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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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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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Join NCHS for a POSSUM SUPPER!

Join Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for an old-fashioned Possum Supper in the tradition of the longtime Newnan Possum Eaters Convention. Hear history of how Possum Suppers became a Newnan tradition starting during the political campaign of William Yates Atkinson for Governor of Georgia in the 1890s and how the possum became a mascot for President William Howard Taft. The tradition was continued by Newnan civic leaders at several locations into the 1950s and ’60s.

The dinner is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Historic Train Depot, 60 E. Broad St. in downtown Newnan. Tickets, $25, are available on Eventbrite.com. Here’s the link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nchs-possum-supper-tickets-36865088472?aff=eac2

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Come see what’s new at the museum!

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New Historical Exhibit!

Would you believe Newnan was once home to a “Possum Eaters’ Convention?” It’s true! 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 sit down with us at the dinner table for some good ol’ possum and ‘taters!  (Special thanks to the McKoon family for use of period photographs.)

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Summer art show at McRitchie-Hollis through Aug. 25 features work of Dinett Hok

Dinett Hok puts finishing touches on her show of driftwood-inspired art at McRitchie-Hollis Museum for summer 2017.

Dinett Hok puts finishing touches on her show of driftwood-inspired art at McRitchie-Hollis Museum for summer 2017.

The driftwood-inspired art of Newnan resident Dinett Hok is featured in a summer solo exhibition at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum through Aug. 25.
An opening reception was held Saturday, June 24 to meet the artist.
Hok was born in Aguadulce, a very small town in the Republic of Panama. As a young girl, drawing was her favorite pastime. She began formal art studies at the age of 17 at the University of Panama and paid her college tuition through freelance artwork and graphic designs.
She had the fortune of meeting renowned Panamanian artist Manuel Chong Neto through one of her college professors. His work continues to influence her creativity and passion. After graduating from the University of Panama with a BA in Graphic Art, Hok worked as a commercial graphic artist for two different clothing companies.
Upon moving to the United States, Hok embarked on a six-year endeavor to promote and teach art to elementary school students in Newnan. She believed that her students could learn and apply advanced systems for art techniques on a variety of mediums at a very young age if the correct approach was used. Many of her students won awards at local, state and national level competitions.
Hok’s journey as a professional artist continued to expand as she took on the leadership role of Area X chairman for the Florida Artists Group. FLAG is one of longest standing non-profit art organizations in Florida.
Hok says of her art: “Nature itself is the purest form of art in my opinion. I try to capture this beauty in my works of art and share it with the world. My artwork thrives on the love I have for trees and the abundant textures in nature. Whether it is the peacefulness of a welcoming beach or the thought provoking concepts of an abstract, nature can capture us in many ways. I love to create mixed media artwork with heavy textures and rich colors that not only captures the world from my perspective, but also incorporates elements of nature in the actual artwork.
“The driftwood itself represents the flexibility of nature that can adapt no matter the setting. In some cases, it is not nature who adapts, but every other concept that adapts and bends their will to Mother Nature. On top of the intriguing organic shapes of the driftwood I use metals – copper, silver, brass, bronze and 24K gold to preserve and highlight these marvelous natures giving beauty. I try my best to capture a small piece of nature’s beauty and share my perception with every viewer. With my abstracts, I hope that these perceptions may be as abundant and diverse as nature itself. The freedom of creativity, expression, and experiences with other great artists fuel my desire to create and share art.”
Hok creates artwork with a unique style and passion. Her work has received acclaim both nationally and internationally in the United States, Paris, Rome, Venice, Beijing, as well as other venues in Europe. Hok will be receiving her latest award entitled “Diego Velazquez” in Lecce Italy, July 3 2017 by Italia In Arte Nel Mondo. This award is given for “High Recognition to Personalities in the World of Art, Science and Culture.”
It is the freedom of creativity and expression and experiences with some great artists that continues to fuel her desire to create and share art. Hoksays she has always been enchanted by the beauty of nature, people and places and continues paint where she currently resides in Newnan.
Dinett Hok, husband Michael Hok and son Ian Hok run their family-owned business, The DH Gallery of International Artists (DHGIA). DHGIA has participated in some of the best and most prestigious art fairs in New York, Miami and other venues, Dinett said. DHGIA will be participating in two events Aqua Art Miami and Spectrum Miami during the Art Basel week in Miami Florida during December 2017.
Hok’s work is also part of the 2017 Newnan-Coweta Art Association show June 8-28 at the Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan.
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For more about Dinett Hok’s work go to her website, fineart-dinetthok.com or check at her Facebook page.
Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has its headquarters at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan, GA 30263. The museum features rotating exhibitions on historic topics related to the Newnan-Coweta County and West Georgia region, as well as architecture and decorative arts. In the museum’s upstairs galleries currently is an exhibition of ladies hats from the extensive collection donated by State Rep. Lynn Smith with styles that span five decades.
Ms. Hok’s work is displayed in the downstairs rooms where NCHS is currently showing a collection of 1930s furnishings recently donated by Taylor Glover and family.
NCHS is also preparing for its July antique appraisal fundraiser Trash OR Treasure, which will be held at the Newnan Historic Train Depot July 15. Items may be submitted for appraisal in advance by July 1 for a $25 ticket per item, no limit on the number of items. For information call the NCHS/ McRitchie-Hollis Museum offices at 770-251-0207.
There is ample public parking behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum with a driveway entrance off Clark Street. Also keep up with NCHS events on Facebook!

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NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop on state board

NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop is sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal for service on the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council.

NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop is sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal for service on the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Executive Director Jeff Bishop was sworn in Monday, June 12, 2017, at the Georgia Capitol building by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council.

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NCHS works towards StEPs certification

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NCHS Curator Jessie Merrill, right, is assisted by NCHS Board member and former Curator Dorothy Pope as they frame their first AASLH (American Association for State & Local History) certificate of performance. The certificate acknowledges the museum’s completion of better than basic museum standards in the area of Collections Management. It is the first in five areas NCHS is working to complete to prepare for application to the American Association of Museums for accreditation.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum has taken its first step toward accreditation as the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently completed the first hurdle in the StEPs program.

For more see our What’s New page.

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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.

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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):
  • Newnan’s legendary Possum Suppers –  From a famous dinner given in Newnan during the campaign of Georgia Governor William Yates Atkinson (complete with a wildlife scene featuring live opossums) to the legendary Possum Suppers attended by Newnan businessmen and civic leaders into the 1950s, NCHS will be celebrating this North American marsupial with a special exhibition planned for August. We may even present our own “Possum Supper.” Stay tuned for details.
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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. 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 .

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.