Rhythm and Roots: Southern Music Traditions Opens at Legacy Museum
Legacy Museum in LaGrange just opened its latest temporary exhibit, Rhythm & Roots: Southern Music Traditions, on display until Saturday, October 1, 2011. Rhythm & Roots, a traveling exhibit dedicated to the music and musicians of the South, is a tribute to the musical forms that come together to create the Southern sound. The exhibit is sponsored by the McClatchy Foundation.
Through the use of text panels and accompanying audio wands, the exhibit features music, voices and musicians from the South, their relationship to the community and themes that have shaped Southern traditional music. Visitors have the opportunity to hear samples of music featured in the exhibit, which showcases several “early innovators” of Southern music forms.
In addition to the rich tradition of deeply rooted Southern music—Appalachian, Blues, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country and Gospel among them —the region is also home to numerous transplanted music traditions. Acknowledging the multicultural south, Rhythm & Roots explores the increasingly international flavor of music heard in the New South. Music newly-arrived and flourishing in across the South from Asian, Caribbean, Latino and Native American communities is included.
Rhythm & Roots is on temporary loan from South Arts, an Atlanta-based non-profit regional organization founded in 1975 that creates partnerships and collaborations and presents and produces Southern art and cultural programming in the South.
To celebrate the exhibit, Legacy Museum will host a special live music event on Saturday, September 24th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the museum. Community groups who hold music traditions that date back to early West Georgia communities as well as new music traditions and genres will perform. Legacy Museum on Main is located at 136 Main Street in LaGrange. The museum is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
My Summer Internship
By: Shannon Gavin-Harris
[Note: Shannon is part-time accessions archivist at the Troup County Archives and archives student.]
As a requirement of my studies at the University of Alabama, I must complete an internship. I hoped I could intern in a National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility. It is very difficult to receive an internship with NARA so I applied to a non-profit internship program, which serves as a liaison between students and federal bureaus. Through the program, I have enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime this summer.
Early this summer, I flew from Atlanta to Washington, DC for a week of training and orientation. The experience was wonderful! Through various sessions we were introduced to aspects of the federal government and given opportunities to meet with officials from the bureaus with whom we would be working. We made new contacts and new friends within our fields. We were also given ample time to tour Washington, DC. Quickly, however, the time in Washington, DC came to an end and I flew from the east coast to Seattle, Washington.
Here in Seattle, I have served as an intern to the NARA Pacific Northwest Regional Facility. NARA typically conjures thoughts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. However, the National Archives is so much more than the “Charters of Freedom.” There are 13 NARA facilities all over the country. Depending on the facility and region, NARA’s holdings vary greatly. The records include items similar to those the Troup County Archives holds like paper documents, microfilm and photographs but in much greater quantities. As one can imagine, a facility that holds such a vast amount of documents requires a great deal of document processing. Document processing and life cycle have been my primary tasks this summer. I have worked with the documents of Custer National Forest, Mount Hood National Forest, Willamette National Forest and Portland Civil Works Authority. I have completed the entire life cycle of the two National Forests, starting with unprocessed documents and ending with neatly arranged boxes and detailed finding aids. While these duties are not much different from my duties at Troup County Archives, I have acquired new techniques that better enable me to work with larger, more fragile collections. For example, the Portland Civil Works Authority is a large collection of some 2800 large (6 feet wide) drawings that require great care. I have processed about 200 of these drawings so this project will span several years and multiple interns.
Not only has this summer provided a wonderful learning opportunity, but I have also been able to get a first hand glance of the Pacific Northwest culture. Seattle is a beautiful city with great weather and warm, friendly residents. I have also had the opportunity to tour the area. The Oregon Coast, Pioneer Square and whale watching in the Orcas Islands have been my favorite sites. As a coffee lover, I have found much comfort in the fact that there really is a Starbucks on every corner in Seattle!
As much as I have learned and experienced over the summer, I am now growing anxious to go home. I miss my family and friends, and I am excited to put my newly learned techniques to use at Troup County Archives.
Our Careers in the Movie Location Business
by Kaye Lanning Minchew, Executive Director
Early one Thursday in May, I was getting ready to go to Atlanta for business related to the Troup County Archives and Legacy Museum when I received an email on my handy Blackberry be- fore 7 a.m. A movie location manager needed help finding a historic home to use in a movie to be filmed in Georgia. Laura Jennings, Director of Tourism for the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, usually handles movie and television requests but she had dozens of fishermen and thousands of spectators on hand for ESPN Bassmaster Elite Series Fishing Tournament on West Point Lake that weekend.
Staff members at the Troup County Archives know our historic houses and most of their owners so we got to work trying to find a house that would work for the movie Jayne Mansfield’s Car. The film crew wanted a large historic house, maybe 5-6 bedrooms. They also wanted a long tree-lined drive. At this point, the movie producers had about given up on finding a home in Georgia and were ready to move to Louisiana. Clark Johnson and Diana Thomas emailed photos of several different houses to the movie location folks that first day. We soon realized they did not want anything located in town, plus the exterior of the home had to look big. Before we suggested anyone’s home, we called the owners to make sure they were okay with us suggesting their house. We wanted to be respectful of the owners and, at the same time, we did not want to waste the time of the movie people.
A few weeks later, Laura Jennings received word that parts of the movie would be filmed here in Troup County at one of the houses that Clark had originally suggested. Filming took place in late June. Billy Bob Thornton is the director and also stars in it. Other actors include Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall. The set was closed to the public and the press but some of the actors were seen at local restaurants and over 100 hotel rooms have been booked for five nights. We are thrilled that local merchants benefitted from this project. Other filming took place in Cedartown and Griffin.
We have enjoyed being part of this Hollywood project. I cannot wait for the movie to come out but Clark and I are not planning to give up our archives and museum jobs anytime soon! Our movie contact jokingly suggested we might have new careers ahead of us but he doesn’t realize how much we like our day jobs! The next time you think of the Archives as a nice place to do a historical or genealogical research, pick up a copy of a court case or a school record, get historic photographs for your walls, or see a new exhibit at Legacy Museum, just remember we do all that and much more – including helping give the Troup County economy a major boost!
Assisting Reseachers at the Troup County Archives
by F. Clark Johnson, County Historian
In February, 2011, we had an unusual string of visitors in our library, within two weeks’ time. All were from out of town and all were seeking the same ancestor! First, a lady from Maryland came. She heard that her great grandfather, William D. Page, had been among the wounded in one of the Confederate hospitals in LaGrange during the War Between the States. She said her family always said that the hospital he was in was the basement of the Baptist Church. We know from church minutes that the Baptist basement was used as a hospital and we found his name in the Stout Collection, which is a record of those hospitals kept by the commanding physician. We bought copies of the Stout Collection from the University of Texas Archives and a volunteer indexed them. The record gave his company and unit from Arkansas as well as the date of his discharge to return to duty.
She then told us she had always heard that her soldier-ancestor married one of the young ladies who was serving as a nurse, and therefore returned to La- Grange after the war to live. We knew many LaGrange women, matrons and maidens, especially members of the Nancy Hart Militia, served as nurses during the months when the Confederate hospitals were in La- Grange. We checked our marriage records and found the marriage of the young couple, which occurred a few months before his discharge to return to duty. His bride was Margaret V. Goode. We also found her parents and grandparents who were among the pioneer settlers of Troup County, located their land, and showed the researcher exactly where on the map it was. We gave her directions to find it, and she went and found her ancestor’s grave.
The next week, a sister and niece of the earlier lady came in. They were also from Maryland and were returning home from some genealogical research in Alabama. They had not planned to stop here but enthused by the first woman’s success, they did. In addition to what we had already found, they were looking for information on other family members. We located several obituaries and burial locations for these other members of the family. We were also able to give them detailed directions to locate their graves in Shadowlawn and Hill View Annex Cemeteries in LaGrange, with plot maps, which the City Cemetery Office had supplied us. The niece, as it turned out, is a professional genealogist on staff at the Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters in Washington, D. C. She literally has the world at her fingertips, genealogically speaking, and has researched all over the country. She was very impressed with our facility, the way we make our records accessible, and how helpful we were. It was praise, indeed, when she exclaimed, while researching here, “I feel like I’ve died and gone to Heaven!”
A week later, three more cousins of this family came from North Georgia to see what the others had found, too. They, in turn, found additional things on other branches of their families, which included the Estes, Halls, and Howells of Big Springs. We were able to furnish them with copies of Family Bibles, deeds, and obituaries on these branches of their family. We were able to extend their family tree back to Daniel Wagnon, a Revolutionary soldier buried in Troup County. We do not always have this much success in so short a time, but we never know what we’ll find. And, we get as ex- cited as the researchers do when we do find things for them.
Welcome Cindy Berman, as the new clerk at Troup County Archives and Legacy Museum. Cindy has been active in local Parent Teacher groups, the Junior Ser- vice League, and was a long-time Girl Scout leader. She will be working part time. She has lived in LaGrange for over 19 years.
Cindy’s position became available when long- time bookkeeper Diana Thomas who left to join the staff at First Baptist Church in LaGrange as their bookkeeper. We wish Diana the best as she faces new career challenges.
Congratulations to volunteer Jordan Striblin on being selected to participate in the 2011 Governor’s Honors program. Jordan, a rising senior at Callaway High, has volunteered on Saturdays during the 2010- 2011 year. He plays football at Callaway. He was se- lected for Governor’s Honors in physics!
Xavier Bonilla: Museum Intern
Xavier Bonilla, graduate student at the University of West Georgia in the Public History program, spent this summer semester as an intern at the Legacy Museum on Main. Born to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico, Xavier grew up in the south Atlanta suburb of Fayetteville. As an undergraduate, Xavier attended the University of West Georgia as an undergraduate, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and education.
After he graduated, Xavier turned his at- tention to the museum field because of his love for museums and his desire to become a museum curator. He heard about the internship offered at the Legacy Museum from his university advisor when she suggested that he inquire about the position. While searching for an internship, he realized that the Legacy Museum offered a unique experience not found in other museums. Xavier choose the internship at the Legacy Museum over other internships as this placement provided an opportunity to construct an exhibit and to work with an established museum curator.
While at the Legacy Museum, Xavier learned how to plan, write panels and labels, and install an exhibit. He used these skills, along with other skills learned in college, to help create part of the temporary music exhibit called Rhythm and Roots that was on display at the museum. Xavier’s family background helped contribute to the exhibit which provided the Latino portion of the show. When his internship at the Legacy Museum had finished, Xavier felt that he had gained valuable experiences that will help him succeed as a museum curator.
Thanks for your hard work Xavier!
New Pictorial History Out Soon
IMAGES OF AMERICA: LAGRANGE will be re- leased by Arcadia Press of Charleston in late Septem- ber. The book is the latest effort by Glenda Major, F. Clark Johnson, and Kaye Minchew. The book will sell for $21.99 and will be available at Legacy Mu- seum, the Troup County Archives, and other locales and will make great Christmas gifts!
-- All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Troup County Historical Society for support of the Archives and Legacy Museum.
-- 95% of the images have not been used in publica- tions before, including many one-of-a-kind images.
-- The book covers the history of LaGrange, including Indians and archeology, early settlers, Civil War days, schools, churches, businesses, entertainment and lei- sure life and modern day landmarks.
Legacy Museum needs volunteers to work at the museum’s front desk greeting guests. Times needed are:
-- Mondays mornings or afternoons
-- Tuesdays mornings or afternoons
-- Thursday mornings
-- Fridays mornings or afternoons
We prefer that volunteers work between two and four hours. We ask that volunteers be at least 15 years old. Note that you can bring your laptop or book and do your own work OR we always have things we need help with, including sorting records. If you are interested in volunteer- ing but do not want a regular schedule, Legacy also needs people that we can call as openings unexpectedly arise.
Volunteers generally work the front desk of the museum -- greeting visitors, explaining the general layout of the museum, directing people to the Archives, and generally being a smiling face at the front door. Contact Kaye Minchew or Laurie Sedicino to volunteer at 706-884-1828.
Recent Accessions: March 17 to May 31, 2011
Abernathy, Otis. Krumkake or waffle maker, c. 1850s. Baker, Helen. Photograph of attendees at Callaway Mills Department Christmas Party, c. 1947. Bell, Carolyn. “The Brittain Family in America” and index. Biagi, Jim. Photographs of the Lewis Freeman train model and the McCormick Grain machine at Beason Farm. Blackwell, David. Photograph of Daniel Grocery, c. 1939. Davis, Jane Crayton. Letters, clippings, photographs, cookbook and pamphlets of Ethel Hill. Freeman, Lewis – estate. Interactive Model Train, railroad ties, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen sign,
Auto Cad drawings of the model train and photographs of the work in progress on the train. Harris, Charles. Christmas Morning on The Crescent, framed print. Livingston, Wayne. “Diverse Power: From Light Bulbs to Laptops,” 2011 (2 copies). Ogletree, George. Double Cola brass crosswalk marker.
Riddle, Barbara. 1894 LaGrange Telephone Directory. Roberts, Doug. “Last Fort to Fall: Battle of West Point” DVD and the Fort Tyler Day poster and brochure. Summers, Tony. Farm implement used for planting seeds.
National History Day 2012
Planning is underway for the West Georgia Regional History Day Contest for 2012. The contest will take place on Friday March 23 on the main campus of LaGrange College. Kaye Minchew, Executive Director of the Troup County Historical Society and Archives, and Dr. Kevin Shirley of the LaGrange College His- tory Department will be co-coordinators for the contest. The theme for the contest is ‘Revolution, Reaction & Reform in History.” 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will advance to the Georgia State Contest. Regional win- ners will also be eligible to receive scholarships should they choose to attend LaGrange College when the time comes.
LaGrange College will host a special workshop for teachers on Saturday September 10, 2011, at the auditorium at the Lewis Library. Various aspects of participating in History Day, researching projects, and con- necting History Day with curriculum goals will be covered.
National History Day is open to middle and high school students in public and private schools and homeschool. Students can prepare historical papers or work individually or join with other students to prepare exhibits, media, dramatic, and website entries. Categories are broken down according to middle or high school and individual or groups.
For more information about regional contest, contact Kaye Minchew at email@example.com or for more details on the workshop, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A special blog has been created at http://lagrang- ecollegehistoryday.blogspot.com/
Recent Accession: Julius Lindsay Schaub items
On a recent Saturday at the Archives, Clark Johnson had guests from Chattanooga. Hank Corbitt and his wife are downsizing and want- ed to give their Julius Lindsay Schaub items to an Archives. The Troup County Archives already has a great collection of Schaub mate- rials, including his history of his Confederate unit from North Carolina. This new collec- tion includes photographs, diaries, newspaper articles, ledgers, business licenses, and a 1836 diary. Julius Schaub was a photographer in LaGrange from the 1870s until he died in 1912 and is one of our favorite photographers. We are delighted to add this to our collection.