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Legacy Museum on Main & Troup County Historical Society: 2010 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE & LOCAL HISTORY Award Winners

NASHVILLE, TN—June, 2010—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Legacy Museum on Main and Troup County Historical Society are the recipients of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the exhibit Wheels of Change (the museum’s permanent exhibit). The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 65th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Awards for 2010 represent 49 organizations and individuals from across the United States.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. AASLH Leadership in History Awards honors significant achievement in the field of state and local history.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH supports its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American Society.  


The National Park Service will hold a public hearing at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, 111 Bull Street in LaGrange on Thursday, July 22nd from 1 PM to -2:30 PM. The meeting is being held to solicit input about the proposed designation of the Chattahoochee Trace region as a National Heritage Area. A national heritage area is a locally coordinated area designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic, scenic, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape. The federal government does not own or administer national heritage areas, but designated areas may draw on technical and financial assistance from the National Park Service for a limited time. For more, see 



The Legacy Museum on Main enjoys the visits of adults and student groups. First graders through teenagers plus senior adults have indicated they also enjoy visiting us! School classes from elementary through middle school, Scout troops, and youth organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and summer day camps receive an enthusiastic welcome from our staff and a program and activity agenda designed just for them when visiting the museum. Adult groups that travel with churches, historical societies, and senior centers have also been visiting the museum recently.

A Museum "Can-You-Find" Scavenger Hunt guided the First Grade Tiger Cubs and their parents through the museum displays while older youth enjoyed having the freedom to read the labels, talk about the artifacts and ask questions. All ages experience history as they handle real artifacts while touching and exploring museum displays. Sitting in the former bank vault, which is now the museum theater, for the DVD presentation on the history of Troup County was also fun for all ages. When time and weather permits, a walking tour around the block highlighting architectural and historical features of our town is included. Students then become "tour guides" as they show others "ghost windows" and "dripping bricks" on trips through town!

If you can’t come to us, then we will come to you! A travelling "Museum in a Suitcase" program, featuring a PowerPoint slide presentation and a cotton basket full of real artifacts for handling, is designed to let students "be at the museum" even if they cannot be "in the museum" at that time.

If you work with a youth group, we would love to talk with you and create a special field trip for you. Please call Joanna or Diana at 706-884-1828 or email us at


On Wednesday, June 9, 2010, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee of the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a public hearing about reauthorizing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant-making arm of the National Archives. Kaye Lanning Minchew, Director of the Troup County Archives since 1983 represented the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators, NAGARA. She was one of thirteen speakers that afternoon. Other speakers included David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, Kathleen Williams, Executive Director of NHPRC, and Michael Beschloss, a Presidential historian. William Lacy Clay, representative from Missouri, chaired the public hearings.

Minchew and the other speakers stressed the importance of archival records to society and the good work created by NHPRC grants. Minchew focused specifically on grants to local governments and agencies with local government records. Each speaker was allotted five minutes to give their testimony plus written testimonies up to ten pages were submitted. Members of the subcommittee asked questions after testimony was submitted. In general, there was recognition of the importance of archival records and for the NHPRC program. A vote on reauthorizing NHPRC and increasing its level of authorization is expected to occur later this year. The subcommittee approved reauthorization with a vote of 6 in favor and one opposed. The Troup County Archives has received two grants from NHPRC. The first in 1985-86, enabled staff to organize and describe 19th century Troup County court records. These records had been boxed up as "old cases" since the courthouse fire of 1936. The second NHPRC grant in 2006-2008, enabled the Archives to scan those records and have them posted at the Digital Library of Georgia’s website. The records can be viewed at:

To view the entire testimony, Click here [Warning: The hearing is rather long - (three and a half hours....lots of "dead air" during the recess) so be ready to fast forward. Minchew’s testimony is very close to the end. You can also read the prepared testimony of each of the speakers at the website.]   

Minchew with Subcommittee member Lynn Westmoreland who represents Troup County in Congress and Subcommittee Chairman William Lacy Clay of Missouri after the hearing concluded.




Julie Beach

Julie Beach, volunteer

Julie Beach is a dedicated Legacy volunteer who works as a manager at Wal-Mart in LaGrange with the "Volunteerism Always Pays" (VAP) program. This program encourages managers to volunteer their time in local community service.

Julie is from a military family and moved frequently until she was 13 years old, when her family settled in LaGrange. While Julie attended Troup County High School, she worked part time for Wal-Mart. Julie moved out of the state for a time but continued to work for Wal-Mart, and, when she returned to the area, she again worked at a local Wal-Mart store. Since then, Julie has been employed at Wal-Mart - a total of 19 years - most of which has been in a supervisory capacity. "I have always had an interest in influential historical figures, but I never knew much about local history." Being a Legacy Museum volunteer gives Julie the opportunity to learn about people who contributed to the growth and development of the area. It also allows Julie the chance to be involved in an educational organization that explores local history. "It’s important to support culture in general and local culture specifically - not just to volunteer for big name, top-10 organizations." Julie lives in Heard County with her husband and has two daughters, 23 and 24 years old.     


Raine Miller

Working as a museum volunteer this summer is Raine Miller, a University of Georgia senior who grew up just outside the city limits of Greenville, Georgia, in Meriwether County. Raine went to high school at Flint River Academy and was class valedictorian.

At UGA, he is an Economics/Computer Science major and wants to be an entrepreneur in the information science area though he considers himself a farm boy. "My father worked for the Georgia Department of Agriculture before retiring and our house is on a lot of acreage so my father farmed the land but it was his hobby, not his profession." They call the house "Briar Patch Plantation."When asked what it means to be a "farm boy," Raine says, "I learned to appreciate nature and I don’t like sitting around doing nothing!"

Raine has worked for Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta and helped build three Habitat houses in early 2010. He also worked for three years on committees to implement the Atlanta "Run for Life," an event to help raise money for cancer research. This past year he was on the Entertainment Committee and helped arrange the appearance of Star Wars movie characters, who greeted folks and helped collect donations. In addition to his volunteer time at the museum, he also volunteers at the LaGrange College Library and the local Red Cross. 


Legacy Museum needs about four more volunteers to work three hours in the morning or afternoon during the week and on Saturdays. Call Laurie at 706-884-1828 or email her at


by Laurie Sedicino

The rotating gallery’s current exhibit, Working with Cotton from ‘Can See to Can’t’, looks at the heritage of cotton farming in the West Georgia and East Alabama region. Cotton farming and the cotton industry have impacted lives, shaped the natural landscape, and affected the architecture in the region since the 1830s when settlers first established themselves in the area. Cotton was a major crop in the early years and remained so for nearly a century, dominating the economy into the mid-twentieth century. The story is shared through oversized photographs, family artifacts, and local documents. The exhibit also focuses on the intricacies of life on a farm and the work of a farming family. Although cotton production no longer rules the region’s economy, the connecting threads of cotton farming from a rural past and the cotton industry helps us grasp its influence as a major force in our history.

The exhibit details some of the customs and traditional practices of regional cotton farming, the vestiges of which have all but vanished. Many of the topics covered bring back memories of a not-so-long-ago West Georgia that reminds those from former farming families of the ability to survive and an occupation connected to the land.

Legacy hosted a reception in early June about the exhibit. Special guest speakers were Joe Phillips, a former county agent and Troup County native, State Representative Randy Nix and Troup County School Superintendent Ed Smith. Both men picked cotton in their youth in Alabama. 

Following the cotton exhibit will be a display from a private collection of daggers and swords used for an array of purposes from an object with spiritual and magical powers to a fierce battle weapon by the Filipino and Indonesian peoples. "The Elegance of Malice: Swords from Talismans to Battle Weapons" looks at these exquisite pieces from many perspectives: as historic artifacts, hand-crafted artwork, connected to individual identities, and as spiritual representations. Some of the pieces are over two-hundred years old and never before showcased! The exhibit will be on display from mid-August through mid-October.

From mid-October, 2010, until late January of 2011, Troup County in World War II will be on exhibit again. The uniforms, photographs, newsclippings, and other artifacts will be on display for a special observance of Veterans Days. Isabelle Knight will again serve as guest curator of the exhibit.  


Earl Cook, Jr., a native of Troup County, has given the Troup County Archives the letters he wrote home to his parents, Earl Cook, Sr., and Katherine Tigner Cook, his sister Katherine Cook, plus a few aunts, uncles, and cousins between 1941 and 1945. After completing school in Troup County, he was enrolled in the ROTC at Georgia Tech when he was ordered to active duty in August 1941. He served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps. He was based mostly in the South Pacific.

At the end of the war, he was discharged as a Major. He worked for Southern Bell for thirty-two years and with AT & T before retiring in 1980. He and his wife now live in Florida. His letters will be open to the public later this fall. The Archives also has a collection of letters from Forrest Clark Johnson, Jr., written while he served in the U. S. Army Air Corps.  


Thirteen teachers from the Troup County School System participated in a three day workshop sponsonsored by the Troup County Archives. The workshop focused on Local Government and Politics: From Past to Present and Beyond. Staff members Barry Jackson and Clark Johnson coordinated the workshop. The teachers stayed busy for three days learning about the Archives, Legacy Museum, downtown government buildings, and enjoyed a very special lunch at Bill and Ann Petry’s home in Liberty Hill. Randy Nix and Ricky Wolfe talked to the teachers about challenges facing Troup County and Georgia governments. The unofficial goal of the workshop is to get local history into classrooms however and whenever possible!

Teachers participating were: Misty Anderson, Jan Carnes, Caryn Cole, Kerry Downs, Nick Drescher, Missy Garrett, Quintin Terry Hayes, Cal Hyers, Mary Ann Keck, Becky Lucas, Greg Morris, KathyRodgers, and Carol Todd.



The Troup County Historical Society was proud to help sponsor three students as they competed in the 2010 National History Day contest at the University of Maryland. Before going to National, these students had won contests at their school, region (the West Georgia contest at LaGrange College) and the State of Georgia. The national contest was held in mid-June. Though the students did not win there, they did a great job of representing all of us!

The students were: Christine Yin, West Side Magnet School. Her teacher was Amy Grantham. Christine prepared an exhibit about: "The Silent Heroes of War". From Gardner Newman Middle School were: Elly Brown and Caroline Johnson. Mandi Turner is their teacher. Their Junior Group Documentary focused on: "Multiple Intelligences: Innovating the Framework of Education." Congratulations girls!

The 2011 theme is "Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, Consequences." Teachers will begin getting information about the West Georgia contest in late August of this year. If you would like to have your name added to the email distribution list for the local contest, email

The Troup County Historical Society has been co-sponsoring History Day contests since 1980. Thousands of local students have joined students from across the nation in doing primary historical research about specific themes. Students and faculty at LaGrange College, plus members of the Historical Society aid in judging. Barry Jackson and Kaye Minchew coordinate the regional contest.  


Abernathy, Catherine L. Anvil (c. 1870-1900) belonging to Drew Whitcomb, Branchville, Mitchell County, Georgia.

Adcock, Myrtice. Photograph of Dr. Lillian Clark’s brothers.

Adamson, Mary Carol. Copy of Birdsey Flour Mills, New Home Cook Book, c. 1929.

Becham, Corrie and LaGrange Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy. Georgia’s Confederate Soldiers Who Died As Prisoners of War, 1861-1865.

Biagi, Jim. Copy of The Code of the City of LaGrange with Ordinances (1934).

Brand, Loette, Pine Mountain, GA. Photographs and military artifacts belonging to Korean Veteran, Elbert "Bart" Brand.

Chipley Historical Society, Pine Mountain, GA. Pine Mountain Re-views, Stories by the Plumber’s Daughter by Lillian D. Champion.

Cleaveland, Chris. Hogansville items: Jail Record, 1947; Beer Tax Receipt, c1940s; Utility Bill, 1934; Sewer Bond Stamps, 1923; checks drawn on Georgia State Bank, 1923 and Citizens Bank, 1930.

Flynn, Jean. LaGrange Woman’s Club Yearbooks, 1958-2008.

Horne, Vaden. Mirror from Frosolono’s Barber Shop, c.1910s; photograph of Dr. R. S. O’Neal.

LaGrange Woman’s Club. Club Minutes, 1919-2003 and photocopies of scrapbooks, 1937-1974.

Lamb, Betty, Oklahoma City, OK. Photographs of Liberty Hill, O’Neal’s Mill and Mt. Hickory Cemeteries.

Mills, Freeman (Dusty). Information on East Depot and LaGrange High School Athletics; Al Mariotti; Dexter and Howard Shuford.

Minchew, Kaye. Mike Cameron MLB Baseball Cards, 1995-2002; Kodak film disc, c. 1980s.

Philbrick, John W. Genealogy research papers of Ruth Philbrick.

Smith, Randy. Aerial photographs of Hillside Mill and village; 1919 pontoon bridge across Chattahoochee River in West Point.

Stewart, John. Charters for LaGrange Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1938 and 1961.

Stubbs, Sid. His Marine Officer’s cap from World War II.

Taylor, R. J. Jr. Foundation, Atlanta. Historic Lott Cemetery, Waycross, Georgia; Savannah’s Catholic Cemetery, Chatham County, Georgia, Vol. 3; Pulaski Count y, Georgia, Newspaper Clippings, Vol. VII, 1911-1913.

UGA Anthropology Department. Scans of archeological digs before West Point Lake was impounded.

Wood, Faye. Bound copy of The Beacon, 1968.

Woodson, Nick. Silver medal from 1952 Southern Peach Meet. 


LaGrange City Councilman Nick Woodson recently donated his Silver Medal from the 1952? Southern Swimming and Diving Meet. The swimming competition was held annually from 1947 to 1964 and was sponsored by the Lions Club. The competition drew entrants from across the nation and was held at Callaway Pool which is now part of the Hudson Natatorium at LaGrange College. Thanks Nick!