NCHS News 2015 & Earlier

New Textile Trail history book in McRitchie-Hollis gift shop
TextileTrailBookSigning1
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.

…………………………..

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

…………………………………….

 

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.

IMG_7563meetmestlouis

IMG_7554lovecrazy

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.