Friday, October 31, 2008

Governor Perdue Proclaims November as American Indian Heritage Month

Governor Sonny Perdue recently signed a proclamation declaring November as American Indian Heritage Month in Georgia. On hand to witness the proclamation were Georgia State Society Daughters of the American Revolution State Anerican Indian Chairman Carolyn Balog (l) and Georgia State Society Daughters of the American Revolution Regent, Barbara Chastain (r).

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

National American Indian Heritage Month

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. - Cherokee

November is a time of excitement as Americans vote in our National Election, and plan for the upcoming feast on Thanksgiving. How many Americans take the time to stop and reflect on the first Americans? How many of us take the time to learn more about these Americans?

What do you think of when you hear American Indian? Do you think of the early western films so popular in our culture 50 years ago? Does it conjure up visions of war whoops while attacking white settlers? Do you remember the Trail of Tears when the Cherokee Indians were forced to leave Georgia? Does it remind you of the valor of these men who understood the need to fight for honor, land and country during World War II? Perhaps, you think of a young maiden named Pocahontas of whom legends are still passed down? What an impact Pocahontas and other brave Native Americans had.

November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. This celebration of our tribal nations first began at the turn of the 20th century with the Boy Scouts.

In 1915, a formal proclamation was made by the Rev. Sheraman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to celebrate the contributions of America's first residents and called for their recognition as American citizens.

It wasn't until 1990 when President Bush signed the proclamation for National American Indian Heritage Month that it became a national celebration. Take time to learn more about the first Americans and their contributions to our way of life today. Take the time to understand the sacrifices they have made in the name of America.

Fayette Front Page Staff Report

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Former Agents Commission Presentation Commemorating the FBI’s 100th Anniversary

On July 26, 2008, the FBI celebrated its 100th anniversary as an intelligence and national security agency. Growing from a small group of 34 investigators into an organization with more than 30,000 employees, the Bureau has proudly played - and continues to play - a unique and prominent role in ensuring the safety and freedom of all Americans. To commemorate this century of service, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Inc. commissioned “The FBI: A Century of Excellence (Legacy and Legends, Part II),” a multimedia presentation that is available for viewing on its Web site at
According to former Society President Richard J. Bernes, “While the FBI is familiar to every American, many are not aware of the Bureau’s roots or how it has successfully evolved to contend with the ever-changing threats that face our nation. ‘The FBI: A Century of Excellence (Legacy and Legends, Part II)’ provides viewers with insight into the leadership, expertise, courage, and integrity that defined the FBI of yesterday and continue to distinguish it today.”
“The FBI: Legacy and Legends, Part I” - honoring the Bureau’s ongoing efforts to protect the United States and its citizens at home and abroad - is also available on the Society’s Web site at

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Monday, October 27, 2008

"Anne Frank: A History for Today" Exhibit at Georgia Southern University Museum November 2

The Georgia Southern University Museum is hosting “Anne Frank: A History for Today” beginning November 2, 2008.

“Anne Frank: A History for Today” chronicles the Holocaust through the eyes of Anne Frank and her family. The goal of the exhibit is to confront issues of prejudice and intolerance and to educate young people about the positive values of diversity.

Consisting of 55 large panels, this exhibit juxtaposes photographs of the Frank family with photographs depicting historical events during that time. The goal is to show how persecuted people, such as the Frank family, were affected by political decisions and by the actions and beliefs of individuals. The exhibit invites people to view and think about prejudice, discrimination, hate and violence. It also encourages them to think about their own attitudes and beliefs.

Also part of the exhibit is “The Anne Frank Secret Hiding Place,” an artist’s representation of what the secret hiding place was like. The exhibit’s visitors will also have the opportunity to view a brief film, “The Short Life of Anne Frank.”

The exhibit is sponsored by The Anne Frank Center U.S.A. Through this exhibit and others, the center has introduced over four million young people to the story of Anne Frank. The goal of the exhibit is to confront issues of prejudice and intolerance and to educate young people about the positive values of diversity.

Accompanying the exhibit is “Witness to the Holocaust: WWII Veteran William A. Scott at Buchenwald.” This exhibit documents the liberation of Buchenwald through the lens of U.S. Army photojournalist William A. Scott, III. Scott was a member of a segregated African-American unit during World War II. This exhibit shows how powerful discrimination can be and teaches respect for diversity.

The exhibit will be on display from November 2 – December 3, 2008. The public is invited to an opening reception on November 3, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. The reception includes a lecture, “In the Shadow of the Swastika” by Sylvia Wygoda, director of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.

In coordination with the exhibit and Veteran’s Day, the Magellan String Quartet will present an informal concert “Death, Destruction, and Liberation in Music from WWII” at the museum at 4:15 p.m. on November 11, 2008.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Princeton Professor to Speak on Marriage and Slavery in Lecture at UGA

Tera W. Hunter, Franklin Visiting Scholar and professor of history and African-American studies at Princeton University, will deliver a lecture titled “Until Death or Distance Do You Part: Marriage and Slavery in the Nineteenth Century” on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel.

The lecture is open free to the public. It is part of the History Graduate Student Association Lecture Series.

Hunter’s research interests include the history of slavery and freedom, gender, the South and labor. Her forthcoming book is entitled “Until Death or Distance Do You Part”: Marriage and Slavery in the Nineteenth Century. Hunter’s first book: To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Harvard University Press, 1997) received several prizes including the H. L. Mitchell Award from the Southern Historical Association.

The event is sponsored by the Franklin College Office of Inclusion and Diversity Leadership, the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts, the department of history, Institute for Women’s Studies, Southern Historical Association, Institute for African American Studies and the History Graduate Student Association.

A book signing will follow the lecture.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Duke Anthropologist Translates Poems Lost During Holocaust

Even before she was sent away to a concentration camp, Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger sensed her fate.

In her last poem, “Tragedy,” dated Dec. 23, 1941, the Romanian teen-ager wrote:

This is the hardest: to give yourself away
and then to see that no one needs you,
to give all of yourself and realize
you'll fade like smoke and leave no trace.

Selma died a year later of typhus in a Nazi labor camp, but her handwritten album of poetry survived -- passed between the hands of Selma’s friends across Europe before ending up in Israel. Her friends eventually organized a private publishing of a small edition of her works and that edition was later picked up by a German publishing house. Slowly, Selma’s poetry and story was brought to life.

Now, Duke University professor Irene Silverblatt and her twin sister Helene have edited and helped translate Selma’s work for an English-speaking audience. Working on Harvest of Blossoms: Poems from a Life Cut Short, which was published this month by Northwestern University Press, had special significance for the Silverblatts -- Selma was their cousin.

“Although neither of us believed in miracles, it is a miracle that Selma’s poetry survived,” write the Silverblatts in the book’s introduction.

Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger was a typical teenage girl. Growing up in the cosmopolitan town of Czernowitz, Romania during the 1930s, Selma was passionate about life and art: she loved to dance, spent hours strolling in Czernowitz’s parks, and fervently discussed literature and politics with friends. She expressed herself -– from love and heartbreak over her boyfriend, to observations about nature and the world around her, to fear and anxiety over political upheaval –- by writing poetry throughout her teens.

In the summer of 1941, German and Romanian troops invaded Czernowitz and deported Selma and her family to a Nazi labor camp. But before this occurred, Selma compiled the more than 50 poems she had written in an album she titled Blütenelse (Harvest of Blossoms) and gave them to a friend for safekeeping. Selma dedicated the poems to her boyfriend, who was among the group of people who preserved the album over the years.

The Silverblatt sisters were inspired to bring Selma’s poetry and life story to a wider audience after attending a ceremony in 2004 to commemorate the building where Selma’s family lived in Czernowitz, now known as Chernivtsi in Ukraine.

“Today’s residents are re-exploring this past which they never knew about,” Irene Silverblatt says, referring to the post-war exclusion of the Holocaust experience for Jews in Ukrainian schools. “To see this new understanding, this recognition of a forgotten history, is very moving.”

A cultural anthropologist by training, Irene Silverblatt spent most of her academic career studying colonialism in Latin America. While researching Jewish communities in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust was a new area for her, she says her academic background helped her understand the broader historical forces that shaped Selma’s life.

“I hope that as people read about Selma, they get a sense of the tragedy suffered by anybody -- Jew or non-Jew -- who has been forced to go through this kind of hell. But I also hope they see that, in spite of all the horrors, Selma insisted on humanity and she did so by writing poetry,” she says.

Silverblatt describes herself as “a fanatic about trying to find as much as I could about Selma and her circumstances.” Through memoirs kept by Selma’s friends, the Silverblatts discovered that Selma was an “alert, sparkling, mischievous” girl full of “liveliness and irreverence.” Former friends described Selma as having “dark shiny eyes, curly, unmanageable hair, and a scattering of freckles across her shapely nose.”

“Even surrounded by the ghetto’s misery, Selma could find poetry in green-eyed flies and joyous asters, as well as in hungry farmers and inexplicable murders, and the impact [of those things] reverberated in this young person’s mind and inspired her words,” Silverblatt observes. “Writing was crucial to her life.”

Working on the project has sparked a new direction in Silverblatt’s scholarship –- an endeavor that has been supported by her colleagues at Duke.

“Duke is an innovative institution that recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary work and how thinking outside your field can help you think outside the box,” she says.

Silverblatt’s current research tries to make sense of the growing interest in Selma’s work. Over the last five years, Selma’s poems have piqued the interest of European playwrights, cabaret artists, pop stars, professors and city officials. Among those drawn to Selma’s story is J.M. Coetzee, South African author and winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, who wrote of the book, “The voice of this young woman, with her luminous intimations of the fullness of life, comes to us heartrendingly across the years.”

Silverblatt is currently teaching a course on the politics of memory and a graduate seminar on nationalism, both of which grew out of her experience bringing Selma’s poems and story to life.

“I am interested in how people make sense of the past; how history is remembered and how certain parts of history become a living presence and others are suppressed. What is the meaning of art in people’s lives? How are a nation’s obligations to the past reflected in how Selma’s issues are understood?

“I hope that Selma becomes a living presence for those who read her poetry.”

By Andrea Fereshteh

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Arts Across Georgia

UWG: Waring Lecture Series Features Reitz October 24

The Antonio J. Waring Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series will present environmental archeologist Dr. Elizabeth Reitz on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of West Georgia.

This must see event for anyone interested in archaeology, history and how people use the environment will take place in the Kathy Cashen Recital Hall where the professor of anthropology will share her experiences in the field and in the lab at this prestigious annual event. The presentation is free and the community is invited to attend.

Reitz is a professor of anthropology at the University of Georgia and is internationally recognized as an expert on human use of animal resources, especially in maritime environments. Her lecture, “5,000 Years of Fishing on the Georgia Coast,” is sure to interest science and history buffs of all ages.

“I would like to encourage people to look to the past as a way to understand the present and as a window into the future,” said Reitz. “And to think holistically about the human experience.”

On her website, Reitz wrote: “I base my research on the study of animal remains from archaeological sites, for which purpose I manage the Zooarchaeology Laboratory. The lab specializes in the identification of vertebrate remains and contains a comparative skeletal collection of 4,200 vertebrate and invertebrate specimens from throughout the southeastern United States and adjacent waters, as well as from the Caribbean.”

The lab and its contents have been used since 1977 in support of archaeological research, service and training, during which time more than 200 archaeological faunal assemblages from the southeastern United States, the Caribbean basin, Peru, and Ecuador have been studied. Faunal Assemblage is an archeological term describing fossils found together in the same layer of rock or soil.

Reitz will spend the day on campus as a guest at the Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archeology Laboratory and in several anthropology classes before the lecture. The Department of Anthropology and the Waring Lab will host the annual event.

The lecture series is funded through the largest endowment given to an anthropology department in the state of Georgia. The Waring endowment also funds the operation of the Waring Lab and an endowed professorship in Anthropology at UWG.

For more information, call 678-839-6454.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Civil Rights Digital Library Wins Award for Archival Excellence

The Civil Rights Digital Library is the 2008 winner of an Award for Excellence in Archival Program Development conferred by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and GHRAB chairperson Ross King presented the award as part of the GHRAB Awards ceremony at the Georgia Archives in Morrow on Oct. 6. The CRDL is a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia.

The Civil Rights Digital Library is an archive of news film and related historical materials from educational institutions across the U.S. According to P. Toby Graham, director of the Digital Library of Georgia, it is the most ambitious and comprehensive initiative to date to provide educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web.

“The University Libraries have been proud to play a leadership role in developing the Civil Rights Digital Library,” said William Gray Potter, university librarian, “and we are pleased that GHRAB shares our enthusiasm for this important initiative.”

The CRDL promotes an enhanced understanding of the movement through its three principal components: a digital video archive delivering 30 hours of historical news film; a civil rights portal providing drawing together holdings from more than 90 libraries and allied organizations across the nation; and instructional materials to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process.

The Civil Rights Digital Library receives financial support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

The CRDL will continue to grow through its partnerships with allied organizations across the U.S.

The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board (GHRAB) works to promote preservation, access, and educational use of Georgia’s documentary heritage. Its twelve members are appointed by the governor.

See the Civil Rights Digital Library online at

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hunley Men Remembered

HH Note: This entry was written by the author of Geni-Tales, a genealogy blog on the Fayette Front Page. With permission, we have included in our history section.

The discovery of the Hunley and its crew continues to amaze genealogists, history buffs and the general public. Recently, I visited the Hunley Memorial at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC, where our family placed wreaths in memory of all sea faring men who have perished in the service of their country.

It was eerily quiet in the cemetery. We followed the signs to the memorial. While on our way down the long paths, we found many beautiful old tombs from the time of the Civil War. Magnolia Cemetery is the final resting place of many an early Charleston family. You can easily follow the history of the area just by looking at the many names.

It was a surprise to learn the Hunley had three crews which had perished in her history. As the 145th anniversary of the loss of the second crew has just been observed within the last week, I find it fitting to remember the crew.

Horace Hunley was aboard this training mission of the Hunley on October 15, 1863, when it sank. Once again, the Confederacy raised the Hunley from the ocean, only to have it sink again in February 1864.

The story of the Hunley is fascinating. To learn more, click here.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Emory Crawford Long Hospital Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Crawford Long Hospital opened on October 21, 1908 with 26 beds near the present-day Turner Field.

Join Emory Crawford Long Hospital as it celebrates its 100th anniversary in Atlanta. Register for the tours at 404-778-2000.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
• 7:30 a.m. Historic Tour
• 11:30 a.m. Historic Tour
• 2 – 4 p.m. Cake and Ice Cream
• 3:30 p.m. Time Capsule
Burial Ceremony
• 4 p.m. Historic Tour

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Outside Seasonings Café
• 2 – 4 a.m. Cake and Ice Cream
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Outside Seasonings Café
• 2 – 4 p.m. Cake and Ice Cream
• 6 – 8 p.m. Cake and Ice Cream

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Friday, October 17, 2008

"Today in Fayetteville" Dec. 4, 1903

 Another look into our past. Cold weather seems to be plaguing our relatives in late 1903

                        The Fayetteville News

                             December 4, 1903


                                OAK GROVE


The extremely cold weather put our people behind with their work. A few warm days now and we will be through gathering some small grain saved and some plowing done proprietary to another crop.


George Carder and family left last Monday for south Georgia. We wish them health and success in their new home.


Miss ellie shipp has been suffering with her left hand of late.


We are glad to know that Jeff nations is improving very rapidly. He had the miss fortune to get both arms broken by being thrown over the shafting at his fathers gin.


A wee lady is stopping with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lloyd.


                                 FOR SHERIFF


I hearby announce myself a candidate for reelection for sheriff of this county. I desire to sincerely thank my friends for their support in the past.... Albert P Sams

submitted and researched by CB Glover

Presidential Visit to Fayetteville

The third president of the United States made a surprise visit to the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution this week. President Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Tom Robinson, took the ladies back in time to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and to the time of his Presidency.

Thomas Jefferson was not known for his public speaking, but was known for his writings. His most prominent document was his draft of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was one of five men who were selected by the Continental Congress back in 1776 to draft the document to declare the colonies' independence from England. The final vote for independence came on July 4, 1776. The rest is history.

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution is chartered in Fayetteville. For more information, click here.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joel Cowan to Speak to Fayette County Historical Society

The Fayette County Historical Society cordially invites the community to join us Sunday, October 19th at 3 p.m. at 195 Lee Street, Fayetteville for our monthly meeting. This month continues our series of locals sharing an oral history of our community. Joel Cowan, founder and developer of Peachtree City, will share his first hand experience. Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of Peachtree City. Come and hear how it all began. Come and join us, we’ll enjoy light refreshments afterwards.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Announces its 2009 List of State's 10 'Places in Peril'

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation released today its 2009 list of 10 Places in Peril in the state.

Sites on the list include: the Mary Ray Memorial School in Newnan; the Crum & Forster Building in Atlanta; the Rock House in Thomson; the Campbell Chapel AME Church in Americus; the archaeological remains of Fort Daniel in Buford; Metcalf Township in Thomas County; Battery Backus at Tybee Island; the Sallie Davis House in Milledgeville; the John Berrien House in Savannah; and, Bibb Mill in Columbus.

"This is the Trust's fourth annual Places in Peril list," said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. "We hope the list will continue to draw attention to a broad range of Georgia's imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites," McDonald said.

Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia's significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.

Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reclaim, restore and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.

This year, the Trust will provide on-site preservation assistance to each of the 2009 Places in Peril through its Partners in the Field program, funded by grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a number of Georgia charitable organizations.

Sites on the Trust's 2008 list, which was announced in November 2007, included: the Meriwether County Jail in Greenville; the A.L. Miller Senior High School for Girls in Macon; the Old Clinton Historic District in Gray; the Spencer House in Columbus; the UGA Marine Institute Greenhouse and Administration Building on Sapelo Island; the Trinity C.M.E. Church in Augusta; the Adam-Strain Building in Darien; the Sunbury Historic Colonial Town Site in Liberty County; the Cockspur Island Lighthouse in Chatham County; and, The Castle in Atlanta. Updates on these sites can be found at

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country's largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. Committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia's communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all, The Georgia Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund; provides design assistance to 102 Georgia Main Street cities and encourages neighborhood revitalization; trains teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students to discover state and national history through their local historic resources; and, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts.

The Georgia Trust is a recipient of the Trustees Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Summary Information on each Places in Peril Site

Mary Ray Memorial School, Newnan-Coweta County

Built in 1909, Mary Ray Memorial School served the community of Raymond for educational purposes, public meetings, public worship, and entertainment. By 1950 the school had closed, and the building became the Raymond Community Center. Diminishing interest in the building contributed to its neglect and lack of maintenance.

Recently, a group of concerned citizens installed a new roof, made foundation repairs, and cleared vegetation from the property. The school has been stabilized and is now in need of assessments and a preservation plan to help guide future work.

Crum & Forster Building, Atlanta

Built in 1928 as the southern branch of the Crum and Forster Insurance Company, this office building is a rare example of classically designed architecture in Midtown Atlanta.

The Georgia Tech Foundation purchased the Crum and Forster Building in 2007. In May 2008 the Foundation applied for a Special Administrative Permit to demolish the building.

After several well attended public meetings and the circulation of a petition signed by over 2000 people opposing the building's demolition, Atlanta's Bureau of Planning denied the Georgia Tech Foundation's request. Recently, the Crum and Forster Building was nominated as a local landmark building, which would further protect it from demolition. Both actions currently are under appeal.

Rock House, Thomson

Built in the 1780's, the Rock House is recognized as the oldest surviving stone house in Georgia. The house remained privately owned until 1966, when the Wrightsborough Quaker Community Foundation purchased and restored the house with the intention of using it as a museum.

Now the house is closed, vacant and unstaffed. Located in rural McDuffie County with no occupied houses near it, there is a minimal amount of security. Vandalism and a lack of funding available for maintenance have added to the overall threat to this historic structure.

In December 2007, the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board issued an emergency grant for the repair of windows, historic sashes and doors, but the house is still in need of a solid overall preservation plan that addresses use, maintenance and security.

Campbell Chapel AME Church, Americus

Campbell Chapel AME Church has served Americus' oldest black congregation since 1920. This Romanesque Revival Church with Queen Anne style details was designed by Georgia's first registered African American architect Louis H. Presley.

The church's structural integrity is threatened by a lack of maintenance. The twisting and sagging of interior trusses and beams are the result of deteriorated mortar and faulty flashing at the bell tower. Recently the 700-pound bell collapsed from its rotted ceiling members and crashed to the ground floor.

The small, elderly congregation recently raised funds for roof repairs, but the high cost of restoration remains the church's biggest obstacle to preserving their historic church.

Fort Daniel, Buford

Built in the late 18th century, the archaeological site of Fort Daniel was once a frontier fort located on Hog Mountain in Gwinnett County. Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts such as historic pottery, black bottle glass, musket balls, musket flint, wrought nails, and an 18th-century Spanish coin.

The property and its surrounding lots are currently for sale. A developer has already sought a zoning change to allow commercial development, which would destroy this significant archaeological site.

A group of interested parties have formed with the intention of purchasing the archaeological site. With support from the community and at the county level, this group plans to purchase the property and create an archaeological park that would include a museum, lab, and classroom space.

Metcalf Township, Thomas County

Established in the late nineteenth-century, the town of Metcalf was once a center for commerce and trade of agricultural products during the railroad era. The town has many examples of late 18th-century commercial and residential Victorian-era, Romanesque Revival style, and vernacular architecture.

Since the 1920's, Metcalf has endured being unincorporated, the loss of rail transportation and the installation of a large loud lumber operation. Recently it has caught the attention of developers, due to its low cost of land and proximity to Tallahassee.

The possibility of new inappropriate development threatens a town already suffering from neglect, inappropriate infill, lack of building codes that address mobile homes, and no sewer system.

Thomasville Landmarks and the Thomas County Commission have agreed to support any preservation efforts and seek to protect the historic integrity of this small, rural, south Georgia township.

Battery Backus, Tybee Island

Built in 1898 as part of Fort Screven, Battery Backus played a vital role in the U.S.'s coastal defense system, protecting the entrance to the Savannah River against enemy vessels.

Currently Battery Backus is privately owned and threatened with development. Three of the six batteries along Tybee Island are unrecognizable following the construction of private residences on top of the batteries.

The Fort Screven Preservation Organization, The Tybee Island Historical Society, and other groups are working to ensure public access to the batteries; however, development pressure looms over this seaside property.

Sallie Davis House, Milledgeville

The Sallie Davis House is the 1890 home of African-American education pioneer Sallie Ellie Davis, who taught academics as well as life skills to African-American children in Milledgeville. Davis owned the house from 1912 until her death in 1950. The house was continuously used as a residence until 1989, when the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia purchased it. Since then, the house has been vacant and suffering from neglect, weathering and vandalism.

In 2003, a Certified Local Government grant was awarded to the City of Milledgeville for the Sallie Davis House, which funded an assessment and rehabilitation plan. Recently, several involved groups have met to discuss possible future uses of the Sallie Davis House.

John Berrien House, Savannah

The Berrien House is a federal style building in Savannah built circa 1800 for Revolutionary War officer Major John Berrien.

Located on Savannah's main commercial street, the Berrien House has been vacant for more than twenty years as several demolition permits have been sought and denied. Lack of maintenance and failed rehabilitation efforts have left the severely deteriorated building at risk of demolition by neglect.

Historic Savannah Foundation holds a preservation easement on the house and has invested $70,000 in roofing and structural repairs and has established a task force to seek strategies for the rehabilitation of this important building. A mortgage foreclosure has left the house in the ownership of a bank that is currently exploring and evaluating the economic feasibility of the building's rehabilitation.

Bibb Mill, Columbus

During the early 20th-century, Bibb Manufacturing expanded this 1898 mill and developed the surrounding community of Bibb City for its mill workers.

Following the company's bankruptcy in the mid 1990's, Bibb Mill was purchased by a private developer. The current owner has been searching for a way to rehabilitate the mill and has rehabilitated several historic buildings on the site as a conference facility. However, several warehouses have been demolished and last fall the owner received a demolition permit for most of the main mill, a 676,000 square-foot structure.

The owner has met with The National Trust, The Georgia Trust, and other advisors to explore feasible development options and demolition alternatives, but its immense size makes rehabilitation a multi-phase, complicated project.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Holocaust Survivor to Speak on UWG Campus

Holocaust survivor and author Tosia Szechter Schneider will tell her story on the University of West Georgia campus on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Ingram Library. A book signing will follow the presentation. The event is free and the community is invited to attend.

Schneider was a 13-year-old teenager when the Nazi Army invaded and occupied her hometown of Horodenka, Poland, in 1941. A reign of terror began against the Jews who made up 50 percent of the town’s population. What happened to the Jewish population in Horodenka was repeated in thousands of towns and villages across Poland and other occupied countries.

The Nazis erected gallows in her town and hanged eight randomly selected Jews. Each day new proclamations were issued, each under the threat of death, if not followed. Schneider lists some of the Nazi proclamations in her writings as: all Jews from ages 14 to 60 must register for forced labor; all Jews must wear the Star of David on an armband; Jewish children cannot attend school; Jews cannot enter stores; Jews cannot socialize with Christians; Jewish doctors and lawyers cannot practice; and all radios, all gold and silver objects, furs, etc., must be turned over to the Nazis.

The only member of her immediate family to survive years of living in ghettos and labor camps, she published her book “Someone Must Survive to Tell the World” in 2007, fulfilling a promise made to her mother in 1942 that she would tell the world what happened should she survive. Don’t miss this harrowing tale of cruelty and bravery.

For more information, call 678-839-5337.

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Historian and Author to Speak at China Research Center Event in Atlanta

The China Research Center at Mercer’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics will inaugurate a new event series with a lecture by noted historian and author Kenneth Pomeranz, Ph.D., at 7 p.m., Oct. 15, in the Rich Auditorium at the High Museum in downtown Atlanta. He will discuss his recent work on China’s state, society and economy in a presentation titled “Chinese Development and World History: Putting the East Asian Model in Perspective.”

The High Museum of Art is hosting the event in conjunction with its fall exhibition, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. No registration is required for this event. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Dr. Pomeranz will examine how the levels of economic performance in core regions of Europe and East Asia were surprisingly similar until almost 1800. Despite the enormous setbacks and turmoil of the 19th and 20th centuries, certain basic elements of the high Qing (i.e., China’s last dynasty) political economy remained intact and ultimately proved quite compatible with new waves of growth, at least for coastal China; those patterns resemble some aspects of a distinctive pattern of industrialization previously seen in Japan and Taiwan. In the Chinese case, however, the “East Asian” features of development along the coast must be seen in the context of relations between the coast and the Chinese interior. Today, the government’s “develop the West” program — set against a backdrop both of looming resource shortages in East China industries, unusually large regional differences in living standards, unprecedented rates of migration directed towards the coast and urbanization — may represent both the outcome and the end of social, economic and environmental patterns that have characterized China’s political economy for centuries.

Dr. Pomeranz has been recognized as a leading historian of China who moves beyond the study of a self-contained "China" or “East Asia” by attempting to understand the origins of a world economy as the outcome of mutual influences among various regions, rather than the simple imposition by a more "advanced" Europe on the rest of the world.

His book, “The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy” (Princeton University Press, 2000), makes groundbreaking arguments on issues concerning global history and challenges the conventional notion of China’s backwardness in the modern era. It won the 2000 John K. Fairbank prize, making Dr. Pomeranz the only historian who has won this prestigious prize twice. “Great Divergence” also won the 2001 World History Association Book Prize and was chosen as one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Books of 2000.

He is also the author of “The World that Trade Created” (with Steven Topik). He is currently working on a variety of projects, including a general history of Chinese political economy, from the 17th century to the present for Cambridge University Press, two edited volumes that will come out in 2009. Dr. Pomeranz was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

Dr. Pomeranz is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and founding director of the University of California’s Multi-Campus Research Program in World History.

The event is co-sponsored by the School of History, Technology and Science and The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology; The Program in World History and Cultures, Department of History, Georgia State University; The Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University; and The Confucius Institute of Atlanta.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

St. Vincent's Annual Historic Tour of Homes and Tea on October 18

St. Joseph’s/Candler presents the St. Vincent’s Academy Annual Historic Tour of Homes and Tea. The tour will be held on Saturday, October 18 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This popular self-guided tour is of the original 1845 Convent building and eight private homes in Savannah’s Historic District.

St. Vincent’s has enjoyed an enduring relationship with St. Joseph’s since 1875, when the Sisters of Mercy established St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Savannah. Proceeds from the Tour & Tea benefit the preservation and restoration of the historic Convent.

This year’s tour of homes promises to take visitors for a fascinating look inside historical residences in Savannah’s beautiful landmark Historic District. Some of the homes reflect their 19th century origin in architectural style, interiors and furnishings, while others offer an exciting contemporary approach to downtown living. Onsite docents will provide history of the sites and will be available for directions and questions.

The centerpiece of Savannah's only fall tour of homes is the elegant tea which will be served on the grounds of the St. Vincent’s Convent. Academy students will serve a delicate repast of tea, homemade confections and traditional tea sandwiches.

Come see for yourself why native Savannahians and out-of-towners alike say this annual fall event is “the best tour in Savannah.”

The tour hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 18. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit, call or 912.819.7780.

Tickets will also be available on event day at the tour ticket office (Walsh Hall at St. Vincent’s, located at the corner of Lincoln and Harris Streets in downtown Savannah) between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted.

Tickets are $40 per person (includes Tea at the Convent) plus handling charge for online and phone orders. Buy your tickets early and save $5. Tickets purchased by October 8 are just $35.
For more information, please contact Melissa Yao at 912.644.6431 or

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ancient Papyrus Documents to be Available Online

A Duke University-led research team will use an $814,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop collaborative online editing tools for ancient documents preserved on papyrus.

The new electronic editing environment, when completed, will enable scholars –- regardless of their location -- to research, retrieve and display ancient texts, supplementary data and digital images of papyri.

The research team is led by Duke professor Joshua Sosin and university librarian Deborah Jakubs.

Sosin, associate professor of classical studies and history, co-directs the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri, an online repository of ancient Greek and Latin documents preserved on papyrus, pottery and wood. The collection contains more than 50,000 published texts that can be searched electronically through the Papyrological Navigator (PN), a new interface that merges data from different scholarly projects to allow simultaneous searching of texts, translations and images. The PN, whose development was also funded by Mellon, is online at

The Mellon grant will support the integration of the Duke Databank with collections at Columbia University and the University of Heidelberg, Germany. The integration will allow researchers to search, retrieve and display Greek texts, supplementary metadata and digital images of the papyri themselves. The Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments at the University of Kentucky will be building the distributed editing system and New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is supporting technological developments to the PN interface.

“This is yet another significant vote of confidence in the cutting-edge research of individual Duke faculty,” said Gregson Davis, Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in Classical Studies and dean of the humanities at Duke. “Classics departments are, and have been from the beginning, leaders in harnessing new information technology instruments and resources to the study of the past.”

Sosin said the collaborative editing environment will “vest responsibility for maintenance of core disciplinary data in the wider scholarly community, rather than a small and exclusive group of editors.

“It will also be the first step toward building a future in which scholarship in this important subfield of Classical Studies takes place entirely online,” he said. “The project’s environment should be deployable in a variety of other fields: from Latin epigraphy, or Greek, or Chinese, to manuscript studies, to numismatics, to bibliographical controls, to any domain of textual data over which a community would exert collaborative and transparent scholarly control.”

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seven Islands Artifacts ID Day October 11 in Indian Springs

Saturday, October 11th, 2008
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
At the Indian Spring Hotel/Museum
1807 Highway 42 South
Indian Springs, Ga. 30216

The public is invited to bring their arrowheads and other artifacts to have them identified and dated. There will be several local collections on display with demonstrations in flint knapping and primitive weapons, by Dave Swetmon and Kim Ruff. Come join in the fun and learn something about the people who lived here hundreds on years ago. Archaeologist Stephen Hammack and several other members of the Ocmulgee Archaeological Society will be on hand to identify Indian artifacts from all periods and any historical artifacts from the earliest days of the settlement. Of special note, John Whatley, author of “An Overview of Georgia Projectile Points and Selected Cutting Tools” will be on hand to identify and record Clovis or other early projectiles.

“Picking on the Porch”. Musicians are invited to bring their guitars, fiddles, mandolins or other acoustic instruments. Whether you play blues or bluegrass, come out, join in the fun, make some new friends, and enjoy some good down home music.

For more information contact:
W.J. Shannon or
Call 770-361-7185

Sponsored by:
Butts County Historical Society

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Genealogy Fair & Pie Contest

The National Archives, Southeast Region is having a Fall Genealogy Fair and Pie Contest October 18 from 9 am to 4 pm. The facility is located at 5780 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, GA.

A few weeks ago I received an email from my friend at the National Archives asking me if I would come give a short presentation on restoring and preserving old family photos. Of course I would love to! So I am! I will be presenting from 2 to 3 pm. There are many very interesting presentations throughout the day.

In addition to my talk about preserving your old photos – Christine Wiseman from the Georgia Archives will tell you how to care for your family archives. Just what are family archives? Well, old family bibles, letters, deeds, certificates, etc. Just about anything paper you want to keep and preserve for future generations. Christine will discuss storage materials and techniques.

Kevin Kuharic from historic Oakland Cemetery will be on hand to discuss cemetery preservation. He will also talk about the damage (and repairs) from the tornado that went through Atlanta and Oakland last spring.

In addition to these interesting programs – you will learn all you need to know about searching for information at the archives and using many new online features. If you are thinking about getting started searching for your roots or have been doing it for a while, this is a great place to spend a Saturday to ask as many questions as you can think of and get some great tips.

Registration for this event is $20 and includes lunch provided by Honeybaked Ham! Oh and I forgot the best part – you can bring a pie (dig out a good old family recipe) to share and enter in the contest. At 3 pm ribbons and prizes will be awarded.

For more information and to get the registration form – click on this link

About year ago I wrote a blog about the National Archives and what an interesting place it is to visit. If you haven’t read it – here is a handy link to find it.

Donna Rosser

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Monday, October 6, 2008

3rd Annual Revolutionary War Debate October 7

HH Note: This sounds like a fun event. What a great way to learn more about the American Revolution!

Third Bi-Annual Revolutionary War Debate
October 7, 2008

Scholars Dan Morrill of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Rory Cornish of Winthrop University argue the pros and cons of the 13 colonies’ daring 1776 bid for freedom. Dr. Morrill will argue the Patriot side, while Dr. Cornish will argue for the Tories.

All lectures take place in the Savannah History Museum Theatre (303 MLK, Jr. Blvd.) at 7pm. Each is preceded by a light reception in the museum lobby at 6:30 p.m. Please call (912) 651-3673 for more information.

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