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.


Lineup of NCHS Summer Camps announced

We’re offering fun summer camps at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for 2016. Check out the offerings … you may want to sign up soon as they are expected to fill quickly! Call the NCHS office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 770-251-0207. 2016Summer_Camp poster


Summer Family Fun Day June 4

A Summer Family Fun Day will be held Saturday, June 4 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Face painting will be among kids' activities offered at Summer Family Fun Day at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Face painting will be among kids’ activities offered at Summer Family Fun Day at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Bring the youngsters to enjoy a kickoff to summer with a variety of fun summer-themed games and activities, face painting and live music. Area food trucks will be on site selling their special menu items. Admission to McRitchie-Hollis Museum is free that day. We will be debuting our new exhibition of on the evolution of swimwear, “Bathing Beauties,” with some history on swimsuit styles from the 1800s through the 1940s and ’50s and vintage examples from the NCHS textiles collection. The exhibition has been created by NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell. Come enjoy the day with us! McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson Street. For more information call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society office at 770-251-0207.

SummerFamilyFunDayposterLOWRES .


ECHS students headed to History Day nationals


With their state History Day winning project on smallpox, titled “The Speckled Monster,” are, from left, East Coweta High School rising seniors Kate Lee, Emma Helfers and Sarah Akbar. The display will be at McRitchie-Hollis Museum the next few weeks before heading with them to College Park, Maryland, for the National History Day national competition. They will be on hand to discuss the project and answer questions during our upcoming Summer Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 4.


Beyond Cups & Bowls summer show opens June 3-4 at Male Academy BC&B postcard 001

Beyond Cups & Bowls, a juried fine art clay competition, presents a summer show during June and July at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Ave. in Newnan. Beyond Cups and Bowls Image BlockLOWRES

If you’re looking for high quality, creative, clay art, this is the answer. Beyond Cups & Bowls pushes the creative envelope in the world of muddy hands and clay. The deadline to enter the contest was May 15. Artists juried into BC&B’s June 4th exhibition will have an opportunity to purchase booth space. There will be cash prizes awarded for winners selected in a blind judging. An opening reception with Artist Showcase & Preview Sale (inside artists) is Friday, June 3, at 7 p.m. There will be jazz music, great art, talent recognition and good food. The reception is free and open to the public. The fine art clay creations competition and exhibit has its grand opening with full indoor and outdoor exhibits Saturday, June 4, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free and open to the public. Additional parking available in the nearby parking lot behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum (1 block away off Clark Street) next door to the West Georgia campus (old Newnan Hospital). For full information about the competition and show go to the website: http://www.beyondcupsandbowls.com/ or call 770-688-5844.


Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show runs through June 30 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 June 30 in the downstairs galleries at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. First, second, third and honorable mention winners were recognized at a reception April 2, but we are still taking votes for the “People’s Choice Award.” Come view the nature photos here in the downstairs galleries of McRitchie-Hollis Museum and put in a vote for your selection. There is no charge to vote. 201606SimplePleasures_TheNatureShow

Also, 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 entry deadline is August 1 for the show, which opens Saturday, Oct. 1 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Those interested may email registration information and images being entered and pay online via the “Donate” PayPal button on the www.simplepleasuresfoto.com website. Entry forms with full details are available at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum during The Nature Show exhibition, or download one here: Simple Pleasures Entry Form 2016


See new exhibition on pivotal 1948 John Wallace murder trial

“Flies at the Well,” new musical drama, recently premiered April 1-3, and Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has a new exhibition about the 1948 murder case that sent Meriwether land baron John Wallace to Georgia’s electric chair. 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. 12933155_1148914675142309_30751531569155589_n

The new 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.


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.

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.

  • MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Beyond Cups & Bowls is coming to the Male Academy Museum for the months of June and July. The inaugural show for this juried fine art exhibit of clay works opens with a reception and preview sale Friday evening, June 3rd at 7 p.m. The full show opens to include artist’s booths and pottery demonstrations Saturday, June 4th from 10 to 5.There are just a few days left for clay artisans to enter their works. Deadline is May 15, 2016. Blind Judging. CASH PRIZES. See www.beyondcupsandbowls.com.
  • 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 – At McRitchie-Hollis Museum see a new exhibition on the police case and trial of John Wallace that led to the book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County.” It is mounted in conjunction with the recent April 1, 2 and 3 premiere of the new theatrical production of the story, “Flies at the Well.”
  • Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show opening reception was April 2 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The photography is on display through June 30.
  • We’ll be celebrating swimwear with an exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum on styles through the years and examples from the NCHS textiles collections — opening late May!
  • Traveling the 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.
  • Painter David Boyd, Jr. and his father, political cartoonist and illustrator David Boyd plan a joint show of their art coming in late 2016.

Our second annual Quilt Expo will be coming to the Depot History Center, 60 East Broad Street in early October 2016. It includes displays of colorful and creative quilts and vendors with quilting supplies and gear. Details: 770-251-0207 NCHS is cooperating with the Coweta County Genealogical Society to plan joint programming extending into 2016, including planning for 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 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.