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 RESCHEDULED FOR 7:30 p.m. WED., NOV. 8 at the Historic Train Depot, 60 E. Broad St. in downtown Newnan. Tickets, $25, are available on Here is the link for the dinner details:


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.)


Simple Pleasures Fall Photography Show

The Simple Pleasures Fall Photography Show on display in the downstairs rooms at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. An awards reception is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 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!


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

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:

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Planned/Upcoming (Subject to Change):
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  • Simple Pleasures Fall Photography Show returns for 2017 to McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The juried collection of images selected from among this year’s entries will be hung for display in early September. The awards reception, with museum admission that afternoon free to the public, will be 3 p.m. Saturday, September 30 at McRitchie-Hollis. Come meet these talented photographers and hear observations from our returning judge, renowned Newnan-based photographer Billy Newman.
  • 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 .
  • 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.

    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.


McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson St., just north of downtown Newnan. There is ample free parking behind the museum off Clark Street. 

For more information stop by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s offices at McRitchie-Hollis at 74 Jackson Street, Newnan, 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.