of the history of the Shape Note and black gospel music traditions that are a major part of the production … see our What’s New section or CLICK HERE. Wallace brochures_hotoffpresses

For a digital version of our new brochure on area locations associated with the 1948 murder case and trial of John Wallace, go to our SELF-GUIDED TOURS page.


Gift shops at Male Academy and McRitchie-Hollis


Don’t forget to stop by the 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.

Planned/Upcoming (Subject to Change):
  • Traveling the Old Dixie Highway – Coming to McRitchie-Hollis Museum for July and August is a visiting exhibition on history of the “Peacock Alley” along the Dixie Highway in North Georgia. A cottage industry sprang up in the early part of the 20th century with colorful chenille bedspreads hand-made and displayed along the route. They were purchased by travelers from northern states headed to the Southern coast. The tufting process led to development of the carpet industry around Dalton, Ga. Exhibit is from Bandy Heritage Center in Dalton.
  • July 19 – Remembering the 1996 Summer Olympics, at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
  • August 1 – “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.
  • August 27 – Antiques appraisal event, at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
  • 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 13 – Robert Jones – Sherman’s Destruction of Georgia’s Railroads, at the Depot.
  • September 24 – Storytelling Festival, at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum
  • 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.
  • October 15 – Cemetery story tour, actors portraying local historic figures, at Oak Hill Cemetery. Starts at McRitchie-Hollis with refreshments and entertainment.
  • October 22 – “Spirits” Stroll, downtown Newnan.
  • November 1 – “Spectrum,” the art of Tiffany Thomas, opens at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
  • December 1 – Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Christmas Party.
  • December 2 – Candlelight Tour.

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.
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. (and by appointment, call 770-251-0207). The Male Academy currently features exhibitions related to quilts, along with furnishings from Coweta’s early years. Donations accepted.
Our Civil War collection is housed at the Depot History Center, which is rented for events and is open for tours by appointment. Included are paintings by local 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. For details on rentals or tours, call 770-251-0207.