Vann House Days has been a highlight of the summer since 1978 and the 2017 edition promises to be every bit as exciting. Hosted by the Friends of the Vann House at the State Historic Site in Spring Place, GA, this year’s program will be Saturday,July 22 from 10am until 4pm and Sunday, July 23 from 12pm to 4pm. The program commemorates the restoration and dedication of the Vann House as a museum on July 27, 1958.
Vann House Days is built around “living history”demonstrations featuring arts and crafts of the 1800’s. Local craftsmen and Friends volunteers will demonstrate 19th century weaving, basket making, quilting, spinning,blacksmithing, blowgun shooting, corn grinding, stuffing straw mattresses,churning, beadwork, drying fruits and vegetables, music, and more. Local musicians will play music from the era,highlighting John Howard Payne and his famous “Home, Sweet Home” composition that has a special connection to the Vann House.
Docents will also guide visitors through the Vann mansion,the slave exhibit, and the Cherokee homestead on both days. The R.E. Chambers Visitor Center will feature a short film and interpretive exhibits on the Vann Family and the Cherokee Nation. Admission to the site is $6.50 for adults, $6.00 for seniors, and $5.50 for youth 6-18. Children under six are admitted free. The Vann House is located three miles west of Chatsworth, Georgia at the intersection of GA Highways 52A and 225. For more information call 706-695-2598.
The next regular meeting of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society will be Sunday, July 16 at the Chatsworth Depot on First Avenue in historic downtown Chatsworth. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., the program will feature area railroad enthusiast Bill Bowen of Dalton presenting information about local railroad history. Bowen, a former trustee of the Historical Society, currently serves on the group's Huff House Committee.
Several model trains will be running and there will be a short "travelogue" about local railroads that tourists can ride. Refreshments will include homemade teacakes, fruit, lemonade, and more. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum has also donated two "family pack" admission tickets as door prizes for the afternoon.
For more information contact the Historical Society at 706-278-0217--or check Facebook and the website.
Singing Convention in Memory of R.S. Thomas
A century ago, virtually every one of Georgia’s counties, like those in most states from Virginia to Texas, had singing conventions where individuals and groups from churches of various denominations would come together periodically to learn and sing new southern gospel songs published by various companies scattered across the southeast. The songs were printed in “shaped note” format and singers learned, and, sometimes sang, the syllable names—do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti as well as the lyrics, accompanied by musicians on piano and/or organ.
The Murray County Singing Convention was organized in 1909 and met at churches throughout the county in both spring and fall sessions for about seventy-five years. When this group disbanded, Mr. R. S. Thomas of Whitfield County, but choir director at Smyrna Baptist Church in Murray County, began a “combined” convention singing at his home church.
Mr. Thomas, who worked in the carpet and then in the printing industries for many years as well as serving in the Georgia Senate, had been a part of gospel singing since the 1920’s when he went to conventions at the “shed” at Pleasant Grove in Whitfield County. He traveled to singings in several states for most of eight decades before his death in the summer of 2011 at the age of 93. He continued to be a part of the music program at Smyrna, too, leading songs until just weeks before his passing.
Leaders of today’s quarterly Murray County Singing Convention have designated the next session the R. S. Thomas Memorial Singing which will be held on Saturday, July 29 at Smyrna Baptist Church on Smyrna Church Road south of Chatsworth. There will be food at 5:30 while the music begins at 6:30 p.m. The evening features congregational singing some of the newest gospel songs published by Leoma, Cumberland Valley, Jeffress-Phillips and the new Freeman-Beavers music companies and some specials, but will also include a selection of songs in tribute to this beloved singer, leader, and promoter of convention style gospel music. An offering will be received for the R. S. Thomas Music Scholarship Fund. Rev. Andrew Bowen, pastor, invites all those who knew R.S. and/or love this music to attend. For more information call 706-695-2740 or visit the church website at www.smyrnabaptistchurch.org.
Please join us in honoring the memories of a multitude of women who were fundamental in the history of the Whitfield County area. This event serves to pay tribute to the legacy and continuing influence of these women. From stories of the creation of the first public library by the Dalton Women's Club to the philanthropic work of legendary women, including Gertrude "Tut" McFarland & Lenna Judd, to the creation of the School For Health Occupations headed by Grace Ward, these women have a continuing influence throughout our community. This event will warm your heart and your soul!
Event tickets include the following:
Buffet style brunch in the Hamilton Event Room at Crown Archives featuring a diverse collection of speakers reminiscing about memories of working first hand with many of these ladies & a discussion of the development & involvement of multiple women's groups in the Dalton area, such as the Lesche Club & the Dalton Women's Club.
Tour of the WMHS new exhibit "Wonder Women of Whitfield"
Tour of the Hamilton House focusing on additional displays of "Wonder Women of Whitfield"
Afternoon Tea at Hamilton House featuring violinist, Paula Pasqua
The Wright Hotel has been a landmark in downtown Chatsworth for well over a century. It anchors a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the dominant features of the city’s landscape. The structure, owned by the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society is also a busy place this summer.
The Hotel will be open for tours during the last of the 2017 Second Saturday events on August 12 from noon until 5 p.m. Well-informed volunteers, some of whom knew the Wright Family personally, will again be on hand to share stories, provide information, and guide visitors through the three-story building. Along the way, visitors will see a large collection of family furniture that has been in the Hotel since its construction in 1909 along with other period furnishings donated by a number of local residents and Society members. A recent addition is an antique “cheese dish” donated by Carey Mitchell of Dalton whose family lived in Chatsworth from its earliest days.
For the August opening, a varied assortment of vintage chenille bedspreads, both machine and handmade, will be on display along with a collection of antique cameras owned by Dale Lowman, long time historical society member and chairman of the Wright Hotel Committee. Included in the display will be a famous “Brownie” camera, Polaroids, and lots of others which will tell the story of photography in the 20th century. Other special displays include shoemaker’s tools, World War II era letters, and children’s items from the first half of the 1900’s. As usual, the gift shop will be open which offers a variety of books, maps, notecards, postcards, research materials—several of which are “on sale” for the summer.
The Hotel, which is nearly 110 years old, is also in the middle of a fundraising campaign to give the interior of the building a “facelift”. The plaster is in dire need of repair, several rooms desperately need a new coat of paint, and some of the plumbing is not very dependable. Donations toward the $5,000 project have already been received from Dr. Ellen Thompson of Cohutta and Paul & Glenda Houston of Knoxville. Gifts can be sent to the WMHS at 329 Hwy 225 South, Chatsworth, 30705 –or dropped off in one of the donation jar during the August opening.
The Second Saturday tours are free, but donations are encouraged. The Chatsworth Depot will also be open during the afternoon of August 8. Prior to the final performance in the “Encore Concert Series at the Depot at 5 p.m. The Concert features Murray County’s own Kingdom Seekers gospel quartet.
For more information about the Wright Hotel check Facebook and the Historical Society’s website. The Hotel is also available for group tours as well as showers, reunions, receptions, weddings, and meetings by calling Mr. Ralph Ausmus at 706-695-9808.
Spring Place Community Festival is August 19
“Spring Place Memories” is the theme for the 20th Annual Spring Place Community Festival set for Saturday, August 19 at the Old Spring Place Methodist Church. A new and used book sale, food concessions, a bake sale, an indoor and outdoor flea market, T-shirts, a raffle, and other activities will begin at 8 a.m. Highlighting the day is the auction which will include artist prints, paintings, book sets, furniture, antiques, rugs, and gift cards donated by area businesses! The auction will begin at 10:00. The day will also feature displays featuring the photographic and archaeological history of this special town. Proceeds from the festival will go to the Old Spring Place Methodist Church Preservation Fund of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society. The Festival is co-sponsored by the Spring Place Ruritan Club. For more information contact 706-695-2740 or 706-695-2110.
Vann House Days 2017
Vann House Days has been a highlight of the summer since 1978 and the 2017 edition promises to be every bit as exciting. Hosted by the Friends of the Vann House at the State Historic Site in Spring Place, GA, this year’s program will be Saturday, July 22 from 10am until 4pm and Sunday, July 23 from 12pm to 4pm.
Vann House Days is built around “living history” demonstrations featuring arts and crafts of the 1800’s. On Saturday the 22nd, local craftsmen will demonstrate 19th century weaving, basket making, quilting, spinning, blacksmithing, blowgun shooting, woodcarving, and much more. Sunday will feature local musicians playing music from the era, highlighting John Howard Payne and his “home, Sweet Home” composition that has a special connection to the Vann House.
Docents will guide visitors through the Vann mansion, the slave exhibit, and the Cherokee homestead on both days.
The R.E. Chambers Visitor Center will feature a short film and interpretive exhibits on the Vann Family and the Cherokee Nation. Admission to the site is $6.50 for adults, $6.00 for seniors, and $5.50 for youth 6-18. Children under six are admitted free. The Vann House is located three miles west of Chatsworth, Georgia at the intersection of GA Highways 52A and 225. For more information call 706-695-2598.
Copies of the Historic Photographs of The Whitfield County Schools Available For Purchase!
The Historic Photographs of The Whitfield County Schools by Ellen Keith Thompson is available for purchase. If you're interested in purchasing the book, please maila check payable to WMHS to P.O. Box 6180Dalton, GA. 30722 in the amount of $50 (includes shipping and handling). Or, you can purchase the book at the Crown Gardens & Archives for $45 located on 715 Chattanooga Avenue, Dalton, GA. 30722. All the proceeds from the books sales will the basis of the endowmenet fund for the 40th Anniversary.
Hours at Crown Garden and Archives!
To better serve our community we will now be open M-F 10am - 4pm. We will also be open by appointment on weekends and evenings for research and events! To make an appoinment please call during our business hours!
Hours at Blunt House, Hamilton House, and Huff House!
The Blunt House, The Hamilton House, and The Huff House are now open for historic tours on Fridays from 10:00 am. to 4: 00 pm. Please drop in between these hours to learn more about our local history!