The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter January 8th
January 08, 2020

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The new year is off to a wonderful start thanks to all of your generous donations! Our goal was to meet $5,000. We ended up receiving $9,450! Your donations make it possible for us to provide high-quality programming to schools and the community, protect and preserve precious artifacts, expand our reach to new folks and so much more. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

To all who donated $50 or more during the drive, look out for an email about your thank you video from a historic character! We will also be announcing who won our top donor prize!


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Members, please make plans to join the History Center on Tuesday, January 14, for our Annual Membership Meeting. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will start promptly at 6 p.m. We'll be giving a review of 2019, a look forward for 2020, and elect new board members and officers. Light refreshments will be served, and we'll adjourn in time for everyone to attend our (very unique!) monthly forum afterwards. See you there!

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Not a Member yet? Membership begins at only $35 and includes great benefits like unlimited admission to our exhibits and special events all while supporting our mission! To view all of our options, visit the Membership Page.

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Winder, Georgia has had a few different names in its past: Snodon, Jug, Jug Tavern, Brandon, and finally Winder! When it was "Snodon," the area was a trading center for the Creek and Cherokee. After white settlers arrived in the late 1700s, the area was called "Jug" and then 10 years later it was changed to "Jug Tavern." Why Jug Tavern? We only have stories to answer that. Some believe that it was the presence of a jug-shaped field, some believe it was named after a popular tavern in the area. When the town was incorporated in 1884, its name was briefly changed to "Brandon" before returning to "Jug Tavern" in 1890, and finally (at least for now) it became "Winder" in 1893. The name Winder was in honor of John H. Winder, the general manager of the Seaboard Air Line Railway which passed through the town.


A view of Jackson Street in Winder, GA c. 1910 Source: Digital Library of Georgia


The train depot in Winder, GA sometime between 1910-1920 Source: Digital Library of Georgia

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We're only 8 days into 2020 and our schedule is already packed with Live Webcasts! Students of White Sulphur Elementary School met Frederick Douglass during a Live Webcast where they learned about the first time he stood up for himself. When Douglass was only 16 years old, he was being taunted and eventually threatened by a notorious overseer known for being particularly brutal to the enslaved. One day the overseer attempted to physically harm Douglass and Douglass fought back! To hear this story, you can watch our original Webisode at this link: Frederick Douglass Webisode

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Mustapha Slack portrays Frederick Douglass


This week we're highlighting a fascinating and well written book about early Native American cultures in the Southeast. Remnants of America's Southeast Aboriginals by Maury E. Miller III covers all four periods of Native American inhabitation with beautiful photography and detailed information their cultures, tools, weapons, crops, and so much more. Visit our gift shop to get your copy!

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This week From the Archives are Christmas Tree Lamps from the General Electric Company. General Electric was formed in 1892 through the merger of Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Electric Company. In 1896, shares of GE began trading on the New York Stock Exchange and remained part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average until 2018. GE was responsible for the first x-ray machine, electric locomotive, the electric kitchen appliance, air-tight refrigerator, fluorescent lighting, and LED lights.

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In the archives we have 6 boxes of GE Christmas Tree Lamps from the 1950s; 3 boxes are unopened with C-6 bulbs, 3 are used with C-6 and C-7 bulbs. We have a box of red, blue, green that are brand new, as well as opened boxes with used multicolor bulbs. With our Whirl-Glo Revolving Xmas Tree Shades from our last archives post and these bulbs, maybe we can get a nice Christmas glow for this year's holidays!

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Congratulations to Elaine Johnson for winning our latest caption contest! We had lots of fun submissions on our Facebook page for this one. View all of them at this link!

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Family Day: First Contact – De Soto Expedition

Sunday, January 12th from 1-4 PM


The year 2020 marks the 480th anniversary of the Hernando De Soto Expedition through what Spain called “La Provincia de Florida”, an area which in their claim was most of the present South Eastern United States – including what is now Georgia. Join us as we explore the exploration with Living History Interpretation and Hands-on activities - taking a look at the 16th century arms and equipment carried by De Soto’s multinational force and at the results of the first European-Native American contact in what would become Georgia.

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Forum: Live Discussion with Washington & Adams

Tuesday, January 14th 7:00-8:00 PM

$4 or Free for Members

It is January, 1797... the new nation has just experienced two terms under its first President, George Washington. His successor, John Adams, is preparing to take office. Join these two Founding Fathers as they discuss with you and with each other the development of the colonies into a nation, and how they hope the Presidency and the country will continue to grow.

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Gainesville Reads Presents: Storytime with MLK Jr.

Monday, January 20th 4:00-6:00 PM


The History Center's new reading program, Gainesville Reads, is hosting a special storytime event with Martin Luther King Jr.! Professional actor Mustapha Slack will portray MLK Jr. and read classic stories to families on MLK Day, January 20th, from 4-6 PM. This is a free event, but we do encourage you to donate new or gently-used books for the reading program. We are seeking books appropriate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.

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For more fascinating photos and information on our region's past, follow our social media!



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A student in the Rabun Gap Industrial School home economics class learns how to bake a cake, 1905. Note the instructions behind her.


The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University - 322 Academy St NE Gainesville, GA 30501 - 770.297.5900 -