Previous Events 2015 & Earlier

2015 Events

Ring in the New Year with 2015 Palmette Ball

Palmette Ball header-Wide
Get your tickets now for the annual New Year’s Eve Palmette Ball 7 p.m. Dec. 31, 2015, to 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 2016, at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. It will feature a grand evening of dancing to live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, premium beverages and casino-style entertainment.
WE ARE SORRY, ON-SITE CHILDCARE HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST.
Tickets are $75 individual/ $150 per couple. For more information call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 770-251-0207.. Or purchase tickets online at eventbrite.com .
Also, here is the link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-years-eve-palmette-ball-tickets-19663615403?aff=ehomecard
(Present your invitation at C.S. Toggery in downtown Newnan to receive 20% off of New Year’s Eve formal wear.)
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Book signing today for new Textile Heritage Trail pictorial history

Dr. Ann McLeary

Dr. Ann McCleary, director of the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia.

A new book detailing the rise and fall of mills in this area will be featured this afternoon, Dec. 17, in an event at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
Dr. Ann McCleary, director of the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Keri Adams, assistant director, led the development of a new book by Arcadia Publishing, The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail. Both will be on hand to answer questions and sign books Thursday at the museum. The book signing is 3-5 p.m.
“We have something for all the mill towns in Newnan, including Moreland, Grantville, Senoia, Arnco and Sargent!” said McCleary.
Adams, a former interpreter at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, pointed out that even the museum building – which is featured in the book — began as the private residence of local mill president Ellis Peniston. “The stylish exterior and modern conveniences illustrate the profits their families earned from the textile industry,” it is stated in the book. Many local homes, and even entire villages, once housed employees of these mills.

Dr. Ann McCleary, right, director of the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Keri Adams, assistant director.

Dr. Ann McCleary, right, director of the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Keri Adams, assistant director.

In 1950, the Newnan mills employed more than 1,000 workers. Over the next two decades, local mills were purchased by national companies: Mount Vernon Mills, then West Point–Pepperell, and Bibb Manufacturing.

“The textile industry powered the economic development of west and northwest Georgia in the 19th and 20th centuries,” the book states. “Several water-powered mills emerged in the antebellum period, but the late 19th century brought more growth as new technology allowed entrepreneurs to build cotton mills in towns and cities. The industry diversified in the 1920s, when hosiery mills moved to the region, and local businessmen established the apparel industry… Although many of the mills and plants have closed, the landscape of this region displays the strong presence of the textile industry.”
Local mills included the Newnan and East Newnan mills, the Moreland and Grantville hosiery mills, the Arnall and Arnco mills, Southern Mills in Senoia, and many others.
Kymberli Darling contributed photographs of the Grantville and Moreland mills for the new book. “The Grantville Hosiery Mill closed in 1980, but its brick shell still survives,” and was even used as a backdrop for the hit AMC “Walking Dead” television series, the book states, “Now, the old mill is once again a meeting ground for this small, southern Coweta County town,” according to the book.
“In 1920, an old cotton warehouse and fertilizer plant in Moreland, built around 1904, was converted to use as a hosiery mill,” according to the book. “The Moreland Hosiery Company, which produced seamless socks, continued operations here until 1978. The Moreland Museum, which not occupies this space, features some of the original knitting machines.”

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Other local mill buildings were converted to loft space and business offices, while mill housing is still used for housing today.
In addition to Darling, Patrick J. Elias, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, the Coweta County Genealogical Society, and NCHS Executive Director W. Jeff Bishop also contributed photographs for the new book. The book features photos of local mills, plus many other mills and mill villages from the West Georgia area. The book also features photos of the “Uprising of 1934.”
A cotton sales receipt from Grantville Mills shows a Sept., 1943 sale of $209 worth of cotton. An 1890s cotton gin from Grantville is also pictured, as well as a cotton warehouse in Turin from the same time period. The book also features a 1942 paycheck from Grantville Hosiery Mills and a photo of an African-American mill employee at Arnall Mills in 1960.
Several photos from the General Textile Strike of 1934, which resulted in the National Guard being sent to Newnan to round up strikers, are also featured in the book.
The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is a member of the West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail, and the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and Male Academy Museum are featured sites on the trail, which extends across west and northwest Georgia. The current exhibit at the Male Academy, “Labor of Love,” features the mill family of Ina Thornton Yates, who lived and worked at Arnco, and the quilts she made for her family members while she lived there.
“The Center staff are beyond excited to have our beautiful The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail” guidebook through Arcadia Publishing!” said Adams.
“This was a collaborative effort of University of West Georgia Department of faculty and students and UWG Department of Art Photography students,” she said.
“We’re very proud to be featured in the book and on the Trail, and also to host these authors for this special event,” said Bishop. “We hope everyone will come out and meet them and learn more about this big piece of our local history.”
The book, which retails for $24.99, is now on sale at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and Male Academy Museum gift shops, open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-12 and from 1-3.

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Special signing Dec. 17 for new Textile Trail book
Textile Trail book signing
Join us for a book signing for the new Textile Heritage Trail pictorial history Dec. 17 from 3-5 p.m. at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street.
The textile industry powered the economic development of west and northwest Georgia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Several water-powered mills emerged in the antebellum period, but the late 19th century brought more growth as new technology allowed entrepreneurs to build cotton mills in towns and cities. The industry diversified in the 1920s, when hosiery mills moved to the region, and local businessmen established the apparel industry around Bremen. At the same time, a handicraft chenille business evolved in northwest Georgia, leading to the thriving carpet industry still centered in Dalton. Although many of the mills and plants have closed, the landscape of this region displays the strong presence of the textile industry. The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail, a heritage tourism initiative extending from Columbus to Dalton, explores the rich history of these communities and the people who lived and worked in them.
The Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia administers the trail, and the center’s faculty and students researched and prepared this guide. The photographs included in the book came from libraries, archives, historical societies, and museums along the trail, as well as the Center for Public History, the Library of Congress, and the Georgia Archives.

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Millie Gosch coming home with ‘Written in Paint’

Photo by Bob Fraley
Plein air artist Millie Gosch’s “Written in Paint” exhibition will open at McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Dec. 1. Her work will fill the downstairs rooms. Come welcome Millie’s “return home” to 74 Jackson St., where she grew up.
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Membership Christmas Party Dec. 10
Christmas Party card inside
Charles Tait artwork set for holiday display
We will have a special holiday treat at McRitchie-Hollis Museum opening with the Dec. 10 membership Christmas party.

Original greeting card by Charles Tait.

Original greeting card by Charles Tait.

Carl Charles Tait of LaGrange was born Nov. 2, 1917, in Old Town, ME, to the late Harry Tremain Tait and Mary Belle Madore Tait.
After high school, he served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. He graduated from New Hampshire School of Arts & Sciences. He was a creative and wonderful artist, with claims to fame such as a large mural that is still proudly displayed in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, airport, and Christmas cards distributed by American Artist’s Group.
He even designed a line of handkerchiefs that was available exclusively through B. Altman & Company department stores. He also used his artistic talent and innovative spirit while working as an independent contractor for Milliken Corporation, where he traveled around the United States designing showrooms for product displays.
Come see his original work in this special holiday display at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, made through special arrangement with Pamela Prange.
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Member Christmas Party Dec. 10, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at McRitchie-Hollis
Christmas Party card inside
It’s time to renew NCHS memberships for 2016!
It is that time of year for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
Members … you can be looking for your notice in your mailbox, coming soon.
As always, thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without our members!
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Special exhibition opening with Christmas party
Charles Tait Christmas cornucopia
Carl Charles Tait of LaGrange was born November 2, 1917, in Old Town, ME, to the late Harry Tremain Tait & Mary Belle Madore Tait. After high school, he served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. He graduated from New Hampshire School of Arts & Sciences. He was a creative and wonderful artist, with claims to fame such as a large mural that is still proudly displayed in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, airport, and Christmas cards distributed by American Artist’s Group. He even designed a line of handkerchiefs that was available exclusively through B. Altman & Company department stores. He also used his artistic talent and innovative spirit while working as an independent contractor for Milliken Corporation, where he traveled around the United States designing showrooms for product displays. Come see his original work in a special holiday display at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum! Opens Dec. 10.
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Exhibits at Male Academy share Newnan history
The Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Ave. beside the city park, is reopened with a new quilt exhibition.
Among the many colorful quilts is one made by Coral Moses Hand, whose father founded the Male Academy school for boys in the 1800s. New interpretive panels have been developed for the exhibit, and the museum has been repaired and freshly painted inside.
Also on display is the restored Civil War coat worn by Newnan resident Hugh Buchanan, and see furniture from the Zeke Smith collection that came to Coweta County in its settlement days by wagon from Virginia.
Look for a new exhibition of quilts from the family of Ina Yates opening Dec. 5 for the holidays. The Male Academy is open 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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Millie Gosch coming home with ‘Written in Paint’
Photo by Bob Fraley
Plein Air artist Millie Gosch’s “Written in Paint” exhibition opens at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum Dec. 1. Come welcome Millie’s “return home” to 74 Jackson St., where she grew up. Join us at the opening reception 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
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We’re recording family stories Saturday!

GrandpaTellMeAboutTheGoodOldDays
Come — bring your grandmother or grandfather to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Nov. 21 to RECORD THEIR STORIES!
We will have the cameras up and running, all you need to do is sit down and ask the questions!
So many people say, “I wish I had sat Grandma down before she died — she had so many stories!” Don’t live with regret … put it down for posterity!
The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is teaming up with the Coweta County Genealogical Society for a special recording session on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. Make your appointment today and get it on record! The video and audio files will be placed into both the NCHS and Genealogical Society archives for posterity … plus you can take home a copy for your own personal archives!
Don’t live with regret … sit down with Grandma today! Call us at 770-251-0207 to make your appointment!
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Genealogical Society logo
Grandpa, Grandma: “Tell me about the good ol’ days…”
How many times have we said to ourselves, “Grandpa had such great stories. I wish I’d sat down and spoken to him before he passed away!”
But maybe we have older relatives still with us? Their stories need to be taken down for posterity. We want to help you!
201511GrandpaTellMeBoutTheGoodOlDays
The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is teaming up with the Coweta County Genealogical Society for a special recording session on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. Make your appointment today and get it on record! The video and audio files will be placed into both the NCHS and Genealogical Society archives for posterity … plus you can take home a copy for your own personal archives!
Don’t live with regret … sit down with Grandma today! Call us at 770-251-0207 to make your appointment!
StoryCorps offers the following suggestions for questions … the Genealogical Society will have a special list of questions prepared for you, if you need help getting started!

Great Questions for Anyone

Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
What is your earliest memory?
What is your favorite memory of me?
Are there any funny stories your family tells about you that come to mind?
Are there any funny stories or memories or characters from your life that you want to tell me about?
What are you proudest of?
When in life have you felt most alone?
If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
How would you like to be remembered?
Do you have any regrets?
What does your future hold?
What are your hopes for what the future holds for me? For my children?
If this was to be our very last conversation, is there anything you’d want to say to me
For your great great grandchildren listening to this years from now: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?
Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
Grandparents
Where did you grow up?
What was your childhood like?
Who were your favorite relatives?
Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
What was my mom/dad like growing up?
Do you remember any songs that you used to sing to her/him? Can you sing them now?
Was she/he well-behaved?
What is the worst thing she/he ever did?
What were your parents like?
What were your grandparents like?
How would you like to be remembered?
Are you proud of me?
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20151119BetteHickmanStudentPoster
THIS SATURDAY at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum:
A special reception for student artists as they display their newest work
Nov. 212-4 p.m.
“We began our fall term with art projects that partner with history and culture,” said art teacher Bette Hickman. “The advanced students enjoyed a field trip to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and learned about the the artists’ role in creating hand done movie posters from the Golden Age of Movies.
“Inspired by these posters from a bygone era, each student imagined what it was like to be an artist during that period by creating their own movie poster based on their own script…We are very proud of our affiliation with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and cordially invite you to attend a reception to view the advanced students’ work alongside the vintage posters on exhibit.”
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Night at the Museum with White Oak students
Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Depot is “Night at the Museum,” where local students from White Oak Elementary School display their projects showcasing what they’ve learned in their recent studies.
The group of local fifth graders get to be curator for a day … with this year’s theme being the Civil War! We invite you to come support these local students with their “Night at the Museum!” coming to the Historic Depot Nov. 19.
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Pilliard Dickle Show at the Depot this Friday

Have you ever seen a performer arguing with his past self about which is the real him? Or getting kicked out of the theater for heckling himself? Well, Pilliard Dickle does that and more in his “One and a Half Man Show,” which has its Newnan debut this Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street.

Pilliard Dickle onstage.

Pilliard Dickle onstage.

You’ll hear original songs about inebriated nuns and killer bees and a dog who’s running for mayor, all written and performed by Dickle, the Newnan native originally known as Joe Chandler. (And he spills a sordid confessional about the summer he spent in the Poconos with The Three Kinky Sisters.) Tickets are $15, available at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., or at eventbrite.com.

The Today Show called Dickle “a born storyteller with an inventive mind that never stops.” He became famous for his imaginative calendars, which were gathered into a book that gained national media attention.

Dickle now lives in Brunswick, Georgia, where he debuted his original show earlier this year. He is bringing it to his hometown of Newnan for one night only.

“I wanted to reprise my 1 1/2 Man Show in Newnan, but I haven’t done it since May,” said Dickle, who is in town this week visiting relatives.

“Here’s what I remember: It starts with ‘Avocado!’ and ends with ‘Good night everybody.’ That stuff in the middle, though, I’m a bit hazy on that. If you saw the show last spring in Brunswick, please message me and remind me how it goes.”

Both the “Future Pilliard Dickle” and “Past Pilliard Dickle” are featured in the show. Dickle interviewed his future self in preparation for this Friday’s event:

The Present Pilliard Dickle: Say, Pilliard, are you looking forward to our upcoming show at the Train Depot?
The Future Pilliard Dickle: Actually, no. Because I’ve already done it.
Present Dickle: Oh yeah. So how’d it go?
Future Pilliard Dickle: Other than the part where I got kicked out of the show, it went very well.
The Present Pilliard Dickle Oh my! Who kicked you out?
Future Dickle: YOU did!
Present Dickle: Oops. Sorry about that. Whatever caused such a ruckus?
Future Dickle: We couldn’t agree on who was the real Pilliard Dickle.
Present Dickle: Oh, that’s easy. I am, of course.
Future Dickle: How do you figure that?
Present Dickle: Well, see, you are a hypothetical Pilliard Dickle who, from my point of view, hasn’t happened yet.
Future Dickle: I beg to differ. You, my chronologically challenged friend, are a has-been.
Present Dickle: No, hypothetical pal o’ mine, you are a will-be.
Future Dickle: Has-been.
Present Dickle: Will-be.

…You get the idea.
Learn more about Dickle and his “Land of Calendaria” at www.pilliarddickle.com.

 

Tickets on sale for Pilliard Dickle’s 1 1/2 Man Show

Pilliard Dickle

Pilliard Dickle

Written and performed by local calendar artist Pilliard Dickle, also known as Joe Chandler, see the man the Today Show called “a born storyteller.” Developed at Brunswick Actors’ Theatre this summer, the 1 1/2 Man Show now comes to Pilliard’s hometown of Newnan for a one-night-only affair!
NOTE: Adult themes, not for the little ones.
WHEN
Friday, November 13, 2015 from 7 to 9 p.m. (EST)
WHERE
Historic Train Depot – 60 East Broad Street Newnan, GA 30263
TICKETS
General admission $15, plus processing at eventbrite.com .

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Get tickets for Pilliard Dickle’s 1 1/2 Man Show

Pilliard Dickle

Pilliard Dickle

Written and performed by local calendar artist Pilliard Dickle, also known as Joe Chandler, see the man the Today Show called “a born storyteller.” Developed at Brunswick Actors’ Theatre this summer, the 1 1/2 Man Show now comes to Pilliard’s hometown of Newnan for a one-night-only affair!

Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 from 7 to 9 p.m. (EST) at Depot History Center, 60 East Broad St., Newnan.

NOTE: Adult themes, not for the little ones.

Tickets $15, plus processing, at eventbrite.com — https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pilliard-dickles-1-12-man-show-tickets-18765158093?aff=ehomecard .
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‘The Wonderful Wadsworth’ premieres

New documentary “The Wonderful Wadsworth” premieres tonight, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. at Charles Wadsworth Auditorium. Those taking part in this Newnan Cultural Arts Commission funded project will be recognized.

The Wonderful Wadsworth

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NCHS photo show “Simple Pleasures” opens this weekend
Posted November 6, 2015

Elizabeth Beers_Simple Pleasures Fall 2014

NCHS member and past president Elizabeth Beers views winners in the fall 2014 Simple Pleasures show.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society are proud to announce the names of photographers juried into the 7th Annual Simple Pleasures Photography Competition. The 2015 show photographers whose images were selected for the exhibit represent the tri-state area.

Alabama is represented by Julie Dice Wynn of Smiths Station; Florida is represented by Chris Sharp of Wimauma; and Georgia is represented by Desiree Downs and Kevin Kelly, Columbus; Jim Johns, Peachtree City; Joni Chamberlin, Samuel Brummett and Marie Umbach, Newnan; Kinnett Overman, Tyrone; Lis Roop, Fortson; Lori Harrell, West Point; Lori Kolbenschlag and Robert Mariani, Senoia; Marie Massey, Midland; Pam Akin, Pine Mountain; Susan Perry, Fayetteville and Yvette Abrahamson of Franklin.

Chilling Out by Marie Umbach is among the juried photos to be on display in the fall Simple Pleasures show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Chilling Out by Marie Umbach is among the juried photos to be on display in the fall Simple Pleasures show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Award winning photographer Kathryn Kolb of Atlanta, serves as the 2015 judge. Ms. Kolb will announce the winners of the competition at the opening reception to be held at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., on Saturday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, which will hang through November 30, is comprised of uplifting images captured from life’s simple pleasures.

Best Old Truck by Chris Sharp.

Best Old Truck by Chris Sharp of Wimauma, Fla.

Proceeds from the sale of photography benefit both the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the Paul Conlan Memorial Scholarship Fund (administered by The Coweta Foundation) in addition to the photographers. Simple Pleasures is now taking applications for the scholarship from students using photography in the course of their career. Please email simplepleasuresfoto@gmail.com for more information.

Now in its seventh year, Simple Pleasures’ competitions have attracted entries of subjects from as far away as Japan and Russia.

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Learn about plants and the Cherokee Garden

Expert Tony Harris speaking at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Nov. 5

Learn about native plants that were historically significant to the Cherokee people from a native plant expert at a free program Nov. 5 at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

The program is being presented to help mark Native American Heritage Month. Tony Harris, a Cherokee Nation citizen, will discuss ethnobotany: the scientific study of the traditional knowledge and customs of a people concerning plants and their medical, religious, and other uses. The talk will be held at 7 p.m.

Tony Harris at the Cherokee Garden in Cobb County.

Tony Harris at the Cherokee Garden in Cobb County.

Harris, a Cobb County Master Gardener, has been instrumental in establishing the Cherokee Garden at Green Meadows Preserve in an effort to educate the community about the native plants that were important to the Cherokee — about 600 plants were used for medicine, food, weapons, crafts, lodging, canoes and basketry.

A number of the plants were thought to have medicinal properties and the Cherokee would steep or boil them into a tea, infusion or poultice.

Bloodroot, for example, can be made into a poultice that keeps away flies and bees. Mayapple, also called Indian Apple, is a cathartic that can induce vomiting. It also will cure worms, according to Cherokee traditional practice, but care must be taken. The roots and leaves are poisonous. Wild ginger, called “mule’s footprint” for the shape of its leaves, was used in almost half of Cherokee medicines. It was frequently taken as a tonic to bolster endurance before harvest work began. Willow bark is the forerunner of aspirin.

Wild onions, of the allium family, are just plain tasty additions to eggs and soups and are especially valuable in removing the gamey taste of wild meat. They were used by the Cherokee as a tonic to cleanse their systems, ease colic and croup, and lessen the effects of colds and sore throats. To this day Oklahoma celebrates them in an annual Wild Onion Festival. Another tasty plant is the sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke. Harris recommends eating the tubers as you would potatoes, and he defies anyone to tell the difference in taste or texture between sunchokes and water chestnuts.

Also useful for colds and flu, rabbit tobacco, or Sweet Everlasting — and not a tobacco — is an even better astringent than witch hazel. (If you don’t happen to have a cold, it doubles as a room air freshener!) Nicotiana rustica, unlike the rabbit tobacco farm children liked to “smoke,” is so highly narcotic that it is forbidden, having a nicotine content as high as 9 percent, compared to tobacco’s 1 percent.

Historically, the Cherokee nation was decimated twice by smallpox. An infusion of the inner bark of the black walnut tree was developed as an antidote. Too, it could be chewed for toothache — but carefully. The black walnut can be poisonous and, in fact, limits what can be planted near it. But the tree is worth cultivation: the leaves make a green dye and the husks, brown. An infusion of those same husks can be spread in the water to stun fish for easy catching.

Rattlesnake master does exactly what it says: it repels snakes and can be used as a snakebite remedy. Chew it, apply to the wound, and swallow a bit. It is said to inhibit cancer as well. Also used for snakebite was cinnamon fern, which can additionally be used to ease arthritis. Fiddleheads can be cooked as a dish that Harris says tastes like a combination of broccoli, asparagus and artichoke.

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Tony Harris shows plants at the Cherokee Garden in Cobb County.

The Cherokee Garden at Green Meadows Preserve in Cobb County was dedicated Aug. 29. The garden, which is open to the public, was the brainchild of Tony and Carra Harris of Marietta.

Tony Harris is a Cherokee Nation citizen, a member of the Cobb County Master Gardeners and vice president of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association. Earlier this year, the Cherokee Garden became a certified interpretive site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

The garden features plants and trees that the Cherokee used for medicine, food, tools, weapons, shelter and ceremonial purposes prior to the Trail of Tears. The plants will eventually be marked with their Cherokee and English names. Volunteers from the Cobb County Master Gardeners and members of the Georgia Native Plant Society maintain the property.

Green Meadows Preserve is part of the Cobb County Parks System. It is located at 3780 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs, Ga. The park is free and open to the public. For additional information, email harris7627@bellsouth.net or call 770-425-2411.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum, one of three facilities operated by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, is at 74 Jackson Street just north of downtown Newnan. The museum is adjacent to the recently-opened University of West Georgia Newnan Center campus. There is ample free parking behind the museum with entrances off Clark Street. For details call the museum office at 770-251-0207.

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 Zombie movie, “Night of the Living Dead” screening

Night of the Living Dead
THIS is where it all began, denizens of Coweta County. George Romero’s classic zombie tale: “Night of the Living Dead!” We are presenting it at the Depot next Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. It’s $5 to get in, or DRESS AS A ZOMBIE and get in free!
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‘Night of the Living Dead’

Screening Wednesday at Depot

Zombies are more popular than ever, especially in Coweta County, home of the smash TV show, “The Walking Dead,” but did you know that there might not even be a “Walking Dead” or a “Zombieland” if not for an accident involving the copyright of the progenitor of modern zombies, “Night of the Living Dead?”

The 1968 George Romero film – which is being shown Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Newnan Depot by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society – is the basis for the modern zombie flick. The cult film serves as the seminal modern zombie film and a movie that single-handedly changed horror movies forever.

Prior to the release of the film in 1968, zombie movies focused on “voodoo zombies,” which meant living victims that were turned into slaves by supernatural forces. “White Zombie”, released in 1932, is perhaps the best-known example of that genre.

“Night of the Living Dead” changed that by rebranding the zombie into a undead killer that hungers for human flesh (or brains). It also established much of the lore that surrounds modern zombies, such as the idea of having to destroy the brain of a zombie to kill it, zombies being afraid of fire and so on. This, to most horror buffs, is known as the “Romero Zombie” or the “Slow Zombie.”

Nearly every zombie movie since 1968 owes its roots to “Night of the Living Dead,” even those that deviate from the formula. However, that might not have been the case if not for a screw-up with the copyright of the original film that caused the movie to be released into the public domain.

The first prints of “Night of the Living Dead” didn’t use the title we know it as today. Instead, it referred to the movie as “Night of the Flesh Eaters”, one of the working titles of the movie. However, before release, the title was changed to its more familiar version but, when changing the title card, the distributor forgot to put the copyright notice on the final print. Though that would not be a large issue today (the Copyright Act of 1976 removed all notice requirements), in 1968 that meant the movie was not protected by copyright and, instead, was placed immediately into the public domain.

As a result, reports say that George Romero, the movie’s co-writer and director, saw little money from the film, despite it grossing some over $30 million at the box office. Despite the legal flub, the movie was still a major success.

Copyright, or the lack thereof, played a tremendous role in the development of the modern zombie film, helping to ensure that the dead can keep rising in film after film. All in all, hundreds of zombie movies have been made that built upon “Night of the Living Dead” in one way or another, ranging from low-budget films to blockbusters.

Come see the film for free at the Depot Wednesday, if you dress as a zombie! Non-zombies must pay a $5 brain-eating fee. 60 East Broad Street, Newnan.

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Craig Dominey speaks at the Depot for the last “Reel Past” program on the film and TV industry impact in Coweta County Oct. 20.

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State Film Rep Coming to Depot Oct. 20

“Fried Green Money: Film & TV in Georgia” is the concluding program for the Georgia Humanities Council-funded series, “The Reel Past,” sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Craig Dominey

Craig Dominey

NCHS concludes its Reel Past series on Coweta’s connection with Hollywood with a talk at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20 by Craig Dominey, Camera Ready program manager/ senior film location specialist with the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. Also speaking will be Lynn Horton of the Senoia Area Historical Society. The event is free and open to the public.
The event, which will feature light hors d’oeuvres with a “Fried Green Tomatoes” menu theme, will be held at the Depot History Center at 60 East Broad Street in downtown Newnan. It is a joint effort with Senoia Area Historical Society and is made possible with a grant from Georgia Humanities.

Lynn Horton

Lynn Horton

“We’ve had a long relationship with Hollywood films and television here in Coweta County, but I know one of the first big productions to make its way to Senoia that everyone remembers was ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ so we wanted to feature that film with our menu and title,” said Jeff Bishop, Newnan-Coweta Historical Society executive director.
A new exhibit featuring costumes from the new Michael Keaton film “The Founder” will also be on display at the Depot that evening. The film, about McDonald’s restaurant founder Ray Kroc, was made partially in the parking lot between the Depot and Thriftown, with a full-scale reproduction of the original McDonald’s in San Bernardino, California.
Dominey is the creator and manager of the State of Georgia’s Camera Ready Program, a groundbreaking initiative enabling county representatives to promote their unique shooting locations and other production assets directly to film and television producers. Dominey oversees a network of 159 Georgia counties, manages the state’s location photo database, and trains Camera Ready county liaisons on how to work with the entertainment industry.

He also serves as the senior film location specialist for the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. For more than 14 years, his primary job has been to promote the state to production companies as a shooting location for feature films, television shows and other media productions. He scouts and photographs a wide variety of shooting locations throughout Georgia based on the scene requirements of a particular screenplay.

He is the founder and producer of The Moonlit Road.com, a Southern storytelling website, podcast and radio show recently broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Dominey graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Speech Communication – Radio/TV/Film. He has served on the board of directors of Atlanta Film Festival 365, a media arts center devoted to independent film, and worked as a scriptwriter for numerous commercials and corporate videos. He has also served as a contributing writer for regional websites, magazines and newspapers.
A resident of the Fayette/Coweta County area since 1982, Lynn Horton taught English, Creative Writing, and the first Video Production class at McIntosh High School. of them Many of Horton’s students followed their passion and went on to become filmmakers. Horton followed different path after retiring from Starr’s Mill in 2003 and worked as a free-lance editor. Horton says that she and her husband moved to Senoia two years ago looking for a “quieter, more serene lifestyle,” and they immediately joined the Senoia Area Historical Society.
“We haven’t caught their breath since,” said Horton, who writes a weekly opinion column for The Fayette News and Today in Peachtree City, sharing her observations about her new home, her family, travel adventures, and about life in a “Hollywood backlot.”
In other Reel Past series programs this fall, NCHS held a reading from the new play recounting the John Wallace trial, explored the world of psychic Mayhayley Lancaster, and recalled the talent of Hetty Jane Dunaway from Chatauqua circuit days with a live reading of one of her original plays at Dunaway Gardens in north Coweta. The McRitchie-Hollis Museum continues its special celebration of Hollywood’s Golden Era with an exhibition of hand-drawn and painted 1930s and ’40s movie posters from Atlanta’s Loew’s Grand Theater – from the collection of the late Herb Bridges.

Now NCHS and SAHS turns its attention to Coweta County as a location for movie and television productions – especially Senoia with the nearby Raleigh Studios and its status as location for TV hit “The Walking Dead.” Movies have been filmed across Coweta in the last three decades, making this a center for “Hollywood South.”

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Elizabeth Beers shares Southern expressions and stories of growing up in Coweta County at an Oct. 13 program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Elizabeth Beers shares Southern expressions and stories of growing up in Coweta County at an Oct. 13 program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Y’all come!

Program Tuesday: ‘How to Speak Southern”

Elizabeth Beers

Elizabeth Beers

Come take some lessons from Mrs. Elizabeth Beers in “How to Speak Southern,” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., this Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public! If you’re a “Yankee” transplant, now is the time to learn all about what your neighbors are saying about you.

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Scraptacular on hiatus until January 2016:

Join ‘Scraptacular’ Third Wednesdays

Join the fun with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society every third Wednesday of the month at McRitchie-Hollis Museum to preserve your family history in fun scrapbooks

“Bring your unfinished pages, photos, and materials and create lasting memories for future generations,” said Jessie Merrell, curation specialist with the historical society, and a scrapbooking expert.
Don’t do paper scrapbooking? Bring your laptop to try digital scrapbooking while still enjoying the fun! Jessie Merrell who has over 10 years’ experience in scrapbooking both paper and digitally.
Bring your gear and let’s get cropping!” said Merrell.

Participants enjoy our first Scraptacular event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum today. Mark your calendars for the scrapbooking sessions each third Wednesday. The next is May 20. From left, Amy Mapel, Executive Director Jeff Bishop, Michele Wade and srapbooking session leader our Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell.

Participants enjoy our first Scraptacular event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum in spring 2014. From left, Amy Mapel, NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop, Michele Wade and srapbooking session leader our Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell.

Jessie Merrell is a soon-to-be graduate from the University of West Georgia with degrees in History and English Literature. She also has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Gordon College.
“I look forward to using my degree and love of history in my new position with the historical society,” she said, “working with the community, the board, and Jeff Bishop will be exciting and fun and I hope together we can create exciting exhibits and programs.” The scrapbooking venture is one of the first.
Her interest in history began with researching her family history and relating their events to the world around them. That led her to a greater appreciation for the letters, photographs, and other items that helped to tell their stories. She served last summer as the Research and Archives intern for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
“I hope to be able to preserve the important documents that will help tell the story of Newnan for future generations and to help give insight into what life was like for those before us!” she said.
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20150325_102927 Jessie Merrell with Atkinson letters

Jessie Merrell works cleaning historical documents in the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society collections.

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Quilt Expo Opens Today! Runs Oct. 8-10 at Depot History Center

This cathedral design quilt loaned to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently by Mary Effie Bridges was sewn in the early 1980s. It is on display at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.

This cathedral design quilt loaned to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently by Mary Effie Bridges was sewn in the early 1980s. It is on display at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.

The first-ever Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Quilt Expo is being held at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street Friday through Saturday, Oct. 8-10. It is being mounted in conjunction with the new Stitches In Time quilt exhibition at the Male Academy Museum.

There are quilt displays and vendors.

Show admission for the Oct. 8-10 Quilt Expo at the Depot is $5, payable at the door. Visitors will also be able to view the new exhibit of vintage quilts at the Male Academy Museum, corner of College Street and Temple Avenue.

For more call 770-251-0207 or to go to Upcoming Events. Details available at NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan,GA 30264, or stop by the NCHS offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Quilt Expo poster

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Fall Quilt Expo is Oct. 8-10 at Depot

This cathedral design quilt loaned to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently by Mary Effie Bridges was sewn in the early 1980s. It is on display at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.

This cathedral design quilt loaned to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently by Mary Effie Bridges was sewn in the early 1980s. It is on display at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.

 

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society presents its first-ever Quilt Expo at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street opening Thursday and running Oct. 8-10.

The expo is in conjunction with the new Stitches In Time quilt exhibition ongoing at the historical society’s recently-reopened Male Academy Museum at Temple Avenue and College Street.

There will be displays of vintage and newer quilts, as well as vendors and organization displays, at the Depot three-day event. In recent weeks there has been an invitation for quilts to be loaned for display. The deadline was Oct. 1.

Along with the display of vintage and newer quilts for viewing, several vendors and groups plan to be on site with booths. They include:

– Quilts and Fixins from Jonesboro, Ga. There will be a display of products from owner Karen Jones including kits, precuts, samples, panels and fabric yardage.

– Southern Stitches from Thomaston, Ga. with a products display: kits, notions, precuts, fabric and gifts.

– A Fine Notion from Newnan. Barbara Reed will display all quilting tools and notions, patterns, books, 18-inch doll patterns, clothes and shoes, along with specials and sales for this show.

– Pretty Penny Precuts from Peachtree City, Ga. Owners Laura and Mike Bosma will display wool applique, die cut kits, patterns, notions and supplies.

– Southeast Sewing from Atlanta. Owner Mel Tramell will display Brother and Juki sewing and embroidery machines. They are giving away a $6,000.00 Brother embroidery machine. Tickets are $5 each to benefit the Cancer Society.

– Shades Textiles studio of Marietta, Ga. Owner Stacy Michell will display patterns, tools and hand-dyed fabric.

There will be several area groups with booths presenting information:
– Common Threads Quilt Guild of Newnan.

– Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent, Fayetteville and Peachtree City, Ga.

– Quilts of Valor – Coweta County, based in Moreland, Ga. They provide quilts for wounded warriors and will be accepting donations.

– Southeast Quilt Museum of Carrollton, Ga.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will also be offering fabric and will have information on the society’s programs and how to get involved.

Hours of Quilt Expo will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 8-9; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. Admission for the expo is $5. The Depot History Center is at 60 East Broad Street just east of Newnan’s Court Square. There is ample free parking.

For more information contact NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264. Or stop by the NCHS offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street.

NCHS invites volunteers to help put up and take down the expo and to be “white gloved attendants.” Anyone interested in lecturing, demonstrating, or holding a class during the Expo or later at the Male Academy Museum may contact NCHS offices at 74 Jackson St., Newnan, or call 770-251-0207.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society operates the Male Academy Museum at 30 Temple Avenue, at the corner of College Street, which is reopened after recent repairs with a new exhibition of quilts. There are several quilts with stories related to the Civil War or connected with the daughter of the founder of the one-time Newnan school for boys. It will be open during this weekend’s Expo. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and by appointment.

The NCHS headquarters is now in the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street, at the corner of Clark Street, just north of downtown. The museum presents ever-changing exhibitions on historic and decorative arts topics presented in the setting of a restored grand 1930s home. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. General admission is $5, and $2 for students and seniors. For more information call 770-251-0207.

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Tickets on sale for harpist concert Sept. 26

Ashley Collins will be in concert at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Sept. 26.

Ashley Collins will be in concert at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Sept. 26.

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins has toured internationally.

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins has toured internationally.

Harpist Ashley Collins, who recently toured and studied in India, will give a concert at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan, on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m.

She has been performing harp for more than 13 years across the globe, from El Salvador to Ireland, Guatemala to India and across the U.S.A. She combines classical music with modern pop pieces, creating delightful programs that surprise and enthrall all of her audiences.

With a focus on enjoyment and entertaining, she tailors her concerts to include all ages and all genres of music. The upcoming concert at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum is no exception to this passion for entertaining. With selections from the movies, such as Harry Potter, Phantom of the Opera and Disney’s Tangled, to deep and meaningful classical pieces, like Marguerite au Rouet by Zabel, there is sure to be a moment that will make you fall in love with the harp.

Tickets for 3 p.m. concert are $10 (plus processing fee), and are available at the museum and by charge with credit card online at eventbrite.com (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harpist-ashley-collins-at-mcritchie-hollis-tickets-18440275360)

When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Details: 770-251-0207.

McRitchie-Hollis Museum
74 Jackson St, Newnan, GA 30263

To order at Eventbrite.com click here.

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Artist in Residence to speak at McRitchie-Hollis

Newnan's first Artist in Residence Peter Tudhope.

Newnan’s first Artist in Residence Peter Tudhope.

Newnan’s first Artist in Residence, Scottish artist Peter Tudhope, has been busy since his arrival the first of September painting scenes around town. He comes as part of the Sister City relationship between Newnan and Ayr, Scotland. He will take time to present a program here at McRitchie-Hollis Museum this Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the program is free.

First Newnan Artist-in-Residence to speak at McRitchie-Hollis

Peter Tudhope

Peter Tudhope

Artist-in-Residence Peter Tudhope will present an “Art Talk” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. This program, free to the public, will be Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

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Special NCHS “Reel Past” event at Dunaway Gardens

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Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and Dunaway Gardens are pleased to welcome Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin as our guest speaker at a special event planned for Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Dunaway Gardens in Roscoe.

Dr. Canning will speak about the early days of theatre in the United States and the American Chautauqua Circuit, and especially the roles played by women such as Hetty Jane Dunaway, local founder of Dunaway Gardens and Chautauqua Circuit Performer, and Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, better known as “Minnie Pearl” of the Grand Ol’ Opry and “Hee Haw” fame, who first developed her character in Newnan while with the Sewell Production Company in Roscoe.

Sarah Ophelia Colley as "Minnie Pearl."

Sarah Ophelia Colley as “Minnie Pearl.”

This event, slated for Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Dunaway Gardens amphitheatre, is part of a series of events sponsored by the Georgia Humanities through a grant. The series, called “The Reel Past,” has focused on Newnan’s Hollywood connections. The Sept. 13 event will also feature an abridged reading of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s original play, “The Flapper Grandmother,” starring Jennifer Dorrell and the Newnan Theatre Company players. Artifacts and photos from the early days of Dunaway Gardens and the Sewell Production Company will also be on a “one day only” display.

An original ticket to Flapper Grandmother from Hetty Jane Dunaway days.

An original ticket to Flapper Grandmother from Hetty Jane Dunaway days.

 

 

Dr. Canning received her doctorate from the University of Washington. She is the author of Feminist Theaters In The USA: Staging Women’s Experience (Routledge, 1996) and The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (Iowa, 2005) which won the 2006 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. This award is given each year to the best book in “theatre history or cognate disciplines,” and Dr. Canning was the first member of the UT faculty to receive this prestigious award.

Her most recent book is Representing the Past: Essays in Performance Historiography, co-edited with Tom Postlewait, (University of Iowa Press, 2010) and she is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan for her next monograph, On the Performance Front: US Theatre and Internationalism. The University of Texas Press has invited her to write a book on Texas theatre history for their nationally recognized series, Texas Bookshelf, capturing the history and experiences of Texas.

She has published in many journals, including Theatre Topics, Theatre Research International, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Theatre Annual, Theatre, and LIT: Literature, Interpretation Theory. Her work has also been included in such anthologies as Staging International Feminisms, Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theatres and their Legacies, Women Writing Plays: Three Decades of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Land/Scape/ Theatre, Performing America: Cultural Nationalism in American Theater, Women, Theatre, and Performance: The New Historiographies, Twentieth Century American Drama, and Virtual Gender: Fantasies of Embodied Space and Subjectivity.

She teaches theatre/performance history and historiography, as well as feminist performance theory. Additionally, she heads the Performance as Public Practice MA/MFA/PhD Programs in the department and is the Head of the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism. She serves as the Associate Chair for the Performance Studies and Pedagogy division of the department and is an affiliate faculty member in the Departments of American Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dr. Canning has served as the book review editor for Theatre Journal, president of the Women and Theatre Program, and associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Fine Arts. She is a past president of the American Society for Theatre Research. Currently she serves as the Senior Editor for Theatre Research International, the journal of the International Federation for Theatre Research and Cambridge University Press’ most read performance journal title.

Hetty Jane Dunaway in The Lady of the Decoration

Hetty Jane Dunaway in The Lady of the Decoration

Between 1904 and the Great Depression, Circuit Chautauquas toured the rural United States, reflecting and reinforcing its citizens’ ideas, attitudes, and politics every summer through music (the Jubilee Singers, an African American group, were not always welcome in a time when millions of Americans belonged to the KKK), lectures (“Civic Revivalist” Charles Zueblin speaking on “Militancy and Morals”), elocutionary readers (Lucille Adams reading from Little Lord Fauntleroy), dramas (the Ben Greet Players’ cleaned-up version of She Stoops to Conquer), orations (William Jennings Bryan speaking about the dangers of greed), and special programs for children (parades and mock weddings).
Theatre historians have largely ignored Circuit Chautauquas since they did not meet the conventional conditions of theatrical performance: they were not urban; they produced no innovative performance techniques, stage material, design effects, or dramatic literature. In this beautifully written and illustrated book, Charlotte Canning establishes an analytical framework to reveal the Circuit Chautauquas as unique performances that both created and unified small-town America.
One of the last strongholds of the American traditions of rhetoric and oratory, the Circuits created complex intersections of community, American democracy, and performance. Canning does not celebrate the Circuit Chautauquas wholeheartedly, nor does she describe them with the same cynicism offered by Sinclair Lewis. She acknowledges their goals of community support, informed public thinking, and popular education but also focuses on the reactionary and regressive ideals they sometimes embraced. In the true interdisciplinary spirit of Circuit Chautauquas, she reveals the Circuit platforms as places where Americans performed what it meant to be American.

Midwest Book Review:
Winner of the 2006 Barnard Hewitt Award for Excellence in Theatre History, The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance by Charlotte M. Canning (professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin) is part history, part evaluation of the Circuit Chautauquas, the iterant branch of an adult education movement created to spread culture and entertainment across America, particularly isolated rural areas. The Chautauquas flourished, despite some conflicts – their African-American members were in danger when they toured areas rife with KKK members and sympathizers – filling a much-needed role until the Great Depression, when the rise of radio and movies eclipsed them. Their performances included lectures, music, occasional political debate, and much more. Theatre historians have long neglected the Circuit Chautauquas because they didn’t quite fit the mold of established theatre; Canning seeks to remedy this omission through an in-depth history examining not only the Circuit Chautauquas as performers, but also as facilitators of American community and democracy. Highly recommended.

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Special NCHS “Reel Past” event at Dunaway Gardens

Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning

Enjoy a reading of an original Hetty Jane Dunaway play, “The Flapper Grandmother,” as the NCHS Reel Past series continues this Sunday, Sept. 13.

Admission is free for the event at Dunaway Gardens, Hwy. 70 in Roscoe, Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and Dunaway Gardens will welcome Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin at the special event.

Dr. Canning will speak about the early days of theatre in the United States and the American Chautauqua Circuit, and especially the roles played by women such as Hetty Jane Dunaway, local founder of Dunaway Gardens and Chautauqua Circuit Performer, and Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, better known as “Minnie Pearl” of the Grand Ol’ Opry and “Hee Haw” fame, who first developed her character in Newnan while with the Sewell Production Company in Roscoe.

Hetty Jane Dunaway in The Lady of the Decoration

Hetty Jane Dunaway in The Lady of the Decoration

Sunday’s presentation is part of a series of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society events made possible through a grant from Georgia Humanities. The series, called “The Reel Past,” has focused on Newnan’s Hollywood connections. The Sept. 13 event will feature an abridged reading of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s original play, “The Flapper Grandmother,” starring Jennifer Dorrell and the Newnan Theatre Company players. Artifacts and photos from the early days of Dunaway Gardens and the Sewell Production Company will also be on a “one day only” display.

Flapper Grandmother

For more see Programs/Events Upcoming

Flapper Grandmother returns to Dunaway Gardens

Special NCHS “Reel Past” event at Dunaway Gardens in September

Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and Dunaway Gardens are pleased to welcome Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin as our guest speaker at a special event planned for Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Dunaway Gardens in Roscoe.

Dr. Canning will speak about the early days of theatre in the United States and the American Chautauqua Circuit, and especially the roles played by women such as Hetty Jane Dunaway, local founder of Dunaway Gardens and Chautauqua Circuit Performer, and Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, better known as “Minnie Pearl” of the Grand Ol’ Opry and “Hee Haw” fame, who first developed her character in Newnan while with the Sewell Production Company in Roscoe.

This event, slated for Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Dunaway Gardens amphitheatre, is part of a series of events sponsored by the Georgia Humanities through a grant. The series, called “The Reel Past,” has focused on Newnan’s Hollywood connections. The Sept. 13 event will also feature an abridged reading of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s original play, “The Flapper Grandmother,” starring Jennifer Dorrell and the Newnan Theatre Company players. Artifacts and photos from the early days of Dunaway Gardens and the Sewell Production Company will also be on a “one day only” display.

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Male Academy reopening with quilts
Includes Labor Day weekend Powers Crossroads tribute

Posted Sept. 1, 2015

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is excited to reopen the Male Academy Museum this Labor Day weekend Sept. 5-6 with a new exhibition of quilts. Also there will be a special weekend tribute to the decades-long former Powers Crossroads Festival and its founder, the late Tom Powers.
Hours this weekend at the Male Academy, corner of Temple Avenue and College Street at the city park, are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. There will be a special reception Saturday at noon to recognize those who have helped get the museum reopened.

The historical society recently received three paintings by late artist and teacher Tom Powers that will be displayed along with other items from artists and craftspeople who exhibited at the Powers Crossroads Country Fair and Art Festival through the years. Powers founded the festival in 1971 and it ran four decades.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt

As part of the new quilt exhibit, the city of Newnan’s “Sesquicentennial Quilt” produced in 1978 during the city’s 150th birthday celebration will be displayed for the first time in years. Other quilts will also be on display, including a quilt made by Coral Moses Hand, whose father founded the Male Academy school for boys in the 1800s.
New interpretive panels have been developed for the exhibit, and the museum has been repaired and freshly painted inside.

Anyone with questions about the Male Academy exhibition may contact us at our headquarters in the nearby McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., at 770-251-0207, or email our staff at jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com.

NCHS is also prepping for its first ever Quilt Expo this October at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street. The event is slated for Oct. 8-10. NCHS is seeking volunteers to help put up and take down the expo and to be “white gloved attendants.” Anyone interested in lecturing, demonstrating, or holding a class may contact NCHS.
10 x 10 and 10 x 20 booths are available. Deposits of $50 are required to reserve the space.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum,74 Jackson St., is also open, showing the new “Golden Era of Hollywood” exhibit, featuring hand-painted movie posters from the Loew’s Grand theater in Atlanta from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. The posters are from the collection of the late Herb Bridges, one of the historical society’s early presidents. McRitchie-Hollis Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.

After the grand reopening, Male Academy will be open for tours Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m., and will be available Saturdays by appointment by calling the NCHS office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 770-251-0207.

Admission for both museums is $5 adults / $2 students and seniors.

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Erskine Caldwell, movie ‘God’s Little Acre’ next focus for NCHS ‘Reel Past’ series

Posted Aug. 20, 2015

Come join us for a free program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum … including a showing of the film based on Erskine Caldwell’s searing Southern novel, “God’s Little Acre,” one of the best-selling works of the 20th century as well as an enduring classic.

The movie screening is tonight, Thursday, Aug. 20, at 5 p.m. Then at 7:30 hear Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia discuss Southern stereotypes in Caldwell’s work.

It’s all part of the new “Reel Past” series, sponsored by the Georgia Humanities.

To celebrate this rich history of Hollywood coming to Newnan, the historical society has created a series of programs called “The Reel Past” — made possible with a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council. This series accompanies the newest exhibition at McRitchie-
Hollis Museum, “The Golden Era of Hollywood,” featuring original movie billboards from Hollywood’s classic era of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. The posters were created by in-house artists at the Atlanta Loew’s Grand theater.
In this “Reel 2” of the series, the Southern stereotype will be explored through the works of Moreland-born writer Erskine Caldwell in “Southern Images and Erskine Caldwell.” Several of Caldwell’s works have been adapted to the big screen such as “Tobacco Road” and “God’s Little Acre.”

Dr. Randy Hendricks, dean of UWG's College of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Randy Hendricks, dean of UWG’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia in his 7:30 talk Aug. 20 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum will walk visitors through Caldwell’s depiction of the South. His talk will be preceded by the 5 p.m. showing of the movie adaptation, “God’s Little Acre” starring Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray and Tina Louise.

God's Little Acre
The talk and movie showing are in cooperation with the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace in Moreland and Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance. Winston Skinner of the Caldwell Birthplace and MCAA and news editor of The Newnan Times-Herald will be on hand to introduce Dr. Hendricks.

All programs and events associated with the “Reel Past” are free and open to the public.
McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson St., at the corner of Clark Street. It is just north of downtown Newnan and next door to the new UWG Newnan campus. For details call 770-251-0207.

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AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM

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Erskine Caldwell, movie ‘God’s Little Acre’ next focus for NCHS ‘Reel Past’ series

A talk on novelist Erskine Caldwell and a showing of the movie “God’s Little Acre,” based on one of his books, is set for Thursday, Aug. 20 at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
To celebrate this rich history of Hollywood coming to Newnan, the historical society has created a series of programs called “The Reel Past” — made possible with a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council. This series accompanies the newest exhibition at McRitchie-
Hollis Museum, “The Golden Era of Hollywood,” featuring original movie billboards from Hollywood’s classic era of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. The posters were created by in-house artists at the Atlanta Loew’s Grand theater.
In the upcoming “Reel 2” of the series, the Southern stereotype will be explored through the works of Moreland-born writer Erskine Caldwell in “Southern Images and Erskine Caldwell.” Several of Caldwell’s works have been adapted to the big screen such as “Tobacco Road” and “God’s Little Acre.”

Dr. Randy Hendricks, dean of UWG's College of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Randy Hendricks, dean of UWG’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia in his 7:30 talk Aug. 20 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum will walk visitors through Caldwell’s depiction of the South. His talk will be preceded by a 5 p.m. showing of the movie adaptation, “God’s Little Acre” starring Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray and Tina Louise.

God's Little Acre
The talk and movie showing are in cooperation with the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace in Moreland and Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance. Winston Skinner of the Caldwell Birthplace and MCAA and news editor of The Newnan Times-Herald will be on hand to introduce Dr. Hendricks.
Hendricks is dean of UWG’s College of Arts and Humanities. He attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, before taking a position at the University of West Georgia, where he has taught English since 1987. Specializing in the literature of the American South, he has taught about a variety of Southern authors, including Erskine Caldwell. Hendricks has co-edited books on Tennessee authors Robert Drake and David Madden as well as the six-volume “Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren.” He is also the author of a collection of short stories, “The Twelfth Year, and Other Times.”
“The Reel Past” series kicked off in July at the Historic Train Depot with a preview of the upcoming musical “Flies at the Well,” debuting Spring 2016 and based on the infamous John Wallace murder trial that inspired the best-selling book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County.” That was followed by a program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum about the famous “Oracle of the Ages,” Mayhayley Lancaster, who testified at the Newnan trial. A special talk was given by University of West Georgia professor, local poet and writer Melissa Dickson Jackson … and guests could have their palm read by local psychic Chrystal Lynn.
Coweta County for more than a century has been a contributor to the film industry. Holt and Cates Company Drug Store in 1909 played Newnan’s first “moving picture shows.” By 1916, Newnan had caught the attention of Wayne Sewell and his wife, Hetty Jane Dunaway, who together established Dunaway Gardens and the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company. The gardens and production company were the incubator for Sarah Ophelia Colley’s “Minnie Pearl” character of Grand Ole Opry fame.
The last thirty years have seen the greatest growth in development of Coweta County’s film industry with the construction of Raleigh Studios in Senoia and the filming of such movies as “Fried Green Tomatoes.” “Zombieland,” and most recently “The Founder” starring Michael Keaton that filmed for several weeks this summer in downtown Newnan. Various Newnan and Coweta locations have served as the backdrop for several television series and miniseries such as “Andersonville,” “The Walking Dead” and “Drop Dead Diva.”
“The Reel Past” series continues Saturday, Sept. 12 with “Gardens and Patchwork: Rediscovering Dunaway Gardens,” which will take a look at the history of the founder, Hetty Jane Dunaway, and her association with a young talent coach who would later become famous portraying her stage character Minnie Pearl. The event will feature select performances of scenes from several of Dunaway’s plays which were once developed at the Gardens near Roscoe and presented throughout the Southeast by the Sewell Production Company.
The series will conclude Oct. 15 with a program on the significance and impact of the TV and film industry on community growth and identity and the affect of Raleigh Studios on the economic growth of downtown Senoia.
All programs and events associated with the “Reel Past” are free and open to the public.
McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson St., at the corner of Clark Street. It is just north of downtown Newnan and next door to the new UWG Newnan campus. For more information call 770-251-0207.

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Reel Past events continue

Reel Past With Logos

REEL 1: “Murder in Coweta County”

DATES: Wednesday, July 15 at the Newnan Historic Depot, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 18 at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 1 p.m.

Come to the Depot to experience the first-ever preview open to the public from the upcoming musical “Flies at the Well,” debuting Spring 2016, based on the infamous John Wallace murder trial that inspired the best-selling book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County,” and then participate in a roundtable discussion about the process of bringing an original play to the stage. Participants include Caroline Abbey of the Newnan Theatre Company, actors from the production, and playwright Jeff Bishop. A scene and a song from the upcoming musical will be featured!

Then, on Saturday, come to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and find out more about the famous “Oracle of the Ages,” Mayhayley Lancaster, with a special talk given by Melissa Dickson Jackson … and have your palm read by local psychic Chrystal Lynn!

For years a group of committed community members affiliated with the Newnan Theatre Company have wanted to realize a stage production of the famous John Wallace murder trial at the original location of the trial, the Coweta County Courthouse. Now, after years of development, that moment has finally come, with the play set to debut in spring of 2016! Private readings and stagings of various versions have been held in Newnan and even as far away as Michigan, but this is the first time that a song and scene will be shown to the public in a free, non-invitation event. Come see the preview and ask questions from the group members who have been working hard to put together an original, exciting, memorable show for the community. Newnan Depot, 60 East Broad St., Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m.

Some called her a fortune teller, others called her a witch. She didn’t like any of these names, preferring to call herself an “Oracle of the Ages.” She was Mayhayley Lancaster, who was already notorious in Coweta and her home of Heard County long before Margaret Anne Barnes’ best-selling book was ever published. Come learn about the real Mayhayley Lancaster from University of West Georgia professor and local poet and writer Melissa Dickson Jackson, who will speak at 2 p.m. following an hour of free psychic readings from local psychic Chrystal Lynn! McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street, Saturday, July 18, 1 p.m.

These two events serve as the kick-off for a whole series of events, co-sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the Georgia Humanities Council, called “The Reel Past.”

Coweta County has been a contributor to the film industry since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Holt and Cates Company Drug Store in 1909 played Newnan’s first “moving picture shows.” By 1916, Newnan had caught the attention of Wayne Sewell and his wife, Hetty Jane Dunaway, who together established Dunaway Gardens and the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, the incubator for Sarah Ophelia Colley’s famous “Minnie Pearl” character. The last thirty years have seen the greatest growth in development of Coweta County’s film industry with the construction of Raleigh Studios in Senoia and the filming of such movies as “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Zombieland,” and currently “The Founder,” starring Michael Keaton and filming for the past several weeks in downtown Newnan. Newnan has also been used as the backdrop for several television series and miniseries such as “Andersonville,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Drop Dead Diva.”

IN COMING WEEKS:

To celebrate this rich history of Hollywood coming to Newnan, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has created a series of programs called “The Reel Past” which celebrates this past with a grant from Georgia Humanities. This series accompanies the newest exhibit at the McRitchie-

Hollis Museum, “The Golden Era of Hollywood,” featuring original paintings of Hollywood’s classic era of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, from the Atlanta Loew’s Grand theatre.

REEL 2:

The Southern stereotype will be explored through the works of local writer Erskine Caldwell in “Southern Images and Erskine Caldwell.” Several of Caldwell’s works have been adapted to the big screen such as Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre. Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia will walk visitors through Caldwell’s depiction of the South. Thursday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m., McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

REEL 3:

“Gardens and Patchwork: Rediscovering Dunaway Gardens” will take a look at the history of the founder, Hetty Jane Dunaway, and her association with Sarah Ophelia Colley, better known by her stage character Minnie Pearl. The event will feature select performances of scenes from several of her plays which were once developed at the Gardens and performed throughout the Southeast by the Sewell Production Company. Saturday, Sept. 12.

REEL 4:

“The Reel Past” will conclude with a program on the significance and impact of the TV and film industry on community growth and identity and the effect of Raleigh Studios on the economic growth of downtown Senoia. Thursday, Oct. 15.

All programs and events associated with the “Reel Past” are free and open to the public. These events were made possible through a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council.

For more information contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at 770-251-0207.

……………….

Reel Past events continue

Reel Past With Logos

REEL 1: “Murder in Coweta County”

DATES: Wednesday, July 15 at the Newnan Historic Depot, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 18 at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 1 p.m.

Come to the Depot to experience the first-ever preview open to the public from the upcoming musical “Flies at the Well,” debuting Spring 2016, based on the infamous John Wallace murder trial that inspired the best-selling book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County,” and then participate in a roundtable discussion about the process of bringing an original play to the stage. Participants include Caroline Abbey of the Newnan Theatre Company, actors from the production, and playwright Jeff Bishop. A scene and a song from the upcoming musical will be featured!

Then, on Saturday, come to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and find out more about the famous “Oracle of the Ages,” Mayhayley Lancaster, with a special talk given by Melissa Dickson Jackson … and have your palm read by local psychic Chrystal Lynn!

For years a group of committed community members affiliated with the Newnan Theatre Company have wanted to realize a stage production of the famous John Wallace murder trial at the original location of the trial, the Coweta County Courthouse. Now, after years of development, that moment has finally come, with the play set to debut in spring of 2016! Private readings and stagings of various versions have been held in Newnan and even as far away as Michigan, but this is the first time that a song and scene will be shown to the public in a free, non-invitation event. Come see the preview and ask questions from the group members who have been working hard to put together an original, exciting, memorable show for the community. Newnan Depot, 60 East Broad St., Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m.

Some called her a fortune teller, others called her a witch. She didn’t like any of these names, preferring to call herself an “Oracle of the Ages.” She was Mayhayley Lancaster, who was already notorious in Coweta and her home of Heard County long before Margaret Anne Barnes’ best-selling book was ever published. Come learn about the real Mayhayley Lancaster from University of West Georgia professor and local poet and writer Melissa Dickson Jackson, who will speak at 2 p.m. following an hour of free psychic readings from local psychic Chrystal Lynn! McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street, Saturday, July 18, 1 p.m.

These two events serve as the kick-off for a whole series of events, co-sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the Georgia Humanities Council, called “The Reel Past.”

Coweta County has been a contributor to the film industry since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Holt and Cates Company Drug Store in 1909 played Newnan’s first “moving picture shows.” By 1916, Newnan had caught the attention of Wayne Sewell and his wife, Hetty Jane Dunaway, who together established Dunaway Gardens and the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, the incubator for Sarah Ophelia Colley’s famous “Minnie Pearl” character. The last thirty years have seen the greatest growth in development of Coweta County’s film industry with the construction of Raleigh Studios in Senoia and the filming of such movies as “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Zombieland,” and currently “The Founder,” starring Michael Keaton and filming for the past several weeks in downtown Newnan. Newnan has also been used as the backdrop for several television series and miniseries such as “Andersonville,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Drop Dead Diva.”

IN COMING WEEKS:

To celebrate this rich history of Hollywood coming to Newnan, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has created a series of programs called “The Reel Past” which celebrates this past with a grant from Georgia Humanities. This series accompanies the newest exhibit at the McRitchie-

Hollis Museum, “The Golden Era of Hollywood,” featuring original paintings of Hollywood’s classic era of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, from the Atlanta Loew’s Grand theatre.

REEL 2:

The Southern stereotype will be explored through the works of local writer Erskine Caldwell in “Southern Images and Erskine Caldwell.” Several of Caldwell’s works have been adapted to the big screen such as Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre. Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia will walk visitors through Caldwell’s depiction of the South. Thursday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m., McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

REEL 3:

“Gardens and Patchwork: Rediscovering Dunaway Gardens” will take a look at the history of the founder, Hetty Jane Dunaway, and her association with Sarah Ophelia Colley, better known by her stage character Minnie Pearl. The event will feature select performances of scenes from several of her plays which were once developed at the Gardens and performed throughout the Southeast by the Sewell Production Company. Saturday, Sept. 12.

REEL 4:

“The Reel Past” will conclude with a program on the significance and impact of the TV and film industry on community growth and identity and the effect of Raleigh Studios on the economic growth of downtown Senoia. Thursday, Oct. 15.

All programs and events associated with the “Reel Past” are free and open to the public. These events were made possible through a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council.

For more information contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at 770-251-0207.

……………………..

Special Sunday hours at Museum Aug. 16

The Golden Era of Hollywood in movie billboard posters is on display at McRitchie-Hollis Museum through October.

The Golden Era of Hollywood in movie billboard posters is on display at McRitchie-Hollis Museum through October.

We’ll be open special hours, from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 16, at McRitchie-Hollis Museum in cooperation with our neighbor University of West Georgia-Newnan for their Family Fun Day in celebration of the new campus opening. Stop by and see the museum and our current exhibition on the Golden Era of Hollywood with 1930s-’40s movie billboards from the Loew’s Grand in Atlanta. The museum is at 74 Jackson St., just north of downtown Newnan.

Let’s Look at Newnan!

Ellen Jenkins

Ellen Jenkins

NCHS Kids’ Camp

Date / Time: August  3-6, 8:30 a.m. -12:00 noon

Location: Historic Train Depot, 60 E. Broad St.

Cost: $40

Contact Ellen Jenkins or Newnan Coweta Historical Society for more information.

ejenkins@newnancowetahistoicalsociety.com /  (770) 251-0207

Join Ellen Jenkins, NCHS Education Coordinator and certified teacher, for a week of engaging hands-on activities designed to help kids explore the beautiful and unique architecture of downtown Newnan.  Children ages 7-11 will discover what makes our town so special and become architecture detectives as we learn about different styles of design by studying real life examples.  Kids will choose a local building to study in-depth and identify the features that make their building special as they work to recreating their own version of it out of “useful junk.” Camp size is limited to 12 children.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY!

 

Learn about Mayhayley Lancaster Saturday at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

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Mayhayley Lancaster, “Oracle of the Ages,” was an American lawyer, political acitvist, midwife, fortune teller, and teacher best known for having participated in two of Georgia’s most high-profile murder trials, involving defendants Leo Frank of Marietta and John Wallace in Coweta County. Come hear writer and teacher Melissa Dickson Jackson of the University of West Georgia speak about Lancaster’s life and work at a special event this weekend at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan, GA, beginning at 1 p.m. (Also part of this event: have a psychic reading from Crystal Lynn, courtesy of the historical society! Readings begin at 1 p.m.)
The event is part of “The Reel Past,” a series of events celebrating Coweta County’s connection to Hollywood. Lancaster’s testimony was a key component of the 1948 John Wallace trial, which was made into a popular TV movie in 1983 starring Andy Griffith and Johnny Cash. The “Reel Past” series of events is sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
Born Amanda Mayhayley Lancaster, she grew up in Heard County, where she lived for most of her life. Lancaster was one of the few public voices in Georgia to defend Leo Frank. Thirty-two years later, in 1947, the 71-year-old Mayhayley Lancaster took part in the Wallace trial, later described in the book Murder in Coweta County. In the 1983 same-titled, made-for-TV movie, she was portrayed by 54-year-old June Carter Cash, whose husband, Johnny Cash, played the key role of Sheriff Lamar Potts.
Lancaster ran for the Georgia legislature in 1926, the first woman to do so. She ran on a platform advocating roads and railroads into rural counties, public schools, and the passage of a law that mandated that doctors must deliver babies regardless of the family’s ability to pay fees. She did not win. Mayhayley Lancaster died Nov 22, 1955, one month after of her 80th birthday. She is buried in the cemetery at Caney Head Methodist Church. In addition to her legal, political and educational activities, she was also described as a noted fortune teller, numbers runner and self-proclaimed “Oracle of the Ages.”
Melissa Dickson Jackson, an instructor at the University of West Georgia, is a poet and feature writer. She has published two collections of poetry, Cameo (2011) and Sweet Aegis, Medusa Poems (2013). Recent poems can be found in Shenandoah, North American Review, Bitter Southerner, Southern Humanities Review, Cumberland River Review, Southern Women’s Review, Literary Mama, and Gravy from the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi. She is a frequent contributor to Newnan/Coweta Magazine.
Georgia Humanities is a nonprofit organization working to ensure that humanities and culture remain an integral part of the lives of Georgians.

‘Murder in Coweta County’ theme for four events in July

image

 

Murder in Coweta County

WATCH THE MOVIE WITH THE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER, GET YOUR FORTUNE TOLD

This week there are four days of “Murder” with events related to “Murder in Coweta County” and the John Wallace Trial.

A program Wednesday, July 15 featured a sneak preview of a scene and song from the upcoming play, “Flies at the Well,” based on the John Wallace murder trial of 1948. That’s at the Depot, 60 East Broad St. The free event Wednesday, July 15, at 6:30, included a discussion about the playmaking process by the writer and members of the Newnan Theatre Company. Thursday, July 16 at the historic Coweta County Courthouse there was a chance to meet and hear the producer and director of the made-for-TV movie “Murder in Coweta County” that was filmed in Georgia and starred Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith.

The Newnan Carnegie Library on the Court Square is showing “Murder in Coweta County,” on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 6 p.m., with the director and producer in attendance to answer all your burning questions about the 1983 TV film. Make your reservations today by calling 770-683-1347.

SATURDAY, July 18, at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum have your fortune read by psychic Chrystal Lynn, then hear about famous “Oracle of the Ages” Mayhayley Lancaster in a special presentation by Melissa Dickson Jackson. Fortunes 1 p.m., program 2 p.m.

Come join us! It’s all free!

KidsQuiltCamp (2)

NEWNAN-COWETA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS: QUILTING FOR KIDS, A SUMMER CAMP

Ages: 8 to 13, boys and girls
Dates: June 22-26, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (3 hours each class)
Cost: $75.00 (includes materials for projects)
Location: Newnan Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan
Class size limited to 6 students
Projects to be completed: Drawstring bag/backpack … Pillow case … Small rail fence quilt project
Supplies to bring to class: sewing machine in good working order w/operating manual; scissors; note book and pencils;
straight pins
To register or questions: 770-251-0207 / executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com

New exhibit opens June 27 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

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The late Herb Bridges showing posters from the Golden Era of Hollywood.

A new interactive art exhibition opens this weekend at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St.
“We’re especially proud of this exhibit and we hope a lot of people come out and see it for a glimpse of Hollywood’s golden era,” said Jeff Bishop, Newnan-Coweta Historical Society executive director.
The museum opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 27.. A special reception honoring Mrs. Eleanor Bridges will be held at 1:30 p.m.
The new exhibit, titled “Herb Bridges’ Golden Era of Hollywood,” features about 50 hand-painted movie posters from the old Loew’s Grand Theater in downtown Atlanta.

Former Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Former Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Visitors can navigate the original works of pulp art through a special interactive booklet made especially for this exhibit, featuring QR codes connected to each painting. The codes take visitors to movie trailers and clips from the classic films that are being featured. The book also features the last published interview with local collector Herb Bridges, known worldwide for his “Gone With the Wind” collection.

IMG_7571rev
Special “fun buttons” are also spread throughout the museum with sound files, music, dialogue, and excerpts from an interview with collector Herb Bridges, who collected the posters. The exhibit is made by special arrangement with Mrs. Eleanor Bridges.
Visitors can also try their hand at making their own movie poster. They are invited to either sit and color a poster indoors or use chalk on the sidewalk outside.
A small “mini-Grand” has been set up, as well, showcasing the classic black-and-white comedy, “Love Crazy,” starring Myna Loy and William Powell. Visitors can watch the entire film as part of the exhibit.

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Memories of watching films downtown on the Newnan and Grantville squares are also shared, at locations like the Gem and the Alamo.
40s-era clothing is on display, as well, depicting what a typical couple from that time period would have worn to the “picture show.”
Those more interested in modern-day Hollywood can see dresses worn by Chelsea Handler and Heidi Klum, on loan from Underground Runway. The Klum dress was worn during the season finale of “America’s Next Top Model.”
The most famous article on display is the “Paris Hat” opened by Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind.” The actual hat worn by Vivien Leigh is on display.

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The pastel art “posters” on display at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, dating from the 1920s through the 1940s, are all original works of art, made by in-house artists hired by the Loew’s Grand Theater in cinema’s early days to promote films as they were released. ‘Gone With the Wind’ famously debuted at the Loew’s Grand on December 15, 1939. Many other classics from the MGM glory days were shown at the Loew’s Grand as well, including “Singin’ in the Rain,” “An American in Paris, and the “Wizard of Oz.” The theatre was an Atlanta landmark for many years, until it was finally destroyed by fire in 1978. Originally an opera house, bricks from the Loew’s Grand were used to build Houston’s Restaurant on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.
Many of the posters on display were created by Sidney Smith and Charles Reese Collier, especially for the Loew’s Grand. The artists would be sent a black and white photo of a movie scene or of its stars, and they would create a painting with color which would be displayed in the window boxes as patrons entered the theater.

Although modern movie posters are mass-produced on paper, movie posters from the early years of Hollywood were made by individual theaters on wood panels. Some were textured through a process called “flocking” to give them a more detailed look. Others had three-dimensional elements, such as the scripts tacked onto the poster for the 1944 Judy Garland film, “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

IMG_7563meetmestlouis

For some of the three-dimensional posters, such as the 1946 Lucille Ball and John Hodiak film, “Two Smart People,” the artist used several wood cut-outs that were layered on top of each other. Several other posters in the collection have the layered wood feature. Some, like the “Two Smart People” poster, used it heavily. Others used it more moderately, such as the poster for the 1937 Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell film, “Night Must Fall,” which is dominated by a painting of Montgomery and Russell with a small three-dimensional placard in the corner to carry the name of the film and the stars. In the poster for “Two Smart People” even the eyelashes are cut out. Sometimes the cut-outs are attached with small tacks.

There aren’t many of these specially made posters left because they were scarce to begin with. The boards they were painted on were typically recycled after about a week to make new posters. Most often posters like these were quickly discarded. The poster for the 1946 film, “Undercurrent,” which starred Katherine Hepburn, Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum, is a great example of poster recycling. Another, unnamed movie poster can be seen on the backside.

Herb Bridges, a Sharpsburg resident who died in 2013, was an usher in the Loew’s Grand when he was a teenager. Later he was also the owner of what was perhaps the largest “Gone With the Wind” collection in the world. Bridges, an infamous “snapper-up of unconsidered trifles,” and a lifelong fan of movie memorabilia, had heard about a “mysterious stash of movie posters that had surfaced in a storage unit in Carrollton,” Georgia Public Radio reported at the time, and he just had to explore them. The seventy hand-painted posters “brought back memories of two very busy, very talented and rather abrupt artists working backstage,” he said. Bridges said the artists not only had one week to make the posters, they also had to make multiple posters in that tight time frame. “They didn’t make one because the lobby had at least six places to show them so they’d have to make six posters at least for every movie,” he said. “On some of them, you can see the mold and they just need help, so I found this restoration lady and she took a couple and it cost $500 a piece just to get them perked up,” Bridges said in 2012.

Forty of the posters have never been displayed before, and this is the first time this collection has ever been displayed in Coweta County.

Bridges began his “Gone With the Wind” collection by collecting books and movie posters from all over the world.

“It was fun to write and try to get them,” Bridges said. “They would come through the mail. I was working at the Post Office at the time, so that was no big deal.

“I started on the movie posters. I thought, ‘What does a movie poster look like from Italy? It would look different from ours. What about one from Germany?’”

He said the “Gone With the Wind” world premiere at the Loew’s Grand was an event like none Atlanta had ever seen.

“Who knows why the book and the movie became so popular? I think it just came out, evidently, at a time when America was just ripe for that kind of story,” said Bridges.

“It just caught the American public’s imagination, and then it spread to the world. They’d had movie premieres in Atlanta before, but never like that one. Up to that time, I don’t think there had ever been as a big a premiere anywhere as big as that one. It was just such a big book, and so many copies had been sold. The public was just clamoring for it.”

Bridges said that since the movie was set in Atlanta, “it was just logical to have the premiere there.”

It was “a tremendous event,” said Bridges. “Movie stars coming to Atlanta in 1939? My gosh, that was just unheard of.”

He said people converged on downtown Atlanta from all over the country.

“Everyone wanted to see the movie stars,” said Bridges. “And of course they all wanted to see the story. We think the Olympics in Atlanta attracted a big crowd, and of course it did. But if you compare the population of Atlanta when the Olympics came through to the population of Atlanta when ‘Gone With the Wind’ was here, then proportionally the ‘Gone With the Wind’ premiere would just blow it away, with all the people who came.

“Movies were just so popular in the 30s and 40s,” Bridges said. “It was a big, glamorous event, with all the high society and all the parties and all the junk that was sold. They were smart. They sold all kinds of stuff.”

He said candy boxes, perfume, dresses, and scarves were all popular.

“They sold everything ‘Gone With the Wind’ that you can imagine,” said Bridges.

The Thirties “just has that look,” he said, and movie posters from that era are very collectible today.

“Movie posters came into vogue as collectibles in the 70s,” he said.

“People began to collect old movie posters, and the ‘Gone With the Wind’ posters were always valuable,” he said. “They still are.”

Only two or three movies from the Golden Era still hold their value, when it comes to collectibles like posters, Bridges said. The main ones include “Wizard of Oz,” “Citizen Kane,” “Casablanca,” and, of course, “Gone With the Wind.”

“If you can get a hold of any of those original movie posters, you are going to pay thousands of dollars for it,” he said. “It was a limited kind of market.”

He said that the poster market these days is completely different, since art is so easily reproduced.

“You’ve got all this new, modern equipment now, which can reproduce things so easily, so you have to be very careful,” said Bridges. “Like in Underground Atlanta they used to have little poster shops. They would sell reproductions for teenagers to collect. You have to be very careful. You wouldn’t pay $2,000 or $3,000 for a poster that was produced in 1986.

“And the movie collectors, they know,” Bridges said. “There are ways to find out the real value of posters. The old ones are still very valuable. And you can find some in flea markets, still. I would hunt for those in Atlanta. That’s the only place I went. I didn’t go all over the country. And there weren’t even that many flea markets back then, to tell you the truth.”

Bridges said he used to look forward to a publication called “The Antique Trader.”

“It came out every week,” he said. “You could advertise in there. If you wanted to sell something or buy something, it was usually in there.”

Tickets for tours of McRitchie-Hollis Museum are $5 / $2 for seniors and students. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-12 and 1-3. The museum is located at 74 Jackson St., beside the new University of West Georgia campus.

 

QUILTING WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN

 

KidsQuiltCamp (2)

 

NEWNAN-COWETA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS: QUILTING FOR KIDS, A SUMMER CAMP

Ages: 8 to 13, boys and girls
Dates: June 22-26
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (3 hours each class)
Cost: $75.00 (includes materials for projects)
Location: Newnan Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan
Class size limited to 6 students
Projects to be completed: Drawstring bag/backpack … Pillow case … Small rail fence quilt project
Supplies to bring to class: sewing machine in good working order w/operating manual; scissors; note book and pencils;
straight pins
To register or questions: 770-251-0207 / executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com

ESCAPE THE ORDINARY!

Learn about Newnan and the recently published book “Newnan, Images of America” with author Jeff Bishop, who is also executive director of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, at a program 6:30 p.m. Thurs., June 11 in the Central Library meeting room.
You know Newnan now, but wait until you see what it looked like way back when! Bishop will share photos from both then and now. Appropriate for teens and adults. Registration requested. Sign up at the Adult Services Desk.
Central Library is at 85 Literary Lane in eastern Coweta. Call 770-683-2052 for information and directions.

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FINALLY! THE BIG REVEAL

After a private, invitation-only celebration reception for artists, sponsors and their guests on Sunday, June 7, the “painted” horses, trains and pickup trucks began appearing in public. The “All Roads Lead to Newnan” city-wide art project is a fundraiser for the future Newnan Children’s Museum. With one of the pieces are, from left, Tina Persons, Ellie Farrington and Karen DeFelix.

201506ChildrensMuseum_FiberglassTruck_Tina Persons, Ellie Farrington and Karen DeFelix

HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH PROGRAM WITH ELIZABETH BEERS AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS

Elizabeth Beers, local historian and a former president of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, talked about the Summers-McKoy House restoration in a free edicatopma; program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.

Donald Summer shares stories about his family and the Summers-McKoy House which was saved from a deteriorated state in recent years. The Historic Preservation Month program was presented by local historian and former NCHS president Elizabeth Beers at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Tuesday night.

Donald Summer shares stories about his family and the Summers-McKoy House which was saved from a deteriorated state in recent years. The Historic Preservation Month program was presented by local historian and former NCHS president Elizabeth Beers at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Tuesday night.

Elizabeth Beers shares story of the saving of the Summers-McKoy Home for Historic Preservation Month.

Elizabeth Beers shares story of the saving of the Summers-McKoy Home for Historic Preservation Month.

Summers-McKoy post

Some of the family members used the name Summers, and others just Summer.

Among early family members were Elias and Elizabeth Beavers Summer, and Willie Snow and Mary McKoy Summers.

Elias Summer

Elias Summer

Elizabeth Beavers Summer

Elizabeth Beavers Summer

Willie Snow and Mary McKoy Summers

Willie Snow and Mary McKoy Summers

A 1910 family reunion included a group photo at Pearl Lake, which was a popular recreation spot south of Newnan.

Summer Family at Pearl Lake 1910

Summer Family at Pearl Lake 1910.

Mrs. Beers will share photos and information on how the home was rescued from a neglected condition.

 

EVOLUTION OF TEA IN THE SOUTH PROGRAM AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM SATURDAY

Tea graphic

Author and tea enthusiast Angela McRae will discuss the evolution of Tea in the South in a FREE event 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 16 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Learn about this long-held tradition and enjoy some sweet tea (and unsweet tea) and refreshments.

Angela McRae

Angela W. McRae

McRitchie-Hollis Museum is located at 74 Jackson St. just north of downtown Newnan. Regular museum tour hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. General admission is $5, and $2 for students and seniors. For more information call 770-251-0207.

 

EVOLUTION OF TEA IN THE SOUTH PROGRAM AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM SATURDAY

Author and tea enthusiast Angela McRae will present a program on the evolution of tea in the South 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 16 at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Learn somthing about this long tradition and enjoy refreshments.

McRae is a freelance editor, writer and blogger in Newnan, Georgia. She has edited novels, self-help books, cookbooks, and inspirational books.
During her career she has been an award-winning journalist and magazine editor, roles which she says have given her enough writing material to last a lifetime.

She also blogs on the topic of teatime six days a week at Tea with Friends, which may be found at http://teawithfriends.blogspot.com/

In 2011 she published her first book, “Dainty Dining,” a hybrid cookbook and history book about department store tea rooms.

“Dainty Dining: Vintage Recipes, Memories and Memorabilia from America’s Department Store Tea Rooms” shares recipes, tested personally by McRae, from 20 of the country’s historic department stores, all gone except for two, Macy’s and Younkers (although the Des Moines flagship closed in 2005). Among others, readers will find favorites such as Cream of Cauliflower and Cheese Soup from Lazarus (Columbus OH), “Mr. Bingles” desserts from Maison Blanche (New Orleans), Mrs. Herring’s Chicken Pot Pie from Marshall Field in Chicago, and Rich’s Magnolia Room Frozen Fruit Salad (Atlanta).

In addition to providing brief histories and vintage images of each department store, McRae has photographed her culinary productions.

McRitchie-Hollis Museum is located at 74 Jackson St. just north of downtown Newnan. Regular museum tour hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. General admission is $5, and $2 for students and seniors. For more information call 770-251-0207.

Angela McRae

 

DAINTYDINING

 

HISTORY PROGRAM AT NEWNAN CARNEGIE LIBRARY

Elizabeth Beers

Elizabeth Beers

Local historian Elizabeth Beers, a past president of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, will present her monthly second Wednesday program at Newnan Carnegie Library May 13 at 10 a.m. The topic will be “The Doors of Newnan: Heritage Architecture.” Call the Carnegie at 770-683-1347 to reserve a spot. The Carnegie is at 1 LaGrange St. at the Court Square in downtown Newnan.

HANK WILLIAMS EXPERT TO SPEAK
MAY 7 AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM

“The Hank Williams Reader,” a new book on the country music legend, will be the topic for University of West Georgia History Department professor and chair Dr. Steve Goodson in a FREE program May 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Dr. Steve Goodson

Dr. Steve Goodson

Goodson will be speaking about the new book he co-edited on late country music star Hank Williams Sr. at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St. in Newnan.

Musician Daniel Williams will perform some Hank Williams favorites in the McRitchie-Hollis gazebo preceding the talk, at 6 p.m., in a special acoustic performance. Joining the stage on steel guitar will be Warren Hall.

201505Musician Daniel Williams_Dr Goodson_Hank Williams book talk

Musician Daniel Williams

Goodson specializes in the areas of U.S. Social and Cultural History, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era as a member of the UWG history department faculty. He received his Ph.D from Emory University in 1995.

Book cover_Hank Williams Reader_Steve Goodson

Goodson’s work focuses primarily on the history of commercial entertainment in the United States. He is the author of “Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930” (Georgia, 2007), and now co-editor of “The Hank Williams Reader” with Patrick Huber and David Anderson (Oxford, 2014).

Hank Williams performing in 1951, the year his song 'Cold, Cold Heart' became a hit for Tony Bennett. CORBIS IMAGES

Hank Williams performing in 1951, the year his song ‘Cold, Cold Heart’ became a hit for Tony Bennett. CORBIS IMAGES

When Hank Williams died on New Year’s Day 1953 at the age of 29, his passing appeared to bring an abrupt end to a saga of rags-to-riches success and anguished self-destruction. As it turned out, however, an equally gripping story was only just beginning, as Williams’s meteoric rise to stardom, extraordinary musical achievements, turbulent personal life, and mysterious death all combined to make him an endlessly intriguing historical figure. For more than sixty years, an ever-lengthening parade of journalists, family and friends, musical contemporaries, biographers, historians and scholars, ordinary fans, and novelists have attempted to capture in words the man, the artist, and the legend.

“The Hank Williams Reader,” the first book of its kind devoted to this giant of American music, collects more than 60 of the most compelling, insightful, and historically significant of these writings. Among them are many pieces that have never been reprinted or that are published here for the first time.
The selections cover a broad assortment of themes and perspectives, ranging from heartfelt reminiscences by Williams’s relatives and shocking tabloid exposés to thoughtful meditations by fellow artists and penetrating essays by prominent scholars and critics.
Over time, writers have sought to explain Williams in a variety of ways, and in tracing these shifting interpretations, this anthology chronicles his cultural transfiguration from star-crossed hillbilly singer-songwriter to enduring American icon.
“The Hank Williams Reader” also features a lengthy interpretive introduction and the most extensive bibliography of Williams-related writings ever published.
For more information on the event and directions, call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 770-251-0207.

HATS AND HOOVES’ FUNDRAISER MAY 2

Benefits Communities in Schools

Lana Mobley of NuLink is one of the volunteers for Communities In Schools of Coweta's Hats and Hooves Derby Affair coming up May 2, 2015.

Lana Mobley of NuLink is one of the volunteers for Communities In Schools of Coweta’s Hats and Hooves Derby Affair coming up May 2, 2015.

Communities In Schools of Coweta County is holding its “Hats and Hooves” Derby-themed fundraiser at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum May 2. For details and tickets go to http://www.ciscoweta.org/

‘HOME IS WHERE MY HEART IS’ TALK/ BOOK SIGNING HELD AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS

Norma Haynes shared memories of growing up in Newnan and signed copies of her new book, “Home Is Where My Heart Is,” at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Tuesday night, April 28, 2015.

The book features her newspaper columns of the past few years. Her daughter asked her to put the columns published in The Newnan Times-Herald into a book.

The book’s “team,” as Norma puts it, includes Newnan artist Martin Pate; Norma herself; Angela Webster McRae, the compiler and unofficial publicist; and Deberah Williams, graphic designer.

During an informal gathering in the McRitchie-Hollis living room Tuesday, Haynes shared some of her stories of growing up in Newnan, in particular the annual fair held on Miss Helen Long’s pasture at the south end of town (she notes the name was incorrectly listed as Hettie Long in the newspaper and in the book).

Haynes recalled Newnan High School teacher Miss Mary Ella Camp who instilled rules of punctuation and writing thank-you notes — naming the gift.

Of the fairs each fall she attended as a child in the 1940s, she remembered the lights, midway games and rides such as the swings, whip, Ferris wheel and merry-go-round. There was the traditional strong-man bell that attracted young men to try their strength with the hammer.A note: her mother was worried about germs and made her daughter take off her shoes before entering the house and washed the soles. She had to take a bath and “gargle with Listerine.” Haynes shared, “I never got sick, but I think it made Mama feel better.”

Martin Pate composed the book’s cover, which features scenes of Newnan, including her father’s barber shop. “The cover is worth the price of the book,” she said, adding that she has the original at home.

She also remembered as a child visiting the home at Jackson and Clark streets that is now McRitchie-Hollis Museum, coming with her father when he visited to shave the home’s original owner, Ellis H. Peniston.

20150428NormaHaynes2

Norma Haynes addresses friends before her book signing at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

20150428Norma Haynes 1

Norma Haynes shares stories from “Home Is Where My Heart Is.”

20150428Norma Haynes book signing

Norma Haynes signs copies of her book during the event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Martin Pate, Norma Haynes, Angela McRae, Deberah Williams -- the book team.

Martin Pate, Norma Haynes, Angela McRae, Deberah Williams — the book team.

‘HOME IS WHERE MY HEART IS’ AUTHOR TO SPEAK AT MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS

Newnan’s own Norma Chapman Haynes, a friend of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for many years, has announced the publication of her book, “Home Is Where My Heart Is,” a compilation of her popular newspaper columns from The Newnan Times-Herald. She will give a presentation on her new work and have copies available for signing at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum next Tuesday, April 28, at 7 p.m.

Norma Haynes

Norma Haynes

Haynes, a lifelong resident of Newnan, says she began her writing career on the staff of the Newnan High School Tiger Tracks in 1955. Tiger Tracks was printed in the Times-Herald weekly and told of the activities of the students. Today, Haynes said she maintains a deep love for Newnan and the people who have lived there. Some of her best loved memories are recorded in the pages of the book, Haynes said.
“Readers will be taken back to a time when young people enjoyed Picture Show Parties on the Court Square, when homemakers could ring up any downtown grocer and have the day’s food delivered right to their kitchen, and when the Georgia Bulldogs would stop in Newnan on their way down to play Auburn,” said Haynes. “They will enjoy strolls through the downtown area and revisit many stores of the Newnan of yesteryear.” Haynes also writes of childhood afternoons spent in her father’s barber shop, the anxious times of the World War II years in Newnan and, more recently, of her own passion for honoring local public safety officials.

Norma Haynes with Martin Pate at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society's Depot History Center for the unveiling of his commissioned painting "Aftermath" relating to the Battle of Brown's Mill.

Norma Haynes with Martin Pate at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s Depot History Center for the unveiling of his commissioned painting “Aftermath” relating to the Battle of Brown’s Mill.

The cover of the book features artwork by Newnan artist Martin Pate and includes the Coweta County Courthouse, the old sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Chapman’s Barber Shop, the Carnegie Library, the Municipal Building, Lee-King Drug Co. and Johnson Hardware. The back cover features a drawing of the Central Baptist Church by her husband of more than fifty years, J.T. Haynes, Jr.
The book retails for $20, which includes the sales tax, and copies are available at the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 200 Court Square, Newnan; Grannie Fannie’s, 15 Greenville St., Newnan; and Lee-King Pharmacy, 18 Cavender St., Newnan. Copies are also available for order online from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Copies will also be available at Tuesday’s event. Light refreshments will be served.

201504Norma Haynes book

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH AT THE MCRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM

Poetry-Month-2015-1-1080x675

McRitchie-Hollis Musuem, 74 Jackson St., is celebrating National Poetry Month with an evening of poetry at the museum April 21 at 7 p.m.
Poets for the night’s event include Alice Teeter of Pine Lake, Russell Streur of John’s Creek, Scott Wilkerson of Columbus, and Newnan’s own Melissa Dickson Jackson.

Melissa Dickson Jackson

Melissa Dickson Jackson

“We did something similar last year and we thought we would continue the tradition, but this time with even more poets, and moving the venue to the beautiful McRitchie-Hollis Musuem,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
Jackson and Wilkerson recently completed work on a new poetry anthology. Jackson has also written her own anthologies, Sweet Aegis and Cameo.
“Thank you for joining us in accepting the invitation to share our work with the Newnan and Coweta County,” said Jackson. “The McRitchie Hollis Museum is a splendid period home. Reading poetry there will be a distinct pleasure!”
Scheduled just prior to Earth Day, the selected poems may include a “nod in the proceedings,” said Jackson.
“This doesn’t mean that the poems need to be environmental in theme,” she said, “but just a mild cognizance of the impending solstice, connection, human experience, time, cycles — all the things poetry already is!”
Russell Streur’s poetry has been widely published.  He is a member of the Georgia Poetry Society and was awarded certificates for excellence by that organization in both 2012 and 2013.  He operates the world’s original on-line poetry bar, The Camel Saloon (

http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/ ), which was voted as the best poetry zine on the web in 2013 and 2014 in the Preditors & Editors readers’ poll.  He is the author of The Muse of Many Names (Poets Democracy, 2011) and Table of Discontents (Ten Pages Press, 2012).  An avid photographer, he is a member of the Atlanta Artists Center and the Atlanta Photography Group, in whose Grandview and Tula galleries his work has often been seen.

Alice Teeter holds a degree in Creative Writing from Eckerd College, where she studied poetry with Peter Meinke. Her chapbook entitled 20 CLASS A was published in 1975 by Morningstar Media, Tallahassee, Florida. Teeter’s collection of poems entitled String Theory won the Georgia Poetry Society’s 2008 Charles B. Dickson Chapbook Contest, judged by poet Lewis Turco. Her book When It Happens To You . . . was published in 2009 by Star Cloud Press. She was Lecturer in Poetry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, 2011-2013.

Teeter is a member of the Artist Conference Network, a national coaching community for people doing creative work and also of Alternate ROOTS, a service organization for artists creating community-based work in the Southeast. She has led ‘Improvoetry’ workshops with Lesly Fredman, using improvisation techniques as poetic inspiration and poetry as a springboard for further improvisation.

Wilkerson teaches at Columbus State University and is widely published. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.

Poets Scott Wilkerson and Melissa Dickson Jackson

Poets Scott Wilkerson and Melissa Dickson Jackson

poetry-from-india-talkies-online

What is National Poetry Month?

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

What is National Poetry Month? 

National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April.

Who started it? 

Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996. Along the way we enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help. National Poetry Month is a registered trademark of the Academy of American Poets.

Why was April chosen for National Poetry Month? 

In coordination with poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers, we chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation. April seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.

What are the goals of National Poetry Month? 

The goals of National Poetry Month are to:
•highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
•encourage the reading of poems
•assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
•increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
•encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
•encourage support for poets and poetry.

Shouldn’t we celebrate poetry all year round, not just in April? 

By all means, yes! We encourage the year-round, life-long reading of poetry. National Poetry Month is just one of the many programs of the Academy of American Poets. To keep the celebration going, consider becoming a member, which entitles you to special benefits throughout the year. You can also sign up for Poem-a-Day to receive free daily poems by email all year long.

How does the Academy of American Poets celebrate National Poetry Month? 

We celebrate National Poetry Month with a variety of programs in April.

Do organizations need permission to participate? 

No, just as you don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate Black History Month or Women’s History Month. We encourage you to use the official National Poetry Month logo, which can be downloaded here.

What can I do to celebrate NPM? 

There are thousands of ways to celebrate. We’ve developed a list of 30 to get you started—one for every day in April.

How can teachers become more involved? 

In addition to participating in the Dear Poet project with students, teachers can find free poetry lesson plans and curriculum units on Poets.org. We also provide a National Poetry Month tip sheet for teachers, including ideas and success stories from past years. If you’re a teacher with a success story you’d like to share, email us and we may post your story on Poets.org. Teachers can also sign up for our monthly Educator Newsletter for new lesson plans and more.

How can librarians become more involved? 

The Academy of American Poets provides a National Poetry Month tip sheet for librarians, including ideas for book displays, programs and discussions, collection development, outreach, and marketing, as well as success stories from past years. If you’re a librarian with a success story you’d like to share, email us and we may post your story on Poets.org.

How can I obtain a copy of the National Poetry Month poster?

To request copies of posters, use our online order form. To view images of all our posters, visit our poster gallery. To purchase posters from previous years, visit the Poets Shop.

How can I support National Poetry Month? 

If you’re able to support our efforts, please consider a donation to the Academy of American Poets. Contributions from poetry lovers like you help us send posters to tens of thousands of teachers, librarians, booksellers, and event organizers.
1.Order a free National Poetry Month poster and display it at work or school.
2.Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.
3.Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.”
4.Memorize a poem.
5.Create an anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.
6.Encourage a young person to participate in the Dear Poet project.
7.Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.
8.Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today.
9.Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state.
10.Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry Month.
11.Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
12.Read a poem at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local poetry writing community.
13.Start a poetry reading group.
14.Write an exquisite corpse poem with friends.
15.Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
16.Write a letter to a poet thanking them for their work.
17.Ask the United States Post Office to issue more stamps celebrating poets.
18.Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
19.Read about different poetic forms.
20.Read about poems titled “poem.”
21.Read the first chapter of Muriel Rukeyer’s inspiring book, The Life of Poetry.
22.Subscribe to American Poets magazine or a small press poetry journal.
23.Watch Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ latest Poets on Poetry video.
24.Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
25.Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
26.Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
27.Watch a poetry movie.
28.Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
29.Get ready for Mother’s Day by making a card featuring a line of poetry.
30.Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30, 2015. The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.

 

SIMPLE PLEASURES PHOTO EXHIBITION

The Spring 2015 Simple Pleasures Photography exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum was extended through May 20 after an opening and awards program April 11. There was no closing reception for this spring’s show.

2015 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show could be viewed with regular admission to McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St. in Newnan.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. For details call 770-251-0207.

First Place, "Winter Cottonwoods" by Lori Kolbenschlag

First Place, “Winter Cottonwoods” by Lori Kolbenschlag

SIMPLE PLEASURES PHOTO CONTEST EXHIBITION

The opening reception for the Spring 2015 Simple Pleasures Photography Competition is at McRitchie-Hollis Museum April 11 at 6:30 p.m. – Free. Jazz saxophonist Antoine Knight will be performing. All awards will be presented at this reception. There will be no closing reception.

201504SP_Jazz_Antoine_Knight

Jazz saxophonist Antoine Knight.

* * *

Celebrating spring, a nature-themed photography exhibition and contest opens at the McRitchie-Hollis Musuem in Newnan this Saturday, April 11.
“There will be 53 beautiful photographs on display,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, now headquartered at 74 Jackson Street.
“You’ll see an ibex, majestic waterfalls, flowers in bloom, and nature scenes from all over the world, taken by your friends and neighbors from Newnan and Coweta County, for the most part,” he said. “There’s even a photo of a hammerhead shark, taken by one brave soul.”
You can vote for your favorites at www.simplepleasuresphoto.com. This is a brand new photo competition for Simple Pleasures and the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
“We thought a nature-themed show is a perfect fit for spring,” said Bishop.

Celia Phillips adjusts one of the juried entries in the Simple Pleasures photography contest for The Nature Show. She was busy with Carla Cook Smith hanging the show Friday at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Celia Phillips adjusts one of the juried entries in the Simple Pleasures photography contest for The Nature Show. She was busy with Carla Cook Smith hanging the show Friday at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Also on display for spring are a selection of hats from the collection of Lynn Smith, as well as an exhibit about Newnan and Coweta area black schools that existed prior to integration, and an exhibit showcasing textiles and undergarments from the past two centuries. A selection of recently-donated reproduction folk toys from the 1950s are displayed in the children’s bedroom.
The normal entrance fees are $5 general admission or $2 for students and senior citizens, but those fees will be waived for this weekend’s opening of the photo exhibit.
The opening reception on Saturday, April 11 is free and open to the public at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St.
“We have a newly-paved parking lot in the rear of the museum,” said Bishop.
The winner of the “People’s Choice” award will be announced at the reception. Award winning photographer Billy Newman is serving as judge for the spring contest.
Entertainment will be provided by jazz saxophonist Antoine Knight.
The competition features beginning, amateur, and professional photographers. Entrants in this spring’s contest include such names as Ron Veal, Hoke Smith, Karen Jenkins, Marie Umbach and John and Caroline Abbey.
“This should be a fun show for the community,” said Bishop. “We’re looking to engage new audiences by not focusing solely on history, but also on the arts and local culture. It’s a new direction for us. Come join us.”

Elizabeth Beers_Simple Pleasures Fall 2014

NCHS member Elizabeth Beers admires an entry in the fall 2014 “Simple Pleasures” photo contest.

Sesquicentennial Committee, Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association hold last commemoration event

 

The Brown's Mill Battlefield Association and Sesquicentennial Committee held their last commemoration event Thursday on the 150th anniversary of the surrender. Bobby Horton shared his musical talents, weaving in historical tales. NCHS shared Civil War costumes to add to the stage.

The Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association and Sesquicentennial Committee held their last commemoration event Thursday, April 9, 2015, on the 150th anniversary of the surrender. Bobby Horton shared his musical talents, weaving in historical tales. NCHS shared Civil War costumes to add to the stage.

The Sesquicentennial Committee hosted the last event in its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States on Thursday, April 9 at Wadsworth Auditorium:

“We have invited Bobby Horton to perform on his various period instruments and share stories relating to events taking place during the Civil War,” said co-organizer Jan Bowyer. The concert is free and open to all volunteers, re-enactors, and anyone in the community. “The Sesquicentennial committee is wishing to express our heartfelt appreciation for all the support given over the last years,” said Bowyer. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and should last about 90 minutes.

Brown's Mill_Bobby Horton poster
A seasoned performer, Horton is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and music historian. He has performed with the musical- comedy trio Three On a String, throughout the United States and Canada for 40 plus years. He has also produced and performed music scores for sixteen PBS films by Ken Burns – including “The Civil War,” and “Baseball,” two films for The A&E network, and twenty-one films for The National Park Service. His series of recordings of authentic period music has been acclaimed by historical organization and publications through America and Europe.

Vietnam program by Newnan High History Club

 

NHS Vietnam program

Colonel Paul Longgrear will be the guest speaker at 7 p.m. March 10 as the Newnan High School history club commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
“We will also have exhibits, military vehicles and a reception for all Vietnam veterans,” said Stephen Quesinberry, Newnan High School history club sponsor.  The doors will be open by 6:30 to view the exhibits and get snacks, he said. Afterward, the reception and exhibits will be available as well as an opportunity to meet the colonel.
“He is an amazing speaker with an amazing story- I hope that you will plan to come out and spend some time with us that evening!” said Quesinberry.
Col. Longgrear is the NHS Veteran of the Month.  Longgrear, a Green Beret in Vietnam, is “truly a great American,” said Quesinberry.

Read more about Col. Longgrear and tonight’s event here:
http://www.cowetaschools.org/nhs/quesinberry/ssweb/index.php/vn-50th
And here:
http://www.cowetaschools.org/nhs/quesinberry/ssweb/index.php/local-veterans

The newspaper article is here. And you can watch video of Col. Longgrear here andhere.

In addition to tonight’s program, the Newnan High School History Club will be hosting a Huey and a Cobra that will be landing on the football field during the school day today.

 

Wadsworth Concert and Reception held March 7

 

The annual Friends of Wadsworth concert was held by the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission at Wadsworth Auditorum, with Courtenay Budd as host. Newnan’s own Charles Wadsworth made a special appearance at his namesake hall, and also entertained friends at the post-concert reception at McRitchie-Hollis Museum with an improptu session singing and playing the piano.

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Program on Tuskegee Airmen Feb. 12 at Central Library

 

Coweta Public Library System’s Central Library will host a special program on The Tuskegee Airmen in celebration of African American History Month on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Dan Haulman, author of “The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History” will give a presentation on the history and legends of the Red Tails, as they are commonly known. The book, which Haulman co-wrote with Joseph Caver and Jerome Ennels, is unique in that it addresses the contributions of the many support staff in the program, as well as the training and accomplishments of the pilots. Haulman is acquainted with many of the airmen still living and with their stories, and brings their history to life in his presentation.
Authors Caver and Ennels are archivists and Haulman is a historian with the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama, the primary repository for Air Force historical documents.
For more information, call Central Library at 770-683-2052 or visit www.cowetapubliclibrary.org. The program is suitable for both adults and students. Registration is not required.

 

GWTW movie, book memories shared at NCHS lecture
By Ellen Corker
For NCHS
Posted Jan. 29, 2015
A group of about 30 filled the living room at McRitchie-Hollis Museum to hear “Gone With the Wind” expert and author Dr. Jennifer W. Dickey in Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s first visiting lecture of 2015.
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Tuesday’s free lecture on memories surrounding the book and 1939 movie was also a chance for visitors to see actual dresses from the period around the Civil War, 1850s through 1870s, from the NCHS collection. They were part of the display of party wear mounted for the recent holiday season.
Dickey is author of “A Tough Little Patch of History: Gone with the Wind and the Politics of Memory,”published in April 2014. She came to Newnan for the Jan. 27 event to share details from her research about the “plywood Tara,” the set constructed for the movie’s filming, and its journey from Hollywood to Georgia. She touched on the brief stay in the 1980s of one small section of the movie facade in Coweta County during the short-lived effort to create a GWTW theme park at Dunaway Gardens.
She also shared the saga of efforts in the 1980s-’90s to preserve the place author Margaret Mitchell called “the Dump,” where in a small downstairs Atlanta apartment she wrote “Gone With the Wind,” the novel that was made into the classic film.
Dickey is an assistant professor and coordinator of the Public History Certificate Program at Kennesaw State University.“Dr. Dickey is an exciting person to have here,” said Jeff Bishop, coordinator for the historical society. “If you ever go to the downtown Atlanta federal building, there is a public history project done by her featured very prominently there.”
More than 75 years after its publication, “Gone With the Wind” remains thoroughly embedded in American culture. Mitchell’s novel and the film produced by David O. Selznick have melded with the broader forces of southern history, southern mythology, and marketing to become, and remain, a cultural phenomenon.
“A Tough Little Patch of History” (the phrase was coined by a journalist in 1996 to describe the Margaret Mitchell home after it was spared from destruction by fire) explores how “Gone With the Wind” has remained an important component of public memory in the Atlanta area through an analysis of museums and historic sites that focus on the famous work of fiction.
Dickey recalled a remark by Atlanta columnist and author Celestine Sibley that when speaking about the “Good Book” people are referring to the Bible, but that “The Book” is “Gone With the Wind.”
At a workshop for teachers, she asked participants if they used “Gone With the Wind” as a primary or secondary history resource. A response from a teacher on the front row was “Honey, it’s the bible.”
Dickey had an opportunity to visit Vietnam where her sister was working for the State Department. The Vietnamese people love “Gone with the Wind,” much like the Japanese and people around the world from countries torn by war, she said. She spoke with a woman whose family suffered during the war and whose younger brother died from starvation. “Scarlett was my companion,” the woman told her.
“Margaret Mitchell would be proud,” Dickey said, adding that Mitchell always said she was writing about survival.
The plywood Tara, as Dickey refers to the set facade, was in Hollywood until 1959. At that point it was owned by Desilu Studios. Businessman Julian Foster decided to bring the movie set pieces to Atlanta where he wanted to build a GWTW amusement park. It was disassembled and loaded into two trucks and arrived with much fanfare at the state Capitol and greeted by Gov. Ernest Vandiver.
The plans fell through and it ended up in a barn in Alpharetta.
In comes Betty Talmadge, ex-wife of former U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), who in 1979 purchases the pieces of Scarlett O’Hara’s movie antebellum mansion from Foster. He wanted a three-figure price. She ended up paying him $5,000. She thought a restored Tara would make a fine tourist attraction to complement her plantation-style Lovejoy, Ga. home where she held private parties.
But before the deal was sealed Foster died.
Ultimately Foster’s widow found a canceled check that was evidence of the sale and Betty Talmadge moved the plywood Tara to her Lovejoy home, Dickey related.
Talmadge had also acquired the old Fitzgerald house, an antebellum home with an added Victorian-era front porch that was more like the house Mitchell envisioned for the O’Haras in her book.
In the 1980s around the 50th anniversary of publication of “Gone With the Wind,” a group in Clayton County tried to establish a GWTW attraction, but an effort to pass a sales tax to fund the public project was defeated at the polls. Voters who had seen property taxes increase were unwilling to support what was being called the “Tara tax.”
About the same time a Coweta County group, Dunaway Gardens Restoration Inc., headed by Carolyn Busby, was spearheading efforts to develop a Tara attraction at the long-neglected rock gardens on the former Sewell family property in Roscoe. At the time developer Scott Hudgens, who was behind development in th 1970s of Shenandoah Industrial Park and “new town” east of Newnan as well as later  Atlanta area shopping malls, owned the gardens property.
No one had been able to contact Hudgens about the property, Dickey related. But at the time Hudgens was working on a house with Gov. and Mrs. George Busbee. Carolyn Busby of the Dunaway group called and said it was “Mrs. Busby” calling, and got through.
Hudgens donated the 64-acre gardens property for the planned $20 million “Gone With the Wind” attraction that was to include a working plantation and the Tara facade from the 1939 film.
Busby got in touch with Talmadge and made a down payment. She got some pieces of the Tara facade. But when investors pulled out their money from the proposed project, the pieces went back to Talmadge, Dickey said.
The north Coweta Dunaway Gardens property was eventually acquired and restored as a privately-operated event venue.
The Fitzgerald house was heavily damaged in a tornado in recent years that also damaged the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dickey said.
While the 1980s sales tax project failed in Clayton County, there is a physical place for memories of movie “Gone With the Wind” at the Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro. The museum had started in the Georgian Terrace on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. It moved to Stone Mountain for a time before the state turned the park over to a management company. Road to Tara later moved to its present location in Jonesboro.
Currently Peter Bonner, founder of the Jonesboro area “Historical & Hysterical Tours,” has taken up the cause and is working to restore and display the famed movie set for fans to see with his Saving Tara Project.
Dickey also recounted the saga of “the Dump,” the tiny apartment in midtown Atlanta where Margaret Mitchell wrote the book, and how that place became a symbol for all that was right and all that was wrong with Mitchell’s writing.
Efforts to preserve the place where Mitchell penned her famous novel surmounted two devastating fires before opening as a museum about a year after the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.
By 1978 the apartment building on Crescent Avenue was boarded up after the last tenant moved out. A couple of non-profits made efforts in the 1980s at saving the structure, Then in the early 1990s Mary Rose Taylor, who had come to Atlanta as an anchor for WXIA TV and eventually met and married her husband and retired from TV work, became interested in the Margaret Mitchell House. Two non-profits were merged and the new group began raising money for restoration. Taylor was well-connected politically and got support for the project, Dickey said.
“In the fall of 1994 she gets the house folded in with the Piedmont Park Arts Festival,” Dickey related. Then the house went up in flames, but the brick walls were still standing. Taylor was committed to rebuilding and the restoration project became a rebuilding project.
With the approaching ’96 Olympics, the house becomes a national and international story, Dickey said. Daimler-Benz was going to be a sponsor for the Olympics and became a sponsor of the Margaret MItchell House project, paying some $5 million toward the effort. The house was to be open for the Olympics and the visitor center was to be the VIP location for Daimler-Benz.
Then came the second fire, but Margaret Mitchell’s apartment was relatively unscathed with only water damage. Taylor likens efforts to rebuild the second time to Atlanta’s motto of rebuilding after the Civil War, saying that like the Phoenix “we shall rise again,” Dickey related.
The house was not open for the ’96 Olympics, but a lot of visitors in town for the Olympics and athletes came to see it, Dickey said.
“In some ways ‘Gone With the Wind’ is more popular and well-known internationally than in the U.S.,” Dickey noted.
The Margaret Mitchell House opened about a year later in 1997. Mary Rose Taylor added the Center for Southern Literature and invited authors to come speak. Among them was an outspoken critic of the Margaret Mitchell House preservation effort, author Pearl Cleage who did not agree with Mitchell’s portrayal of slavery.
In 2004, Taylor wanted to retire and approached the Atlanta History Center about merging. The Margaret Mitchell House is now operated as part of the Atlanta History Center, which has a campus in Buckhead with the Swan House estate that was the home of the Edward Inman family and the farm-style Tullie Smith House that was moved to the property from the area of North Druid Hills.
Copies of Dickey’s book were available following her talk.IMG_5452Adjusted
Dickey has a new book coming out. She is co-author, along with Dr. Catherine Lewis and First Lady Sandra Deal, of “Memories of the Mansion: A History of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion,” which is forthcoming from UGA Press in September 2015.
She is also author of “A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain Campus” and served as co-editor of “Museums in a Global Context: National Identity, International Understanding.”
Dickey has a master’s degree in heritage preservation and a Ph.D. in public history from Georgia State University.
Prior to coming to KSU, Dickey served as the campus preservation specialist and the director and curator of Historic Berry at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. She has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service and for the Historic Preservation Division of the State of Georgia.

Bishop says that for the historical society this week’s lecture topic is the beginning of a concerted effort in bringing new historical material to Newnan, primarily centered on the history quickly growing in a region becoming known for its role in filming for major television and movie productions.

“It’s an ongoing concern here as more and more filming is being done in Coweta County, and it’s a way for us not just going over the same ground over and over again,” said Bishop. “There seems to be a lot of excitement and interest in the entertainment industry around Coweta, and though it’s a recent phenomenon with ‘The Walking Dead,’ there are actually links to entertainment industry that dates back far enough to be considered historical, like the TV movie ‘Murder in Coweta County.’”

Bishop says he has more exhibits and presentations in the works in the coming months, and that Dickey’s lecture on “Gone With the Wind” was an exciting way to begin the new focus as it gets into motion.

‘Gone With the Wind’ expert to speak at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Jan. 27

A “Gone With the Wind” expert and author will be speaking at a Newnan-Coweta Historical Society program at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum Jan. 27.

Dr. Jennifer W. Dickey, an assistant professor and coordinator of the Public History Certificate Program at Kennesaw State University, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the museum at 74 Jackson Street in downtown Newnan. She will discuss the plywood Tara set constructed for the movie’s filming and its journey, especially as it relates to Coweta and Dunaway Gardens. The 201501DickeyBook_toughpatchhistory_0plywood front used to create Tara for the movie was brought from Hollywood to Atlanta. It was planned to be installed in Coweta County at one point, but that plan never came to be. She should also discuss the struggle to create the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta where Mitchell wrote the novel that was made into the classic film.

Dickey is the author of “A Tough Little Patch of History: Gone with the Wind and the Politics of Memory,” published in April 2014. There is no charge to attend the Jan. 27 presentation. Copies of Dickey’s book will be available for purchase.

More than 75 years after its publication, “Gone With the Wind” remains thoroughly embedded in American culture. Margaret Mitchell’s novel and the film produced by David O. Selznick have melded with the broader forces of southern history, southern mythology, and marketing to become, and remain, a cultural phenomenon

“A Tough Little Patch of History” (the phrase was coined by a journalist in 1996 to describe the Margaret Mitchell home after it was spared from destruction by fire) explores how “Gone With the Wind” has remained an important component of public memory in Atlanta through an analysis of museums and historic sites that focus on this famous work of fiction.

Dickey explores how the book and film threw a spotlight on Atlanta, which found itself simultaneously presented as an emblem of both the Old South and the New South. Exhibitions produced by the Atlanta History Center related to “Gone With the Wind”are explored, along with Clayton County’s claim to fame as “the Home of ‘Gone With the Wind,’” a moniker bestowed on the county by Margaret Mitchell’s estate in 1969. There’s a recounting of the saga of “the Dump,” the tiny apartment in midtown Atlanta where Margaret Mitchell wrote the book, and how that place became a symbol for all that was right and all that was wrong with Mitchell’s writing.

\Dickey is also author or “A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain Campus.” She served as co-editor of “Museums in a Global Context: National Identity, International Understanding.” She is co-author, along with Dr. Catherine Lewis and First Lady Sandra Deal, of “Memories of the Mansion: A History of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion,” which is forthcoming from UGA Press in September 2015. Dickey has a master’s degree in heritage preservation and a Ph.D. in public history from Georgia State University. Prior to coming to KSU, Dr. Dickey served as the campus preservation specialist and the director and curator of Historic Berry at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. She has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service and for the Historic Preservation Division of the State of Georgia.

2014 | 2013

 

 

2014 Events

Battle of Brown’s Mill Sesquicentennial Commemorative Events, October 2014
Battle of Brown's MillThe Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Sesquicentennial Committee and the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association present:

October 10, 11, & 12: “150th Reenactment of the Hospitals in Newnan & the Battle of Brown’s Mill”
Visit downtown, the Battlefield, and Coweta County Fairgrounds to enjoy all the activities, times TBA.
$5 per person, free for children 8 years and younger.

champagneReceptionFlyer

Children’s Art & Nature Workshop

at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, June 24-26*

natureThe Newnan Coweta Historical Society will host an art and nature workshop for children Ages 7-12 next week at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.“Birds of Georgia: Feathers, Birds and Nests in Line, Color, and Pattern” will be the featured theme of the day camp and art and nature workshop. Carol Toole, Newnan High School art teacher, will be the instructor.

The art workshop will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 24-26. The McRitchie-Hollis Museum is located at 74 Jackson Street. The cost is $65 per child, payable to NCHS. Pre-registration is required. Please call NCHS at 770-251-0207 to reserve a spot, or email wjeffbishop@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com. There will be a limit of 15 students.*
Students will learn about birds, habitats, songs, and nesting, and will create three original works of art in watercolor, ink and mixed media/acrylic on canvas. Students should come dressed in play clothes.In addition to studying birds in the museum courtyard, students will also study the wall mural in the foyer of the museum, which features many of the birds of Georgia in the style of famed WPA artist Athos Menaboni.“We will talk about birds, look at visuals of birds, nests, types , listen to bird calls, look at the web site and some videos, study the mural, sketch, talk about the medium, see a demo, practice the medium, take a break and then execute a piece in each media,” said Toole.“They will be listening, looking, thinking, sharing, talking, sketching, playing, and creating/working – learning!”*Registration is now open for the remaining 2 days, June 25-26 for only $45! Call or email to register.

“On the Lawn” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum with Mike Funt, June 20th

Before you go to the Newnan Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts to see them “hang the elephant” this weekend, make sure to come to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum to hear playwright / performer Mike Funt talk about the story behind the play.mikefunt“I’ll be telling some specific stories about what ‘the circus coming to town’ meant in small, Southern towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Funt, a former Newnan resident who now performs in California with the Four Clowns troupe.

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will present the first of its “On the Lawn” series at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. “Under the Big Top: The History of the Circus and the South” will be held Friday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the gazebo and courtyard behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The event will take place rain or shine. The event is free for members and $5 for non-members. Children and senior citizens are $2. The historical society event is a warm-up for Funt’s show, “The Day They Hung the Elephant,” on Saturday, June 21 at 7 p.m. In the play, a circus clown recounts the mysterious and seedy tale of Mary the Elephant, a circus elephant who killed a man. The play is based on a true story that occurred in Tennessee in September, 1916. Tickets for the play are $10. Funt is also hosting workshops for local high school students, from rising freshmen to members of the Class of 2014. It will be held June 19-21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. The workshop costs $75 and includes tickets to The Day They Hung the Elephant.
Popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, and other circus-themed refreshments will be served at the NCHS event on Friday, June 20.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” said Funt. “I’m planning some really cool stuff. I have found some really good things to discuss regarding historical circus events specific to Georgia and the Coweta County area.”

Funt is an actor and teacher in Los Angeles with a BFA in theatre performance and has worked in theatres across the country. His Physical Theatre training includes The Dell’Arte School, Ringling Bros., and Lecoq training. His improv training includes SAK Comedy Lab, iO, and ComedySportz. Funt has performed and taught workshops at countless improv and comedy festivals across the country. He also is a former instructor at the San Francisco Comedy College and is the current head of the Theatre Department for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Funt has also regularly performed at Universal Studios theme park.

Funt, who got his start at Newnan Theatre Company, said he enjoys being back in his home town.“Back when I lived in Newnan, I always wished they would do something with that cool old Depot,” he said, and he is happy to see it restored and used as a history center. Although the Depot wasn’t free for this weekend’s event, the “On the Lawn” event at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum should have a “circusy vibe,” Funt said.


National Poetry Month Event at the Depot

 

poetrymonthCome celebrate National Poetry Month with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at the Historic Train Depot this Thursday at 7 p.m.Local poet Melissa Dickson and poet Scott Wilkerson will share selections from their new work. Local historic homes figure prominently in Dickson’s newest cycle of poems.
“I’m working on a group of poems that feature a number of narratives that either occur in a home or are prompted by a specific house or home,” said Dickson.
“Many of them are in Newnan: two poems are inspired by homes on LaGrange Street, others by houses on Buchanan and Second Avenue. I wouldn’t call them nostalgic but they do have a sense of history about them.
“I do see these as a big part of the new collection,” she said.
Scott Wilkerson will be reading work that also features some relationship with history through specific characters or concepts, “though his poems will reach past Newnan and probably well beyond the 19th or 20th century,” Dickson said.
While Scott’s poems will likely deal with cultural and perhaps even theoretical ideas about history, Dickson said that hers “derive from very specific local and personal associations.”
“One of the poems involves my great grandmother’s home and my vague recollection (confirmed by my mother) that she once housed an elderly black woman in the basement. As a child playing there, I found the kinds of items you’d associate with a living space not a storage space. A lamp, a space heater, a can opener. This was both intriguing and disturbing and even more so as an adult.
“I didn’t know whether to be proud of her efforts to help or ashamed of the fact that the help was quite meager. It certainly wouldn’t pass any kind of housing code. But it was a mutual arrangement,” Dickson said.
“In the poem I struggled with whether race should be an issue — I’m sure it was an issue in their relationship but should it be in my discussion of that relationship?” she said. “In the end I decided to focus on each of the players as women – doing what they needed to do.”
Dickson said she is “excited to share this new work,” which she calls “much more down-to-earth” than her collection of Medusa poems that was published last year.
“I hope people can relate to it in ways that create connection and meaning for them,” she said.The program is free for historical society members and $5 for non-members.

Women’s History Month Talk

 

womenshistoryOn Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m., come celebrate Women’s History Month as we examine the story of Mildred Siemons Arnall, wife of Gov. Ellis Arnall of Newnan, as told by local author Carla Cook Smith (“Perspectives on Coweta County” and “Newnan Perspectives”).The talk is free to members, $5 for non-members.
Light refreshments served.Call 770-251-0207 or email executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com for more information.

Black History Month Program on Feb. 20th

 

blackhistoryThe historic Chalk Level neighborhood will be the focus of a special program next Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Newnan Depot at 7 p.m.

The program, sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, will feature local historian and former historical society president Elizabeth Beers, as well as Helen Berry of the Chalk Level Neighborhood Association. Beers will give an update on the process of getting the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places, while Berry will focus on the neighborhood as it exists today.The historically African-American neighborhood of Chalk Level is located southeast of Newnan’s courthouse square, largely along Pinson Street, just south of the Cole Town National Register district, in the area of today’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Other streets in the neighborhood are Hardaway, Dewey, Savannah, and Reynolds.
The neighborhood includes a small cluster of very early houses (double-pen, hall-and-parlor) situated along a creek. Researchers believe the earliest development of the Chalk Level community pre-dates the existence of city streets. Many of the streets are named for old cotton plantation owners, and they likely pre-date the Civil War.
The neighborhood includes Queen Anne style homes, an Englsh cottage style home, and a brick home with flying buttresses by brick mason Willie Dixon.
“Ms Beers has been studying this neighborhood for many years and we know it will be an informative program for everyone,” said Jeff Bishop, coordinator for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. “We’re interested in learning not only about the neighborhood’s rich history, but also the current and future life of the neighborhood, so we are thrilled to have the involvement of the Chalk Level Neighborhood Association.”The program is free to NCHS members and $5 for the general public. For more information contact the historical society at 770-251-0207.

2013 Events & Programs

Palmette Ball 2013

 

palmetteRing in this New Year’s Eve at a formal gala at the Depot on Tuesday, December 31 at 7:00pm to Wednesday, January 1 at 1:00am.

This event is our annual fundraiser for the general operating fund for NCHS, as well as a children’s interactive museum!The black tie event will be filled with live music, food, drink, and much more. A champagne toast counting down to the New Year will cap off our festivities for the night.

Tickets include heavy hors d’oeuvres throughout the night, live music and dancing, premium liquors, and champagne and wine.

Tickets:
Museum Member Prices- $65/person or $110/couple
Non-Member Prices- $75/person or $130/couple

Call 770-251-0207 for additional details or to purchase tickets!
Historic Train Depot
60 East Broad Street, Newnan, GA 30263


Tea for Two 2013

 

 teafortwoStep back in time at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Sunday, December 15 from 3:00-5:00pm.
Members invite a guest (or two) to help us expand our membership! (And renew your membership while you’re at it!)
Enjoy tea and sweets and share the beauty of this home, decorated for the Christmas season!RSVP at 770-251-0207

spiritstroll

“A Cold Coming with Jeff Bishop”

 

"A Cold Coming: Murder, Moonshine, and Mystery- An Evening with Local Author Jeff Bishop"

“A Cold Coming: Murder, Moonshine, and Mystery- An Evening with Local Author Jeff Bishop”

Local author W. Jeff Bishop will discuss his novel, “A Cold Coming,” which he describes as “a true story of madness, moonshine and murder in rural Georgia during the Great Depression.” The novel is based on the true story of his great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Latham, a rural school teacher who murdered most of his family in March, 1931. Bishop is a graduate student in public history at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. He also works part-time for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, is developing a play based on the John Wallace trial for the Newnan Theatre Company, and has written (off and on) for the Times-Herald newspaper and Newnan-Coweta Magazine for many years. Jeff lives in Newnan with his wife, Barbara, and five children.

Thursday, October 24, 2013
7:00pm-8:00pm
Historic Train Depot @ 60 East Broad Street, Newnan, GeorgiaThis program is free for our members and $5 for non-members. Light refreshments will be provided.