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Trash OR Treasure fundraiser coming up Saturday, July 15

Posted July 13, 2017

Enjoy NCHS’s Trash OR Treasure appraisal event 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 15 at the Newnan Train Depot, 60 E. Broad Street. While it is too late to submit an item for appraisal, come find out the value of items that were submitted by the July 1 deadline, hear informative talks on antiques and collectibles, and enjoy refreshments. Tickets are $5 at the door.
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DID THIS CROSS PROTECT AN ANCIENT SPANISH SILVER MINE? This item owned by Alan Soellner will be among the pre-submitted items featured at Trash OR Treasure coming up July 15.

We have an exciting slate of speakers Saturday giving information on antiques and collectibles.

COME LEARN ABOUT JEWELRY from someone who really knows.

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Ray DuBose, a fourth generation jeweler, will be giving his insights this Saturday at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society special July 15 event, “Trash or Treasure?” DuBose will speak at 11 a.m. at the Depot, kicking off a day-long list of speakers.
DuBose, who has served on the Newnan City Council since January 2006, was raised in Vero Beach, Florida. He has lived in Newnan since 1990. DuBose attended the University of Central Florida and is a graduate of Indian River College, where he majored in Business Administration. He has done post graduate studies at the Gemological Institute of America. He is a fourth generation jeweler. He has retired from the jewelry business and is currently the an independent real estate agent with Josey Young & Brady Realty and also a retail jewelry and diamond consultant and appraiser. He is a member and past president of the Georgia Jewelers Association. DuBose is the Georgia Jewelry Design winner for 2004, 2005, and 2006. He is past director of Diamond Council of America.
He is married to Linda. His children live in Coweta County as does his six grandchildren: Callie, James and Cody DuBose and Ida Lee, Sarah Ellis and Yates Lundsford.

TREASURES IN YOUR ATTIC? Maybe, maybe not. How can you tell? Ask Richard and Kelli Mix!

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The Full Circle Toys and Antiques store owners are slated to speak at 3 p.m. at the Depot this Saturday, July 15, as part of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s “Trash or Treasure” event. Admission is only $5.
Richard Mix graduated from the University of Georgia with a business degree in 1986. He has worked in the beverage industry and as a corporate account manager for Dun and Bradstreet. After working in the film industry, he and his wife Kelli moved to Newnan in 2012. As a family-owned and operated business, Richard and Kelli Mix have been selling toys and nostalgic memorabilia for the past 25 years. They started out primarily specializing in Coca-Cola collectibles.
“Once eBay entered the marketplace,” says Richard, “we became one of their first sellers.”
As the business expanded, they began to accumulate more merchandise than their warehouse would hold. So in 2008, Richard and Kelli opened Full Circle Toys in downtown Newnan, just a block off the square on the corner of Madison and Jefferson Streets.
The world of toys – they quickly discovered – was a tough market to compete in against the big-box stores, so the Mixes found a niche in the world of older, nostalgic toys and collectibles.
“Wal-Mart buys LEGO en masse,” they said, “but they won’t waste their time tracking down LEGO from 20 years ago. We do!”
The couple tracked down G.I. Joes from the 1960s and Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the ’80s, then the word got out.
“We quickly started amassing collections of toys from the attics of families all over Georgia,” said Kelli. “And from there, people started bringing items to our store for appraisal, not just toys, but antiques and collectibles in general.”
The next logical step was to expand the business to include antiques. Three years later, Full Circle Toys opened an antique store in the adjacent space behind the toy store.
Full Circle is jam-packed with toys and collectibles from the early 1900s to present day. You’ll find everything from vintage video games and systems, vinyl records, LEGO, action figures (Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, Spider-Man, Power Rangers, Batman, etc.) as well as a large selection of Barbies and autographed merchandise from The Walking Dead and much more.
This is just the duo to let you know whether the recent “find” in your attic or basement is really treasure or just more trash. Come learn from the best!
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HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT THAT COOL JAPANESE SWORD YOU BOUGHT?

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Arnold Frenzel, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, and longtime student of Japanese arts and crafts (particularly metalwork, ceramics, paintings and prints) will give you some tips to point you in the right direction at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s “Trash or Treasure” event at the Depot this Saturday, July 15. Frenzel, slated to speak at 4 p.m., plans on being at the event all day, from 10-5.
Frenzel is a member of four Japanese arts organizations, three of which are in Tokyo, and has visited Japan many times.
“I have been a much involved collector of primarily Japanese art and artifacts since the middle 1960s and am happy to lend a hand in that rather specialized area,” said Frenzel.
“I have been to Japan just short of two-dozen times, can do reasonably well with Japanese kanji script and dates and have published dozens of articles and notes in associated publications,” he said.
He is formerly the Chairman of the Japanese Sword Society of the US, currently a Director, and member of the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kai, the Nihon Token Hozon Kai, both in Tokyo, and a North American Advisor of the Kokusai Tosogu Kai, Tokyo and USA. He and his wife Joanne have been Newnan residents since 2005.
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COME LEARN ABOUT ANTIQUE FURNITURE COLLECTING from someone who has been doing it for many years, at this Saturday’s “Trash or Treasure” event, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

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“I have been collecting antiques for fifty years,” said Tom Camp, two-time president of the historical society. Camp, a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, is a retired attorney who spends most of his time “on the hunt” for “junque and antiques.” Camp is slated to speak at the Depot, 60 East Broad St., at 1 p.m. Admission is only $5! Join us and learn from the best!
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VINYL PROVES THAT WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN, but is your old album valuable? Come this Saturday to learn from expert collector Jesse Yates, owner of Vinylyte Records in Newnan. He is slated to speak at 2 p.m. for the “Trash or Treasure” event, sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. Admission is $5 for this all-day event, to be held at the historic Train Depot, 60 East Broad St.

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Vinylyte Records, located right on the Newnan Court Square, is fully stocked with new and used vinyl records. Vinylyte is also the only vinyl record store in the south metro Atlanta area.
Yates is a music lover and was collecting vinyl collections before he decided to open the store.
“I was tired of traveling so far, “ said Yates. “The closest vinyl store is in Little 5 Points. We decided to open the store because I know that it’s a huge market for vinyl. Since I’m a full-time firefighter, I keep the store hours consistent around my schedule. My wife also helps out and comes to work in the store.”
There are are thousands of records in the store. Various genres are available. The music store offers customers a boutique style shopping experience. Customers are even allowed to listen to any used vinyl they are interested in purchasing in the self- serve listening area. The store also sells turntables. Complimentary coffee is also available while you shop.
“I buy a lot of my collections online,” said Yates. “Vinyl is coming back. Even new artists are creating vinyl albums.”
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ARE YOU A BOOK LOVER? Come learn more about what makes a book collectible from John Niesse, owner of Carrollton’s Underground Books, who will be speaking at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society “Trash or Treasure” event this Saturday, at 12 noon at the Historic Train Depot, 60 East Broad St. Admission for this all-day event is only five dollars.

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“We love running a real, live, brick and mortar bookstore,” said Niesse. “We love being surrounded by books and book-lovers. We love looking for that elusive book you need that has no title or author, but only ‘a blue cover.’ We love setting up new displays, recommending our favorite books, and stocking the shelves with unusual titles. We love providing a space for creative, cultural, and intellectual events in the town we love. Here’s how we do it, with hard work, sweat, and all of the internet.”
While working the counter at Underground Books, Niesse said he frequently hears some variation on the following:
“I can’t believe you’re still here,” or “How do you guys make money?” or “You must be rich to keep a used bookstore open.” More from Niesse’s blog:
“We get these comments frequently enough that we thought it might be worth sharing a little about our business model. It’s nice to be understood, and maybe some of our patrons would like understanding a little bit about the evolving nature of the used book trade. Much has been written about the death (and recent resurgence) of bookstores in general (new, independent, or big-box chain stores) but for our purposes, we are only talking about the used & antiquarian side of things.’Mom’ and ‘Pop’ box with the ‘Super dooper Mega Stores’
“Put simply, the old idea of a small mom & pop used bookstore that sells only to the public that enters into their shop is indeed a dying breed. There are still some holdouts— old timers that own their building outright, or bookstores with heavy tourist traffic – but the regular old small town used bookstore, that survives off of only in-store sales is an increasingly rare bird. The well documented trends of book buyers turning to e-books and Amazon are largely to blame, as well as difficult economic times.
“Yet some of us remain. An increasingly popular model for used bookstores is to simultaneously sell books in their shop as well as online. Some used bookstores have a “blended” inventory, meaning books on the shelves in their public store are also listed online. This is good for low-traffic stores where it is easier to keep up with inventory. Underground Books started out this way. We would list books online, but they would be for sale on the shelves in the shop as well. We would get a sale through an online venue like Amazon and would go find the book and pack it up to ship. As we grew, this became increasingly complicated. Customers would buy books at the counter, and we would not get them “unlisted” from the internet, and chaos ensued. “Because we were getting more foot-traffic than we expected when we opened, browsing customers would also put books back in different locations, so sometimes we could not find a book to fulfill an online order we had received. This led us to separating our in-store/retail and online inventory. Eventually, we kept all books listed online in the back of the store, away from the rest. About a year ago, we outgrew the back room, and now have an entirely separate office/warehouse, staffed full time just like the store.
“If you browse the books at our website www.UndergroundBooks.net , these are the books that you will find at our warehouse. They are often books of interest primarily to collectors. Antique or out-of-print books. We recently sold a book for $75 on South Asian Farm Economics published in the 1950’s. That book would have NEVER sold on the shelves of our shop, but somewhere some scholar wanted that hard-to-find book. Earlier this year, we sold an original love letter hand-written by Jack London for $900. Currently we have a rare pre-publication edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s very first book. Or these late 18th century books on horse racing.
“Without these rare, antique, out-of-print, and collectible books that we’re selling in the ‘background’ of the more public bookstore operation, Underground Books would not be a profitable endeavor. In some ways, having an open storefront becomes about getting books as much as selling them. Having a nice open shop lends you a certain credibility—we are overwhelmed with people wanting to sell us their books. There are online booksellers everywhere – you’ve probably seen them at Goodwill scanning books on their phones—but having the shop gives us a huge competitive advantage over these lone book scouts. We are invited to buy huge personal collections of books at private estates, not to mention the flood of books that people bring right in the door. We are currently processing in the ballpark of 1,000 books every week. A certain percentage of these get listed online, some go to the shelves of the open shop, some get set aside for our periodic $1 sales, and some get donated to charity. Antique damaged books we recycle into crafts like our vintage book journals which we now carry not only in the shop but online at our Etsy store.
“Fortunately for us, we also happen to love running an open shop. We’ve fostered a real sense of community at the shop through nearly 5 years of special events and beloved regulars, and people constantly tell us how grateful they are to have the store in Carrollton. We get loved up a lot, so that ‘social payoff’ doesn’t hurt. It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Read more at http://blog.undergroundbooks.net/author/underground/

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Trash or Treasure?

Posted July 7, 2017

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society (NCHS) serves all of Coweta and beyond, and offers a number of community programs that are both entertaining and rich with history. Next weekend the society will offer an antiques appraisal event, the first of its kind in Newnan.

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The special event, inspired by the popular PBS program, “Antiques Roadshow,” will be held July 15 at the Historic Train Depot on East Broad Street in downtown Newnan. The event, “Trash or Treasure — What’s in your Attic” will will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue until 5 p.m. featuring appraisers and brief lectures on popular collection items. Appraisers and specialists will deliver the talks and offer background information while revealing the worth of entries submitted.

Coweta County has a rich and multi-layered background with folks from all walks of life, many who come from families that have been in the area for multiple generations. Inevitably there are items that have been passed down among the family lines to those who may not know the history or value of the items they now own. Now is your opportunity to find out more about these hidden gems!

The idea for the event originated with NCHS board member Ginny Lyles who became enthralled with the history of several items she recently discovered while sorting through boxes from her own childhood home. Lyles shared her findings with NCHS President Lisa Harwell and the idea to introduce the antiques event in Newnan was born.

Items that have been entered into “Trash or Treasure” include antique clocks, a Mexican artifact possibly related to the Conquistadores or early Spanish missionaries, a Handel lamp, Chinese pots, and a framed invitation to the inauguration to President John F. Kennedy, plus many more. The deadline for submitting items has already passed.

Professional collectors slated to speak at the event include Tom Camp, a collector of antique furnishings; Ray DuBose, an expert jeweler; Jesse Yates, record collector and owner of Vinylyte Records; Richard Mix, collector of toys, Coca-Cola items, and other collectibles, and co-owner of Full Circle Toys; and Arnold Frenzel, collector of Japanese swords and other Asian artifacts.

Tickets to attend the event are only five dollars and can be purchased online via the NCHS webpage at http://newnancowetahistoricalsociety.org/ the event Facebook page, www.facebook.com/events/1957553384479610/permalink/1964089137159368/, or at www.evenbrite.com

According to Lyles, “the event is for everyone’s participation and enjoyment,” even if items are determined to hold only sentimental value.

“Cowetans have items that are meaningful, but may not have a high value,” Lyles said. “Or, items may have significant value but not much meaning.”

All proceeds from “Trash or Treasure” will go toward NCHS-sponsored programs held at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Historic Train Depot throughout the year.

Food vendors will also be available at the event offering lunch and refreshments.

For more information regarding this event and other NCHS programming, visit the historical society website, Facebook page, or call 770-251-0207.

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Get tickets for our Trash Or Treasure appraisal event coming up July 15

Item entry for appraisal is due by July 1 – One item per $25 ticket

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Is it “trash or treasure” in that attic, closet or barn? Find out at a special one-day-only event, “Trash OR Treasure — “What’s in Your Attic?,” Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot, 60 E. Broad St. in downtown Newnan, brought to you by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Dig out and dust off family heirlooms or curious, eccentric to find out their value, history and whether items are indeed “trash or treasure!”
One item may be submitted for every entry ticket purchased at $25. There is no limit on the number of entry tickets per person. Those submitting items for review and appraisal must send advance descriptions and photo before the July 1 deadline for entries. Purchase tickets online at Eventbrite.com and request an entry form for your item by email at events@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com (confirmation of ticket purchase will be made). You may also stop by the NCHS office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St. to pay by cash, check or charge. For more information see our website at newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com or our Facebook page link to the event page or call us at 770-251-0207.

Here is a link to the Eventbrite.com ticket page:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trash-or-treasure-whats-in-your-attic-tickets-34575575477

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Once an entry is submitted, the requested form will be sent to the entrant for completion. The advance entry form requires a photo, description and any known information about the item(s) being submitted. Entrants will physically bring items to the event being held at the Historic Train Depot the day of the event, July 15. NCHS hopes to have about 75 entries for appraisal. The value of entry items will be revealed at the Trash OR Treasure event.
Hear brief lectures from appraisers and specialists on popular collection items such as art, dolls, jewelry, furniture, books, textiles, comics and toys.
No curious objects in the house that you need appraised? No worries! A $5 ticket is available for those who would like to attend the event without submitting an entry. Spend as much time as you like perusing the items submitted, catching lecture sessions or networking with fellow collectors. Enjoy delicious offerings available for purchase from food vendors at the event. Non-entry tickets will be available up to and throughout the day of the event.
All proceeds from Trash OR Treasure goes toward NCHS sponsored programs being held monthly at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, the Historic Train Depot and other locations in and around downtown Newnan.

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NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop on state board

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

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

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

Created by statute in 1993, and made up by appointees of the governor, GHRAC is the official advisory body for historical records planning in the state of Georgia.

Find out more about Jeff’s latest history book here: http://times-herald.com/news/2017/05/bishop-pens-book-on-cherokee-trail-of-tears

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Dinett Hok and Liberation 2014.

Dinett Hok and Liberation 2014.

 

Driftwood art of Dinett Hok in summer 
show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Posted June 20, 2017

The driftwood-inspired art of Newnan resident Dinett Hok will be featured in a summer solo exhibition at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
An opening reception is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 24.
Hok was born in Aguadulce, a very small town in the Republic of Panama. As a young girl, drawing was her favorite pastime. She began formal art studies at the age of 17 at the University of Panama and paid her college tuition through freelance artwork and graphic designs.
She had the fortune of meeting renowned Panamanian artist Manuel Chong Neto through one of her college professors. His work continues to influence her creativity and passion. After graduating from the University of Panama with a BA in Graphic Art, Hok worked as a commercial graphic artist for two different clothing companies.
Upon moving to the United States, Hok embarked on a six-year endeavor to promote and teach art to elementary school students in Newnan. She believed that her students could learn and apply advanced systems for art techniques on a variety of mediums at a very young age if the correct approach was used. Many of her students won awards at local, state and national level competitions. 
Hok’s journey as a professional artist continued to expand as she took on the leadership role of Area X chairman for the Florida Artists Group. FLAG is one of longest standing non-profit art organizations in Florida.

Pressure of Influence, mixed media by Dinett Hok.

Pressure Of Influence_Mixmedia by Dinett Hok.

Hok says of her art: “Nature itself is the purest form of art in my opinion. I try to capture this beauty in my works of art and share it with the world. My artwork thrives on the love I have for trees and the abundant textures in nature. Whether it is the peacefulness of a welcoming beach or the thought provoking concepts of an abstract, nature can capture us in many ways. I love to create mixed media artwork with heavy textures and rich colors that not only captures the world from my perspective, but also incorporates elements of nature in the actual artwork. 
“The driftwood itself represents the flexibility of nature that can adapt no matter the setting. In some cases, it is not nature who adapts, but every other concept that adapts and bends their will to Mother Nature. On top of the intriguing organic shapes of the driftwood I use metals – copper, silver, brass, bronze and 24K gold to preserve and highlight these marvelous natures giving beauty. I try my best to capture a small piece of nature’s beauty and share my perception with every viewer. With my abstracts, I hope that these perceptions may be as abundant and diverse as nature itself. The freedom of creativity, expression, and experiences with other great artists fuel my desire to create and share art.”
Hok creates artwork with a unique style and passion. Her work has received acclaim both nationally and internationally in the United States, Paris, Rome, Venice, Beijing, as well as other venues in Europe. Hok will be receiving her latest award entitled “Diego Velazquez” in Lecce Italy, July 3 2017 by Italia In Arte Nel Mondo. This award is given for “High Recognition to Personalities in the World of Art, Science and Culture.”
It is the freedom of creativity and expression and experiences with some great artists that continues to fuel her desire to create and share art. Hok says she has always been enchanted by the beauty of nature, people and places and continues paint where she currently resides in Newnan.

Newnan artist Dinett Hok and family.husband Michael Hok and son Ian Hok.

Newnan artist Dinett Hok and family.husband Michael Hok and son Ian Hok.

Dinett Hok, husband Michael Hok and son Ian Hok run their family-owned business, The DH Gallery of International Artists (DHGIA). DHGIA has participated in some of the best and most prestigious art fairs in New York, Miami and other venues, Dinett said. DHGIA will be participating in two events Aqua Art Miami and Spectrum Miami during the Art Basel week in Miami Florida during December 2017.
Hok’s work also will be part of the 2017 Newnan-Coweta Art Association show June 8-28 at the Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Newnan. An opening reception for the 12th annual Juried Member Art Exhibit is June 20 from 6-8 p.m.
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For more about Dinett Hok’s work go to her website, fineart-dinetthok.com or check at her Facebook page.
Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has its headquarters at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan, GA 30263. The museum features rotating exhibitions on historic topics related to the Newnan-Coweta County and West Georgia region, as well as architecture and decorative arts. In the museum’s upstairs galleries currently is an exhibition of ladies hats from the extensive collection donated by State Rep. Lynn Smith with styles that span five decades.
Ms. Hok’s work will be displayed in the downstairs rooms where NCHS is currently showing a collection of 1930s furnishings recently donated by Taylor Glover and family.
NCHS is also preparing for its July antique appraisal fundraiser Trash OR Treasure, which will be held at the Newnan Historic Train Depot July 15. Items may be submitted for appraisal in advance by July 1 for a $25 ticket per item, no limit on the number of items. For information call the NCHS/ McRitchie-Hollis Museum offices at 770-251-0207.
There is ample public parking behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum with a driveway entrance off Clark Street. For more information check at newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com and on Facebook.

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Meet our new intern!

June 13, 2017

Claire Hanna works on an architectural research project as 2017 summer intern with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Claire Hanna works on an architectural research project as 2017 summer intern with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Leading public tours of McRitchie-Hollis Museum is among the duties for 2017 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society summer intern Claire Hanna.

Leading public tours of McRitchie-Hollis Museum is among the duties for 2017 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society summer intern Claire Hanna.

Claire Hanna, of Newnan, is working as a student intern this summer with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Hanna is the daughter of Laura and Thomas Hanna of Newnan. She is currently a junior at the University of Georgia in Athens where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history and a certificate in historic preservation.

“I am particularly interested in architectural history and preservation and history of the American South,” said Hanna. “Here at the historical society I am working on a project about the architecture of Coweta County.” She is also working on other general assignments such as publicizing upcoming events, helping catalog holdings in the society’s archives and staffing and giving public tours of the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

At UGA she is a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta international women’s fraternity and works actively with fundraising for the UGA Relay for Life.

Her primary summer project with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society involves updating information from a heritage education curriculum gathered in the 1980s. Her goal is organizing the updated architectural information into a booklet and/or website/app that will be available to assist the public in learning about different styles of architecture featured in Coweta County structures.

“This is an exciting new project for us, and Claire is just the person for the job,” said NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop. “She brings a lot of youthful energy and enthusiasm to the office, and she really loves our local history, just like we do.”

We welcome Claire as the newest addition to our staff!

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NCHS Scholarship awarded to Northgate student

May 2017

Congratulations to Don Wade, 2017 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society scholarship recipient from Northgate High School. Presenting the award at the 2017 Northgate Honors Night was Makinley Cook.

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NCHS Scholarships awarded

May 5, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS to two of our 2017 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society $1,000 scholarship winners!

Jensen Nichole Fitzgibbon, Newnan High School, 2017 NCHS Scholarship winner.

A great big shout out to Jensen Nichole Fitzgibbon (above) of Newnan High School and Clifton Fisher (below) of East Coweta High School. The Northgate recipient will be announced at the Monday Honors Night at the Nixon Centre for the Arts. We at NCHS are proud to support our local youth!

Clifton Fisher, East Coweta High School,, 2017 NCHS Scholarship winner.

Clifton Fisher, East Coweta High School,, 2017 NCHS Scholarship winner.

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Arya Vishwanath, first place winner in 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show, with judge Julie Dice Wynn.

Arya Vishwanath, first place winner in 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show, with judge Julie Dice Wynn.

Awards presented for Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show

Colors in the Canyon, Arya Vishwanath, 1st Place

Colors in the Canyon, Arya Vishwanath, 1st Place

First place in Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s spring 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show photography contest went to Arya Vishwanath for her image, “Colors in the Canyon.”

Awards were presented at a reception Saturday afternoon, April 29 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Taking second place was Robert Coakley for “Feeding Time,” an image of a mother woodpecker feeding her offspring.
Third place went to Susan Culpepper for “Frise,” a close floral image.

Robert Coakley took second place in the spring 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show photography contest for his image “Feeding Time,” showing a mother woodpecker feeding her offspring.

Robert Coakley took second place in the spring 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show photography contest for his image “Feeding Time,” showing a mother woodpecker feeding her offspring.

The selections from among the juried entries were the choices of show judge Julie Dice Wynn, a fine art photographer from Alabama who was the first place winner of the 2016 spring Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show.

The approximately 30 images selected in a blind judging from more than 60 entries for this juried show have been on view at NCHS’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum through April and visitors as well as reception guests were invited to vote for their favorite for People’s Choice. Taking that award and honored at the awards reception was Nick Kantorczyk for his image, “The Little Things in Life.”

Sponsors of the People’s Choice Award are New Tech Photo and Fine Lines framing of Newnan, which offer photo printing and framing services to the photographers.

Third place went to Susan Culpepper for “Frise,” a close floral image.

Third place went to Susan Culpepper for “Frise,” a close floral image.

Honorable mention awards from Ms. Wynn went to: Tresha Glenister for “White Christmas” and “Stained Glass,”and to Paul Vogt for his wildlife scene “River Guards.”

Reception guests enjoyed refreshments and piano selections by a musician from Newnan’s Musicology as they made their final People’s Choice selections and awaited the awards presentation.

The show, coordinated this year by NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell, includes images of landscapes, trees, florals and wildlife — no manmade elements are allowed. It will remain on view through May at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street at Clark in downtown Newnan. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

People's Choice for the spring 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show went to Nick Kantorczyk for his image, “The Little Things in Life.” At left is judge Julie Dice Wynn.

People’s Choice for the spring 2017 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show went to Nick Kantorczyk for his image, “The Little Things in Life.” At left is judge Julie Dice Wynn.

Also on view is a portion of the more than 400 hats from the collection donated to NCHS by State Rep. Lynn Smith. She will be giving a program about the hats in May.
Look for details soon on entry for the fall Simple Pleasures photography show, which accepts images of a “simple pleasure” that include a human or animal element.
For more information contact Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264 or call us at 770-251-0207.

NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell and Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show spring 2017 judge Julie Dice Wynn.

NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell and Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show spring 2017 judge Julie Dice Wynn.

Honorable mention awards from Ms. Wynn went to: Tresha Glenister for “White Christmas”(shown here) and “Stained Glass.”

Honorable mention awards from Ms. Wynn went to: Tresha Glenister for “White Christmas”(shown here) and “Stained Glass.”

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Thank-you gift of paper cranes

20170428PaperCranes_ArtRezLook at the lovely paper cranes given to the NCHS staff by ARTREZ artist-in-residence Christina Laurel following Thursday’s reading for NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. The program HATS, CAPS, BONNETS & FEDORAS celebrated a new exhibit featuring the hat collection of Rep. Lynn Smith, and the poetry, stories, and photography of local storytellers! The event was held at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27. Those attending received a FREE CHAPBOOK with poems and stories from local authors inspired by the hat collection. Also Ms. Laurel read one of the stories. Afterward attendees went next door to view her new Japanese-inspired installation in the Newnan ArtRez cottage.

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NCHS works towards StEPs certification

20170418STEPS_Certification

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

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum has taken its first step toward accreditation as the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society recently completed the first hurdle in the StEPs program.
The Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs) is a self-study standards program developed by the American Association for State and Local History. 
“This program will help us move our museums up to the next level,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director for NCHS.
The program was designed specifically for small-to-mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions.

Using a workbook, an online community, and a three-tiered achievement system with certificates, StEPs enables small institutions like the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society to assess policies and practices, manage daily operations, and plan for the future.

“And it allows us to do this at our own pace,” said Bishop.
Curator Jessie Merrell and former curator (and current NCHS board member) Dorothy Pope have taken the lead on the certification project.
The new certificate acknowledges the museum’s completion of better than basic museum standards in the area of Collections Management. It is the first in five areas NCHS is working to complete to prepare for application to the American Association of Museums for accreditation.
“Accreditation is the end goal,” said Bishop. “We thank the board, the staff, and the community for their support as we move toward achieving this longtime goal.”

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Newnan High School History Club hosts vet event tonight

“I want to invite all of you to come see a speaker the Newnan High School History Department will be hosting this coming Tuesday, April 18,” said Stephen Quesinberry, sponsor of the history club. Donna Rowe, a nurse during the Vietnam War, will be here from 6:30-7:30 in the Newnan High School auditorium.20170418DonnaRowe_NewnanHigh_Vietnam_1

Donna Rowe

Donna Rowe

“She was the head triage nurse at the large hospital in Saigon in 1969,” said Quesinberry. “She is an amazing speaker with an amazing story about saving a infant in the hospital in Vietnam and being reunited with that same child 35 years later. She has captivated students in my class for many semesters.”

More info can be found on the NHS History Club website-

http://www.cowetaschools.org/nhs/quesinberry/ssweb/index.php/vn-50th

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NCHS Executive Director appointed to state board

April 14, 2017

Our own Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Executive Director Jeff Bishop has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council.

Jeff BishopThe Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council, formerly The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board (GHRAB), was created by statute during the 1993 Georgia General Assembly. The Council has twelve members, appointed by the Governor, and representing citizens, educators, local governments, historical repositories, and professional organizations.
GHRAC works to ensure that Georgians of all ages are made aware of the significant historical records located statewide, enhances the preservation and care of these treasures, and improves the access that Georgians have to their records.
Its Mission: The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) promotes the educational use of Georgia’s documentary heritage by all its citizens, evaluates and improves the condition of records, encourages statewide planning for preservation and access to Georgia’s historical records, and advises the Board of Regents and the Georgia Archives on issues concerning records.
Programs and Services:

Directory: The Directory of Historical Organizations contains information about more than 600 archives, libraries, and museums in Georgia. Use it to search by topic or location.

Awards Program: This annual program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records work in Georgia. Find out about prior winners and how to nominate a person or organization for an award. Award Winners

Preferred Practices Manual and Self-Assessment Guide: Originally published by GHRAC in 1999 and revised in 2010.

Council Operations: Advisory Council Members, Strategic Plan

Here is the text of the Governor’s release about the recent appointments:

Deal appoints 12 to boards

April 13, 2017

William Leahy, Board of Economic Development
Leahy is president of AT&T Georgia and Southeast Region. He sits on the board of governors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and on the executive board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Leahy sat on the board of trustees of Merrimack College and the board of directors for the John F. Kennedy Library foundation. He was also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Leahy earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Merrimack College. He and his wife, Marjorie, have two children and one grandchild. They reside in Atlanta.

Laura R. Morgan, Board of Commissioners of the Georgia Student Finance Commission (reappointment)
Morgan sits on the REACH Foundation board and is a member of REACH Georgia. She was appointed director of congressional relations for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by President George H.W. Bush. Morgan previously sat on the board for Young Audiences of Atlanta. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Penn State University. Morgan and her husband, Jay, have three children and live in Atlanta.

Britt Fleck, Board of Driver Services
Fleck is the region manager for Georgia Power’s Metro West Region. She sits on the boards of directors for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. Fleck is a member of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) President’s Advisory Committee and sits on the KSU Foundation board of trustees. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Business Administration from KSU. Fleck and her husband, John, have three children and reside in Gwinnett County.

Pamela Griggs, Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies
Griggs is the lead investigator and owner of Checkmate Investigations, LLC. She is a past president of the Georgia Association of Professional Private Investigators. Griggs has one child and lives in Dacula.

Antonio Long, Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies
Long is the chief of the Department of Public Safety at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. He is a president of the Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and sits on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Atlanta Technical College. Long earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Georgia State University, a master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University and a master’s degree in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University. He and his wife, Thesa, have three children and reside in Fayetteville.

Jason Winters, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
Winters is the sole commissioner of Chattooga County and a member of the State Soil and Water Commission. He is a past chairman of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Summerville-Trion Rotary Club. Winters also served as vice chairman of the Georgia Rural Development Council. He is a member of the Summerville Trion Optimist Club and sits on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Chattooga County. Winters earned a bachelor’s degree from Berry College. He and his wife, Abby, live in Lyerly.

W. Jeff Bishop, Georgia Historical Records Society
Bishop is the executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. He is a past president of the Georgia chapter of the Trail of Tears Association and sits on the board of directors for the Friends of New Echota State Historic Site. Bishop earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Public History and Museum Studies from the University of West Georgia. He and his wife, Barbara, have five children and reside in Newnan.

Beth English, Georgia Historical Records Society
English is the executive director of Easter Seals Southern Georgia, an organization that works to ensure that all people living with disabilities or special needs have equal opportunities in the community. She is a member of the Vienna City Council and serves as the mayor pro tem. English is a past president of the Georgia Municipal Association and the state public policy chair of the GWFC Vienna Woman’s Club. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from from Valdosta State University. English and her husband, Steven, have one child and three grandchildren. They live in Vienna.

Kerry Van Moore, Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission
Moore is a farmer and the vice president of Tri-County Gin Inc. He sits on the boards of directors for Douglas National Bank and Citizens Christian Academy. Moore is also a member of the South Georgia Cattleman’s Association. He and his wife, Michelle, have two children and reside in West Green.

Donald Wood, State Board of Massage Therapy
Wood is a certified massage therapist. He previously served in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of major. Wood earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and trained in massage therapy at the Baltimore School of Massage. He has two children and two grandchildren. Wood lives in Macon.

Mary Shotwell, Ph.D., State Board of Occupational Therapists
Shotwell is a licensed occupational therapist and a professor at Brenau University. She is a past president of the Georgia Occupational Therapy Association. Shotwell earned a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Temple University, a master’s in Health Professions Education from Medical University of South Carolina and a doctoral degree in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She and her husband, Andrew, have three children and reside in Gainesville.

Phil Carlock, State Properties Commission (reappointment) 
Carlock has more than 40 years of experience in real estate income property development and management. He is the chairman of Central Realty Holdings and the chairman of the executive committee of ECI Group. Carlock is a past president of the National Apartment Association, the Georgia Apartment Association and the Atlanta Apartment Association. He was inducted into the Georgia and National Apartment Association Halls of Fame. Carlock earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University. He holds the Certified Property Manager designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor designation from the National Apartment Association. Carlock and his wife, Helen, live in Atlanta.

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Special visitors tour McRitchie-Hollis Museum

February 14, 2017

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day visit with relatives of Ellis and Mildred Peniston, builders of the home that is now McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

20170214_110427Cooks_PenistonRelatives

On the front steps are, from left, Emily Dae Andersen, Mildred F. “Bunny” Godard, Erik Andersen, Mary Frances Cook Engle, Helen Cook McLaughlin (back), Sally Jones (front), and Cathy Cook Bedell.

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February study trip focuses on Sherman’s March to the Sea

A study trip for history enthusiasts Feb. 25 organized by East Georgia State College in Swainsboro will focus on Sherman’s March to the Sea through East Central Georgia.

One of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War occurred in Georgia, when General William Tecumseh Sherman’s blue-coated soldiers conducted their March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah.

Join Dr. John K. Derden, Professor Emeritus of History at East Georgia State College, for a day tour through Emanuel, Jenkins and Burke counties retracing the route of Sherman’s soldiers as they moved through the area on their way to the coast. You will travel some of the actual roads (among the best preserved in the state) traversed by Sherman’s soldiers and defended by Confederate troops, see several camp sites actually used by the general, and visit antebellum plantations.

In addition, Dr. Derden, who has recently published the first full-length, documented history of Camp Lawton (The World’s Largest Prison: The Story of Camp Lawton [Mercer University Press, 2012], the Confederate prison located on the grounds of what is now Magnolia Springs State Park, will lead a tour of the site and give an illustrated talk about its history and its ressurection in the public mind as a result of the ongoing archaeological findings there. Throughout the day, local anecdotes pertaining to the March will be shared.

The tour will begin on the campus of East Georgia State College in Swainsboro at 9 a.m. Attendees will gather at the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center located on Madison Dixon Drive and depart from there by bus after a brief orientation. Lunch will be provided during the tour, and the group should return by 6 p.m.

There is very little walking involved with the trip. However, those taking part are advised to dress comfortably, and be prepared for weather changes.

This event is in its twenty-seventh year, and this year will mark the 153rd anniversary of the March and the operation of Camp Lawton. Anyone with an interest in Georgia history, the Civil War, local history, or the past in general will enjoy this opportunity, say organizers. They promise a day of fun, fellowship, learning, and appreciation for the sacrifices of our forebears as well as the rich heritage of Eastern Georgia.

The event with Dr. John Derden runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 25. Attendees will meet at the Sudie A. Fulford Learning Center, EGSC Swainsboro Campus. Registration fee is $70 and the deadline for registration is Feb. 22. To register, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 478-289-2133. Make checks payable to: EGSC Foundation, 131 College Circle, Swainsboro, GA 30401. Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express accepted.

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Holiday hours for McRitchie-Hollis Museum:

The museum is open today, Friday, Dec. 30, until 3 p.m. We will be closed for New Year’s Eve tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 31, and reopen our regular hours 10 to noon and 1-3 on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Current exhibitions include the work of Newnan painter Tiffany Thomas in the downstairs rooms, and featured in the upstairs galleries is a selection of images from the three-decade Coweta County Remembered project of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and The Newnan Times-Herald.

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Tour group brings surprise information on Howard Warner School

We enjoyed a pre-Christmas visit at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Dec. 21 by the Perkerson Park Unique Golden Age Club from Atlanta.

img_20161221_110605277_hdrlowres

The ladies toured the Newnan Train Depot and then explored the 1937 Jackson Street home that is now McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

img_20161221_110825356lowresA special treat was information shared by member Edna Rosser who grew up in Newnan and attended Howard Warner School, the facility on Savannah Street that is being renovated as a new city community center.

She shared information and identified old photographs for NCHS Curator Jessie Merrell and Executive Director Jeff Bishop while the rest of the group toured with staff member Ellen Corker.

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Maker dedication for Gen. Daniel Newnan in Rossville, GA Oct. 29

New Hope Baptist Church
2105 Tunnel Varnell Road
Tunnel Hill, GA

Lookout Mountain Chapter #437, U.S.D. 1812

War of 1812 Veteran Marker Dedication
General Daniel Newnan
(The City of Newnan, GA was named for him in 1828.)

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 – 11 A.M.

Newnan Springs United Methodist Church Grave Yard
78 Monanaw Avenue, Rossville, GA 30741

(Park at the church and ride van to the cemetery as there is limited parking.)

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Explore the Past at Oak Hill Cemetery

Actors practice for the Walk With Old Souls tour this Saturday at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Actors practice for the Walk With Old Souls tour this Saturday at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Experience Newnan’s Oak Hill Cemetery and learn about the lives of the people laid to rest there during the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s “Walk With Old Souls” event this October 15, from 4-7 p.m. 
NCHS will host interactive, immersive experience tours of Newnan’s Historic Oak Hill Cemetery. Actors in costume will portray approximately a half-dozen of Newnan’s more notable deceased who are buried in Oak Hill.
“This will be a different kind of tour than we have done in years’ past,” said Executive Director Jeff Bishop. “It’s not a stroll through a historic neighborhood, and it’s certainly not meant to be a scary type of tour.” 
The tour focuses on Newnan residents who lived and died in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the residents or those who served here during the Civil War featured on the tour include manufacturer R. D. Cole; a pair of Civil War nurses, Kate Cumming and Fannie Beers; society lady and College Temple student Hibernia Berry, educator Moses P. Kellogg, and others. 
Jeff Bishop wrote the all-new scripts for the tour, based on original historical research. The cast includes Jennifer Dorrell as Fannie Beers, Dawn Campion as Kate Cumming, Bailey Oliveira as Hibernia Berry, Richard Tranter as M.P. Kellogg, Dean Jackson as W.U. Anderson, Tom Grandpre as R.D. Cole, Taj Stephens as Pharaoh Farmer, and Joe Arnotti, Gar Welden, Anne Graner, and Barbara Bishops as guides.

kellogg

hibernia

rdcole

africanamericancemetery

The Newnan-Coweta Art Association members have provided new paintings of the principal people who will be featured on the tour. These will be displayed in the museum.
The tours, scheduled every 20 minutes from 4:00 to 6:20, last approximately an hour and begin at the NCHS’s McRithchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA 30263. Some tours time slots are already sold out, so be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time.
Taking inspiration of Atlanta’s popular and successful Oakland Cemetery Spirit Tours, organizers of the NCHS Oak Hill Cemetery Tour hope to engage, educate and entertain ticket holders.
“This is community event designed to give citizens an opportunity to learn about some of Newnan’s citizens who had notable lives and made a difference or an impact on the town in which we live today,” said Tour Coordinator, Larisa McMichael.
Actors will perform next to the gravestone of the deceased person of which they are portraying. Actors will be in Civil War era or Victorian costume and have props or other visuals to help illustrate the lives of the people they represent. 
Those in attendance should expect to hear a first person monologue by the actors about the life of the person they are portraying. This event is a unique opportunity for citizens to experience Oak Hill as they never have before.The guided tours will be led by an NCHS lantern-wielding docent dressed in Civil War or Victorian garb as well. 
Ticket holders are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled tour to check in and get with their group and guide. 
While waiting for the Oak Hill tours to begin at the McRitchie-Hollis, there will be elegant dances performed by members of the Southern Arc Dance Company led by award winning choreographer, Paulo Manso de Sousa and old-time music played live by a trio of folk musicians.Local actors, musicians and dancers are being used as talent in this event. Folk musicians performing at the museum will entertain with a set of old-time, lively yet respectful music from the 19th and 20th centuries.

caroltoolepaintingboard
The first person accounts of the deceased’s lives are designed to engage audience members and give attendees a feeling of “getting to know” the citizen being featured on the tour. 
By highlighting some of the citizens buried in Newnan’s Oak Hill cemetery, the stories of the deceased will be perpetuated and the memory of the former citizen prolonged and celebrated. 
“The event is intended to be a celebration of some of Newnan’s own and how their lives impacted our town and community,” said McMichael. 
This tour is being organized by the staff and volunteers of the Newnan Coweta Historical Society for the purpose of educating our community about some of our deceased citizens contributions to our community. Tours last approximately one hour and begin and end at the NCHS’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, by calling 770-251-0207 or by visiting the NCHS museum at 74 Jackson St, Newnan, GA 30263.

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Second Annual Quilt Expo Oct. 6-8 at Newnan Train Depot

20161006quiltexpoposter_redowhoursThe Second Annual Quilt Expo comes to the Newnan Train Depot Oct. 6-8, presented by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
For the second year the historic Depot — 60 East Broad Street just two blocks from Newnan’s Court Square — will be filled with colorful quilts, displays by local quilt guilds and groups, and vendors offering a range of quilting supplies and gear.
There will be an assortment of vintage and contemporary quilts on view during the three-day event to offer inspiration.
Along with the colorful gallery of quilts, several area groups and guilds plan to be on site with displays and information about their offerings, including Common Threads Quilters Guild of Newnan, the Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent and a guild group from Thomaston.

This colorful display at last year’s Quilt Expo is from the Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent, which will be returning for the second annual event Oct. 6-8 at the Newnan Train Depot, hosted by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

This colorful display at last year’s Quilt Expo is from the Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent, which will be returning for the second annual event Oct. 6-8 at the Newnan Train Depot, hosted by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

The Coweta County Quilts of Valor organization, headed by Kathy Wilson, will be sharing their story of efforts to honor those who have served the United States in the military. The group has stitched numerous quilts in recent years which have been presented to area veterans.
Coweta County quilt enthusiast Barbara Reed is again heading up this event for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. She along with a list of vendors will offer quilting supplies, gear and knowledge.
Among this year’s vendor-experts will be Pamela Mayo of Treefrog Quilting in Moreland, and Peachtree City’s Laura Bosma of Pretty Penny Precuts who will be offering die-cut felted wool applique kits, stitching supplies and notions. Southern Stitches of Thomaston will be at the Expo with quilt kits and fabric.
Southeast Sewing Corporation returns with a display of high-end sewing machines including the Juki long-arm and Juki sit-down machines.
Show organizer Barbara Reed, of Newnan, who operates A Fine Notion, will display all quilting tools and notions, patterns, books, 18-inch doll patterns, clothes and shoes, along with specials and sales for this show.

A variety of colorful quilts will be on display at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s Second Annual Quilt Expo Oct. 6-8 at the Newnan Train Depot.

A variety of colorful quilts will be on display at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s Second Annual Quilt Expo Oct. 6-8 at the Newnan Train Depot.

Some special additions to this year’s show include Five Points, Alabama, craftsperson Carolyn Horn of Dip-Dap Krafts, who will be turning “yarn bowls.”
Also see basket weaving by The Georgia Basket Weaver and Miss Elaineous Baskets of Bonaire, Ga., operated by Doris Brown.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday of the show Oct. 6-7, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the final show day Saturday, Oct. 8.
Admission is $5 at the door. There is ample free parking adjacent to the Depot.
For more information on the 2016 Quilt Expo contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, headquartered in the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street, at the corner of Clark Street, just north of downtown Newnan. The museum presents ever-changing exhibitions on historic and decorative arts topics presented in the setting of a restored grand 1937 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 details call 770-251-0207, check the website at www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com or on Facebook at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

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Lauren Waldroop serves as graduate assistant at NCHS

Working for NCHS during summer 2016 and then continuing her project on Coweta Remembered photographs for fall 2016 was graduate assistant Lauren Waldroop.

Lauren Waldroop

Lauren Waldroop

Originally from Flower Mound, Texas, Lauren Waldroop graduated from Auburn University in 2014 with degrees in Environmental Design and German. As a Fulbright Student the following year in Aachen, Germany, she worked on a project focusing on a small city in northern Italy, built in the mid-1500s as the ideal Renaissance city, trying to determine what makes this city ideal.

She is currently a Master of Historic Preservation candidate at the University of Georgia. Lauren’s research interests include architecture, architecture history, defining cultural identity, and the use of technology to promote history. During summer 2016 she worked on completing our database of “Coweta County Remembered” archival photo materials. When completed, the database will be a searchable digital asset for the organization for years to come.

Here’s the Omeka web address for the Coweta County Remembered project:

http://newnancowetahistoricalsociety.omeka.net/

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TONIGHT AT UWG NEWNAN CAMPUS!

uwg_englishwords

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Congratulations to the winners in the

Fall 2016 Simple Pleasures photography contest!

Fall Simple Pleasures First Place and People's Choice winner Lisa Stephens with her entry "Silly Boys."

Fall Simple Pleasures First Place and People’s Choice winner Lisa Stephens with her entry “Silly Boys.”

Taking First Place as well as the People’s Choice award in the fall 2016 Simple Pleasures Photography Contest hosted by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society was “Silly Boys” by Lisa Stephens, shown with contest judge Billy Newman standing beside the winning photo of two boys playing in fall leaves.

Second place winning photo was “Charming Charlie” by Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia. The entry was an image of a snake charmer she encountered on an international trip.

Second place winning photo was "Charming Charlie" by Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia, with show judge Billy Newman.

Second place winning photo was “Charming Charlie” by Lori Kolbenschlag of Senoia, with show judge Billy Newman.

Third place photo was “Aunt Julia Remembers” by Lori Harrell. The winning photo showed a woman interacting with a horse.

Newman’s criteria for judging were: 
1 — The photo had to reflect a Simple Pleasure.
2 — It had to be a technically good photo.
3 — There had to be a strong element of creativity and uniqueness.

Honorable Mention awards in the Fall 2016 show went to:
–”Rebellious Dancer” by Harper Wolf, a young girl dancing near a No Trespassing sign.
–”Jackleg” by Aneta Harris, an image showing a dog paw appearing to hold a house.
and
–”Morning Stretch” by Lori Kolbenschlag, a backlit image of a runner stretching.

Third place winner Lori Harrell with Simple Pleasures show judge Billy Newman.

Third place winner Lori Harrell with Simple Pleasures show judge Billy Newman.

Newnan-Coweta Executive Director Jeff Bishop and Simple Pleasures show director Larisa McMichael welcomed award reception attendees, and show judge Billy Newman commented on the entries and presented awards.

McMichael later announced the People’s Choice award and sharee about upcoming NCHS events, including the “Walk With Old Souls” tour of historic Oak Hill Cemetery coming up 4-7 p.m. Oct. 15 with tours starting every 20 minutes from the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

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“Walk With Newnan’s Old Souls” in Oak Hill Cemetery Tour

13558753_1207631459270630_6336158228506316583_oExperience Newnan’s Oak Hill Cemetery and learn about the lives of the people laid to rest there during the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s “Walk With Old Souls” event this October 15, from 4-7 p.m.
NCHS will host interactive, immersive experience tours of Newnan’s Historic Oak Hill Cemetery. Actors in costume will portray approximately a half-dozen of Newnan’s more notable deceased who are buried in Oak Hill.

Newnan's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Newnan’s Oak Hill Cemetery.

“This will be a different kind of tour than we have done in years’ past,” said NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop. “It’s not a stroll through a historic neighborhood, and it’s certainly not meant to be a scary type of tour.”
The tour focuses on Newnan residents who lived and died in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the residents or those who served here during the Civil War featured on the tour include manufacturer R. D. Cole; a pair of Civil War nurses, Kate Cumming and Fannie Beers; society lady and College Temple student Hibernia Berry, educator Moses P. Kellogg, and others.

Artistic markers in Newnan's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Artistic markers in Newnan’s Oak Hill Cemetery.

Jeff Bishop wrote the all-new scripts for the tour, based on original historical research. The cast includes Jennifer Dorrell as Fannie Beers, Dawn Campion as Kate Cumming, Bailey Oliveira as Hibernia Berry, Richard Tranter as M.P. Kellogg, Dean Jackson as W.U. Anderson, Tom Grandpre as R.D. Cole, Taj Stephens as Pharaoh Farmer, and Joe Arnotti, Gar Welden, Anne Graner, and Barbara Bishop as guides.
The tours, scheduled every 20 minutes from 4:00 to 6:20, last approximately an hour and begin at the NCHS’s McRithchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA 30263.
Taking inspiration of Atlanta’s popular and successful Oakland Cemetery Spirit Tours, organizers of the NCHS Oak Hill Cemetery Tour hope to engage, educate and entertain ticket holders.
“This is community event designed to give citizens an opportunity to learn about some of Newnan’s citizens who had notable lives and made a difference or an impact on the town in which we live today,” said Tour Coordinator, Larisa McMichael.
Actors will perform next to the gravestone of the deceased person of which they are portraying. Actors will be in Civil War era or Victorian costume and have props or other visuals to help illustrate the lives of the people they represent.
Those in attendance should expect to hear a first person monologue by the actors about the life of the person they are portraying. This event is a unique opportunity for citizens to experience Oak Hill as they never have before.The guided tours will be led by an NCHS lantern-wielding docent dressed in Civil War or Victorian garb as well.
Ticket holders are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled tour to check in and get with their group and guide.
While waiting for the Oak Hill tours to begin at the McRitchie-Hollis, there will be elegant dances performed by members of the Southern Arc Dance Company led by award winning choreographer, Paulo Manso de Sousa and old-time music played live by a trio of folk musicians.Local actors, musicians and dancers are being used as talent in this event. Folk musicians performing at the museum will entertain with a set of old-time, lively yet respectful music from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The first person accounts of the deceased’s lives are designed to engage audience members and give attendees a feeling of “getting to know” the citizen being featured on the tour.
By highlighting some of the citizens buried in Newnan’s Oak Hill cemetery, the stories of the deceased will be perpetuated and the memory of the former citizen prolonged and celebrated.
“The event is intended to be a celebration of some of Newnan’s own and how their lives impacted our town and community,” said McMichael.
This tour is being organized by the staff and volunteers of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for the purpose of educating our community about some of our deceased citizens’ contributions to our community. Tours last approximately one hour and begin and end at the NCHS’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, by calling 770-251-0207 or by visiting the NCHS McRitchie-Hollis museum at 74 Jackson St, Newnan, GA 30263.

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Talk on Gen. Sherman’s Destruction of Georgia Railroads set at Depot Sept. 13

Robert C. Jones

Robert C. Jones

A lecture on Georgia’s railroads as targets of attack during the Civil War is coming in September at Newnan’s Depot History Center.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will host author Robert C. Jones, who will present “Sherman’s Destruction of Georgia’s Railroads” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Newnan Depot, 60 East Broad Street.

Jones is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics from Georgia history from its founding through the Civil War years, as well as various topics on the Civil War, Revolutionary War, World War I, the War of 1812, the Old West and American Railroads. He will have copies of his books on historical topics available for purchase that evening at the Depot.

Jones served as president of the Kennesaw Historical Society for 21 years (1994-2015), and he also served as a member of the executive board of the Kennesaw Museum Foundation for 17 years (1998-2015). The Museum Foundation helped fund the 45,000-square-foot Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA.

Jones has written more than 40 books on Civil War and Revolutionary War themes, including “Lost Confederate Gold,” “A Guide to the Civil War in Georgia” and “Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution.”

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Haley McKenzie completes Summer 2016 internship

We wish Haley McKenzie well as she is back in college earning her graduate degree.

McKenzie began her summer June 1, 2016 as a graduate assistant with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. She is originally from Franklin, Ga.

Haley McKenzie

Haley McKenzie

She received her Bachelor’s in History from Georgia Southern University in 2015 and is currently part of the Public History Master’s Program at Georgia Southern.

Haley has worked with the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah, Ga and the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, Ga.

She eventually hopes to have a career that allows her to make history interesting for the public.

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Facilities Manager Ellen Jenkins leaves to direct new Newnan children’s museum

We wish our recent facilities manager Ellen Jenkins well in her new role directing the Children/Connect Museum that is getting started this September 2016.

Jenkins joined the staff of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society in July 2015, managing facilities rentals of the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Historic Depot. She also worked developing educational programming and community outreach for NCHS.

Ellen Jenkins

Ellen Jenkins

Jenkins grew up in Newnan and graduated from Newnan High School before earning her undergraduate degree in history from the University of West Georgia. She also holds a Master’s degree in elementary education from Western Governors University.

“I’m excited to be back home and part of such a great group of people who are working to preserve Newnan’s history,” Ellen said as she started with NCHS last July. “I have wonderful childhood memories of my family being involved in so many different events and activities at the Male Academy Museum. I’m looking forward to fostering that sense of history and community in the next generation of Newnan residents.”

As a Newnan native, Ellen has strong roots in the area. She was a teacher at Trinity Christian School and The Heritage School and worked with the Summit Family YMCA summer camp program. In 2007, she and her husband Matt moved to Durham, North Carolina, where she taught at Duke School and developed a wide variety of summer programs. Ellen and her husband returned to Newnan last year and live in the downtown area.

“We are looking forward to working with Ellen to strengthen our programming, marketing, and outreach at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society – especially programming for children, where her experience as a teacher will be a valuable asset,” said Executive Director Jeff Bishop as she arrived to work in July 2015. “She will be a valuable part of the NCHS team as we plan for the future.”

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Artist’s rendering of the Children Connect: Newnan Children’s Museum.

Artist’s rendering of the Children Connect: Newnan Children’s Museum.

Children’s museum to kick off activities in September

(From The Newnan Times-Herald, Aug. 12, 2016)

By Rebecca Leftwich

The walls of Newnan’s Male Academy Museum are mostly bare at the moment, and the sound of hammering echoes through the large, empty rooms.
When the historical building next opens to the public, it will house an entirely different kind of museum.

The Children Connect: Newnan Children’s Museum – a hands-on, interactive space designed to help children explore their interests and supplement their learning – will begin offering Saturday programs in mid-September.

Utilizing the larger classrooms of the former school wasn’t in the original plan for the children’s museum, which was intended to occupy the brick house adjacent to Gray Cottage on Clark Street. What began as a historical society committee has morphed into a museum project with plans too big to fit into the space originally designated for its use.

“The idea we had was for a space that children could really come and move around in and explore,” said Ellen Jenkins, executive director of Children Connect. “There just wasn’t enough space at the Clark Street location.”

With historical society collections already housed upstairs in the Clark Street location, the logical course of action was to move the Male Academy Museum displays to the downstairs portion of the house and reassign the NCHS’ lease to Children Connect. And the city of Newnan agreed, allowing Jenkins to get moving on the project.

“It made sense to switch spaces,” she said, citing the adjacent city park as another reason the Male Academy is an ideal location for a children’s museum.

While artist’s renderings show the exhibitions and spaces that are planned for the future, Jenkins said, they look different from what actually will be in place in September, when the first of Children Connect’s “Super Saturdays” will be held.

“It’s going to be awhile before we start looking like a traditional museum,” she said. “We’ve got to raise about $200,000 for fabrication. So at the beginning, we’re going to take advantage of the space we have and the experience I have doing hands-on projects with children.”

Jenkins, who holds a master’s degree in teaching, taught at The Heritage School and Trinity Christian School before moving to Durham, N.C. in 2007. In Durham, she worked at The Duke School, nationally known for providing project-based learning for students ages 3 through eighth grade.

“I was able to learn from the best about how to get kids excited about learning and curious about different topics,” she said. “I learned how to step back and let them shape their own learning. I felt like this kind of activity would really benefit Newnan. (The museum) is an opportunity to create a space for kids to come in and get their hands on something, get dirty, and get the joy of figuring things out for themselves.”

Super Saturdays will be designed for children ages 5-11, according to Jenkins, and initial activities will be based on Dr. Seuss books. Each project will incorporate science, technology and the arts.

“We’ll start with Horton Hears a Who, and we’ll learn all about sound,” she said. “We’ll learn about parts of the body and sound waves, then talk about musical instruments and how they produce sound. We’ll make our own musical instruments for the kids to show to their families.”

Children Connect will be seeking sponsorships and grants to fund some of the programming, with the aim of keeping Super Saturday activities free for all children in the community, Jenkins said.

Once Super Saturdays are up and running, “maker space” will be next on the development list for the museum.

“Maker space is a space with materials for kids to come in and make anything they want,” Jenkins said. “The point is to provide space, materials and enough supervision so that you can teach kids how to safely and appropriately handle things, then turn them loose. You just let kids have their own made laboratory.”

The design and purpose will be different from a traditional museum that people only visit a few times. Children Connect is meant to be a permanent place of discovery, according to Jenkins.

“We want to create a resource for every child in the community, regardless of whether they can afford it,” she said.

For more information on Children Connect: Newnan Children’s Museum, visit the group’s Facebook page at @childrenconnectmuseum .

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Male Academy Museum currently closed

Aug. 9, 2016

Male Academy Museum

Male Academy Museum

The Male Academy Museum is currently closed as it is transformed into the new Children’s Connect Museum. Stay tuned for more details from the children’s museum board.

Meanwhile, for information about the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society call our office at our new headquarters in McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., 770-251-0207.

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College Temple Storytelling Festival Sept. 24

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Storytellers from around the globe are ready to captivate Newnan audiencesSeptember 24 at the College-Temple Storytelling Festival, the first local event of this kind, from 4-6:30 p.m.

NCHS is coordinating this event, which includes five dynamic storytellers. Each storyteller performing has his or her own uniquely developed style that is sure to enthrall those in attendance.

The headliner of the festival is Irish storyteller Helena Byrne. “If you don’t get goosebumps when you hear her beautiful voice then you may need to consult a medical professional because chances are, you’re dead inside,” said Travel Ireland Magazine in March, 2016.

“I didn’t want the stories to end, each one was more spellbinding than the last,” said The Celtic Connection Magazine USA. Byrne “bridges the gap between Irish legends and folk music,” says The Irish World Newspaper UK.

“We’re so fortunate to be able to bring an international storyteller of this caliber to Newnan,” said Executive Director Jeff Bishop. Local storytelling group leader Larisa McMichael is coordinating the event.

The festival is scheduled from 4:00 to 6:30 PM and begins at the NCHS’s McRithchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA 30263.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, by calling 770-251-0207 or by visiting the NCHS museum at 74 Jackson St, Newnan, GA 30263.

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Lots going on at NCHS!

See upcoming events in our latest newsletter.

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20-year anniversary of 1996 Atlanta Olympics
marked with exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

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Numerous Cowetans were involved with the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, and a new exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum reflects on both the Olympics and the Torch Run that brought the flame through U.S. cities including Newnan 20 years ago.

Memorabilia has been shared by participants and spectators, including items from Newnan-Coweta Historical Society board member and treasurer John Thrasher who was involved in the Games as an employee of Georgia Power and who was one of the local torch bearers — carrying the flame along a section of Bullsboro Drive.

The Centennial Olympics took place in metro Atlanta and outlying sites such as the University of Georgia in Athens and in Savannah between July 19 and Aug. 4, 1996. Atlanta Olympics Committee Chair Billy Payne and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young lobbied for the Olympics to be held in Atlanta to prove that the South was no longer impoverished and had moved past the racial tensions of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Atlanta was selected in September 1990 by the Olympic Committee, beating out Athens, Greece and front-runner Toronto, Canada.

The Olympic Torch Relay covered some 16,669 miles, crisscrossing through 42 states to Atlanta, More than 12,000 torch bearers took part in the relay which culminated with Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremonies at the stadium that was later transformed into today’s Turner Field. The torch bearers were determined via an international selection program run by Coca-Cola.

Coweta citizen and Georgia Department of Corrections employee Duke Blackburn developed the route for the Olympic Torch Relay and supervised 1,200 Georgia law officers on the trek across the United States mainland. Georgia State Patrol Trooper Wayne Carlisle, also a Coweta resident, was a member of the team assisting with security for the relay.

Newnan’s own Bob Coggin, along with his wife Millie and numerous Delta and Olympic executives, flew to Athens, Greece to pick up the Olympic flame. Coming back, they landed in Los Angeles and that is where the torch started its trip to Atlanta.

13731469_1223250711032849_9207507844794645968_nAs Millie Coggin recalls, her husband was Executive Vice President of Delta at the time. Delta had a “brand new” jet that carried the torch. The torch was lit all across the ocean. Also, Bob carried the torch from Pine Road into the Newnan City Limits on Greenville Street where he handed it off to Lavinia Barron.

“I have numerous pins and memorabilia,” Millie Coggin shares. “At the time of the Olympics, Richard Branson and his family were our house guests during the Olympics. We attended many events. “We have wonderful memories of the Olympics. We can’t believe it’s been 20 years.”

The torches were designed by Malcolm Grear and assembled from aluminum parts manufactured in Newnan by William L Bonnell Company and pecan wood that was harvested and prepared locally by Woodmizer South plant of Newnan. The torches include 22 aluminum reeds, which represent the number of times that the Games had been held. All 20 host cities are listed on a gold band on the torches.

John Thrasher, in addition to carrying one of the torches in the relay, acted as a field marshal for the Games. He assisted at the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic stadium in Atlanta. He also attended an equestrian event and was at one of the women’s soccer games in Sanford Stadium at UGA, witnessing the U.S.team take home the gold in the first women’s soccer event in Olympic history.

Visitors who were in Atlanta for the Olympics can take a walk down memory lane as they view the torch, souvenirs and images from events, various uniforms, a selection of the popular trading pins and even an “Izzy” mascot doll. The museum also has a journal for visitors to share their own memories of attending or assisting with events during the ’96 Games.

McRitchie-Hollis this summer also offers two other special exhibitions this summer. “Bathing Beauties” traces the evolution of swimwear from the late 1800s through the 1960s, featuring examples from the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society textiles collection. There is also a special historical photo exhibition on development of the Dixie Highway, a traveling exhibition on loan from the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia in Dalton. The cottage industry of the early 1900s making chenille bedspreads displayed along the highway route gave rise to the carpet industry that made Dalton the carpet capital of the world.

McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson St. just north of downtown Newnan. Admission is $5 adults and $2 for students and seniors. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information call 770-251-0207 or see our website at www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com or our Facebook page.

OlympicTorchLOWRESNewnan resident John Thrasher carried this torch in the Olympic Torch Relay for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta. He was among locals carrying torches along Bullsboro Drive. The torches were assembled with aluminum parts manufactured by William L Bonnell Co. of Newnan.

 

 

 

 

Field Marshal jacketLOWRESThis jacket and straw hat were worn by Newnan resident John Thrasher as he served as a field marshal for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The Olympic stadium was later converted into what is now Turner Field.

 

 

 

 

 

SecurityUniformLOWRESThis security uniform worn by Newnan resident Frank Reece is among clothing articles on display as part of the exhibition remembering Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic LegacyLOWRESNewnan-Coweta Historical Society is inviting visitors viewing the McRitchie-Hollis Museum exhibition on Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympic Games to share their own memories of the Games in a special journal.

 

 

 

 

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Open house at 52 College St.

Dent-Walls-Strain home, 52 College St.

Dent-Walls-Strain home, 52 College St.

NCHS members and College Temple neighbors Pat and Mike Strain are graciously hosting an open house of their antebellum home, known as the Dent-Walls home, at 52 College Street after their long renovation project. The open house is 1-6 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Admission is free, but the Strains are taking donations for CARE for AIDS to provide life-saving care to HIV+ parents in Kenya.

The restoration was done by Jerrell Griffin Inc., and the home was decorated by James Farmer III.

Parking will be available on nearby Cavendar Street in the lot across from University of West Georgia, about 4 blocks away.

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Here is a little history on the home from the NCHS Art and Architecture tour in May.

The Joseph Ephraim and Elizabeth Stegall Dent home, 52 College St., was saved from the bulldozers in the 1940s when plans called for it to be the location of a new high school. The property was determined to be too small. It is one of only about 22 antebellum houses remaining in Newnan. The home and property have undergone an extensive renovation by the current owners. Joseph E. Dent was a planter, vice president of the People’s Bank of Newnan, a Mason, and an active member of the Methodist Church. Dent purchased a four-acre property from the Methodist Church and built the home about 1854. It is Greek Revival-style and has a four over four plan with a central hall and double exterior chimneys of handmade clay brick. Early deeds show that on the original large property were a “cow house,” hog pen, buggy shelter and an orchard. The original kitchen building was connected to the main house by a breezeway, now enclosed. The house features four large, fluted Doric columns and a cantilevered balcony. J. E. Dent was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on Aug. 15, 1819. As a young man of 16 he left Virginia with his older brother, William Barton Wade Dent, who had already settled in Georgia, and traveled to Heard County where they made their home. The brothers moved to Newnan in the early 1850s. W.B.W. Dent built a large home, quite similar in design, nearby on Temple Avenue in 1852.

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Signposts along the Dixie Highway

Signposts along the Dixie Highway

Travel the Dixie Highway this summer at McRitchie-Hollis Museum
July 5, 2016
Opening this first week of July at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum is a photo exhibit of the Gateway to the South, the old Dixie Highway.
Explore the once well-traveled Dixie Highway, the first proto-Interstate Highway through the South, that offered “paved access” all the way from the North to Florida.
1929 Georgia Highway map showing routes of Dixie Highway

1929 Georgia Highway map showing routes of Dixie Highway

The photo history of the old road, sections of which still exist to this day, is on loan from the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia in Dalton. The North Georgia cottage industry selling tufted chenille bedspreads to travelers along the route gave rise to the carpet industry that made the Dalton area the carpet capital of the world.
The exhibit will be at McRitchie-Hollis through July and August.
Travel expanded in the early 1900s with advent of the automobile. By the 1930s vacationers from the North headed to Georgia and Florida beaches saw clotheslines filled with tufted chenille bedspreads displayed along U.S. Highway 41, through Dalton and other small communities in northwest Georgia. The area earned the name “Peacock Alley” from one of the popular, colorful designs. Tourists often stopped and bought these spreads, sometimes believing them to be examples of authentic American folk crafts.

 

Mrs. J. A. Green and her son, Allen Burton, make tufted bedspreads on U.S. Highway 41 in Bartow County, 1933. Green was one of the first in the county to make chenille bedspreads.

Mrs. J. A. Green and her son, Allen Burton, make tufted bedspreads on U.S. Highway 41 in Bartow County, 1933. Green was one of the first in the county to make chenille bedspreads.

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Catherine Evans (later Catherine Evans Whitener) revived the handcraft technique of tufting in the 1890s near Dalton. Tufted bedspreads, which proved popular not only locally but also regionally and nationally, consisted of cotton sheeting to which Evans and (later) others would apply designs with raised “tufts” of thick yarn. These tufted bedspreads were often referred to as chenille products. Chenille, the French word for “caterpillar,” is generally used to describe fabrics that have a thick pile (raised yarn ends) protruding all around at right angles. Most tufted bedspreads did not meet the strict definition of chenille, yet the term stuck.

This hand-tufted chenille bedspread, popularized during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was displayed at the Prater's Mill Country Fair in Varnell. The peacock motif appeared on many of the spreads made during the 1930s. - Courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development

This hand-tufted chenille bedspread, popularized during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was displayed at the Prater’s Mill Country Fair in Varnell. The peacock motif appeared on many of the spreads made during the 1930s.
- Courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development

The handcraft of tufting played an important role in the economic development of northwest Georgia. Evans and others who learned the technique stamped familiar patterns onto blank sheets, then filled the patterns with yarn. As the products grew in popularity, merchants in the Dalton region took an interest in marketing the spreads. By the 1920s tufted bedspreads appeared on the shelves of department stores in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and other major cities.
Merchants organized a vast “putting out” system to fill the growing demand. They established “spread houses,” usually small warehouses (or homes) where patterns were stamped onto sheets. Men called haulers would then deliver the stamped sheets and yarn to thousands of rural homes in north Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Families then sewed in the patterns.
The hauler would make another round of visits to pick up the spreads, pay the tufters (or “turfers,” as they sometimes called themselves), and return the products to the spread houses for finishing. Finishing involved washing the spreads in hot water to shrink them and lock in the yarn tufts. The tufted spreads could also be dyed in a variety of colors.
The participation of farm families in this industry provided badly needed cash incomes and helped these families weather the Great Depression. It also produced fortunes for some. Dalton’s B. J. Bandy (aided by his wife, Dicksie Bradley Bandy) was reputedly the first man to make $1 million in the bedspread business by the late 1930s, but many others followed.
In the 1930s such companies as Cabin Crafts began to bring the handwork from the farms into factories. These new firms also began mechanizing the industry by adapting sewing machines to the task of inserting raised yarn tufts.
The industrialization of tufting raised productivity and created a booming local textile industry centered in Dalton. The remarkable success of tufted bedspreads led companies to experiment with other products, such as robes, tank sets (fuzzy covers for toilets), and small rugs.
The experimentation with small rugs eventually led some of these companies to begin using the machine tufting process to cover an entire piece of room-sized (nine feet by twelve feet or so) backing material with raised yarn tufts to produce carpets. In the 1950s carpets surpassed bedspreads and other tufted products and became a staple of American consumption.
Traveling the Dixie Highway soon became part of American popular culture, promoted in magazines, travel literature and even inspiring songwriters.

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The Dixie Highway followed several routes through Georgia. Communities promoted tourist attractions along the way like the Incline Railway at Chattanooga, the Civil War battlefields of northwest Georgia, Rock City gardens, Stone Mountain near Atlanta or the peach orchards of south Georgia. Postcards showed accommodations for overnight guests from upscale hotels to tourist courts to cottages and cabins, or travelers might camp with travel trailers.
Muddy conditions and river crossings were particular hazards for drivers before paving of routes along the Dixie Highway. Bridges were built and roads were improved, sometimes by local townspeople but often with prison labor.
An extra advantage of the road improvements was that the highway provided routes for local commerce. In the late 1800s the primary means of transport of goods had been the railroads with smaller roads built like spokes of a wheel from farms to small towns.
The route through Georgia generally followed Highway 19 and 41, and much of it still exits as byways today.

The Dixie Highway exhibition includes 24 photographic display stands depicting scenes of the famous route’s construction and stops along the way.

The Dixie Highway exhibition includes 24 photographic display stands depicting scenes of the famous route’s construction and stops along the way.

See this traveling exhibit at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street just north of downtown Newnan. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information call 770-251-0207.
McRitchie-Hollis also presents the history of swimwear from the 1800s through the mid-1900s in a summer exhibit called “Bathing Beauties.” And opening mid-July is a 20th anniversary tribute to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the Torch Run that brought the Olympic flame through communities in Coweta County.

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McMichael to direct Simple Pleasures photography contest
July 1, 2016
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The new face of the Simple Pleasures photography competition, Larisa McMichael, left, was introduced at the June 30 closing reception for the spring 2016 Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show.
Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Executive Director Jeff Bishop made the introduction while honoring outgoing director and show founder Carla Cook Smith. Carla will continue to support the competition as director emeritus.
Bishop noted that Larisa will help NCHS make the show a continuing success going forward, as she has done with promoting events like the Burns Scottish hetitage weekend and the recent debut of musical drama “Flies at the Well” recounting the 1948 John Wallace murder trial.
Entry is open through July 26 for the fall Simple Pleasures photography competition. See the Simple Pleasures or Newnan-Coweta Historical Society websites for an entry form or call NCHS at 770-251-0207.
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These students need our help
June 3, 2016
ECHS History Day winners
CONGRATULATIONS to East Coweta High School History Day Winners Sarah Akbar, Kate Lee, Emma Helfers, Allison Haskell, and Paul Anderson, who are all going to NATIONAL HISTORY DAY — but they need some help! “We all have a great passion for history,” said Akbar, “and this is depicted in our projects. We have won 1st place at the school level, 1st place at the regional level, and 1st place at the state level. Now it is time for us to go to the National level in Maryland from June 12 to June 16th to compete for one final time. We were wondering if you would be able to help a little bit to fund our trip there so that we can compete at the National level.”
Nobody from East Coweta High School has ever qualified to go to Nationals for National History Day, even though it is a competition the school competes in every year. “This is an amazing opportunity for us and for our school, but we need some help getting there,” she said.

The approximate costs of the the trip are a $110 registration fee per student, $250 for a round-trip plane ticket per student, and approximately $400-500 for staying at a hotel in Maryland per student. This totals to be about $800 per student and approximately $4,000 for all of the students together.

“We are not asking for you to fund our entire trip, but any small donation is very much appreciated. If you are interested in helping us go to nationals or want more information about our project or about National History Day, please contact our teacher, Todd Crafton. His contact information is below.”

Todd Crafton
(770)714-7142
todd.crafton@cowetaschools.net

The group’s GoFundMe page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/nhdnationals2016

The online project is called The Golden Age of Broadway and here is its link. http://80668400.nhd.weebly.com/

Its description:
The Golden Age of Broadway was the era in which Broadway musicals began to truly develop. We trace the changes to the musical itself, as well as the social effects that these shows had on American culture by handing tough subjects such as racism.

The exhibit project is called The Speckled Monster: Microscopic Soldier and beginning Friday it will be ON DISPLAY FOR A LIMITED TIME AT THE McRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM! A cash donation box will be made available.

For its description:
The Speckled Monster: Microscopic Soldier describes the historical significance of smallpox, especially its effect on Native American populations and culture. Smallpox has become a notorious agent of death in the course of American history, and its devastation was integral in the decline of Native American civilizations. The smallpox virus killed and mutilated millions of Native Americans, drastically reducing the world’s cultural diversity and diminishing their ability to resist subjugation.

“I know the numbers seem daunting, but any donation in helping us achieve our goal of winning at the National Competition is greatly appreciated!” said Akbar.

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These students need our help
June 3, 2016
CONGRATULATIONS to East Coweta High School History Day Winners Sarah Akbar, Kate Lee, Emma Helfers, Allison Haskell, and Paul Anderson, who are all going to NATIONAL HISTORY DAY — but they need some help! “We all have a great passion for history,” said Akbar, “and this is depicted in our projects. We have won 1st place at the school level, 1st place at the regional level, and 1st place at the state level. Now it is time for us to go to the National level in Maryland from June 12 to June 16th to compete for one final time. We were wondering if you would be able to help a little bit to fund our trip there so that we can compete at the National level.”
Nobody from East Coweta High School has ever qualified to go to Nationals for National History Day, even though it is a competition the school competes in every year. “This is an amazing opportunity for us and for our school, but we need some help getting there,” she said.The approximate costs of the the trip are a $110 registration fee per student, $250 for a round-trip plane ticket per student, and approximately $400-500 for staying at a hotel in Maryland per student. This totals to be about $800 per student and approximately $4,000 for all of the students together.”We are not asking for you to fund our entire trip, but any small donation is very much appreciated. If you are interested in helping us go to nationals or want more information about our project or about National History Day, please contact our teacher, Todd Crafton. His contact information is below.”Todd Crafton
(770)714-7142
todd.crafton@cowetaschools.netThe group’s GoFundMe page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/nhdnationals2016The online project is called The Golden Age of Broadway and here is its link. http://80668400.nhd.weebly.com/Its description:
The Golden Age of Broadway was the era in which Broadway musicals began to truly develop. We trace the changes to the musical itself, as well as the social effects that these shows had on American culture by handing tough subjects such as racism.The exhibit project is called The Speckled Monster: Microscopic Soldier and beginning Friday it will be ON DISPLAY FOR A LIMITED TIME AT THE McRITCHIE-HOLLIS MUSEUM! A cash donation box will be made available.For its description:
The Speckled Monster: Microscopic Soldier describes the historical significance of smallpox, especially its effect on Native American populations and culture. Smallpox has become a notorious agent of death in the course of American history, and its devastation was integral in the decline of Native American civilizations. The smallpox virus killed and mutilated millions of Native Americans, drastically reducing the world’s cultural diversity and diminishing their ability to resist subjugation.”I know the numbers seem daunting, but any donation in helping us achieve our goal of winning at the National Competition is greatly appreciated!” said Akbar.
Busy weekend ahead for NCHS
June 2, 2016
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It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend for family fun and art in Newnan via the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society with two events at two museums, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Male Academy!
The weekend opens with the smooth sounds of jazz performed by saxophonist Antoine Knight at the reception at the Male Academy Museum for Beyond Cups and Bowls, a free fine art clay competition/exhibition on Friday, June 3 at 7 p.m. AntoineKnight
Winners from the national clay competition will be announced at the event which also showcases the talent of four local artists. Details: www.beyondcupsandbowls.com
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On Saturday, June 4, indoor and outdoor exhibits for Beyond Cups and Bowls open at the Male Academy beginning at 10 a.m. and will include artisan demos in blacksmithing, textiles, spinning, painting and more via the Artisans Heritage Guild. Support local non-profit organizations through the purchase of food and beverages at this event which is sponsored by Christopher Bros. Surveying, McKoon Funeral Home, Piedmont Insurance, the Senoia Buggy Museum and Welden Financial.

There are more opportunities for family fun on Saturday at the McRitchie Hollis Museum, which is providing children’s activities from 11 until 1 at the NCHS Family Fun Day.
Sophie Bishop, back, with a young visitor at the Face Painting station during the NCHS Easter Egg Roll. There will be fun kids' activities Saturday 11 to 1 for Summer Family Fun Day at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Sophie Bishop, back, with a young visitor at the Face Painting station during the NCHS Easter Egg Roll. There will be fun kids’ activities Saturday 11 to 1 for Summer Family Fun Day at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Join Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for a day of fun for the whole family! Kid’s games and activities, face painting, live music, food trucks, and free admission to the museum are included. This Saturday also marks the opening of a new historic swimwear exhibit, “Bathing Beauties,” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, featuring swimsuits from the early 20th century into the 1960s.

Beyond Cups & Bowls at the Male Academy, on Saturday from 10-5, celebrates the talent of four local clay artists: Andrea Faye, Susan Gibbs, Janet McGregor Dunn and Jackie Chapman in addition to spotlighting the finalists (Masa Sasaki, Zack Callaway and Karen Fincannon) from the national fine art clay competition.

What started as a hobby 16 years ago for Andrea Faye has developed into a worthwhile business. Her works include figures, sculpture and Raku (among other techniques) and are featured in fine art galleries.

An art teacher in public schools for 40 years, Susan Gibbs has a Master in Fine Arts with a clay focus. Her work sometimes incorporates fiber and metal into the design. A lot of Susan’s work is figurative, displaying a love of ethnic art in addition to the surprise of combining non-traditional materials and techniques.

Sculpted clay with an addition from nature describes the work of Janet McGregor Dunn. Whether functional or decorative, her work has multiple glazes and sometimes added glass. Glaze firing 2 to 5 times adds depth to her art.

Jackie Chapman began exhibiting her clay works in 1980. An educator for 29 years, she brings a creative edge to staple Pottery and is often the best selling artist at shows. Her work has 3+ coats of glaze and 2 firings. Glazed pieces are lead-free and food safe.

The four members of the Artist Showcase serve as judges for Beyond Cups and Bowls inaugural competition. Cash Prizes will be awarded to winners at the opening reception Friday evening.
Sign refurbished at McRitchie-Hollis
May 26, 2016
McRitchie-Hollis Museum

McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Aren’t we looking spiffy!
The sign in front of McRitchie-Hollis Museum is all repaired and refurbished!
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Dr. Steve Goodson wraps up Southern Crossroads series Thursday
The series “Southern Crossroads: Where History and Literature Meet” concludes 7:30 p.m. May 19 at the NCHS McRitchie-Hollis Museum with “Is It True What They Say About Dixie? Southern History Through Song” presented by Dr. Steve Goodson, Ph.D.
Southern Crossroads May 19
Goodson is chair of the Department of History and professor of history at University of West Georgia. The series has been co-hosted this spring by Newnan Carnegie Library and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. 
No region of the United States has richer musical traditions or a more fascinating history than does the South. Dr. Goodson provides a presentation that will bring together that music and history in a discussion of the ways in which the South has been represented in song over the past 175 years. He will play a generous sampling of vintage and modern recordings to illustrate the major Southern themes, events and characters that have preoccupied songwriters and performers since the early ninetheenth century.
Kicking off the series Jan. 28 at the Carnegie with “Frederick Douglas & Harriet Ann Jacobs: Narratives, Incidents of Race, Gender and Nation” was Dr. Stacy Boyd, English professor at UWG. 
Part 2 was held at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Feb. 11 featuring Dr. David Newton of UWG. He discussed “Writing at the Crossroads: Southern Literature, Reconstruction, Old South and New South.” There was an effort for Southern writers to create an “American” literature, distinct from that of England and Europe. Newton focused on Gilmore Simms.
Part 3 – “Between History and the Page: The Fugitive Moment,” featured Melissa Dickson Jackson, MFA, Creative Writing, Poetry, on March 24 at the Carnegie Library. Part 4 was April 28 at the Carnegie with “The Female Aesthetic in the Modern South: A Confederacy of Water Moccasins” presented by Dr. Rebecca Harrison, Ph.D., associate professor of English. 
McRitchie-Hollis Museum is at 74 Jackson St. Ample free parking is behind the museum, with entrance off Clark Street.
For more details on future lectures call the Carnegie Library at 770-683-1347 or Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum office, 770-251-0207.
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Farewell to Harvee White
Harvee White

Harvee White

Harvee White, a Master’s degree candidate in Public History at the University of West Georgia, completed her second semester with Newnan-Coweta Historical Society this month.

She began work the last week of August 2015 as our Graduate Resident Assistant (GRA) and continued in that role in her second semester Winter 2016.

Among projects during her time here she helped with refurbishing and reopening the Male Academy Museum in fall 2015 and with mounting the first Quilt Expo at the Depot History Center, helped research and create information panels on the Arnco Mill Village to accompany quilt exhibition “Labor of Love” at the Male Academy, coordinated a spring 2016 family fun day at the Male Academy, and did research for Facebook posts in conjunction with Main Street Newnan for the “This Place Matters” campaign for National Historic Preservation Month.

Originally from Louisiana, she has been a Newnanite since 2004, and is excited to learn its history. After graduating from East Coweta High School in 2009, she went on to pursue her Bachelor’s in Art History from Georgia State University, earning the degree in 2013.

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“Shakespeare Smackdown” Thursday, April 21 at Depot
The “Shakespeare Smackdown” comes to Newnan Thursday at the Historic Depot, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the passing of The Bard.

“The Ultimate Shakespeare Death Smackdown is a performance event hosted by the Newnan Coweta Historical Society, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, or as we call him, Bill,” said Dale Lyles, host of the event.
The Smackdown will invite teams to compete for prizes in a wrestling format as they recite some of William Shakespeare’s greatest hits.

“Join Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at the Depot 7:30 p.m. April 21 as we remember the accomplishments of English poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare for National Poetry Month,” said Jeff Bishop, NCHS executive director.

Entry for the contest is underway. Prepare your best Shakespeare reading or scene and compete for prizes. Teams introduced much like a wrestling match, performances are timed. There is still time to enter.

“The Historic Depot will become an arena in which individuals and teams will compete in a rowdy night of artistic achievement and bardolatry, complete with cheers and jeers from the crowd,” said Lyles.

Here are the eules:

A fee for each entry is required: $10/individual, $25/team. You pay the fee at the event.
Register your entry at http://goo.gl/forms/8N66OCs2WD. You will need to know:
Your real name
Your real contact information
The organization you represent (if any)
Your stage name or team name
The scene (Play, Act, Scene, Lines) you’re doing. Because different editions number the shows differently, we will ask for the actual first and last lines of your scene, not line numbers. (Sonnets are permissible. Venus & Adonis is not.)
You may register more than one scene.
Rehearse.
Show up at The History Depot on Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. (an hour before showtime) fee in hand.
Prepare to SMACK DOWN!
Each team will have no more than 60 seconds to take the stage and be ready to start, so keep your props/set pieces to a minimum. The Depot will have chairs. Other simple furniture may be available.
Scenes have a time limit of 8 minutes.
Adjudication will be based on:
a. clarity
b. theatricality
c. audience response
d. tip jar score (this is a fundraiser)
e. bonus points for scenes that include or refer to death
Cash prizes will be awarded.


Shakespeare trivia:

Nobody knows Shakespeare’s true birthday. The closest we can come is the date of his baptism on April the 26th, 1564. By tradition and guesswork, William is assumed to have been born three days earlier on April the 23rd, a date now commonly used to celebrate the famous Bard’s birthday.

The Bard coined the phrase, “the beast with two backs” meaning intercourse, in his play Othello.

Shakespeare invented the word “assassination.”

There are only two authentic portraits of William today: the widely used engraving of William Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout first published on the title page of the 1623 First Folio and the monument of the great playwright in Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.

William married a woman nearly twice his age. Anne Hathaway was 26 years old when William married her at age 18. They married at Temple Grafton, a village approximately five miles from Stratford. Anne Hathaway was said to be from Shottery.

Shakespeare and wife had eight children, including daughter Susanna, twins Hamnet, Judith, and Edmund. Susanna received most of the Bard’s fortune when he died in 1616, age 52. Hamnet died at age 11, Judith at 77. Susanna dies in 1649, age 66.

There were two Shakespeare families living in Stratford when William was born; the other family did not become famous.

Shakespeare, one of literature’s greatest figures, never attended university.

Of the 154 sonnets or poems, the playwright penned, his first 26 were said to be directed to an aristocratic young man who did not want to marry. Sonnets 127 – 152 talk about a dark woman, the Bard seems to have had mixed feelings for.

Most academics agree that William wrote his first play, Henry VI, Part One around 1589 to 1590 when he would have been roughly 25 years old.

The Bard is believed to have started writing the first of his 154 sonnets in 1593 at age 29. His first sonnet was Venus and Adonis published in the same year.

William lived through the Black Death. This epidemic that killed over 33,000 in London alone in 1603 when Will was 39, later returned in 1608.

The Bard lost a play. The play Cardenio that has been credited to the Bard and which was performed in his life, has been completely lost to time. Today we have no written record of it’s story whatsoever.

The Great Bard suffered breech of copyright. In 1609, many of his sonnets were published without the bard’s permission.

The famous playwright died in 1616 at the age of 52. He wrote on average 1.5 plays a year since he first started in 1589. His last play The Two Noble Kinsmen is reckoned to have been written in 1613 when he was 49 years old.

William never published any of his plays. We read his plays today only because his fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work as a dedication to their fellow actor in 1623, publishing 36 of William’s plays. This collection known as The First Folio is the source from which all published Shakespeare books are derived and is an important proof that he authored his plays.

William was born to a Stratford tanner named John Shakespeare. His mother Mary was the daughter of a wealthy gentleman-farmer named Robert Arden.

Legend has it that at the tender age of eleven, William watched the pageantry associated with Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Kenilworth Castle near Stratford and later recreated this scene many times in his plays.

Unlike most famous artists of his time, the Bard did not die in poverty. When he died, his will contained several large holdings of land.

Few people realize that aside from writing 37 plays and composing 154 sonnets, William was also an actor who performed many of his own plays as well as those of other playwrights (Ben Jonson).

As an actor performing his own plays, William performed before Queen Elizabeth I and later before James I who was an enthusiastic patron of his work.

Will wrote lewd comments about woman. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s nurse crudely tells Juliet “thou (you) wilt (will) fall backward when thou (you) hast (have) more wit” (Act I, Scene III, Line 41), by which she means Juliet will learn to fall or lie on her back (have sex) when she is older.

The Bard crudely discusses genitalia size in The Taming of the Shrew where the character Curtis tells Grumio, “Away, you three-inch fool” (Act IV, Scene I, Lines 26-28). Grumio banally replies that he is at least as long as his foot.

Will dabbled in property development. At age 18, he bought the second most prestigious property in all of Stratford, The New Place and later he doubled his investment on some land he bought near Stratford.

Even Shakespeare had his critics. One called Robert Greene described the young playwright as an “upstart young crow” or arrogant upstart, accusing him of borrowing ideas from his seniors in the theatre world for his own plays.

William’s 126th poem contains a farewell, to “my lovely boy” a phrase taken to imply possible homosexuality by some postmodern Shakespeare academics.

The Bard’s will gave most of his property to Susanna, his first child and not to his wife Anne Hathaway. Instead his loyal wife infamously received his “second-best bed”.

The Bard’s second best bed wasn’t so bad, it was his marriage bed; his best bed was for guests.

Until The First Folio was published seven years after his death in 1616, very little personal information was ever written about the Bard..

William was known as a keen businessman to many in his home town of Stratford.

Suicide occurs an unlucky thirteen times in Shakespeare’s plays. It occurs in Romeo and Juliet where both Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, in Julius Caesar where both Cassius and Brutus die by consensual stabbing, as well as Brutus’ wife Portia, in Othello where Othello stabs himself, in Hamlet where Ophelia is said to have “drowned” in suspicious circumstances, in Macbeth when Lady Macbeth dies, and finally in Antony and Cleopatra where suicide occurs an astounding five times (Mark Antony, Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras and Eros).

Racism crops up frequently in the Bard’s work. In Othello, the lead character , a Moor of African descent, is continuously insulted for his heritage and appearance (especially in Act I) by his enemies and even his supporters (Lodovico) at the play’s conclusion when Othello murders his wife for mistakenly believing she cheated. Racism also occurs in Titus Andronicus (towards the Moor named Aaron), The Tempest where the misformed giant Caliban is called “this thing of darkness” (Act V, Line 275), and in Richard II.

Anti-Semitism also crops up. The Jewish moneylender Shylock in the Merchant of Venice is portrayed as greedy and calculating. At the play’s conclusion he is forced to change religion to Christianity as punishment for wanting “a pound of flesh”from Antonio who agreed to this if his friend forfeited a debt to Shylock. Being a Jew is used as a curse in Henry the First, Part Two (Act II, Scene IV, Line 178), in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act II, Scene V, Line 53), The Merchant of Venice,Anthony and Cleopatra, Much Ado about Nothing , Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The Bard’s characters frequently debase those of colored skin. In Love’s Labour’s Lost, the character King Ferdinand, King of Navarre, racially remarks that “Black is the badge of hell, the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night” (Act IV, Scene III, Lines 254-255).

William was popular with King James I. England’s ruler following Elizabeth I was so taken with the Bard’s skill that he gave his acting company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men a patent allowing them to perform and also made these actors Grooms of Chamber. The Bard returned the favor by renaming his company, The King’s Men. This title made William a favorite for Court performances and made him a favorite with the new King of England.

William Shakespeare is one of the most identifiable icons of England. Others include members of England’s Royal family, Westminister Abbey, Big Ben, and red double-decker buses.
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Poetry Month Event this Thursday at McRitchie-Hollis Museum
We’re celebrating National Poetry Month with a “Stone, River, Sky” reading at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum in Newnan 7 p.m. this Thursday, April 14.
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Join Georgia poets Nick Norwood, Laura Beasley, Melanie Jordan, Melissa Dickson Jackson, Carey Scott Wilkerson, and Michael Diebert on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at 74 Jackson St.

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. 

“Art just may save us all,” said Jackson, organizer of the local event.
While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim 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.
There are many ways to participate. Here are just a few:

· Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place using #npm16 and follow the Academy of American Poets on Twitter @POETSorg.
· Use the new National Poetry Month logo to promote your events. It can be downloaded here.
· Order a free National Poetry Month poster and display it proudly.
· Invite K-12 students to participate in our Dear Poet project by writing letters in response to poems shared by the award-winning poets serving on our Board of Chancellors.
· Attend Poetry & the Creative Mind, a celebration of poetry from the reader’s perspective featuring leading and luminary actors, artists, and public figures, on April 27, 2016, in New York City.
· Participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016.
· Sign up for Poem-a-Day.
· Join the Academy of American Poets and show your support year-round for poets and poetry.
· Share your photos and feedback about your National Poetry Month celebrations with the Academy of American Poets by emailing npm@poets.org.
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‘Flies at the Well’ opens in one week
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In an unprecedented spirit of cooperation, the Newnan Theatre Company has joined forces with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, The Newnan Cultural Arts Commission, Main Street, The Coweta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Carnegie Library, the Coweta Community Foundation, the Charter Foundation, Newnan Utilities, and many others to recognize the April anniversary of the events that sparked the famous “Murder in Coweta County,” the 1948 John Wallace trial.
The subject of a best-selling book by Margaret Anne Barnes, a TV movie, and now a play began with the April murder of a Carrollton sharecropper in Moreland by Meriwether County farmer John Wallace.
The former Sunset Cafe in Moreland where the fleeing Turner ran out of gas.

The former Sunset Cafe in Moreland where the fleeing Turner ran out of gas.

Lorraine LaRue of the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau flips through a book of information on the John Wallace case at the Courthouse Visitors Center in Newnan.

Lorraine LaRue of the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau flips through a book of information on the John Wallace case at the Courthouse Visitors Center in Newnan.

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The trial was noted for the dogged determinism of Coweta Sheriff Lamar Potts to pursue the case despite the lack of a body, highly unusual in a time before DNA evidence, as well as the colorful antics of “Oracle of the Ages” Mayhayley Lancaster, and the hubris of Wallace’s self-incriminating testimony. The trial is also noted for the testimony of Albert Brooks and Robert Lee Gates, two of Wallace’s field hands, who were African-American. The trial took place 20 years prior to the Civil Rights movement, in a time when such testimony was highly unusual.
Exhibits related to the murder case and trial will be on display at the historic Coweta County Courthouse (CVB) and at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., featuring artifacts and newspaper articles related to the trial.
Brochures showing locations related to the John Wallace case and trial have bee produced by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Brochures showing locations related to the John Wallace case and trial have bee produced by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

Carnegie Showing
A driving tour brochure of sites related to the trial has been developed by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and is available at the CVB, the Carnegie, the Male Academy Museum, and the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
On April 1, the TV movie “Murder in Coweta County” will be exhibited at 2 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Newnan. “Flies at the Well,” the new musical based on the trial, will premiere at the Wadsworth Auditorium on Friday night, April 1. Tickets are available at www.fliesatthewell.org.
Musical directors Becky Clark and Matthew Bailey lead the Flies at the Well cast.

Musical directors Becky Clark and Matthew Bailey lead the Flies at the Well cast.

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The music of ‘Flies at the Well’
Note: Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Executive Director Jeff Bishop is the playwright for new musical drama “Flies at the Well,” which debuts April 1-3, 2016, at Wasdsworth Auditorium. Here he discusses the music behind the story in this new production.
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Jeff Bishop

Jeff Bishop

“Flies at the Well,” debuting April 1-3 at the Wadsworth Auditorum in Newnan, is intended to be an “indigenous” musical experience. All of the musical pieces in this play are songs one would have heard on the front porches, in the churches, and in the fields of Newnan and Coweta County in the mid-20th century at the time the John Wallace murder trial occurred. Some of it – such as the Shape Note songs — originated here, and one song even bears the name of “Newnan.” All of it is authentic.
“One aspect that’s really exciting is the music,” said playwright Jeff Bishop. “When I say it’s indigenous, I don’t mean it’s Native American. I mean that it’s music that is of this place — music that you would have heard in our churches, in our fields, on our front porches, on our roadsides, in our woods and riverbottoms during the time the murder and trial took place, in 1948. It’s of this place, and it’s utterly haunting.”
The Reese Twins and The Sacred Harp
Suire J.P.Reese

Suire J.P.Reese

“Flies at the Well” prominently features the local 19th century music of renowned Shape Note singers and songwriters, the Reese brothers. The twins John Palmer “Ripples” Reese and Henry Smith “RAT” Reese were born Nov. 23, 1828 in Jasper County, Georgia. Though lacking a formal education, never having more than “six months’ training in an old field school,” they went on to write some of the most memorable “Shape Note” songs for the “Sacred Harp” tradition in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both Reese brothers became preachers, and both eventually settled in Coweta County and wrote regularly for the Newnan Heraldnewspaper. During the Civil War H.S. Reese served as a medical assistant, while his brother served in Company I of the 37th Georgia Infantry. Ripples was described in The Makers of the Sacred Harp as “a student of the freaks of nature.” As an example, the authors relate a story of Ripples being “troubled over the last tenor note in the ¾ section” of the song “Weeping Pilgrim.” Then he “heard the lowing of a cow in a nearby field” and incorporated it into the tune. (If you’re familiar with the primitive, raucous sounds of Shape Note singing, this won’t come as such a shock.) Ripples was “eagerly read by the people,” relating many colorful anecdotes in the newspaper, including an observation that “most preachers are fond of spare ribs and backbone and fatty bread,” and that these “greasy doin’s are productive of good,” since they “strengthen the ties between flock and pastor” by encouraging preachers to follow church members back home after the service. “Just kill a hog and invite the preacher” if you want to get closer to God, he explained. When he died of pneumonia in 1900 the Herald and Advertiser reported that Ripples was “devoted to the art of song, and enjoyed a wide reputation as a vocalist, having served for four years as president of the Chattahoochee Musical Association.” Ripples had “probably presided over more singing conventions than any man in Georgia,” the newspaper reported. “He took part in these meetings, not for amusement, but in a spirit of earnest worship,” and was never happier than when he was leading a singing. Ripples contributed over 40 songs to the Sacred Harp hymnal, including “Sharpsburg,” “Grantville,” “Mulberry Grove,” and “Fillmore.” Songs featured prominently in the new musical “Flies at the Well” include “The Golden Harp” and “Newnan.” Ripples moved two miles north of Newnan in 1855, and in addition to preaching, songwriting, and reporting for the newspaper, he also was a farmer and a tax collector. Ripples or “Squire Reese,” as he was often called, married Elizabeth Mosley and fathered 10 children. His brother, known to local readers as “R.A.T.” (Round About Turin), was no less accomplished. He contributed 11 songs to the Sacred Harp, including “Traveling Pilgrim,” which is featured in “Flies at the Well.” RAT outlived his twin, and preached for 67 years in Coweta and surrounding counties, settling in Turin and marrying Martha Jane Leavell, with whom he had seven children. “After the Civil War he helped African-Americans to organize Baptist churches and associations,” the writers of The Makers of Sacred Harp report. His house still stands in Turin. Just before his 90th birthday, Reese preached one last time at his old church, Macedonia Baptist, in what was described as “a remarkable and impressive service.” “His mind is still clear, his demeanor cheerful and genial, and he reads without the use of glasses,” the newspaper reported in 1917. “Every utterance that falls from his lips is inspired by sincerity, charity, and good will.” We honor the legacy of the Reese twins by bringing their haunting compositions to the stage as part of the “Flies at the Well” musical experience.

Hear a quick sample: CLICK HERE.
Many songs based on field recordings
Many of the songs in the new musical “Flies at the Well” (www.fliesatthewell.org) were based on field recordings of Southern folk songs recorded by famed musicologists John and Ruby Lomax on a 6,502-mile trip through the Deep South in 1939 on behalf of the Library of Congress.
The songs selected from these 25 hours of folk recordings include “Humbug,” “Drinking Shine” (originally “Drinkin’ Wine”), “Keep A-Runnin’ From De Fire,” “You Got to Lay Down,” “The Huntin’ Song,” “Whatcha Gonna Do When De World’s on Fire,” and “Down on Me.” (A version of the “Crawdad Song” that closes Act I is also a part of the Lomax field recordings, and the prison work song, “Early in the Mornin’,” was recorded by his son, Alan Lomax, also a famed folk musicologist). Many of these songs were later made famous through popular versions recorded by major recording artists like Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, and Janis Joplin.
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The Lomax family’s collection work was aided immensely with the acquisition of a 315-pound aluminum disk phonograph recording machine in 1933, which Lomax installed into the trunk of his Ford sedan.

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The Lomaxes were among the first music field collectors to use scholarly methodology in their work, and the recordings are often accompanied by meticulous field notes taken by Ruby Lomax. The Lomaxes were most famous for their “discovery” of the blues great, Leadbelly, during their travels. The folk songs they collected had often been passed down from generation to generation, evolving and being re-worked as they made their way from front porches and fields to prison farms, and eventually into recording studios.

The Lomaxes collected over 700 sound recordings during their 1939 trip through the South, which wound up being the final such excursion for the Library of Congress as World War II approached and acetate became a war commodity. John Lomax, who began his career recording first-person slave narratives, was also suspected by Southern politicians of “agitating” for civil and worker rights, leading to the final demise of the program. The original songs, now widely recognized as a national treasure, can be found at https://www.loc.gov/…/john-and-ruby-…/about-this-collection/

Learn more about the collection HERE.

You can hear an interview with John A. Lomax HERE.

Play also incorporates black gospel tradition
“Flies at the Well” (www.fliesatthewell.org) also incorporates, at key points in the play, the black gospel singing tradition. The emotional climax of “Flies at the Well” involves two songs from this school. The first, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” is a traditional hymn dating back to 1745. It was originally written in Welsh, and titled “Arglwydd arwain trwy’r anialwch.” The lyrics – “Guide me, O Thou Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land,” speak to a longing for a beacon of hope when facing an unknown future. “I am weak, but you are mighty – hold me with your powerful hand,” the hymn states. The hymn was brought over to America in the 1700s and proved especially popular in Southern African-American churches, where it is considered one of the “old hymns” and is still used in services today.

The second song – which comes at one of the great high points in the play – is called “City of Refuge,” but is more widely known as “You Better Run.” The origins of this “call and response” song are obscure, but the song was included among turn of the 20th century folklore collections such as John W. Work’s “American Negro Song” and the Frank C. Brown “Collection of North Carolina Folklore.” A version of this song was also included in the 1914 dissertation of Joseph Brummell Earnest, “The Religious Development of the Negro in Virginia.” The earliest known recording of the song (titled “You Better Run”) was by Wiseman Sextette in 1923. The song was recorded again in 1928 by Blind Willie Johnson and in 1934 by Louise Washington. Later versions were recorded by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and even Elvis Presley.
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The arrangement of the version used in the play is based on that popularized by the Rev. C.J. Johnson, a Douglasville native, and the son of a Shape Note singer. Johnson’s version of the song was used by the Atlanta History Center in its permanent exhibition, “Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South,” and more recently in the first season of the HBO series, “True Detective.” The lyrics used in “Flies at the Well” are based on much earlier versions of the song, however. The lyrics varied widely from version to version, but always related to the Biblical concept of a “city of refuge,” where people accused of manslaughter could escape vengeance. The concept of a “peace town” where lawbreakers could seek refuge was also common among the Creek Indians. Many of the lyrics used in early versions of this song referred to the “end times” of the Book of Revelation, and to the Last Supper. In the context of the play, it is the murderer John Wallace’s last chance at redemption, and a warning of the reckoning that is about to come.
Hear a sample of Rev. C.J. Johnson singing HERE.
The Greek Chorus

“So the jury for the trial seemed a perfect opportunity to explore some of this music, since we have the ancient tradition of the Greek Chorus, which comments on and processes the action of the play as it unfolds,” said Bishop. The jury could double a choir, and serve as the Greek chorus, he said.
“All plays originally had choruses like this. Even Shakespeare employed a Chorus figure from time to time. Just watch Henry V for a good example. So I wanted to go back to that,” he said.
The Greek Chorus originally offered a variety of background and summary information to help the audience follow the performance. They commented on themes, and demonstrated how the audience might react to the drama. In many of these plays, the chorus expressed to the audience what the main characters could not say, such as their hidden fears or secrets. The chorus often provided other characters with the insight they needed.

The chorus represents, on stage, the general population of the particular story, in sharp contrast with many of the themes of the ancient Greek plays which tended to be about individual heroes, gods, and goddesses. Historian H.D.F. Kitto argues that the word “chorus” gives us hints about its function in the plays of ancient Greece:”The Greek verb choreuo, I am a member of the chorus, has the sense ‘I am dancing,’ Kitto has argued. The word ode means not something recited or declaimed, but ‘a song’. The ‘orchestra’ in which a chorus had its being is literally, a dancing floor”. From this, it can be inferred that the chorus danced and sang poetry.

“And there will be plenty of singing and dancing at ‘Flies at the Well. Only instead of an ancient Greek lute, you might see a banjo or a washboard,” said Bishop.

“Flies at the Well,” a production of the Newnan Theatre Company, premieres at the Wadsworth Auditorium April 1-3. Jennifer Dorrell directs. Music direction by Becky Clark and Matthew Bailey. Tickets are available at www.fliesatthewell.org
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“Brush Up Your Shakespeare” at McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Tuesday, Mar. 22
In preparation for the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, former Newnan Theatre Company Artistic Director (and founder) Dale Lyles will give an introduction on “Acting Shakespeare” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum next Tuesday, Mar. 22, at 7:30 p.m.

The museum is located at 74 Jackson St.
Dale Lyles

Dale Lyles


Lyles has directed numerous Shakespeare productions, including “Winter’s Tale,” “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” “Henry VI, Part III,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Comedy of Errors.” This workshop is intended to prepare prospective entrants for next months’ “Shakespeare Smackdown” at the Newnan Historic Depot. Both events are sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.

“One of my favorite memories at Newnan Community Theatre Company was our 1995 production of The Winter’s Tale,” said Lyles. “Our Hermione was a professional actress from Atlanta, Equity even, whose personal goal of playing all of Shakespeare’s queens overrode her concerns about union rules. (She did perform under an assumed name.) She was amazing to work with and had a great time with us. 

“At the cast party after our last performance, I was looking at my large cast running around enjoying themselves, congratulating themselves on a job well done, and Jen walked up and said fondly, ‘They don’t know they’re not supposed to be able to do this, do they?’

“’No, they do not,’ I replied. And they didn’t. They had no clue that tackling one of Shakespeare’s late romances was out of their league. But I had provided the opportunity, and not knowing any better they jumped into the deep end without a second thought. And they did it!”

Lyles said just about anyone can tackle Shakespeare’s immortal texts, with the right introduction and training. There’s no need to feel intimidated, he said.

“Give yourself permission to create,” said Lyles, who is writing a book on the subject.

He gives himself that same permission all the time, he said.

“One reason I chose Winter’s Tale was its very unfamiliarity to audiences. How would they take a sprawling play that they didn’t know anything about?” Lyles said.

He took a risk, and it came off marvelously. He plans to share some of his hard-won experience with others next Tuesday.

You can sign up for the April 21 “Smackdown” at the Shakespeare Smackdown event page on Facebook. Anyone can enter!

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Check out our March/April events!
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Can you help us with a little mystery?
These three photos are in the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society archives from the United Daughters of the Confederacy collection. They are great pictures except we don’t know who they are! Neither do the remaining UDC members.The NCHS Collection Committee is hoping the public can help identify these men. If you can help, please email us at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com, send us a note at NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264 or call the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 770-251-0207.
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Family Fun Day Feb. 27 at Male Academy for Black History Month

A Family Fun Day complete with storytelling will be held at the Male Academy Museum Feb. 27 to help celebrate Black History Month.

The FREE event will run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Male Academy located beside the city park on Temple Avenue at College Street near downtown Newnan.

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Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has arranged for “Sistah Olufemi” (Christine B. Arinze-Samuel) of Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia to entertain youngsters with a story session at 11 a.m. That will be followed by a craft time.

Sistah Olufemi will perform her story, “The Secrets of the Quilts — on The Underground Railroad as Harriet Tubman.” The theme ties into the continuing quilt exhibitions on display at the Male Academy.

Sistah Olufemi

Sistah Olufemi

Following the performance, children and families will be invited to participate in African-American and quilt-themed crafts. Among the activities, youngsters will create their own quilt-inspired designs. They will also help assemble the NCHS Dream Quilt from colorful cards on which participants have shared their own dreams. The project is in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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In recent weeks NCHS Graduate Research Assistant Harvee White, a grad student at the University of West Georgia, has distributed boxes around town and at the historical society’s McRitchie-Hollis and Male Academy museums inviting the public to share their dreams. Anyone may stop by one of the participating downtown businesses or the museums to fill out a card. The cards will be gathered for assembly at the Feb. 27 event.

Sistah Olufemi considers herself to be a natural “storyteller.” She specializes in telling the Underground Railroad story as Harriet Tubman. She is a veteran educator with more than 30 years of service, having taught every grade level and adult education as well. Her stories are tailored for the family.

As an educator, she said, she understands the importance of keeping the history of her culture in the forefront as a storyteller as well as the inclusiveness of all humanity. It is her desire to continue the oral tradition of storytelling and loving to tell stories that are meaningful, uplifting, thought provoking, informative and most of all stories that can be enjoyed by a genre of audiences.

As a published poet, she understands the rhythm, rhyme and the power of words.

Sistah Olufemi is co-chairperson of the initial inception of The Metropolitan Atlanta Kwanzaa Association (MAKA). She also has performed for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta and was a part of the first NBAF parade.

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

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Quilt Expo in Carrollton

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This weekend there’s a Quilt Expo in Carrollton at the Train Station on Bradley Street. Hours are Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the event is sponsored by the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum. There will be shuttle service from the depot to the museum, downtown and the library. Price is $10 for admittance to the expo, tour of quilt museum, shuttle service and the quilt show at the library. If you’ve enjoyed the recent quilt exhibits at the Male Academy in Newnan or last October’s Quilt Expo at the Depot, this is an event you won’t want to miss. And mark your calendars for the return of the NCHS Quilt Expo at the Depot in October!

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Last chance for Senoia museum Coke exhibition!

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Hank Williams tribute Saturday, Feb. 20

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From the Times-Herald newspaper:

For many, music is the universal language that transcends the most common social barriers – harnessing the ability to bypass our complicated filters and drive directly to our soul.

The short and complicated life of Hank Williams not only produced a stunning amount of beloved music, but seemingly set the blueprint for the “live fast, die young” tortured musician.

Since his mysterious death in 1953, his influence on music and culture would only grow larger with each passing year – spawning tales as tall as the man himself.

Dr. Steve Goodson is the co-editor of The Hank Williams Reader. As the professor and chair of the History Department at the University of West Georgia, he’s also the author of Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930 (2002), which won the Georgia Historical Society’s Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award.

In Goodson’s latest book, the extraordinary life of Williams is chronicled through a series of excerpts and memories written by journalists, family and friends, musical contemporaries, biographers, historians and scholars, ordinary fans and novelists.

Through his work, Goodson encountered fans from all walks of life – all connected by their love for Williams. One afternoon, he was greeted by an elderly man who tracked him down to his office at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.

In his arms was a stack of old magazines and worn records, all about Williams. He presented the treasure trove of memorabilia to Goodson, claiming that no one else in his family would appreciate it.

“It’s fascinating how music connects people,” Goodson said. “We’ve been trying to do the same thing, which is connecting our school and community together with this kind of program.”

Goodson hopes to bring the legend of Williams even closer by hosting “The Life and Times of Hank Williams” – an evening of readings and songs celebrating Williams – at the Wadsworth Auditorium.

Along with a collection of vintage recordings and videos of Williams, excerpts from the book will be read along with a live performance by Daniel Williams and his Driftin’ Poboys Band.

Last September, a similar event was held in Carrollton with more than 230 people attending, according to Goodson. The success spurred the idea of creating an annual series – “Icons of Southern Music” – which will chronicle the life of Johnny Cash in 2017.

“We’re really excited to bring this to Newnan and can’t think of a better way to celebrate the legacy of Hank Williams,” Goodson said. “And we’re still getting compliments on the Driftin’ Poboys Band…”

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A Coke and a Smile …in Senoia

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Join our friends at Senoia Area Historical Society 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, for the opening of their new Coca-Cola exhibition!

The Coca-Cola bottle’s iconic hourglass shape just turned 100 years old in November. Meanwhile, the City of Senoia is commemorating its 150th birthday this year. To celebrate these milestones, the Senoia Area Historical Society (SAHS) is sponsoring an exhibit of Coke-related artifacts this February at the SAHS History Museum.
Coca-Cola is a hallmark brand in the South, and Senoia has enjoyed a long relationship with the company. In the early 1900s, Blount & Williams ran a Coke bottling operation in the basement of the Baggarly property on Senoia’s historic Main Street. The building has been home to a long string of businesses, making it the third-longest continuously operating commercial structure in Georgia. Today, the sixth generation of the Baggarly Family owns the building and operates the Buggy Shop Museum there.
Items that will be displayed at the SAHS History Museum during the Coca-Cola exhibit include many on loan from the former Sewell’s General Merchandise Store collection. The store had been located on Main Street for many years, and today, the Coca-Cola items belong to Hal and Vicki Sewell. The Sewell Family’s artifacts include straight-sided pre-1915 Coke bottles, Coke thermometers, and a clock from the General Merchandise Store.
A wide variety of other Coca-Cola artifacts have been loaned or donated to SAHS for this event, including branded signs, serving trays, and a metal lunchbox. Some items are part of the Museum’s own collection.
The exhibit will kick off with an evening of Coke and chips and other light refreshments on Friday, February 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the SAHS History Museum, located at 6 Couch Street, Senoia. The event is free and open to the public, with donations to the SAHS gratefully accepted. After opening night, the exhibit will be open between 1 and 4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from February 12 through February 27 at the SAHS Museum.
The upcoming Coca-Cola exhibit is the third annual SAHS temporary exhibit held during the month of February. In 2014, there was a display of vintage valentines, then last year, it was vintage jewelry. Those previous romance-inspired exhibits were scheduled during February to coincide with Valentine’s Day. In keeping with the theme, SAHS invites you to come out on February 12 to enjoy a Coke with your sweetheart!

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Events set for February

Check out our upcoming events in the February newsletter (4 pages):20160205Newsletter_FebAndComingEvents_Page_1

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Get Your Kilt On!

Newnan Burns Weekend Jan. 29 and 30

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Robert Burns, the Bard of Ayshire – Newnan’s “sister city” – will commemorate his birthday this week, and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission, and the Order of the Tartan are joining forces to celebrate.
A series of events will be held next weekend at the Wadsworth Auditorium, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, the Alamo, and the Newnan Historic Depot.
The first event, a concert honoring Burns, will be held Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wadsworth Auditorium. Tickets for the concert are $20. “Through Heather and Thistle,” a story of long love and friendship told through the songs of Scotland and the poems of Robert Burns, will be related. Jamie Laval will provide musical selections with a Scottish theme, with dance accompaniment by Southern Arc Dance Company.
“Coming through the Rye” and “Mairi’s Wedding” will be performed by the McGees, and “Highland Cathedral” and “Scotland the Brave” will be performed by the Oak Hill Pipe and Drum Band. Scottish Gael will be performed by Rusty Tate, and “Suo Gan” will be performed by Lalla McGee. “The Parting Glass” will be performed by Matthew Bailey, and “Auld Lang Syne,” with lyrics written by Burns, will be performed by all artists along with the audience.
After the concert, a special reception “after party” will be held at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, with hors d’oeuvre and opportunities to mingle with the artists and storytellers. Tickets for this special event are available for an additional $15.
On the following day, Saturday, Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m., join the fun at a free ceilidh (Scottish folk dance and music) at the Alamo in downtown Newnan, followed by the ticketed Burns Supper and Formal Ceilidh, with haggis, at the Newnan Train Depot. Tickets for this event are $45. Tickets for all event on both days are also available as a combo for $80.
Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and celebrated worldwide. Many Southerners have Scottish ancestry and this event offers everyone a chance to celebrate Scottish heritage and history as well as Newnan’s special link to Ayshire as its sister city.
Find out more at Newnanburnsweekend.com, or at the Newnan Burns Weekend Facebook page, or you can order tickets at eventbrite.com or pick up tickets at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum or the Male Academy Museum. Call 770-251-0207 for more information.

Meet Millie!

Photo by Bob Fraley

A special show by plein air artist Millie Gosch is currently on display in the main floor rooms at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. She will present two gallery talks at the museum, one on Jan. 21 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. and an evening talk on Jan. 28 from 6-7:30 p.m. They are free to the public. It is a “homecoming” for Gosch, who is one of the four Thomasson children who grew up in the former residence at 74 Jackson Street. Ample parking is available behind the museum with entrance off Clark Street.

A little talk with Millie:

1. Tell me a little about when you first began painting, or thinking of yourself as an artist. Was it early in your life?

For as early as I can remember I have always made some form of artwork. I began painting in oils when I was 10. I still have some of my earliest works which is fun for me to look back upon. I exhibited in Powers Crossroads for years. I would work all year to get body of work to sell there. My father made my frames for me. He would laughingly say, “I’m a certified board surgeon as well as a board certified surgeon.” With The money I earned from selling my paintings, I would buy a piece of art from a fellow artist in the show.

2. When did you first become aware of Plein Air and become drawn to it? What was the attraction?

For 20 years I was a freelance decorative artist. I painted on anything, furniture, walls,ceilings. I made floor cloths and painting tile back splashes. I always wanted to return to fine art. About 15 years ago, I rented studio space at the Artist Atelier in Atlanta. It was there that I was introduced to Plein Air painting as we know it today. I went to a workshop in Laguna beach California with two suitcases of art supplies. I’ll never forget the instructor’s comment when he looked at my painting. “Is that what you see?”. All I learned was that I had a lot to learn. I am naturally drawn to Plein Air painting because I love being outdoors, and painting from life is very powerful.

3. What do you remember about growing up at the Jackson Street home? What’s it like to return there for a show now that it’s a museum?

My first studio was in the basement of our Jackson Street home. So I guess as Miranda Lambert sings, “it was the house that built me.” I’m so glad the house is preserved as a museum. It’s really beautiful and speaks a lot of Newnan’s history. The house is something of a work of art of its own. It is built during an era of hand-crafted, elegantly appointed homes. R.D. Cole Manufacturing was a local millwork company that produced all the woodwork on site.

4. How do you envision the artist-in-residence program, the historical society, and the local art associations working together with the community at large to bring more cultural awareness and art to Newnan and Coweta County?

I’m excited about the Newnan Art Rez program. It brings all kinds of artists into town for an extended stay. This allows our town to have the opportunity to see an artist work and get to know them. The Newnan Art Rez program allows for different organizations in Newnan to partner and host an artist of their choice. With this many groups involved you can reach a lot of people in the area.

5. Who do you hope shows up for the gallery talk? What might visitors expect?

I love to talk about my work. Each painting has a story. I can remember vivid details about my plein air paintings when I painted them. I hope I have a big crowd. It’s always nice to have that support. Those that come will find out:

-How long it takes me to paint a painting
-what painting I painted looking out of a window
-which is my favorite painting in the show
-how I get my inspiration
-what is my process

6. How is the life of an artist different than what one might expect?

The life of an artist is different because we must make art in order to breathe. Daily life can get in the way so you have to carve out time and creative space. It’s a lot harder than one might think. Sure it is fun and fulfilling but not always easy. I tell my students ,”your worst enemy is your last success”. If you had a successful painting that just flowed from your brush then the next time you stand before your canvas, it might not be that easy . You may have to pray a lot more and work a lot harder.

7. How is Newnan different than other towns? What role might art and artists play in its future?

Newnan is a great town. Since growing up here I’ve watched a huge growth in the arts over the last 25 years. It’s so exciting. People show up for exhibits, openings, and productions. I look forward to seeing Newnan continue to grow in the arts.

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MLK: Man of Peace Concert Set for Jan. 16

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will present “Man of Peace,” a concert by The Atlanta Concert Ringers in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saturday, Jan. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at The Depot on East Broad Street.
The one hour concert will include “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute” arranged by Eileen Laurence which incorporates quotes from well-known speeches by Dr. King and settings of “There is a Balm in Gilead,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “We Shall Overcome.” This piece was premiered in New York City March 26, 1995 and is still performed annually in New York.

Also included will be “Peace in Our Time” by Cathy Moklebust which honors Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. King. This piece for violin and handbells will feature Justin Rawlings on violin. Justin is a sophomore Music Ed major at Kennesaw State University. A Lithonia, GA native, he began playing violin at age 9.

Boxes are also being distributed around Newnan for the MLK “Dream Quilt” project, headed up by NCHS Graduate Research Assistant Harvee White of the University of West Georgia. Local residents are encouraged to submit their “dream” for Newnan and Coweta County. The submissions will be stitched together and displayed at the Male Academy Museum.

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The Atlanta Concert Ringers began Sept. 22, 2002 as a result of a goal of Michael Bryant, a former chair of Area IV of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, to assemble a community based handbell performance group attracting experienced ringers from throughout the Atlanta Metro area. He wanted to prepare programs showcasing a wide variety of handbell music — secular to sacred to show tunes, old stand-bys to new compositions, whimsical favorites to notable classics — and share this music with a variety of audiences in Atlanta and beyond.
ACR has developed under the leadership of other directors since Michael Bryant and has been privileged to work with such notable handbell clinicians as David Davidson, Michael Helman and Kevin McChesney. ACR has also performed at Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC; AGEHR Area IV Festival in Orlando, FL; AGEHR Georgia Fall Festival in Decatur, GA; AGEHR Georgia Spring Ring in Marietta, GA; Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar in Atlanta; and Spivey Hall in Morrow, GA. ACR has reached out to new audiences by performing in concert with noted vocal groups including Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Southern Crescent Chorale.

Advance tickets, $15, are available (with a small additional processing fee) at eventbrite.com

Here is the direct link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/man-of-peace-handbell-concert-in-celebration-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-tickets-19689020390?aff=ehomecard

For information call the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 770-251-0207.

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Jamie Laval headlines Newnan Robert Burns Weekend

Coming Jan. 29-30 is the Newnan Robert Burns Weekend filled with Celtic entertainment and celebrating Newnan’s sister city relationship with his home of Ayr, Scotland.

​It is a two-day celebration saluting poet Robert Burns, Scottish music and dance featuring the music of internationally-known fiddler Jamie Laval, along with such talent as Atlanta group Craic’d Up and Rusty Tate. On Friday, the Wadsworth hosts a passion-filled concert. Continue the revelry at the after party. On Saturday, clasp the hand of your neighbor at a free Scottish Ceilidh (dance celebration pronounced “kay-lee”) taking place at the Alamo, followed by a Burns Supper and formal Ceilidh at the Train Depot.

Jamie Laval

Jamie Laval

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is co-sponsoring the event with the Order of the Tartan and the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission.

This special weekend kicks off Friday Jan. 29 with the 7:30 p.m. Robert Burns Scottish Heritage Concert at Wadsworth Auditorium. Individual tickets are $20. There will be an after party at McRitchie-Hollis Museum with more fun and entertainment for an extra $15.

Then Saturday, Jan. 30, are two events. At 3:30 p.m. is a free Ceilidh at the Alamo on West Court Square downtown. That is followed at 6 p.m. with the ticketed Burns Supper and Traditional Ceilidh at the Train Depot — $45.

For tickets, go to eventbrite.com or visit either www.newnanburnsweekend.com or the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society webpage.

One of the premier Celtic performers on the international music scene today, Jamie Laval creates rapt audiences with his intensely passionate performances of traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Quebec, rendered with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music from around the world.

Jamie is heralded as “One of North America’s finest practitioners of traditional Scottish music” (San Jose Mercury News) and “The next Alasdair Fraser” (Press and Post). The Asheville Citizen-Times writes, “One of the hottest fiddlers out there…this act has been turning heads wherever it plays.”

What sets Jamie’s music in a class by itself is the nuance, virtuosity, and musical craftsmanship he brings to an ancient art form. Simple Celtic folk melodies are transformed into epic tonal narratives which take the listener on an emotional journey from quiet melancholy to wild jubilation.

Jamie’s accessible sound appeals to families, youth, seniors, and devotees of ethnic, jazz, and classical music.

The making of his trademark style began at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where he studied classical violin. He performed actively throughout the Pacific Northwest as a professional symphony musician, recording studio artist, improvising violinist, and contra dance fiddler. Eventually his passion for the haunting sounds of rural Irish and Scottish folk music usurped all other preoccupations, and he has devoted himself exclusively to Celtic music ever since. In 2002 Jamie won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship and subsequently embarked on a full time touring career which today includes 100 engagements per year throughout the U.S. and Scotland.

Jamie now lives in Asheville, North Carolina and takes a keen interest in the musical and historical ties that connect his Appalachian home with the dispersion of Celtic peoples from their original homeland.

Jamie has recorded three solo albums to date. Murmurs and Drones, his most recent, won the popular vote for “Best World Traditional Album” in the 2012 Independent Music Awards. Jamie has also collaborated on numerous television, film, and CD recordings, including Dave Matthews’ Some Devil, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wild America, and WB-TV series Everwood.

Recent live performances include the Bijou Theatre (Knoxville), Wintergrass Festival (Tacoma), the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley), Swallow Hill Productions (Denver), Club Passim (Boston), The Fringe Festival (Edinburgh), the NBC Today Show, The West Coast Live radio show, and a private appearance for Her Majesty the Queen.

New Textile Trail history book in McRitchie-Hollis gift shop
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A new book detailing the rise and fall of mills in the West Georgia area, including Coweta, is available for holiday giving in the gift shops at McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Male Academy 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 were on hand to answer questions and sign books Dec. 17 at McRitchie-Hollis.
“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.
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.”
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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Textile Heritage Trail book signing Thursday, Dec. 17

Need that special Christmas gift? We have a signing 3 p.m. Thursday for the new pictorial history of the The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail! Come to McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Textile Trail book signing

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, which include Coweta County.
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.

New Male Academy quilt show up through February
Arnco Village provides the focus of the next exhibition at the Male Academy Museum, which opened Dec. 5 will be on display through February 2016.
Eleven locally-produced quilts are a part of the new exhibit.
Big Mom Ina Yates

Big Mom Ina Yates

Ina Thornton Yates, known to her family as “Big Mom,” learned to quilt at the age of 8, and wound up making quilts for all of her loved ones from her home in the Arnco mill village.
“Some family members came to us with this idea to do an exhibit based on the many beautiful quilts she made for them over the years,” said Jeff Bishop, NCHS executive director.
The newly-reopened Male Academy Museum has featured a successful quilt-themed exhibit this fall, “Stitches in Time,” and this seemed like an appropriate follow-up, Bishop said.
“These quilts illustrate the story of one family, and one specific place and time, which I think a lot of people will be able to relate to,” he said.
Glenn Rainey and NCHS GRA Harvee White, curator of the show.

Glenn Rainey and NCHS GRA Harvee White, curator of the show.

The new exhibit, called “Labor of Love,” is curated by University of West Georgia Graduate Research Assistant Harvee White, who will begin her second semester with NCHS and the West Georgia public history program in January. The new exhibit will be on display at the Male Academy through February.
“Through this process, I’ve learned so much about the Arnco Village and an incredible woman who lived there– Big Mom,” said White. “Curating this show has also been a wonderful learning opportunity in terms of my history degree program at West Georgia.”
Teresa Hobbs with one of Ina Yates' quilts, Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern.

Teresa Hobbs with one of Ina Yates’ quilts, Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern.

“I called Ina Yates ‘Big Mom,’ which was kind of ironic when you consider that she was not a big woman,” said Teresa Hobbs, her granddaughter.
“We grandkids started making her turn around to measure our height against hers when we had barely started grade school, and she loved it as much as we did. Like the rest of my cousins, I have many treasured memories of my Big Mom.”
As a young woman, Ina married Leon Yates. Together they had six children (though sadly two of them died young.) Leon died at the age of 28 of complications from a car accident. Six weeks after his passing, Ina went to work at the Arnco (Bibb) Mills blanket factory to support her 4 children, all under the age of 8. She worked 35 years, walking to work every day, since she never learned to drive an automobile. Every quilt that she crafted was all sewn by hand – nothing on a sewing machine.
Ina Yates descendants gather at the Male Academy where the Arnco steam whistle is on display with her quilts.

Ina Yates descendants gather at the Male Academy where the Arnco steam whistle is on display with her quilts.

On display are the old Arnall Mills steam whistle and panels describing daily life at the mill. Many of Big Mom’s quilts are also on display. A booklet with personal stories from each family member is also available.
Patterns of quilts on display at “Labor of Love” include the Carpenter’s Wheel, the Double Wedding Ring, the Eight Pointed Star, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, and Little Red School House.
Anthony Grote, Jenny Grote and Jessica Ashley Grote.

Anthony Grote, Jenny Grote and Jessica Ashley Grote.

Assisting with the exhibit were family members, including Jenny Grote, and local historian Elizabeth Beers, as well as other NCHS staff members. Grote came up with the concept and did much of the organizing and logistics for the new exhibit.
“This project has been a joy as well as a gift for me,” said Grote. “Thank you so much for making my ideas manifest in such a beautiful way,” she told NCHS staff members at this opening this week.
“I realize that I have only scratched the surface of what I know about that sweet little mill village. I look forward to learning much more. Your staff is wonderful. I appreciate you all.”
“It was a wonderful tribute to my Aunt Ina,” said Jan Thornton Turner, one of the family members at the opening. Family came from as far away as California for the opening.
“Thank you, Jeff Bishop, Harvee White, and the NCHS for the exhibit,” said Glenn Rainey, grandson of Ina Yates. “It was a wonderful family reunion today. My grandmother’s legacy of love continues. My heart is full. I feel blessed and grateful.”
The Male Academy Museum, located at the corner of College Street and Temple Avenue in Newnan, is open Tuesday through Friday from 10-12 and from 1-3.
“I hope that you all come celebrate a little piece of Newnan’s vibrant history,” said White.
“It’s an exhibit I’m proud of and hope you’ll enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed creating it!”

“Labor of Love” quilts exhibition opens Dec. 5

A widow at only 28, Ina Thorton Yates went to work at the Arnco Mill in western Coweta in order to support her family. While living in the Arnco Village, Yates handmade more than 20 quilts for her children and grandchildren.
Ina Yates and children
Her story and some of her family’s beloved quilts will be on display through the Christmas holidays at the Male Academy Museum. Come join us Dec. 5 for the grand opening of the exhibition and hear stories of ‘Big Mom’ and her loved quilts!
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Museums closed for Thanksgiving weekend

Millie Gosch art exhibition opens Tuesday

McRitchie-Hollis Museum

McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s two museums, McRitchie-Hollis and the Male Academy, will be closed for the holiday weekend Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, through Monday and will reopen Tuesday, Dec. 1. Plein Air artist Millie Gosch’s “Written in Paint” exhibition opens with a reception 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Come welcome Millie’s “return home” to 74 Jackson St., where she grew up.

Lucky 7s Align for Newnan Student to Big Win
At the opening reception for the 7th Simple Pleasures Photography Competition held at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on the 7th day of November, a 7th grade Newnan resident was named the first prize winner of the competition.
The son of Drs. Darin and Kelley Brummett, Sam Brummett is a student at Woodward Academy. His teacher, Janie Finch, had just received his completed assignment for her photography class and decided to submit images from that project to Simple Pleasures. The class assignment was a group of self-portraits with an emphasis on lighting.
Brummett’s winning work entitled, “Glimmer,” features a boy with a longing look at a jar full of cookies.
From left: Dad, Dr. Darin Brummett; teacher from Woodward Academy Middle School, Janie Finch; student and contest winner, Sam Brummett; and presenting award, Carla Cook Smith of Simple Pleasures photo competition.

From left: Dad, Dr. Darin Brummett; teacher from Woodward Academy Middle School, Janie Finch; student and contest winner, Sam Brummett; and presenting award, Carla Cook Smith of Simple Pleasures photo competition.

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NCHS Executive speaks to DAR on McIntosh Trail
Chief William McIntosh

Chief William McIntosh

Saturday morning, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop will address the Daughters of the American Revolution at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The program is “Traveling the Old McIntosh Trail.”
Winners named at Simple Pleasures opening
Posted Nov. 9, 2015
Guests view juried entries in the 2015 fall Simple Pleasures photography show, seen in the living room of the Peniston-Thomasson home, which serves as the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Guests view juried entries in the 2015 fall Simple Pleasures photography show, seen in the living room of the Peniston-Thomasson home, which serves as the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Winners were selected in the fall 2015 Simple Pleasures photography competition prior to the opening reception Nov. 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The exhibition of juried entries will be on display at the museum through November.
NCHS Curations Manager Jessie Merrell, second from left, addresses visitors on hand for the Simple Pleasures opening reception Nov. 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

NCHS Curations Manager Jessie Merrell, second from left, addresses visitors on hand for the Simple Pleasures opening reception Nov. 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

First place went to the entry of Samuel Brummett, “Glimmer.” The Newnan seventh grader’s photo was entered on his behalf by his teacher. All the other entries were from adults from across Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
The blind judging was by award winning photographer Kathryn Kolb of Atlanta.
Honoring Simple Pleasures photo contest first place winner, "Glimmer," taken by Samuel Brummett, a seventh grader in this contest where all the other entries were from adults. The blind judging was by award winning photographer Kathryn Kolb of Atlanta.

Honoring Simple Pleasures photo contest first place winner, “Glimmer,” taken by Samuel Brummett, a seventh grader in this contest where all the other entries were from adults. The blind judging was by award winning photographer Kathryn Kolb of Atlanta.

Second place went to an entry called “Joy Comes in the Morning” by Pam Akin of Fayetteville.

Simple Pleasures fall 2015 edition judge Kathryn Kolb with second place winning photo, "Joy Comes in the Morning," by Pam Akin.

Simple Pleasures fall 2015 edition judge Kathryn Kolb with second place winning photo, “Joy Comes in the Morning,” by Pam Akin.

Third place went to a photo titled “Wet Feet,” by Kevin Kelly of Columbus.

Third place winning photo, "Wet Feet," by Kevin Kelly.

Third place winning photo, “Wet Feet,” by Kevin Kelly.

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

Guests viewing some of the photographs juried into the fall 2015 Simple Pleasures photography show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Guests viewing some of the photographs juried into the fall 2015 Simple Pleasures photography show at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

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 photo competition organizer Carla Cook Smith.

Simple Pleasures photo competition organizer Carla Cook Smith.

Competition organizer Carla Cook Smith noted that 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.

Jessie Merrell, NCHS curations manager, welcoming guests at the Simple Pleasures fall 2015 photography show opening reception held Nov. 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Jessie Merrell, NCHS curations manager, welcoming guests at the Simple Pleasures fall 2015 photography show opening reception held Nov. 7 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

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Celebrate life’s ‘Simple Pleasures’ this weekend
Posted Fri., Nov. 6, 2015
simplepleasures2015
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 tristate 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.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.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…………..Expert teaches about plants and the Cherokee Garden in talk at McRitchie-Hollis MuseumTo celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Nov. 5 welcomed Tony Harris to share his knowledge of native plants known and used by the Cherokee.

Speaker Tony Harris, listing uses the Cherokee found for many native plants.

Speaker Tony Harris, listing uses the Cherokee found for many native plants.

The talk at McRitchie-Hollis Museum drew a full room of about 30 who heard about a list of plants cherished by the Cherokee. Harris, a Cherokee Nation citizen, discussed ethnobotany: the scientific study of the traditional knowledge and customs of a people concerning plants and their medical, religious, and other uses.

Harris, a Cobb County Master Gardener and vice president of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, 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.

The garden has become a certified interpretive site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. It 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.

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. 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.

NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop introduces Nov. 5 speaker Tony Harris at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop introduces Nov. 5 speaker Tony Harris at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Harris emphasized that he does not personally advocate use of any of these plants for medicinal uses, but shares how the Cherokee used them. He did grow up as a member of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, seeing how his own mother and elders used plants every day.

When the Cherokee were forced in the early 1800s to leave their homelands of north Georgia and North Carolina and walk the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, they left behind many of the known plants used by their people. About third of the plants available to the Cherokee before the Trail of Tears were not available in Oklahoma.

Today, as they are able to learn about plants and their uses from the Cherokee elders in Oklahoma, volunteers are working to take specimens of plants from the east to plant in a Cherokee heritage garden in Oklahoma. They have had good success, Harris said, as the climate and growing conditions of Oklahoma are not so different than the southeastern U.S.

Gardens like the one in Cobb County and the one in Oklahoma are helping younger generations learn of their heritage and how these plants were revered — about 600 plants were used for medicine, food, weapons, crafts, lodging, canoes and basketry.

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

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. Harris remembers his mother using them in cooking when he was a child and sending him to pick them.

His mother told him to pick poke weed, too. But the weed must be used when it is small: it becomes poisonous when it gets large, he said.

The wild onions 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.

Rattlesnake master — the form found in the mountains and known to the Cherokee as warrior’s plant — did exactly what it says, according to the Cherokee. They believed if carried on one’s person it repelled snakes, and it could be used as a snakebite remedy. They would chew it, apply to the wound, and swallow a small portion, Harris said. It is said to inhibit cancer as well.

Also used for snakebite was cinnamon fern, which can additionally be used to ease arthritis.

Fiddlehead ferns can be cooked as a dish that Harris says tastes like a combination of broccoli, asparagus and artichoke.

Another tasty plant is the sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke, which the Cherokee cultivated, Harris said. He recommends eating the tubers as you would potatoes — and they have more protein than potatoes. He defies anyone to tell the difference in taste or texture between sunchokes and water chestnuts.

Bloodroot 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.

When he was a child, his mother would take mountain mint and wrap his feet to stop coughing — similar to how some use Vicks VapoRub salve today. “I don’t know why, but it works,” Harris said. The roots could be chewed and used in the same way as rattlesnake master, he said.

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.

The wildflower New Jersey tea was useful with a root tea held in the mouth for toothache and a hot tea used to treat bowel problems. It is very hardy and grows back quickly after forest fires — drought tolerant, it grows well in the hot sun.

A roomful of about 30 attended the NCHS Nov. 5 program with Tony Harris, a Cherokee Nation citizen and expert on native plants used by the Cherokee — at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

A roomful of about 30 attended the NCHS Nov. 5 program with Tony Harris, a Cherokee Nation citizen and expert on native plants used by the Cherokee — at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

Historically, the Cherokee nation was decimated twice by smallpox before the time of the Trail of Tears. The march west killed thousands more. Mapleleaf viburnum was used to treat smallpox, to promote sweating and reduce fever. An infusion would prevent spasms.

An infusion of the inner bark of the black walnut tree was developed as an antidote for smallpox. It also could be chewed for toothache — but carefully. The black walnut can be poisonous and, in fact, the tree limits what can be planted near it. But it is well worth cultivation, Harris said. The leaves make a green dye and the husks, brown. A slurry of those same husks could be spread in the water to stun fish for easy catching. The Cherokee would smoke excess fish for use later. They also used leftover bones when they planted in spring … like the lime used by today’s gardeners it would prevent problems like blossom end-rot on tomatoes.

Persimmon berries ripen after the first good frost, he noted. It does something to change their composition and make them sweet. His mother made pies and would dry the fruit for use later. It was used to treat kidney stones and warts, and the Cherokee made a substitute for coffee out of the leaves.

Eastern red cedar was spiritual for the Cherokee elders, Harris said. They had one in their yard when he was growing up.

Harris explained that the Cherokee were monotheistic, believing in only one god. The creator gave them the land, and they were there to protect and take care of it. Their beliefs made the conversion to Christianity easy for them. At the time of the Trail of Tears, about 80 percent of the Cherokee were Christians — at a time when only about 40 percent of Georgia’s population was Christian, he said.

He noted that as a member of the Cherokee Nation he has dual citizenship — in the early 1900s the U.S. agreed that the Cherokee would also have U.S. citizenship, he said. The Cherokee Nation is a sovereign nation and had treaties with England, France and Spain before the time of America’s independence, Harris added.

Harris has a blog — MyCherokeeGarden.com — where he tries to feature one or two plants a week.

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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Movie business booming in Senoia,  Coweta
Posted Wed., Oct. 21, 2015
The seismic economic impact the film and TV industry is having on the state of Georgia is undeniable, said Craig Dominey, Camera Ready program manager and senior film location specialist with the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Office when he spoke at the Newnan History Center and Historic Depot Tuesday night.
Craig Dominey_IMG_9611RESIZED

An audience of about 40 turned out at the Depot for the last in Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s “Reel Past” series featuring state film executive Craig Dominey.

Just look at all the funny yellow signs dotting the landscape, he said.
“That’s kind of a visual sign that the film industry is booming here,” said Dominey. Films like “Fast and Furious 8” and “The Hunger Games” never use the actual names of the films on the directional signs for crew and extras, but “people always seem to find out, anyway,” he said.
There have been 248 film and television productions in Georgia since the office began counting them, with a total economic impact of over $6 billion. Most of that impact has come within the past decade.
Senoia has been intimately involved in Georgia’s film business from the very beginning, with Riverwood (now Raleigh) studios attracting such early productions as “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Pet Sematary II.”
“I remember it used to be nothing but pine trees, taking film productions on the drive down to Senoia,” said Dominey at Wednesday’s “Reel Past” event, sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, and the Senoia Area Historical Society. “It’s a lot different now.”
The Walking Dead spends about $60 million per year on production, Dominey said. “Half of this is on goods and services,” he said. “Half of the payroll is in turn spent on goods and services, rents, etc.”
In 2007, there were only five or six businesses in Senoia. Now there are over 50. The number of restaurants has grown from one to seven.
“There’s a 100 percent occupancy rate,” said Dominey. “There’s been $50 million in new / historic looking infill development in Senoia, creating hundreds of jobs.”
People have also been buying up old historic properties and fixing them up, increasing local property values, he said.
The bus tours alone have generated $550,768 in total ticket sales since May 2013, Dominey said. Since then, nearly 10,000 people have visited Senoia to investigate the Walking Dead fictional towns of “Woodbury” and “Alexandria.” They have directly spent over a quarter of a million dollars there, he said.
Craig Dominey speaking
The 30 percent tax credit has been huge for the state as a whole, too, he said, as film and TV companies have generated an estimated $1.7 billion in direct expenditures here. That goes for things like lodging, car rentals, catering, office equipment and other purchases, rentals, gasoline, security, etc.
It’s also been a great promotional tool for the state of Georgia as the Georgia peach symbol is now prominently features in the credits of so many films.
“Even years later, we get calls from people wanting to find these film locations,” Dominey said. “We still get calls about ‘Fried Green Tomaotes.’”
New studios are building in the Atlanta area all the time, now including Pinewood Studios, Third Rail, the Film Factory, Screen Gems, Tyler Perry Studios and many others.
According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the TV and movie industry is responsible for more than 79,100 jobs and $4 billion in total wages in Georgia.
“These are high quality jobs, with an average salary of nearly $84,000, which is 74 percent higher than the average salary nationwide,” said Dominey.
You can be a part of it. Not only can you become an extra in one of these productions, but you can put your home or business into a database of possible filming locations, he said.
“Contact your local Camera Ready office,” he said. The local liaison is Tray Baggarly, with the Coweta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“You can also use the photo submission on our website, Georgia.org/fmde,” he said. “Look for ‘Submit Your Property.’”
Dominey talked about a special online directory service his office offers for film industry workers and businesses.
“Our office has started this service called Reel-Crew, which is an online crew database and also a vendor database thast people can list their information in,” Dominey said.
This is an industry standard, searchable, online directory of crew and support services, offered at no charge.
This online service also has an app for film industry companies to use, he said.
“Our clients, if they are looking for a location manager or a camera person or a caterer, or whoever it might be, they can look in this app and they can pull these folks up pretty quickly,” he said.
“Fried Green Money: Film & TV in Georgia” was the concluding program for the Georgia Humanities Council-funded series, “The Reel Past,” sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
The event, which featured light hors d’oeuvres with a “Fried Green Tomatoes” menu theme, was a joint effort with Senoia Area Historical Society, made possible with a grant from Georgia Humanities.
A new exhibit featuring costumes from the new Michael Keaton film “The Founder” was 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.
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TheReelPast logo

Come Celebrate “Fried Green Money” at the Depot Tuesday!

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

Fried GreenTomatoes image

On the menu at the Whistle Stop Cafe:
Fried Green Tomato shooter cups in buttermilk ranch
Miniature meatloaf
Collard green won tons
Banana pudding shooters
Sweet Tea!

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 will be held at the Depot History Center at 60 East Broad Street in downtown Newnan. As the new season of “The Walking Dead” premieres, come celebrate Coweta County’s relationship with the TV and film industry, which kicked off two decades ago with the film, “Fried Green Tomatoes!”

Harvee White_Founders Display

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. The new exhibit was developed by University of West Georgia GRA Harvee White.

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. Many of Horton’s students followed their passion and went on to become filmmakers. Horton followed a 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 our 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 Chautauqua circuit days with a live reading of one of her original plays at Dunaway Gardens in north Coweta. Now NCHS and SAHS turns 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.”

Fried Green Money

Save the date:

Reel Past series to conclude with talk by film location specialist

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society concludes its Reel Past series on Coweta’s connection with Hollywood with a talk 6 p.m. Oct. 20 by Craig Dominey, Camera Ready program manager/ senior film location specialist with the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office.

Craig Dominey

Craig Dominey

The event 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.

In other Reel Past series programs this fall we’ve heard 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. At McRitchie-Hollis Museum we continue our 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 we turn 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.”

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.

GaHumanitiesCouncilLogo601100_560203314013451_446890271_n(1) - Copy

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Y’all come!

Program Tuesday: ‘How to Speak Southern’

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.

Elizabeth Beers

Elizabeth Beers

Here’s a primer to get y’all started:

Addled: Confused, disoriented, as in the case of Northern sociologists who try to make sense out of the South, “What’s wrong with that Yankee? He acts right addled.”

Afar: In a state of combustion. “Call the far department. That house is afar.”

Ahr: What we breathe, also a unit of time made up of 60 minutes. “They should’ve been here about an ahr ago.”

Ar: Possessive pronoun. “That’s AR dawg, not yours.”

Ary: Not any. “He hadn’t got ary cent.”

Awfullest: The worst. “That’s the awfullest lie you evr told me in your life.”

Bad-mouth: To disparage or derogate. “All these candidates have bad-mouthed each other so much I’ve about decided not to vote for any of ‘em.”

Baws: Your employer. “The baws may not always be right, but he’s always the baws.”

Best: Another baffling Southernism that is usually couched in the negative. “You best not speak to Bob about his car. He just had to spend $300 on it.”

Braht: Dazzing. “Venus is a braht planet.”

Bud: Small feathered crature that flies. “A robin sure is a pretty bud.”

Cawse: Cause, usually preceded in the South by the adjective “lawst” (lost). “The War Between the States was a lawst cawse.”

Cayut: A furry animal much beloved by little girls but detested by adults when it engages in mating rituals in the middle of the night. “Be sure to put the cayut out-side before you go to bed.”

Chunk: To throw. “Chunk it there, Leroy. Ole Leroy sure can chunk ‘at ball, can’t he? Best pitcher we ever had.”

Clone: A type of scent women put on themselves. “what’s that clone you got on, honey?”

Contrary: Obstinate, perverse. “Jim’s a fine boy, but she won’t have nothin’ to do with him. She’s just contrary, is all Ah can figure.”

Daints: A more or less formal event in which members of the opposite sex hold each other and move rhythmically to the sound of music. “You wanna go to the daints with me Saturday night, Bobbie Sue?”

Danjuh: Imminent peril. What John Paul Jones meant when he said, “Give me a fast ship, for I intend to put her in harm’s way.”

Deah: A term of endearment, except in the sense Rhett Butler used it when he said to Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my deah, Ah don’t give a damn.”

Didn’t go to: Did not intend to. “Don’t whip Billy for knockin’ his little sister down. He didn’t go to do it.”

Dollin: Another term of endearment. (darling) “Dollin, will you marry me?”

Dreckly: Soon. “He’ll be along dreckly.”

Effuts: Exertions. “Lee made great effuts to defeat Grant.”

Everthang: All-encompassing. “everthang’s all messed up.”

Everhoo: Another baffling Southernism – a reverse contraction of whoever.”Everhoo one of you kids wants to go to the movie better clean up their room.”

Fahn: Excellent. “That sure is a fahn-lookin’ woman.”

Farn: Anything that is not domestic. “Ah don’t drink no farn liquor, specially Rooshin vodka.”

Fetchin’: Attractive. “That’s a mighty fetchin’ woman. Think I’ll ask her to daints.”

Fixin’ to: About to. “I’m fixin’ to go to the store.”

Foolin’ around: Can mean not doing anything in particular or sex, usually of the extramarital variety. “Sue caught her husband foolin’ around, so she divorced him.”

Fummeer: A place other than one’s present location. “Where do we go fummeer?”

Gawn: Departed. “Bo’s not here. He’s gawn out with somebody else.”

Gone: Going to. “You boys just git out there and play football. We gone make mistakes, but they are, too.”

Got a good notion: A statement of intent. “Ah got a good notion to cut a switch and whale the dickens out of that boy.”

Grain of sense: An appraisal of intelligence, invariably expressed in negative terms. “That boy ain’t got a grain of sense.”

Gummut: A large institution operating out of Washington that consumes taxes at a fearful rate. “Bill’s got it made. He’s got a gummut job.”

Hahr: That which grows on your head and requires cutting periodically. “You need a hahrcut.”

Hod: Not soft, but meaning stubborn or willful when used to describe a Southern child’s head. “That boy’s so hod-headed it’s pitiful.”

Hot: A muscle that pumps blood through the body, but also regarded as the center of emotion. “That gull (girl) has just broke his hot.”

Hush yo’ mouth: An expression of pleased embarrassment, as when a Southern female is paid an extravagant compliment. “Honey, you’re ’bout the sweetest, best-lookin’ woman in Tennessee. Now hush yo’ mouth, Jim Bob.”

Ignert: Ignorant. “Ah’ve figgered out what’s wrong with Congress. Most of ‘em are just plain ignert.”

Ill: Angry, testy. “What’s wrong with Molly today? She’s ill as a hornet.”

Innerduce: To make one person acquainted with another. “Lemme innerduce you to my cousin. She’s a little on the heavy side, but she’s got a great personality.”

Iont: I don’t. “Iont know if Ah can eat another bobbycue (barbecue) or not.”

Jack-leg: Self taught, especially in reference to automobile mechanics and clergy-men. “He’s just a jack-leg preacher, but he sure knows how to put out the hellfire and brimstone.”

Jewant: Do you want. “Jewant to go over to the Red Rooster and have a few beers?”

Ka-yun: A sealed cylinder containing food. “If that woman didn’t have a kay-un opener, her family would starve to death.”

Kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on: A colorful Southern expression used as as evaluation of someone’s ability to accomplish something. “He ain’t got no more chance than a kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on.”

Kin: Related to. An Elizabethan expression, one of many which survived in the South. “Are you kin to him?” “Yeah, He’s my brother.”

Klect: To receive money to which one is entitled. “Ah don’t think you’ll ever klect that bill.”

Laht: A source of illumination. “This room’s too doc (dark). We need more laht in here.”

Lar: One who tells untruths. “Not all fishermen are lars. It’s just that a lot of lars fish.”

Layin’ up: Resting or meditating. Or as Southern women usually put it, loafing. “Cecil didn’t go to work today ’cause of a chronic case of laziness. He’s been layin’ up in the house all day, drivin’ me crazy.”

Let alone: Much less. “He can’t even hold a job and support himself, let alone support a family.”

Let out: Dismissed. “What time does school let out?”

Lick and a promise: To do something in a hurried or perfunctory fashion. “We don’t have time to clean this house so it’s spotless. Just give it a lick and a promise.”

Mahty raht: Correct. “You mahty raht about that, Awficer. Guess Ah WAS speedin’ a little bit.”

Make out: Yes, it means that in the South too, but it also means finish your meal. “You chirren (Children) hadn’t had nearly enough to eat. Make out your supper.”

Mind to: To have the intention of doing something. “Ah got a mind to quit my job and just loaf for a while.”

Nawth: Any part of the country outside the South _Midwest, California or whatever.If it’s not South, it’s Nawth. “People from up Nawth sure do talk funny.”

Nekkid: To be unclothed. “Did you see her in that movie? She was nekkid as a jaybird.”

Nemmine: Never mind, but used in the sense of difference. “It don’t make no nemmine to me.”

Of a moanin: Of a morning, meaning in the morning. “My daddy always liked his coffee of a moanin.”

Ownliest: The only one. “That’s the ownliest one Ah’ve got left.”

Parts: Buccaneers who sailed under the dreaded skull and crossbones. “See that third baseman? He just signed a big contrack with the Pittsburg Parts.”

PEEcans: Northerners call them peCONNS for some obscure reason. “Honey, go out in the yard and pick up a passel of PEEcans. Ah’m gonna make us a pie.”

Pert: Perky, full of energy. “You look mighty pert today.”

Pick at: To pester and annoy. “Jimmy, Ah told you not to pick at your little sister.”

Purtiest: The most pretty. “ain’t she the purtiest thing you ever seen?”

Quar: An organized choral group, usually connected with a church or school. “Did you hear the news? The preacher left his wife and run off with the quar director.”

Raffle: A long-barrelled firearm. “Dan’l Boone was a good shot with a raffle.”

Rahtnaow: At once. “Linda Sue, Ah want you to tell that boy it’s time to go home and come in the house rahtnaow.”

Ranch: A tool used to lossen or tighten nuts and bolts. “Hand me that ranch, Homer.”

Raut: A method of getting from one place to another which Southerners pronounce to rhyme with “kraut”. Yankees, for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery, pronounce “route” to rhyme with “root”. Or worse still, “foot.”

Restrunt: A place to eat. “New Yorker’s got a lot of good restrunts.”

Retard: No longer employed. “He’s retard now.”

Sass: Another Elizabethan term derived from the word saucy, meaning to speak in an impertinent manner. “Don’t sass me, young lady. You’re not too old to get a whippin’.”

Shainteer: Indicates the absence of a female. “Is the lady of the house in?” “Nope. Shainteer.”

Shudenoughta: Should not. “You shudenoughta have another drink.”

Spell: An indetermined length of time. “Let’s sit here and rest a spell.”

Stain: The opposite of leaving. “Ah hate this party, and Ah’m not stain much longer.”

Supper: The evening meal Southererners are having while Yankees are having dinner. “What’s for supper, honey?

Take on: To behave in a highly emotional manner. “Don’t take on like that, Brenda Sue. He’s not the only man in Lee County.”

Tal: What you dry off with after you take a share. “Would you bring me a tal, sweetheart?”

Tawt: To instruct. “Don’t pull that cat’s tail. Ah tawt you better’n that.”

Thank: Think. “Ah thank Ah’ll go to a movie tonight.”

That ole dawg won’t hunt no more: That will not work. “You want to borrow $20 when you still owe me fifty? That ole dawg won’t hunt no more.”

Tore up: Distraught, very upset. “His wife just left him, and he’s all tore up about it.”

Uhmewzin: Funny, comical. “Few things are more uhmewzin than a Yankee tryin’ to affect a Southern accent, since they invariably address one person as ‘y’all when any Southern six-year-old knows ‘y’all is always plural because it means ‘all of you.’”

Unbeknownst: Lacking knowledge of. “Unbeknownst to them, he had marked the cards.”

Usta: Used to. “Ah usta live in Savanah.”

Vaymuch: Not a whole lot, when expressed in the negative. “Ah don’t like this ham vaymuch.”

Wahn: What Jesus turned the water into, unless you’re Babdist who is persuaded it was only grape juice. “Could Ah have another glass of that wahn?”

Wars: Slender strands of coated copper that carry power over long distances. “They’re puttin’ telephone wars underground now.”

Wawk: A method of non-polluting travel by foot. “Why don’t we take an old-fashioned wawk?”

Wear out: An expression used to describe a highly-effective method of behavior modification in children. “When Ah get ahold of that boy, Ah’m gonna wear him out.”

Wender: A glass-covered opening in a wawl. “Open that wender, It’s too hot in here.”

Yat: A common greeting in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans. Instead of saying “hey” in lieu of “hello” the way most Southerners do, they say, “Where yat?”

Yew: Not a tree, but a personal pronoun. “Yew wanna shoot some pool?”

Y’heah?: A redundant expression tacked onto the end of sentences by Southerners. “Y’all come back soon, y’heah?”

Yontny: Do you want any. “Yontny more cornbread?”

Yungins: Also spelled younguns, meaning young ones. “Ah want all you yungins in bed in five minutes.”

Zit: Is it. “Zit already midnight, sugar? Tahm sure flies when you’re having fun.”

ALSO COMING UP from Mrs. Elizabeth Beers:

A tour of the Historic Oak Hill Cemetery. Enjoy strolling through the old section, with its impressive family monuments and loving sentiments. Visit the Marble Mausoleum! Sunday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. Maximum 20.

Ghost Tour of downtown Newnan with Mrs. Elizabeth! Be greeted by all those old souls that still haunt downtown Newnan and be spooked — THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! Thursday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. Maximum 20.

Call 770-253-0500 or email elizbeers@att.net for more information.

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Fall Quilt Expo coming 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 will present its first-ever Quilt Expo at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street Oct. 8-10.

The expo is being organized 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 October.

Quilts may still be loaned for the Quilt Expo. Applications should be sent with photos and descriptions of the quilts being offered for loan to NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264. Or stop by the NCHS offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street. Quilts must be received by Oct. 1 for the Oct. 8-10 event.

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 should also contact NCHS offices at 74 Jackson St., Newnan, or call 770-251-0207.

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.

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society also 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. 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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Make Your Bid!

As everyone must know by now, a new Newnan non-profit group has established an artist-in-residence program (NAIRP), restoring the Gray Cottage, just behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, for a succession of artists-in-residence, the first of which is Scottish painter Peter Tudhope.

Tudhope, who traveled from Scotland and arrived in Newnan Sept.1, has been painting the downtown landscape in addition to other scenes he finds inspiring. The artist has been active in the community, carving out a spot at the recent downtown Art Walk, hosting a plein air drawing session, Out of the Blue Debut, and a workshop for school-aged children at the Newnan Carnegie Library.

Peter Tudhope_McRitchie-Hollis gazebo

During his four-week stay in Newnan, Tudhope has created a body of work based on his experiences and observations of the Coweta area. Only two opportunities remain to meet the Scottish artist and see his most recent pieces which depict visual imagery of Newnan.

Tudhope will offer a demonstration of his personal process on Oct. 3. from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Corner Arts Gallery located at 30 S Court Square in Newnan. The local gallery can be contacted at 678-633-5705 to RSVP, or for more information, or visit online at www.cornerartsgallery.net.

Newnan’s artist-in-residence will offer a solo exhibit of his Coweta-inspired works the following evening of Oct. 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. The exhibit will include a short walk and three venues: The Gray Cottage on Clark Street, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Jackson Street and at the University of West Georgia Newnan campus also on Jackson Street. Tudhope’s works will also be available for purchase at this time.

See you at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum this Sunday! And don’t forget about the first-ever Quilt Expo at the Depot Oct. 8-10!

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Reserve your seat!

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. Tickets for 3 p.m. concert are $10 (plus processing fee), and are available at the museum and at eventbrite.com (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harpist-ashley-collins-at-mcritchie-hollis-tickets-18440275360)
When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins

Last year Ashley spent six months touring throughout India, performing famous Bollywood numbers for a wide variety of Indian weddings, anniversary parties and corporate events. With guest lists of up to 8,000, Ashley thrived on the opportunity to introduce and share the beauty and elegance of the harp.
India is just one of many places that Ashley has been able to experience because of her harp. In 2011, she spent four months studying the Celtic harp and its history in Cork, Ireland where she was able to take lessons from the famous harpist and composer Lisa Canney who is a member of Celtic Crossroads, a musical ensemble that toured throughout Ireland and the United States. She has also played her harp on mission trips to El Salvador and Guatemala.
Ashley’s vibrant and soulful performances combine many different genres of music including Classical, Pop, Folk and Christian.
Ashley began her studies as a teenager and quickly began to show her dedication to learning the instrument. She traveled over 30 hours to Nashville, TN. once a month to take lessons from the esteemed Carol McClure. Through these interludes, Ashley was able to interact with other harpists of all skill levels. She became aware of the commitment it would take to become a wonderful harpist. She rose to that challenge and acquired a substantial scholarship from the highly regarded and famous DePauw School of Music where she spent five years earning two degrees, a B.M. in Harp Performance and a B.A. in Theatre Performance.
“I love the harp because of its beauty and the calming effect its music can have on its listeners,” she said. “I want to share the love of music I have with others and give them some of the joy that God has blessed me with.”

RECENT PRESS from the Fayette Citizen:
Straight, blonde hair, precisely parted and brushed to the side, lies on her left shoulder. Her rosy lipstick surrounds a white-toothed, continuous smile, and her hands emphasize her words with strong fingers, fitting for a harpist. She opens and closes her hands, demonstrating the proper technique of how to play a harp. Harpists pull, not pluck, the strings.
25-year-old Ashley Collins began playing the harp at 13 years old. Her parents urged her and her six siblings to play instruments, including her twin sister, who chose the piano. Collins felt drawn to the harp. Three years later, she found herself on a Greyhound bus, traveling 16 hours to Nashville, Tenn., to live with and take lessons from harpist Carol McClure for a week. She did this every month until she went to college.
“It was amazing, because that’s not something my teacher offered to everyone,” Collins said, who was terrified the first time alone on the bus, but never got tired of the traveling. “It was a weird thing, but [McClure] saw something in me and she wanted to encourage that in me.”
During the weeks in between traveling to Nashville, Collins caught up on schoolwork and practiced. As a self-described perfectionist, Collins had to learn how to relax when she made mistakes or couldn’t focus.
“When I first started playing–I would have my little brothers–I would make them play around me, with their toys and stuff to distract me while I was performing and while I was practicing, and that helped me learn how to focus a little more,” she said.
That tactic has served her well, as people often approach her in the middle of her performances to take her photo or ask her questions.
The harp has opened many opportunities for Collins, who has been to India, El Salvador and Ireland with her instrument.

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Tickets on sale for pedal harpist performance at McRitchie-Hollis

Harpist Ashley Collins

Harpist Ashley Collins

Harpist Ashley Collins, who recently toured and studied in India, will give a concert at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum Saturday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 (plus processing) at the museum and online at eventbrite.com.

For more see Upcoming Events.

September 26, 3 p.m.
McRitchie-Hollis Museum
74 Jackson St, Newnan, GA 30263
Tickets are $10 general admission (plus processing) at eventbrite.com ( Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). Details, 770-251-0207.

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Artist-in-Residence Peter Tudhope to speak at McRitchie-Hollis

You’ve seen him around town with his paints and easel – now meet him in person and ask questions! Peter Tudhope, a painter from Girvan, South Ayrshire on the southwest coast of Scotland, is the first artist-in-residence at the newly restored “Gray Cottage” on Clark Street. Tudhope, who has been making art for over 40 years, will talk about his work at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., this Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. You can see more of his work at www.petertudhope.blogspot.com. The event is free and open to the public.

Peter Tudhope

Peter Tudhope

Peter paints landscape and figurative work, mainly in oils. His work leans towards a suggestive abstraction rather than a more deliberate representation. Recurrent themes include dramatic skies, barns, riversides, bridges, the local countryside and shoreline as well as portraits and figure studies. The intense colour and expressive paintwork creates a dramatic and energetic surface and rawness, where space is increasingly compressed and pressurised, has become Tudhope’s signature style.

This week he painted his impression of the gardens at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum:

Peter Tudhope_McRitchie-Hollis gazebo

Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention?

Music, film and literature are my other three passions. I write a little poetry, regularly attend the nearest filmhouse and couldn’t live without music.

What are the main medium/s you work in…

I mainly work in oils. I find the consistency and playability of the medium suits my style of work.

Does your work have social, political, cultural and or personal messages?

Not really, my work is more about paint, colour and especially mark making. The image in many cases is secondary to the physical effort of painting.

What fascinates you?

I love to paint places I have travelled to. Apart from the usual culprits I think it would be wonderful to paint the Arctic or the wonderful mountains of the Guilin and Yangshuo region of China. The mountains and islands of Scotland always draw me back though

Why are you an artist?

Art consumes me. There is nothing I’d rather do more. For as long as I can remember I drew everything. It was fairly obvious it would become my life.

How important is art for you?

Simple, It’s what drives me to be the person I am. I think about art all the time. If I haven’t worked on anything for a while it can change my mood. I feel happy and alive when I create art, it gives my life a purpose.

Your art education was…?

I stared my art education at Edinburgh College of Art, completing my First Year Studies then transferred to Glasgow School of Art gaining a BA (HONS) Degree then a Masters Degree at Manchester Polytechnic. Both degrees concentrated on Printmaking.

Was your education helpful, or a hindrance?

It wasn’t until I went to Manchester Polytechnic to do my Masters Degree that I realized how well I had been taught at Glasgow (School of Art), at least within the technical processes of Printmaking. I did find though that there isn’t much teaching going on more guidance, unfortunately not much of that either. Most students find their own way, this probably only happens in the art area.

What did you do before or during becoming an artist?

Since leaving Art College I have had to find work to “pay the Bills”. I worked in many different jobs such as in a Care Home for Educational and Behavioral Needs Children, built luxury tree houses throughout the country and worked as a sculptors assistant on many public art commissions.

Was art a “thing” which was encouraged in your family?

I was very lucky that my parents have always been encouraging. It became obvious very early on that some form of art was going to be my life.

Did the place where you grew up have an influence?

Definitely a big influence. My hometown nestled between the sea and the hills. There was a working harbor, which was and has been a continuous source of interest and inspiration. I walked in the hills which have been of great beauty to work from but also where I could clear my head and spend hours thinking and happily day dreaming.

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?

From an early age I devoured art like drinking water, especially paintings and it was something I always wanted to do but wasn’t particularly good at painting with thicker paint. I was more of a draughtsman and so Printmaking made sense. I did become a little frustrated the medium was quite slow and methodic, I wanted instant images, and so when leaving college and not having Printmaking equipment readily available, I turned to painting in oils.

Has your work changed much since your early efforts? (e.g. as a student).

As a student I experimented a lot. When afterwards I started painting in oils it took a long time to become more in control of the medium. Although I still love the fact that the medium can surprise me. A lot of artists have a certain style through habit of the way they work. Sometimes a painting takes it’s own course and that’s when I let it take over.

Have your artistic influences altered over time (e.g. artists.)

Definitely. My early influences were artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt as I moved through college I started to get interested in a more modern scene with artists such as Julian Schnabel, Georg Baselitz and Anselm Keifer. After college I turned more to artists I had looked at throughout college and were now making more sense within my art. I moved away from abstraction into seeing the world again, going back to drawing, artists such as Lucian Freud, David Bomberg, Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff were and have been the major artistic influences for the last twenty years.

What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?

It has changed more recently from attacking the canvas with the bare minimum of sketched ideas to collating lots of drawings and colour studies of a particular subject which then lead me into painting. As I paint I make fresh drawings exploring new avenues to pursue within the painting. Ultimately the painting takes over and shows you the way to go. A painting does talk to you, the trick is not only be able to just hear it, but understand what it’s saying.

Does the “creative process” happen easily for you?

Not always. Hence my interest in looking for themes. They concentrate your mind to look at a subject at different angles. You somehow know when you have exhausted your own interest in the subject.

Do you get creative glimpses of urges happening and how do you work with these?

I’m sure all artists get urges… sometimes even artistic! Inspiration can come in many guises, a particular light in the sky, a colour draped across a landscape caused by a cloud or a gesture made by someone in the street. It’s at these times I would quickly sketch a kind of description of the scene.

How important is the clarity of concept to you, prior to starting an artwork?

Like all artists I dream of how I might paint something in my head. Reality is always different but it’s a good starting point but I do like to keep my mind open to the image as it materializes.

Have you had any commissions? Any of note etc…

I don’t really do commissions as I find the idea quite restricting, although I recently produced an exhibition of paintings from a theatre in Aberdeen. This seemed successful as the work was supposed to be on show for a month and ended up being on display in the Theatre for a year.

Does the sale of your work support you? If no, what else do you do to support your art (job)?

I have been working on a smaller scale mainly due to financial reasons and I suppose it’s easier selling smaller works but scale is also about intensity, which is harder for me to reproduce in a big scale.

Do you get to other artists exhibitions, openings etc?

Of course. If you are an artist you should be interested in other artists. Going to an inspiring exhibition fills me with enthusiasm and it carries into my own work, it sets a fire under you and drives you on.

Any upcoming or completely new projects you want to talk about?

I have been visiting Belfast recently and quite inspired by somewhere new. I have already created a couple of paintings and working on more.

Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?

It’s always a little daunting until you get stuck in. I work quite quickly and know when I’m inspired the work flows.

Some say the lifespan of many “artists” post educationally is about five years, any thoughts on that?

It seems to me we are talking about artists finding their “style” early in their career then repeating the same images over and over. I think the problem is more to do with the habit of the same technique. Although my style is similar I hope I don’t fit into that box. Each painting for me is a struggle, that’s the way I like it. Style is different from technique, my technique varies.

Tell us about your connection to your subject matter, way of working, concepts etc?

I like to paint in the studio. I am quite a messy and use a lot of paint. I would feel restricted working outside from a subject directly. I work from drawings done on the spot or later, I like the detatchment from the subject, it allows me to be more expressive and not so literal.

What has been a turning point in your career thus far and why?

About five years ago I started to pay more attention to drawing as a medium in it’s own right. It has changed the concept of how I want to paint.

Can you name a favorite artist or three… and why?

Susan Rothenberg, her later work has me mesmerized with wonderful colour and descriptive brushwork. I love the abstract stories she tells of simple things within her life, very clever. Chaim Soutine is also a favourite, a master of the expressive gesture. There is a lovely giddy feeling and lush pure painting. Another wonderful artist I have come across is the Venezuelan artist Armando Reveron, his depictions of nudes and local landscapes are spellbindingly modern. One of the best artists who ever used white. Of course there are many others such as Bomberg, Auerbach, Kossoff, Matisse, Rembrandt, Carravaggio, etc, etc.

Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind?

Like most artists I am obsessed with sketchbooks, they are not in diary form but if I looked back through them you could probably see the development of styles ideas and subject matter. I do however like to have a little visual diary when I travel jotting down notes beside drawings.

What sort of research and or reference material do you do for current works and has that changed over time?

It has mostly always been from drawing from the subject. I would do lots of quick sketches with a felt pen, now I also work on colour studies and more developed works in charcoal.

Musical influences, Okay this is about Visual Arts but most artists have favourite music they enjoy while working or just in general what about you?

Creating art is a lonely business, I do love to listen to music while I work. I love music and go to concerts etc I listen to my ipod on a base station so that I don’t have to be interrupted changing discs. Certain music is better than others, if I am not painting and doing other things related I like to listen to the radio.

How important is it to you that your work communicates something to the viewer?

It’s probably one of the most important things for an artist as it’s what makes a viewer stop and look. Without that there is no point exhibiting your work. But that shouldn’t be mistaken with creating work specifically for the viewer.

What can you say about your work that might not be evident to the viewer?

I think my work seems straight forward and fairly easy to read. It may not be evident though that the image is just a starting point, the real painting for me is the application, the colour mix, the texture, struggling with the process until an image appears which surprises you.

Has being involved in the arts proven to be a millstone or a point of elation?

It has sometimes been a bit of a millstone as it can get in the way of relationships or influence how you live but is always worth it in the end. I can’t image my life without art.

Respond to the notion “Art is a device for exploring the human condition”…

I have two main examples of this, the first is a minor one, when I draw or paint I am concentrating so much I can block out the cold or even pain. The second is more important, for me artistic creation helps my inner balance. I am happiest when my art is going well it’s like an anti depressant.

About significant moments in your life, the sort of things that changed things for you forever… perhaps altered your Art… Who how why what and where…?

On a very personal level I did very little for about a ten year period when I was married. Family, long hours, little space and a crisis of confidence seemed to take over. After my marriage ended I vowed to myself art would become more important again and immediately started working on a series which kick started everything I do now.

Is motivation to work an issue for you and how do you overcome it?

Sometimes I go through periods where I am in a creative slump. I am always thinking about art but physically can’t seem to get things going. Before long something works itself out, it’s like a habit, you just have to keep looking and drawing.

What about the role of titles with your work, some hate them others revel in them, what about you?

Titles are great. They can give just enough explanation to help viewers understand what you and trying to portray. Some of the names of places are wonderful and are like frames, finishing touches.

Are their special aspects to the making of your work you want to share?

Only in as far as I need my studio set up so that I can wander in and out. Painting is not always a nine to five thing. Very often I paint at night or sit and look at what I’ve done during the day, resolving problems and searching for the next days work.

Your first “decent” gallery representation, how did it come about?

My first show was just after I graduated, a local art gallery saw my work and offered me a solo show. The thrill of that was doubled by the fact the other solo show at the same time was by Henry Moore.

Your first show at a “gallery” you thought was of value, how was the whole thing for you?

Very exciting but unfortunately a bit of a let down. I thought mistakenly that it meant I was on my way into an art career, the lack of sales sobered me up.

The business or marketing side of Art can be a challenge to some, what are your thoughts?

It is a personal bug-bear. I think art colleges are responsible for the lack of knowledge in this area. It is probably as important as art history. Fine Art students need to know how to survive beyond college.

What is the most unexpected response you’ve received from a viewer of your work?

It’s always nice when viewers compliment your work, not many people tell you when they don’t like it. Although early on in my college career I showed some early painted sketches to a tutor who told me they were terrible. I was taken aback a little, but he was right. It made me more determined to learn my craft.

Name a book or books, which may have inspired your work as an artist?

When I was a teenager my art teacher lent me his copy of Lust For Life, it inspired me like no other book had. More recently read Hilary Spurling’s biography of Matisse. It was a wonderful illumination to his life and work. There are wonderful books about the life of Pissarro, which showed the struggle of an artist to survive, it was as relevant today as then. And I read a great book about Jon Schuler, an American artist who came to Scotland and became inspired by the western coast and sky. All touch you somewhere inside as representing little parts of your own life and a connection to the struggle most artists go through.

If someone says to you “Oh your work is decorative and lacks any meaning…” your response would be…?

I don’t really respond to comments like that. You have to develop a tough skin and always remember not everyone will like what you do. There is no point taking it personally.

Tell us about your studio environment (too big, too small, enough storage or not, the light, the position, how you found it etc)?

I have had different studios throughout the years, from lots of space in an old mill to the glass porch in my house. I can work in a small corner of an attic with little light if I need to. Currently I am moving trying to move home and have very little space. Ideally it would be a room at home big enough to store paintings and let me stand back from the paintings.

What would you say are the top three things, which make you successful as an artist?

A decent drawing ability is always good, I use striking color mostly and the third thing would be the choosing subject matter, which not only you would like to paint but interests the viewer.

Some say a measure of an artwork is the ability for it to hold a persons attention or cause the viewer to come back after an initial glance and become captivated by the work, is that so for your works or an intention of yours?

I would hope so and have been told on many occasions that this was true. As an Expressive painter I think the energy of the brush marks can be exciting, they show the power of the paint and hopefully how brave you can be with a loaded brush.

People around you (family friends etc.) what would they say about the way you work, the moods you have, your life as an artist etc?

People close to me get to know painting keeps me happy, others wouldn’t know, I wear my heart close to my sleeve.

Do you have a connectedness to other art forms?

I love sculpture. Recently I worked on a few small nude bronzes, which was exciting. I worked on all of the processes. They were modelled in wax which I found incredibly therapeutic and would love to do more. They somehow helped a new push in my painting showing the way forward.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your work, or the way it is executed?

I need a good subject to start me off or the work would not be done, but, the execution is what interests me more about the process of painting.

Do you prefer a perfect smooth technique or a more energetic expressive technique and why?

You just have to look at my work to see I love a more expressive style, it’s harder to control but when you hit it right it’s a great high.

What is more important to you in your work, content or technique, concept or product?

A painting has to work on different levels, no one thing can be more important. In my own work the technique and the mark making process invigorates me, but there has to be a balance though with content. The content is a complimentary factor which helps to draw the viewer in.

How do you think art can change people or their perceptions?

I think art and culture in general is what makes people civilized. Everything from music to designing our cereal packet creates a better world. If your surroundings are well designed whether your home or outside it makes you happier and it’s very often the simpler elements which work the best.

Are you the sort of artist who seeks out promotional opportunities or one that shuns the limelight?

I personally shun the limelight a little although I want my work to speak for me and would be happy to see it well promoted.

Technology (websites and social networking sites to name a few) has become an important marketing tool for many industries and individuals, what are your thoughts from a “You Inc” perspective and your art sensibility.

I have work on a few of these sites, I have never got much in the way of sales from them but they are good for getting to know other artists and have made good “cyber” friends who exchange knowledge and encouragement. It has also been handy when someone is interested in your work to let them see a good collection of your work without having to travel to your studio.

Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination or some other method?

All my paintings are worked from drawings. These drawings can be done from life or from photographs. I have got into the habit of when working from photographs I will turn them upside down so that I don’t get bogged down with trying to “copy” what I see. Instead, I just want to use them as starting points, drawing upside down can create a dysfunctional element which becomes your own.

When you create your work is it somehow an emotional relief as you do it or at the end?

At the end of a painting session you can be left high or down depending on how well the work is going. Finishing a painting is always a high.

Do you aim to make “masterpieces” with the aim of being seen in the future as an artist that really made their mark in art history?

I think it’s a very difficult thing to try to make a “masterpiece”, they become that way through time. I would however like to make work, which would be seen in the future as quality of its time. Meanwhile, I paint because I love to do so.

What do you love/hate about being an artist?

The struggle can be depressing but can also show you that the world doesn’t owe you anything and it makes you try harder.

The problem with the art scene today is…

The same problem as it has been for many years, the high end of the art world is so stuck on finding the latest sensation it forgets about talent and quality in many cases. There are great artists still struggling and talentless fame seekers getting all the limelight. But nothing is fare in the art world and it’s still a case of being in the right place at the right time or playing the game in the right way and who you know. I suppose this sounds familiar for many other areas but it is particularly relevant in art.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Work hard, see it as a job not a hobby. Be professional, get to know about such things as tax, how to do your books etc. Remember you have a talent people want, do not sell yourself short, an architect wouldn’t work for free, you have bills to pay like anyone else. It is a fight, in general others want artists to just give their work away. Be realistic.

How long did it take to develop your own style?

I don’t think I really cultivated a style, I think through time my work just looks like the same person has produced them.

What personally motivated you to begin a career as an Artist?

Simple. I found from an early age it’s what I was best at and more importantly what I loved doing the most.

Did you intend to become a professional artist?

Yes of course. At school I looked to art college as my goal. Suddenly when I left I realised how hard it was to survive by your work alone.

Would you say your paintings reveal something private about yourself?

I am quite a quiet person, fairly laid back and wouldn’t say particularly excitable. My work on the other hand shows my passion within which only a select few ever see.

How many artworks do you produce in a year?

On average I paint about thirty oil paintings a year now, but also do many drawings and works on paper, which can vary.

What technical aspects do you focus on in your work?

I tend to work wet into wet, which means a painting for me has to be hit or miss everytime I work on it. I will scrape the paint back off and try again until I find marks, colour etc. I work on the whole painting trying to keep it fresh and continuously spontaneous.

How long do our works they usually take to complete?

A work can take a matter of a few days or I can work on them for up to two years. They often get beyond a point where I feel happy working on the surface, in which case I destroy them and start again.

How has your mind-set changed from struggling to find your own style to solidifying what you are doing today?

My style is a result of painting in a way that is the most natural to me. I am quite impatient and always want to see instant results it is only the fact that I want to be discerning that I struggle on until I am happier with the result.

How many artworks do you work on at the same time?

I usually work on up to four or five at the same time. They can develop in different ways and be completed at differing times. As I finish one I start another. I find also this helps when I am working on a series, one painting can spur on another.

Do you think art school nurtured you or somehow crushed you?

It definitely nurtured me. Of course like most people you didn’t use it to your best advantage and would love to have the time and resources again to do a better job. Money was always a struggle but it did give you time to experiment with other mediums and experiment freely.

How did you manage to survive financially at the beginning of your art career?

After spending five years at art college with the financial support of my parents I felt I had to start working and pay my way more even if it meant not in the art world. I have worked in social care, teaching, construction and customer services jobs to pay bills and support my family.

Does the gallery make the artist famous or does the artist make the gallery famous?

I think it’s hard to have one without the other. Artists need outlets for the work to be seen and sold and vice versa. I think galleries sometimes forget that without the artists they would not have a living, they can be a little guilty of their own self importance and look down on the artist. High street galleries are just shops which sell a form of luxury merchandise, it just happens to be artwork, gallery owners are shop keepers when it comes down to it. The artist is the talent, a good gallery recognizes this and nurtures them which can only be a good partnership for both.

What was life like for you as you were growing up?

I had a very good loving upbringing. My parents were supportive and allowed me the freedom to follow my passion. We were never particularly wealthy but never particularly went without. They encouraged reading, music and to have an open mind to the world. It was an easy place to grow up, safe and without much in the way of hardship or struggle. Perhaps my laid back attitude was a result, I know I am not as driven as perhaps I should be.

Do you have ideas turning over in your head all the time or…

Constantly. I daydream a lot, thinking about paintings. I paint in my sleep or built imaginary studios. If I’m not doing anything I’ll pick up an art book and lose myself for a while.

Eccentricity is seen as a common trait of artists of many disciplines, how about you?

I wouldn’t say I have any eccentricities. Sometimes artists become that way by cultivating a persona which will make them stand out as an “artist”. Art for me is just something I do I don’t have to shout it from the rooftops. I think I am happy within myself and confident enough to know it’s about the work not me.

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NCHS offers historic markers

Home of Scott Wahlin, 47 Jackson St., Newnan

Home of Scott Wahlin, 47 Jackson St., Newnan

Our newest historic marker is at the home of Scott Wahlin, 47 Jackson St. in downtown Newnan.
The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has historical markers available for homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the City of Newnan, this includes homes circa the 1800s and
early 1900s that are in one of our six historic districts.
In the county, this includes homes or properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The sign markers are $275 installed and a Pineapple House Plate is $90. The pineapple plate will be the same as on the sign.
Please call 770-251-0207 to inquire or to place your order.

Newsletter: Posted Sept. 10, 2015

Join us at Dunaway Gardens this Sunday…

DUNAWAY GARDENS:
“Under the Brown Tent: Chautauqua in the Community Landscape”
A talk by Dr. Charlotte Canning, University of Texas at Austin

Come join us this Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1:30 p.m. at Dunaway Gardens!

One annual summer event that by the 1920s a third of the US population eagerly anticipated was the coming of the Circuit Chautauqua. Hetty Jane Dunaway, founder of Dunaway Gardens, was one of these Chautauqua circuit performers.

Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning

The Circuit tent was erected in an appropriate location, usually a large field near a small town. Despite its brief presence—a week or just a few days—the Chautauqua served its audience as a crucial link with the rest of the nation. Its coming was heralded with the transformation of the town by banners, window displays, and placards. For the duration performers of all kinds brought new music, information, images, and drama. At the end of Chautauqua the tent was struck and the banners shipped on to the next site. Temporary though it may have been, many Chautauqua practitioners and commentators argued that Chautauqua and rural America were synonymous, that the existence of Chautauqua proved the permanence and dependability of the rural way of life, even as that way of life was waning. This talk will explore how Chautauqua served its audiences and what it meant to them.

“The Flapper Grandmother”
An original Hetty Jane Dunaway play!

Hetty Jane Dunaway as one of her one woman show characters.

Hetty Jane Dunaway as one of her one woman show characters.

Come hear a reading of one of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s most popular works! Performed by players from the Newnan Theatre Company immediately preceding Dr. Canning’s talk this Sunday. Starring Jennifer Dorrell as the “Flapper Grandmother.” Original memorabilia from the Sewell Production Company will also be on exhibit for ONE DAY ONLY! This event was made possible through a generous grant from the Georgia Humanities Council, as it part of our “Reel Past” series of events this year.

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TheReelPast logo

GaHumanitiesCouncilLogo

The Male Academy Museum is now re-opened! Come visit us from Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10-12 and from 1-3, or by appointment. NOW SHOWING: “Stitches in Time: The Story of Quilts.” Come see beautiful hand-stitched quilts spanning over a century in our newly re-painted museum, at the corner of College Street and Temple Avenue. Also in display: the Zeke Smith Collection of furnishings from one of Newnan’s “pioneer families,” and the Civil War officer uniform of Hugh Buchanan, along with other period artifacts.unnamed (3) unnamed (4)

 

NCHS Intern Eric Gilley with Libby Buchanan beside Hugh Buchanan's Civil War coat.

NCHS Intern Eric Gilley with Libby Buchanan beside Hugh Buchanan’s Civil War coat.

Fall Quilt Expo set Oct. 8-10 at Depot

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is prepping for its first-ever Quilt Expo at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street Oct. 8-10. The event is being organized in conjunction with the new quilt exhibition ongoing at the society’s Male Academy Museum at Temple Avenue and College Street.
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There will be displays of vintage and newer quilts, as well as vendors and organization displays, at the Depot three-day event in October.

Quilts may still be loaned for the Quilt Expo. Applications should be sent with photos and descriptions of the quilts being offered for loan to NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264. Or stop by the NCHS offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson Street. Quilts must be received by Oct. 1 for the Oct. 8-10 event.

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 should also contact NCHS offices at 74 Jackson St, Newnan, or call 770-251-0207.

There will be 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 booths available at the Depot History Center for vendors. Deposits of $50 are required to reserve space.

Along with the display of vintage and newer quilts for viewing, several vendors and groups plan to be on site. Signed up so far are:

- Southern Stitches from Thomaston, GA with fabric, precuts, kits and notions.

- Quilts and Fixins from Jonesboro, GA with fabric and tools.

- A Fine Notion from Newnan with notions, patterns, books and 18-inch doll supplies.

- Pretty Penny Precuts from Peachtree City, GA with wool applique, doe cut kits, patterns, notions and supplies.

- Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent, Fayetteville and Peachtree City, GA.

- Common Thread Quilt Guild Newnan, GA.

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

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. The Depot History Center is at 60 East Broad Street just east of Newnan’s Court Square. There is ample free parking.

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins

Pedal harpist Ashley Collins

NOW ON SALE: Tickets for a performance by harpist Ashley Collins at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum! Ashley just returned from a tour of India. Find out more about her at her website, http://www.eleganceofmusic.com/Biography.html, or buy tickets for $10 (plus service fee) here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harpist-ashley-collins-at-mcritchie-hollis-tickets-18440275360

 

 

Harvee White, a first-semester graduate student in Public History at the University of West Georgia, says she “couldn’t be happier to be the newest member of the Newnan- Coweta Historical Society family!”

Harvee White

Harvee White

She began her new internship as a West Georgia / NCHS GRA (Graduate Research Assistant) this month. Originally from Louisiana, White has been a Newnan resident since 2004, and “is excited to learn its history,” she said. After graduating from East Coweta High School in 2009, she went on to pursue her Bachelor’s in Art History from Georgia State University, earning the degree in 2013. Follow Harvee’s adventures with NCHS at our blog site: http://newnancowetahistoricalsociety.tumblr.com/

 

NEW WEBSITE! Check out our new website focused on our rental venues at www.nchsrentals.com. There is also a new venue rental specific Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TrainDepotMcRitchieHollis?fref=ts. Tell your friends!

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Poster from Herb Bridges' Golden Era of Hollywood exhibition.

Poster from Herb Bridges’ Golden Era of Hollywood exhibition.

LAST CHANCE to see “Herb Bridges’ Golden Era of Hollywood”! Come see it at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum before it’s gone! October is the final month. Located at 74 Jackson St.

Copyright © 2015 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264

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Creek-Cherokee traveling trunk offered to teachers 

TEACHERS! Did you know we have a Native American traveling trunk at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society? Local teacher Jennifer Anderson used it to teach her students all about the Creek and Cherokee Indians, and you can, too! If you’re a teacher who would like some extra help meeting those curriculum requirements, just let us know. Best of all … it’s free! Available by reservation at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St.

Local teacher Jennifer Anderson w Cherokee traveling trunkCROPPEDLIGHTENED

Local teacher Jennifer Anderson with Cherokee traveling trunk.

The trunk includes a variety of items illustrating the Creek and Cherokee territory, history and culture.

The Cherokee played a game of stickball similar to today's lacrosse.

The Cherokee played a game of stickball similar to today’s lacrosse.

Items illustrate such facets as basic food culture such as “The Three Sisters” of corn, squash and beans; clothing materials used; and even the popular stickball game similar to today’s lacrosse.

Harvee White announced as NCHS fall intern

Posted and sent to media Sept. 9, 2015

Harvee White, a first-semester graduate student in Public History at the University of West Georgia, says she “couldn’t be happier to be the newest member of the Newnan- Coweta Historical Society family!” She began her new job as a West Georgia / NCHS GRA (Graduate Research Assistant) this month.

Harvee White

Harvee White

Originally from Louisiana, White has been a Newnan resident since 2004, and “is excited to learn its history,” she said. After graduating from East Coweta High School in 2009, she went on to pursue her Bachelor’s in Art History from Georgia State University, earning the degree in 2013. White says she “can’t wait to see where her new position with the Historical Society” as a GRA will lead her.

“We’re very happy to begin what we hope will be a long partnership with the University of West Georgia’s excellent public history program,” said NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop. “We look forward to working with Harvee on a number of exciting new projects.”

Flapper Era Play Returns to Dunaway Gardens
By Joan Doggrell

Posted Sept. 2, 2015

Flappers haven’t been seen in Newnan since the1920s. But that’s about to change, thanks to the efforts of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and Newnan Theatre Company. On Sunday, September 13, at 1:30 p.m., “The Flapper Grandmother” will return to the Dunaway Gardens Amphitheatre.

Flapper Grandmother

The story goes like this. Grandma is lamenting the fact that she is old and always gets left behind when the young folks go out joyriding in their neighbor’s automobile. She doesn’t look as pretty as she used to. But she has invested a little money in the Tea Pot Dome, and “the tea pot boils over.” She is suddenly rich overnight and goes off to Paris to “get her face skinned.” She comes back with a new face, new clothes, and a new beau, the Count, (who is only after her money). She is the talk of the town. For the ending – you’ll have to come to Dunaway Gardens!
This farcical comedy was written by Hetty Jane Dunaway, who was more than a famous gardener. She was also an actress, a playwright, and co-owner of the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company.
“Our goal is to make people aware of the Dunaway Gardens Amphitheatre and the history of theatre here in this community, which began in this Amphitheatre. ‘The Flapper Grandmother’ is one of the original plays that was done out there,” said Jeff Bishop, Executive Director of NCHS.
“We are staging a reading, not a full production,” explained Bishop. “Plays from this era can’t be performed the way they were written. They contain a lot of objectionable minstrel show material which we can’t do today. But they are interesting because some of the characters that became popular in the 1940s and ‘50s on television originated right here in Newnan. For example, one character in the play has a lot of the flavor of Minnie Pearl’s Grand Ole Opry routines. A person who trained actors and actresses here was Sarah Ophelia Colley, later known as Minnie Pearl.”
In addition to the play, audiences will hear a talk by Dr. Charlotte Canning from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an expert in the Chautauqua movement and in the early days of touring theater troupes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
“These acting troupes went all over the country,” said Bishop.” People then didn’t have access to what we think of as culture.”
Dr. Canning is the author of “Feminist Theaters in the USA: Staging Women’s Experience” and “The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance” which won the 2006 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. Her most recent book is “Representing the Past: Essays in Performance Historiography,” co-edited with Tom Postlewait, and she is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan for her next monograph, “On the Performance Front: US Theatre and Internationalism.”
With a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council, NCHS has been presenting a series showcasing Coweta County’s connection to the film industry. Their “Murder in Coweta County” series included a preview of Jeff Bishop’s new play “Flies at the Well.” Bishop’s play – a musical – is based on events in 1948 and the trial of John Wallace. Then on Aug. 20, the second event in the series included a talk about the Erskine Caldwell film “God’s Little Acre.”
Now, for the third event in the series, NCHS is reviving “The Flapper Grandmother.” Originally staged by the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, the play starred Dunaway herself in the title role along with a supporting cast drawn from the Sewell acting troupe.
Dunaway and Sewell started out as actors and lecturers with the famous Chautauqua Circuit, where they met and married. Dunaway Gardens originated with Dunaway’s dream of establishing an art colony in a garden in Roscoe. True to her vision, she built her garden, and she and Sewell hosted artists there and brought in groups such as the Edwin Strawbridge Ballet from Los Angeles and New York. They also held training camps for the Sewell troupe performers.
The Sewell troupe would travel by train around the Southeast with huge trunks full of costumes, scripts, musical scores, and promotional material. Hauling these big trunks from town to town, they would partner with a civic club and put on a show as a fundraiser. Local people would meet them at the train station, and in a week or two they would have a show together. They would also do all sorts of fundraising projects. One time they offered a baby for sale at auction, which of course aroused enough curiosity to get people to the event. The “baby” turned out to be a baby pig.
“Today when people talk about Dunaway Gardens, they tend to be referring to the second period after World War II when Ms Hetty Jane was older,” said Bishop. “By then her niece, Marjorie Hatchet, had started teaching drama at Newnan High School. Dale Lyles, who was the heart and soul of the Newnan Theatre Company for many years, studied under Hatchet. In fact, the original theater at Dunaway Gardens was called the Hatchet Theater after Ms Marjorie.”
This second period in the history of Dunaway Gardens saw the beginning of community theater in Newnan. The group first called themselves the Playmakers. In the 1950s they started doing a regular series of plays. They eventually moved to the Wadsworth Auditorium. Then in the 1970s the company combined with a couple of different groups and evolved into what today is known as Newnan Theatre Company.
In addition to having an active live theatre company, Coweta County enjoys a thriving relationship with film. We host backdrops (and supply extras) for “The Walking Dead.” “Drop Dead Diva” was filmed here as well as “Get Low,” with Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, and most recently the Michael Keaton movie “The Founder,” the story of how Ray Kroc turned McDonald’s into a global fast food empire.
“We’re just trying to trace this relationship back,” said Bishop. “We have an exhibit right now in the McRitchie-Hollis museum of beautiful posters from the golden age of Hollywood, the era of Shirley Temple, Katherine Hepburn, and Edward G. Robinson. We have fifty of these movie posters, all hand drawn and painted. Back then, each theater had its own artist to paint these posters by hand. After the movie run was over, they would just toss the poster out — though fortunately a few were saved. They’re not like today’s movie posters. They actually have three dimensional lettering. We will have these posters on display through the end of October.”
“Herb Bridges, who lived here in Coweta County – he died just 2 years ago –was the biggest collector of film memorabilia in the world. We have some of his pieces here also, such as a bonnet worn by Scarlet O’Hara (Vivian Leigh) – a gift from Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) that he brought from Paris. The posters were part of Bridges’ collection too. He was an usher at the Loew’s Theatre when he was a teenager.”
“Gone with the Wind” premiered here in Atlanta at the Loews Theater, which is where these posters come from. It burned down in 1978. (Houston’s Restaurant in Buckhead is made from the bricks of the Loews Theatre.)
“The Newnan Coweta Historical Society is bringing to life one of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s plays that has not been performed in many decades. We’re looking forward to that, and we hope to share this event with Cowetans and others who are interested in Newnan’s entertainment history — and want to have some fun as well,” added Bishop.

(Dunaway Gardens is on Roscoe Road/Highway 70  north of Newnan. Events begin 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Part of the “Reel Past” series co-sponsored by Georgia Humanities.)

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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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Harvee White joins NCHS as intern

Posted Sept. 1, 2015

Harvee White

Harvee White

Harvee White, a first-semester Master’s degree candidate in Public History at the University of West Georgia, “couldn’t be happier to be the newest member of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society family!” she said. She began work the last week of August and will continue as our Graduate Resident Assistant (GRA) through the end of the fall semester 2015. Originally from Louisiana, she has been a Newnanite since 2004, and is excited to learn its history. After graduating from East Coweta High School in 2009, she went on to pursue her Bachelor’s in Art History from Georgia State University, earning the degree in 2013. We welcome Ms. White aboard.

 

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Calling All Quilts!

Do you have some special quilts? The Male Academy Museum is reopening Labor Day weekend, and Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is looking for quilts to be shared for a fall exhibition at the Male Academy of quilts and their stories. If you have a quilt to share bring it by the office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, call us at 770-251-0207 or email Jessie Merrell at jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com

NCHS is accepting quilts on loan for an exhibition opening September 2015 at the Male Academy.

NCHS is accepting quilts on loan for an exhibition opening September 2015 at the Male Academy.

Labor Day Weekend launches quilts, special Powers Crossroads exhibit at Male Academy

The Powers Crossroads festival may be gone, but this Labor Day Weekend the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will be remembering the popular event with “Powers Crossroads Revisited” at a newly re-opened Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.
Three paintings by the founder of the festival, Tom Powers, will be on display, along with quilts, crafts, and folk art dating from the early days of the festival, which began in 1971.
“We received these paintings of Mr. Powers just before he passed away, and it seemed like a sign we should remember him and the festival he started in some way,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
NCHS is actively seeking loans of art from the festival’s early days to include as part of the event. Pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, woodwork, etching, and other crafts bought or produced at the Powers Crossroads festival, especially items from the festival’s early days, are sought.
The two-day Powers event Sept. 5-6 will be part of a re-launch of the Male Academy Museum, which will be re-opened with a new long-term quilt exhibit. Quilts are needed to add to the exhibit, to complement the quilts already in the NCHS collection, which include the Newnan Sesquicentennial Quilt.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Patchwork quilt from the NCHS collections, donated in 1986.

Patchwork quilt from the NCHS collections.

“We also would like for artists who quilt, weave, or paint to set up tables for this event,” he said. Please contact NCHS at 770-251-0207, stop by the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street (side entrance is at the parking area on Clark) or email Jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com for more information.
Around 1970, Powers and business leader Lindsey Barron launched the concept that became the Powers festival. There were few such events at Labor Day at the time, and Powers Crossroads became a highly touted, juried art venue that drew shoppers from all around. The festival continued for more than 40 years, but eventually went into decline. The last festival was held in 2013.
“If you have old quilts, especially, we would love to display them and share the stories of their creations and meanings,” said Jessie Merrell of the historical society. “We are looking for all shapes, sizes, patterns, and techniques. If you have some you would like to share, come by the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street or contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and let us know.” The quilts do not have to have been associated with the Powers Crossroads festival, since the quilt display will continue after the Labor Day event.

 Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather's quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather’s quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

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Male Academy Museum, Newnan to Re-Open, Seeking Quilts

Posted August 19, 2015 in “85 South”

Do you own a special quilt that tells a family or community story? A quilt that uses an unusual pattern or motif? Or even just a quilt that has been passed down through the generations of your family?

If so, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is interested in talking to you!

Male Academy Museum

Male Academy Museum

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

“We are currently looking for more quilts to be shared for a fall exhibit at the re-opened Male Academy Museum,” said Jeff Bishop, NCHS executive director. “If you have a quilt you would be willing to loan to us or donate, please contact us at 770-251-0207, stop by our offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum or email our staff at jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com.”

The Male Academy will re-open on Labor Day Weekend, beginning Saturday, Sept. 5.

NCHS is also looking for folk art from the early days of the Powers Crossroads country fair and art festival for a special Labor Day Weekend display.

“We have three paintings by Tom Powers, and some other items we are going to display especially for the Male Academy re-opening,” said Bishop. “But we’re on the lookout for more.”

NCHS is actively seeking loans of art from the festival’s early days to include as part of the event. Pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, woodwork, etching, and other crafts bought or produced at the Powers Crossroads festival, especially items from the festival’s early days, are sought.
As part of the quilt exhibit, the city of Newnan’s “Sesquicentennial Quilt” 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.

“We found an oral history she did from the 1970s that really shines a light on her life and work,” said Bishop.

New exhibit panels are being developed for the new exhibit, and the museum has been repaired and re-worked.

“If you come to the Male Academy you’ll see things that haven’t been displayed for a couple of years now, and some that haven’t been displayed in quite some time, if ever,” Bishop said.

The NCHS is also prepping its first ever Quilt Expo this October. Applications should be sent by Sept. 1 with photos and descriptions of the quilts. Quilts must be received by Oct. 1 for the event, 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 should also contact NCHS.

“We might be able to turn this into an annual fall event,” said Bishop.

10 x 10 and 10 x 20 booths will be available at the Historic Train Depot. Deposits of $50 are required to reserve the space.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum, located at 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 20s, 30s, and 40s. Both the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Male Academy Museum will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10-12 and from 1-3. Admission is $5 / $2.

Caldwell scholar to speak at McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Posted by The Newnan Times-Herald Aug. 20, 2015

A talk on novelist Erskine Caldwell and a showing of the movie “God’s Little Acre,” based on one of his best-selling novels, is set for Thursday, Aug. 20, at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

NCHS and the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance, which maintains the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum in Moreland, are co-sponsoring the event. “‘God’s Little Acre’ was the only film based on a Caldwell novel in which Mr. Caldwell himself was involved,” said Winston Skinner, MCAA president. “Of the books filmed in his lifetime, this was the one with which he was most satisfied.

To celebrate the 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 Coweta-born writer Erskine Caldwell in “Southern Images and Erskine Caldwell.” Three of Caldwell’s works have been adapted to the big screen – “Tobacco Road,” “God’s Little Acre” and “Claudelle Inglish.”

Dr. Randy Hendricks of the University of West Georgia in his 7:30 talk 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.

Skinner, who is also news editor of The Newnan Times-Herald, will be on hand to introduce 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 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 instructor, local poet and writer Melissa Dickson Jackson.

“The Reel Past” series continues 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, Ophelia Cannon, 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 effect 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.

(Note: The Dunaway event has been rescheduled to the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 13.)

 

Special Sunday hours at Museum Aug. 16

Posted Aug. 14, 2015

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.

Male Academy floor getting repairs

July 22, 2015

The Powers Crossroads festival may be gone, but this Labor Day Weekend the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will be remembering the popular event with “Powers Crossroads Revisited” at a newly re-opened Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.

Male Academy Museum

Male Academy Museum

The Male Academy has been getting repairs, including work on its floor system by City of Newnan crews, and will get the fresh exhibitions for its fall reopening.

As of July 2015 repair work is ongoing to the floor system at the Male Academy Museum, set for reopening Labor Day weekend with a new quilt exhibition and a weekend salute to the old Powers Crossroads Festival.

As of July 2015 repair work is ongoing to the floor system at the Male Academy Museum, set for reopening Labor Day weekend with a new quilt exhibition and a weekend salute to the old Powers Crossroads Festival.

Three paintings by the founder of the festival, Tom Powers, will be on display, along with quilts, crafts, and folk art dating from the early days of the festival, which began in 1971.
“We received these paintings of Mr. Powers just before he passed away, and it seemed like a sign we should remember him and the festival he started in some way,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
NCHS is actively seeking loans of art from the festival’s early days to include as part of the event. Pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, woodwork, etching, and other crafts bought or produced at the Powers Crossroads festival, especially items from the festival’s early days, are sought.

Quilt from the NCHS collections.

Quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

The early September event will be part of a re-launch of the Male Academy Museum, which will be re-opened with a new quilt exhibit. Quilts are needed to add to the exhibit, to complement the quilts already in the NCHS collection, which include the Newnan Sesquicentennial Quilt.
“We also would like for artists who quilt, weave, or paint to set up tables for this event,” he said. Please contact NCHS at 770-251-0207 or email Jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com for more information.

Around 1970, Powers and business leader Lindsey Barron launched the concept that became the Powers festival. There were few such events at Labor Day at the time, and Powers Crossroads became a highly touted, juried art venue that drew shoppers from all around. The festival continued for over 40 years, but eventually went into decline. The last festival was held in 2013.

“If you have old quilts, especially, we would love to display them and share the stories of their creations and meanings,” said Jessie Merrell of the historical society. “We are looking for all shapes, sizes, patterns, and techniques. If you have some you would like to share, come by the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street or contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and let us know.” The quilts do not have to have been associated with the Powers Crossroads festival, since the quilt display will continue after the Labor Day event.

 Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather's quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather’s quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

Aug. 20 program continues ‘Reel Past’

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.

Hugh Buchanan descendants visit McRitchie-Hollis

Posted July 17, 2015

Descendants of Hugh Buchanan of Newnan visited the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and McRitchie-Hollis Museum today. They were able to view the coat worn by their ancestor, Hugh Buchanan of Newnan. Mr. Buchanan lived in the home on LaGrange Street now known as Buena Vista, which is now the home of Mike and Leah Sumner. It served as headquarters for General Wheeler at the time of the Battle of Brown’s Mill.

From left are, back, Elizabeth Weatherly,  Libby Buchanan, David Weatherly and Jeff Bishop with the Buchanan coat; center, Bramm and Campbell; and front, Harrison.

From left are, back, Elizabeth Weatherly, Libby Buchanan, David Weatherly and Jeff Bishop with the Buchanan coat; center, Bramm and Campbell; and front, Harrison.

Elizabeth “Libby” Buchanan brought her granddaughter and family to visit. They toured the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and got a special viewing provided by NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop of Hugh Buchanan’s coat from the Civil War. The coat is on loan from Mrs. Buchanan. Visiting were: granddaughter Elizabeth Weatherly, husband David Weatherly and their three sons, Bramm “Buchanan” Weatherly, Campbell Weatherly and Harrison Weatherly. The two older boys got to put on protective gloves and touch their ancestor’s coat, which recently received a new replacement set of Civil War-era buttons sewn on by textiles conservator Howard Sutcliffe of Montgomery, Ala.

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Ed Wolak was NCHS friend, supporter

Dear NCHS members and friends,
It is with great sadness that we at NCHS relay news of the death of one of our longtime friends and supporters, Ed Wolak. Many of the items in our collection come from Ed Wolak and his late wife, Helen, including a collection of beautiful dolls from around the world. Together Ed and Helen were authors of many of the books in our gift shop, including “Vanishing Communities of Coweta County” and “Life in Coweta County at the Turn of the Century.” Funeral services for Mr. Wolak will be this Saturday July 18 at 2 p.m. at Moreland United Methodist Church, where he was a longtime member. Visitation with the family will be prior to the service, beginning at 1 p.m. Hillcrest Funeral Home of Newnan is in charge of the arrangements.

Ed and Helen Wolak

Ed and Helen Wolak

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Reel Past events July through October

 

Reel Past With Logos

REEL 1: “Murder in Coweta County”

DATES: Wednesday, July 15 at the Newnan Historic Depot, 60 E. Broad St., 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 18 at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., 1 p.m.

Dawn Campion

Dawn Campion

Flies At The Well

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 including Dawn Campion, 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!

Crystal Lynn Psychic

Crystal Lynn Psychic

Melissa Dickson Jackson

Melissa Dickson Jackson

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 Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at 770-251-0207.

 

Tom Camp and Jeff Bishop are busy researching for new Coweta history book

Tom Camp, Carolyn Turner and Jimmy Davenport, from left, at Coweta County Genealogical Society library on Carmichael Street in Newnan.

Tom Camp, Carolyn Turner and Jimmy Davenport, from left, at Coweta County Genealogical Society library on Carmichael Street in Newnan.

Tom Camp of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society chats Friday morning with fellow history buffs Carolyn Turner and Jimmy Davenport at the new location of the Coweta County Genealogical Society on Carmichael Street — just around the corner from McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Camp and NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop are busy doing research for a new history book on Coweta County.

We’re celebrating Hollywood of the 1930s and ’40s at McRitchie-Hollis

Movie stars of the 1930s and ’40s are displayed in movie posters — or rather original drawings and paintings — used to promote the films at the Loew’s Grand in Atlanta. They are from the collection of famed Gone With the Wind memorabilia collector the late Herb Bridges and loaned by Mrs. Eleanor Bridges. The posters were found some years ago in a storage shed in Carrollton and Bridges acquired them. Some have been displayed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and a museum in Clayton County.

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Some 60 items have been loaned for the exhibition, which fills the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. A special treat is the “Paris hat” from the movie Gone With the Wind. An opening reception is planned June 27.

Finally! The Big Reveal

New art pieces on the Court Square went out recently after a reception for the artists and sponsors held on Sunday, June 7. They are part of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s Children’s Committee 2015 fundraising project for a new planned Children’s Museum in Newnan.

The “All Roads Lead to Newnan” city-wide art project includes “painted” horses, trains and pickup trucks.

To click through a gallery of  more pictures see our Facebook page!

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John Wallace trial story staged in Michigan

A staging of Coweta’s John Wallace trial story was staged this month in Michigan in preparation for a planned production in Newnan.

See more:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/detroit/article/FLIES-AT-THE-WELL-Musical-Takes-the-Stage-at-The-Fourth-Wall-20150424

iconsquarefliesmichigan

FLIES AT THE WELL Musical Takes the Stage at The Fourth Wall

Flies at the Well,” the exciting new musical re-interpretation of the famous 1948 John Wallace murder trial, had its first staging outside of Newnan last week, April 17-19, at The Fourth Wall, a theater just outside of Detroit, Michigan.

“We wanted to see how an audience totally unfamiliar with the story, and not even from the South, would react to the play,” said Caroline Abbey, Newnan Theatre Company Board member and chairperson of the “Flies at the Well” play committee.

“I am happy to report that they loved it,” she said. “We are moving forward and looking forward to staging the play, hopefully in the Coweta County Courthouse, in the spring of 2016.”

The play tells the story of John Wallace, a wealthy landowner who ran a farm and moonshine business in Meriwether County during the 1940s. He was apprehended by Sheriff Lamar Potts for murdering one of his tenant farmers in Moreland. The incident was made into a book, “Murder in Coweta County,” during the 1970s, and later into a television movie starring Andy Griffith as Wallace and Johnny Cash as Potts.

The new play is based on the same series of events, but is a new interpretation that includes musical elements, most notably “Sacred Harp” or “shape note” music written.in the nineteenth century in Newnan.

The final touches are being put on a new re-write by the playwright, W. Jeff Bishop, a public historian and former writer for the Newnan Times-Herald newspaper.

“It has been an honor to work on this project, and I can’t wait to share it with the community,” said Bishop. “We’ve been working hard to get it just right.”

Audience members have filled out surveys for each of the three readings that have been done so far. “The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive,” Bishop said. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, to make it even better.”

Newnan Theatre Company hopes to make the new play an annual event at the county courthouse. “We’ve been working on this for a number of years, and it’s so exciting to be approaching these final stages,” said Abbey.

The play, as staged in Jackson, Michigan, included director Gary Minix and other Detroit-area actors. They were all “wildly enthusiastic,” according to Jennifer Dorrell, who will direct the show when it premieres next year.

“This is going to be a lot of work, so we’re beginning now,” said Dorrell. “We want this to a special, one-of-a-kind community event.”

For more information or to support this endeavor, contact Caroline Abbey at ctabbey@charter.net or Newnan Theatre by calling 770.683.6282.

Coweta’s Newnan was not the first ‘Newnan’

The Coweta County seat was not the first Newnan.
A state marker is posted at the intersection of US 19 and Ga. 109, SW of Zebulon:
OLD NEWNAN
In 1823 the Inferior Court Justices of Pike County selected the center lot in the county near here as the site for the county seat. This land was laid out into town lots and named Newnan to honor Major General Daniel Newnan, a Revolutionary War hero. A temporary courthouse, a tavern, several stores and many dwellings were built. The town became a place of considerable trade, Indians coming from beyond the Flint River to barter their furs. In 1824 Upson County was cut from Pike and Crawford Counties. The territory cut off threw Newnan too far from the center of the county to continue as the county seat and a new site was chosen and called Zebulon. The justices who selected the site of Newnan were Lewis Winn, William Duke, Thomas Lewis and William Mitchell. William Myrick was Clerk of the Inferior Court. The legislature chose as the first Commissioners of the town Samuel Mitchell, William Mitchell, William Myrick, William Johnson and Hugh F. Rose, who then lived in Newnan. This marker was erected at the request of the Lamar-Lafayette Chapter U.S.D.A.R.
114-1 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1954

oldnewnanhistmarker

Buchanan coat gets new buttons

Textiles conservator Howard Sutcliffe of Montgomery, Ala., was busy at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Wednesday, April 22, adding newly – acquired buttons to a Civil War era coat that belonged to Hugh Buchanan of Newnan.

Hugh Buchanan's coat from the Civil War era gets newly-acquired period buttons at the hand of conservator Howard Sutcliffe.

Hugh Buchanan’s coat from the Civil War era gets newly-acquired period buttons at the hand of conservator Howard Sutcliffe.

 

Newnan-Coweta Historical Society intern Eric Gilley has been researching Hugh Buchanan and his Civil War service in anticipation of an upcoming display of the coat, on long-term loan to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society by the Buchanan family.

Buchanan lived in the columned home now known as Buena Vista, the current residence of Mike and Leah Sumner, on LaGrange Street.

Howard Sutcliffe works at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Wednesday adding newly - acquired buttons to a Civil War era coat that belonged to Hugh Buchanan of Newnan. Looking on is Newnan-Coweta Historical Society intern Eric Gilley, who has been researching Buchanan.

Howard Sutcliffe works at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Wednesday adding newly – acquired buttons to a Civil War era coat that belonged to Hugh Buchanan of Newnan. Looking on is Newnan-Coweta Historical Society intern Eric Gilley, who has been researching Buchanan.

 

Simple Pleasures photo exhibition

First Place, "Winter Cottonwoods" by Lori Kolbenschlag

First Place, “Winter Cottonwoods” by Lori Kolbenschlag

Second Place, "Infecund" Western scene by Vinson Smith

Second Place, “Infecund” Western scene by Vinson Smith

Third Place, "Golden" by Lori Kolbenschlag

Third Place, “Golden” by Lori Kolbenschlag

People's Choice, "Mother's Love" by Marie Umbach

People’s Choice, “Mother’s Love” by Marie Umbach

See these winning photographs, along with honorable mentions and all the juried photos — just a third of the spring entries for “The Nature Show” — in the 2015 spring Simple Pleasures photography contest exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum through May 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The list of winners for the 2015 spring Simple Pleasures photography show, “The Nature Show,” includes:

First Place, “Winter Cottonwoods,” by Lori Kolbenschlag

Second Place, “Infecund,” a Western scene by Vinson Smith

Third Place, “Golden,” by Lori Kolbenschlag

People’s Choice, by votes on Simple Pleasures website, “Mother’s Love,” a view of a hawk and her baby in the nearby nest, by Marie Umbach

Honorable Mentions:

“Arabian Sunset,” Hoke Smith

“Diamorpha at Moonrise,” Hoke Smith

“Moonlit Shores,” Joni Chamberlain

“Autumn’s Last Bloom,” Donna Thompson

“Twinkle Twinkle,” Caroline Abbey

“You Can’t See Me,” Ron Veal

“Sanctuary,” Vinson Smith

“Heron and Young,” John Abbey

“In Flight,” Angela Tinsley

 

Following an Indian Trail Across Coweta

Found this tidbit recently:

The Newnan Herald, Friday, February 27, 1925
ON TO BULLSBORO

Following an Indian Trail Across Coweta County Ninety-eight Years Ago.

In a book written fifty years ago by Absalom H. Chappell, entitled,
“Miscellanies of Georgia”, we find this interesting account of a journey to Coweta’s lost town, Bullsboro:

“Having delivered to the Clerk of Superior Court of Troup County information against sundry lots of land charged to have been fraudulently drawn in the then recent land lottery. I inquired how I could get to Bullsboro, the recently chosen judicial site of Coweta County, where I had similar business.
Nobody could tell. Luckily the Sheriff arrived at this juncture. He told me there was no road to Bullsboro, and that my best way would be to go home with him and take a trail that ran up the Chattahoochee river. Next morning he told me to take a trail which he directed me how to find and to follow it up the river some 20 or 25 miles when it must begin to look out for some route striking into the interior of the county of Coweta . He knew there was such a
route, but did not know how far off it was. I soon found myself in this second King’s Trail” == he calls the trails that we designate Indian trails, “King’s trails”-”ascending the country, and as I jogged along in the little, narrow, well-defined path, just wide enough for a single footman or a horse, and along which no bush had ever been cut away, no wheel had ever rolled. At first I could not help feeling some misgiving as to the persistent continuity of my little path, and dreaded lest it might give out, or in the phrase of
the new settlers, ‘take a sapling’ and leave me alone in the trackless woods; and once, indeed, when the day was pretty far advanced, it seemed to …both tracks were so dim that I was in doubt which to take. But clinging almost instinctively to the western or river side, I soon found myself riding along the bank of a considerable water course, which I felt no pleasure at the
prospect of having to ford. While this anxiety was yet strong upon me, suddenly the trail plunged into piece of rich bottom land, evidently and old Indian clearing, but now grown up into a dense thicket of young trees and clustering vines, which overreached and darkened the narrow way. But the little path continued distinct and unobstructed, and when I was expecting to come where I should be obliged to risk fording the stream, behold I began to ascend a hill. It grew lighter and lighter, and soon I was on a clear, open
hilltop, with the shinning waters of the Chattahoochee flashing in the sunlight before me and a plain, open road inviting me, leading eastwardly from the river. Few contrasts have I ever encountered in my life more thrilling and joyous that the almost instantaneous transition from that dark thicket to this bright scene. It was Grayson’s Landing on which I stood as I afterwards learned – a place much noted in old times as a crossing in the Indian trade.

(Grayson’s Landing is now 1874, I have heard, not quite so noted a crossing as in old Indian times, though it is still a crossing, under the name of Philpot’s Ferry, in Heard County, just below the mount of the New River, which is the identical river, then certainly entirely new to me, that I so much dreaded to cross the spring of in 1827). It took its name from Grayson, a Scotchman, who was a great Indian trader eighty or ninety years ago, and who name sometimes occurs in the American State papers on Indian Affairs. He rafficked and traveled and lived among the Indians until, becoming rich and attached to them, he ended by taking an Indian wife and settling down permanently in the Indian country at the Hillabee towns, some distance to the west or southwest from this point on the Chattahoochee.

As I paused for awhile on the beautiful overlooking hill that sloped down the river bank, gazing around and breathing freer, I little thought on what historic ground I was standing, or that the eastwardly road, the slight of which was still making my heart leap, was only a modern widening of still another Indian trail – a fact I learned subsequently. It had been wrought into a wagon road during the previous winter by the hauling of corn and provisions from the not very remote settlements, to be floated down the Chattahoochee from this point for the supply of new settlers on both sides of the river. My faithful steed felt no less that myself, the inspiring change from the petty trail he had been treading all day through the woods to the bright, open track that flow solicited him, and he sprang forward with rapid, elastic steps that brought me a little after nightfall to my destination – rude but hospitable Bullsboro – some two or three miles north of the beaten road along which I had been pushing hard during the afternoon.”

Bullsboro monument

The monument remembering Bullsboro, the first county seat. It can been seen at Bullsboro Drive and Jefferson Street.

Amazing find

1917 letters to, from local educators surface

(Posted March 27, 2015, by Ellen Corker for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society)

As Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell was revisiting boxes of letters and documents in the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s collection this week, she made some exciting finds.

Two original hand-written employment acceptance letters dated May 1917 from Howard W. Warner and Hallie Warner were among a stack of letter carbon copies and documents in a box from the family of T.E. Atkinson, son of Gov. W. Y. Atkinson and long-time chairman of the Newnan Board of Education.

Warner was a prominent educator for black children in Newnan in the years before integration, and the Howard Warner School on Savannah Street was named in his honor.

Also among the Atkinson papers is a carbon of the employment notice letter to Howard Warner, as well as one to Miss Maggie Brown on her election as principal of the Temple Avenue Grammar School and teacher of the first grade for the 1917-18 school term. Temple Avenue Grammar School served the city’s white children in its day.

NCHS Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell working with T. E. Atkinson papers.

NCHS Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell working with T. E. Atkinson papers.

 

The carbon of the employment notice to Mr. Warner is dated May 5, 1971, from W. G. Post, the school board secretary and treasurer.

 

Howard Warner notice of employment from Newnan school board May 1917.

Howard Warner notice of employment from Newnan school board May 1917.

It reads:
“Howard Warner,
Newnan, Ga.
This is to advise you that at a meeting of the Board of Education held in and for the City of Newnan on May 4th, you were elected as principal of the Mt. Vernon School for the scholastic year of 1917-18 at a salary of $50,00 per month, payable monthly for nine months. You will be good enough to advise us of your acceptance or rejection on or before May 12, 1917.
Yours truly,
Secty. & Treas.

The Warner acceptance letters are to Mr. Post, as secretary and treasurer.

Howard Warner acceptance letter, May 1917.

Howard Warner acceptance letter, May 1917.

In his May 10, 1917 letter Mr. Warner writes:

“Dear Sir:
Yours of recent date informing me of my election to the principalship of Mt. Vernon School for the next school year has been received.
I shall accept the position and endeavor to do all I can for the welfare of those who are intrusted in my care. Thanking you very much for past favors.
Respectfully yours,
Howard W. Warner”

A June 8, 1917, carbon of a quickly-written note to Warner on the back of another document asks him, “Howard: I want to see you right away. Please come up and bring with you key to the new school building. Yours truly, W. G. Post, S&T.”

Note asking Howard Warner to come to school board office.

Note asking Howard Warner to come to school board office.

According to the “History of Coweta County, Georgia” published in 1988 by the historical society, Pinson Street School for black students was established about 1906 and located on the north side of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. The first building was replaced in 1913 by a two-story building which was modern for the times, having a furnace and indoor plumbing. The schools had grades one through nine until 1929, when the tenth grade was added. This school was replaced by the Howard Warner High School on Savannah Street in the early 1930s.

The Howard Warner building in the years following the 1970 integration served as offices for the Coweta County School System and later became the property of the City of Newnan. Now in 2015 it remains vacant.

Professor Howard Wallace Warner was the son of farm laborers and sharecroppers, he had to work on the farm but managed to find the time to study hard on those days he didn’t have to go to the fields, to prepare himself for college. He attended Clark College in Atlanta and Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and received his master’s degree from Atlanta University. He loved children and wanted them to get an education, and in 1945 he received the Distinguished Service Award for Service to the Education of Negro Children in Georgia. The Howard Warner School was named in his honor.

20150325_115610 Hallie Warner Acceptance Cropped

In Hallie Warner’s May 11, 1917, letter to Mr. Post she writes:

“Dear Sir:
In reply to your message informing me of my election to my same position in the Mt. Vernon School, I shall accept with the expectation of rendering the very best service.
Thanking you for the confidence placed in me.
I remain yours respt.
Hallie Warner”

The employment notice to Miss Maggie Brown is dated May 5, 1917.

Miss Maggie Brown employment notice.

Miss Maggie Brown employment notice.

It reads:

“Miss Maggie Brown,
Newnan, Ga.
Dear Miss Brown:
This is to advise you that at a meeting of the Board of Education held in and for the City of Newnan on May 4th, you were elected as principal of the Temple Avenue Grammar School and teacher of the first grade for the scholastic year of 1917-18 at a salary of $75.00 per month, payable monthly for nine months. You will be good enough to advise us of your acceptance or rejection on or before May 12, 1917.
Yours truly,
Secty. & Treas.”

In the historical society’s county history it is noted,:

“Maggie Brown was one of the best primary teachers in her time. Governor Ellis Arnall recalls a wonderful experience in her class. Miss Maggie had a method of encouraging what is known today as “career development.” She would put the names of various occupations on strips of paper and put them in a box, then pass it around and have children draw a name. Governor Arnall drew the name “Governor,” though he had really hoped to be a fireman or a policeman. He spent some time with Miss Maggie and with his mother trying to understand just what a governor might do in his work. That kind of experience must have been common and an inspiration for many of her students.”

Maggie Brown School is located on the corner of Clark and Kellogg Streets and Newnan where it served for many years as a kindergarten and is still used for classroom space by the Coweta County School System.

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