NCHS News 2017

It’s beginning to look like Christmas …

… in the gift shop at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Look for some new holiday decor items from tiny rustic snowy houses to candle jars, farm-themed ornaments, bird-themed ornaments, small gift boxes and even a beautiful Santa face wall hanging. Stop by the museum 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 Tuesdays through Saturdays to check out the gift shop. Looking for gifts? We have a wide selection of books on local history topics, too.

Bird-themed ornaments in the McRitchie-Hollis gift shop.

Holiday village ornaments, McRitchie-Hollis Museum gift shop.

Santa wall hanging in gift shop at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.


McRitchie is headquarters for Dec. 2 Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes

The McRitchie is headquarters for the Dec. 2 Candlelight Tour of Homes by Newnan Presbyterian Church Preschool.
This walking tour gives participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these beautiful homes dating from the early 1900s decorated with fresh wreaths, garlands and floral arrangements. Guests may tour the homes at their own pace from 4 to 9 p.m. For those who aren’t comfortable walking, a complimentary shuttle bus is available with stops along the tour.
The McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street will be our Ticket Center of this year’s tour. Will Call will be at the Museum & this will be the only place that you can purchase day of tickets. The Museum will also have refreshments to enjoy. There is parking behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. This is a stop for the complimentary shuttle.
A portion of the proceeds will help the Coweta Samaritan Clinic, a non-profit organization that offers free medical care to the uninsured residents of Coweta County.
Your Tour Booklet is your ticket to get into the Homes on the Tour. You will pick up your Tour Booklet at Will Call, which is located at The McRitchie-Hollis Museum the night of the tour. Your paypal receipt is NOT your ticket.
Online Ticket Sales ends at midnight, December 1st. for $20.00. On Dec.2nd they are $25.00 and will only be sold at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum for that day.
Newnan Christmas Tour of Homes
Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 4 to 9 pm.
More information and tickets:

Volunteer Opportunities for Dec. 2 Tour of Homes!

“We need a few more people to help with the Tour of Homes,” said NCHS VP Ginny Lyles. Shifts are available 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm and 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact her at



NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop speaking at Serenbe event 1 p.m. Saturday 

Posted Nov. 30, 2017

Pre-historic and Historic Native American Settlement in the Serenbe Vicinity:
Long before the Chattahoochee Hills region was settled by white farmers, Native American cultures had inhabited the area for thousands of years. Mississippian mound-building cultures established towns along the Chattahoochee River and other major waterways, and after European contact these lands were occupied by the Muscogee-Creek Indians.
Evidence of this significant history is revealed through archaeology, research and observation. An environmental education event at Serenbe this weekend, presented by the University of Georgia Landscape Performance Lab and the Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture, and the Environment, will provide participants with a glimpse into this past, and provide cultural and environmental context for the present generation of people who live here.
Visitors will be welcomed at the Grange Hall (formerly the Bosch Center) at 1 p.m. From 1:15 to 2 p.m. Newnan-Coweta Historical Society Executive Director Jeff Bishop will give a presentation outlining the history of Native American settlement in the area.
The presentation will be followed by a hike through Serenbe. University of Georgia Professor Alfred Vick and Thomas Peters will lead the hike, discussing the importance of mounds to the ancient Native cultures. Local river cane will be pointed out, and Peters will discuss this Native species of bamboo found in the floodplains and its significance to Native peoples. A granite basin will also be examined. The basin is of unknown origins, but is suspected to have been used by Native peoples for the processing of food. The hike begins at 2 p.m. and is expected to last two hours.
Tickets for the lecture only are $10. Tickets for both the lecture and the hike are $10 and limited to 30 people, so reserve yours quickly.
Thomas Peters is the Landscape and Natural Resources Manager at Serenbe. He earned his Master of Landscape Architecture and Certificate in Native American Studies from the University of Georgia and a B.S. in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee. Peters has extensive experience in landscape design and construction as well as the ecological restoration of endangered canebrake ecosystems. His graduate thesis on canebrake restoration was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from UGA.
Alfred Vick is the Georgia Power Professor in Environmental Ethics at the University of Georgia. He is a licensed landscape architect and a LEED Fellow. His work focuses on preserving and enhancing the functioning of natural systems while effectively and attractively integrating human use. At the University of Georgia’s College of Environment & Design he teaches landscape ecology and sustainable design and collaborates with other researchers in the Sustainability and Landscape Performance Lab. His academic research focuses on green infrastructure and sustainable site design, native plant communities, and American Indian ethnobotany.
Find out more about this event at


We have a new YouTube channel

We at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society have launched a new YouTube channel! Look for video of our events, links to other programs where we are featured, and promos for what’s coming up!
Here is the link to a quick video from our May 2017 program Tea With Lynn, with State Rep. Lynn Smith discussing the collection of some 500 hats and hundreds of hat boxes which she donated to the historical society several years ago. A selection of about 100 hats and related items was on display for spring and summer 2017 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, and we invited Mrs. Smith to give a talk sharing some of her knowledge on the history of hats and women’s fashion.


Look for a new publication reprint from NCHS

COMING SOON: A reprint of a classic favorite, “Coweta School Days,” available for the first time in many years, and with a new introduction! Reserve your copy today by calling us at 770-251-0207.


20170912Coweta School Days Reprint Cover



NEW ARRIVALS at the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society gift shop!

Posted Sept. 12, 2017

Come see the new items including hats with the NCHS logo (for men and women), Halloween-themed items, beach-themed items, a 2018 local-themed calendar, and much more! At the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Tuesday-Saturday, 10-3.

Mr. Personality Calendars

Mr. Personality Calendars


New Truitt’s Chick-fil-A features photos from NCHS

If you happen to go to the new Chick-fil-A restaurant near Ashley Park, check out this booth which uses some of our historic licensed images from our Coweta County Remembered collection! If you’d like to use one of our images, check out our new online archives at Hi-res versions of many of the images are now available!

NCHS photos at Truitt's in Newnan

NCHS photos at Truitt’s in Newnan


Historic Newnan home on cover of new book

Posted Sept. 12, 2017

Did you know that the Strain home on College Street is featured on the front of a new book by James T. Farmer, “A Place to Call Home?” Find out more here:

Strain Home on College Street featured on cover of "A Place To Call Home"

Strain Home on College Street featured on cover of “A Place To Call Home”


Consider a contribution or membership to NCHS

Consider being a member of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. Get our email newsletters and keep in touch with what’s going on.

A student/teacher/senior membership is only $25 annually. Individual is $50 and a family membership $75. There are donor levels for supporters and an opportunity to help with our Capital Improvement Fund — all tax deductible.

Members get free admission to our museums and a 10 percent discount on gift shop items. Just download the membership card, fill out with your address, phone and email (so we can send newsletters) and send with your check to NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan, GA 30264.
Thank you!




Trash OR Treasure fundraiser coming up Saturday, July 15

Posted July 13, 2017

Enjoy NCHS’s Trash OR Treasure appraisal event 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 15 at the Newnan Train Depot, 60 E. Broad Street. While it is too late to submit an item for appraisal, come find out the value of items that were submitted by the July 1 deadline, hear informative talks on antiques and collectibles, and enjoy refreshments. Tickets are $5 at the door.

DID THIS CROSS PROTECT AN ANCIENT SPANISH SILVER MINE? This item owned by Alan Soellner will be among the pre-submitted items featured at Trash OR Treasure coming up July 15.

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

COME LEARN ABOUT JEWELRY from someone who really knows.


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


Trash or Treasure?

Posted July 7, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tickets to attend the event are only five dollars and can be purchased online via the NCHS webpage at the event Facebook page,, or at

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Here is a link to the ticket page:


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


NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop on state board

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Jeff’s latest history book here:


Dinett Hok and Liberation 2014.

Dinett Hok and Liberation 2014.


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

Posted June 20, 2017

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

Pressure of Influence, mixed media by Dinett Hok.

Pressure Of Influence_Mixmedia by Dinett Hok.

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

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

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

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


Meet our new intern!

June 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We welcome Claire as the newest addition to our staff!


NCHS Scholarship awarded to Northgate student

May 2017

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



NCHS Scholarships awarded

May 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Awards presented for Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show

Colors in the Canyon, Arya Vishwanath, 1st Place

Colors in the Canyon, Arya Vishwanath, 1st Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Furnishings from Taylor Glover collection in McRitchie-Hollis dining room.

Furnishings from Taylor Glover collection in McRitchie-Hollis dining room.

New exhbition of 1930s furnishings on view

Throughout McRitchie-Hollis Museum is a recently-acquired collection of 1930s furnishings from a grand home in Florida. The furnishings are a gift of Taylor Glover and family and went on display in spring 2017.


Thank-you gift of paper cranes

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


NCHS works towards StEPs certification


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

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

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

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


Newnan High School History Club hosts vet event tonight

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

Donna Rowe

Donna Rowe

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

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


NCHS Executive Director appointed to state board

April 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Council Operations: Advisory Council Members, Strategic Plan

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

Deal appoints 12 to boards

April 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Special visitors tour McRitchie-Hollis Museum

February 14, 2017

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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