A Look Back At Our Anniversary Year

The launch of our 175th anniversary party was a Founder’s Day Program on December 28, 2013. The courthouse was filled and the day honored our county historian, Robert S. Baker. 2014 has been a great year for celebrating our heritage in Chattooga County. The Chattooga County Historical Society, thanks largely to help from the Tillotson-Menlo Foundation, has been pleased to play a role in many of these events that celebrated the people and history of our county.

It is our great hope to continue many of these events—and to inaugurate others. We believe the programs will educate and enrich all our citizens—particularly young people—about the fascinating history of Chattooga County. We will work wherever possible in tandem with municipalities and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Better Hometown program and Trail of Tears project.

In 2014, we began the year with a wonderful panel discussion on Black History in Chattooga County. We launched a very successful historic sites art contest in all the county’s middle and high schools. We participated in the Chattooga Tribe Challenge Run with a guided walking tour of our county seat, Summerville.

In April our group met at Paradise Gardens in Pennville and enjoyed a program highlighting the work of the Paradise Garden Foundation and featuring a homegrown bluegrass band. In July, we were honored to have longtime Probate Judge Jon Payne and Clerk of Court Lann Cordle address our meeting. On August 31, the Historical Society sponsored an old-fashioned singing at the courthouse, to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the county’s founding. Also in August, the Historical Society was front and center with a historic exhibit at the newly revived Chattooga County Fair.

In September, we held the inaugural Robert S. Baker History Awards, honoring five outstanding individuals who exemplify Mr. Baker’s ideals in preserving Chattooga County history. In October, we had an interesting presentation from Earle Rainwater, the longest-serving funeral professional in Chattooga County. And, in between all these stellar events we have published quarterlies with interesting themes—Black History, the Chattooga County Fair 1904 to Today, and Christmas in Chattooga County.

Tentative planned activities for 2015 include:

• Enhancing new website to create online “Virtual Museum”
• Providing flashing for the Couey House – to deter further deterioration
• Scanning historic documents, ledgers and newspapers
• Historic interpretive programs at Couey House
• Oral History Program – Interviewing and digitizing interviews with current older citizens of the county
• Community programming – ongoing Baker History Awards, new student essay contest as recommended by Bob Baker, repeat of 2013’s Historic Sites Art Contest, walking tours, cemetery tour and our four regular membership meetings with interesting and entertaining speakers.
• Historic photo enlargements for public display – a continuation of last year’s project

Won’t you join us and be part of our programs in 2015? Please contact us if you wish to volunteer.