The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Newsletter May 27 - May 31st
June 01, 2019


With school out for the summer, it's the perfect time to visit the Northeast Georgia History Center with family and friends! Our exhibits cover over 11,000 years of history in the region, so there's a lot to explore. But we do have our favorites! Check out which exhibits we chose as our favorite and why:

"I chose the Homestead Room of the White Path Cabin because it embodies the best way to viscerally connect our guests with the past that it's our mission to preserve and interpret. As a depiction of an actual living space it resonates in our guests because they too have similar living spaces; this demonstration of relevance can make them feel and realize a connection that may otherwise not have come about. Once they feel connected to the past they're more apt to understand it or accept it on its own terms - and our mission is fulfilled." - Director of Education Ken Johnston


"One of our very best exhibits is the Tornado of '36 section of the Land of Promise gallery. On entering the exhibit, our guests are met with a panoramic view of the Gainesville square as it looked just following the disaster. The feeling of being surrounded by devastation while viewing artifacts and reading the personal stories of individuals who experienced the disaster, really you "takes you there." The exhibit is centered around a water-vapor tornado machine, which demonstrates how tornadoes form. The Tornado exhibit checks all of the boxes; it's engaging, relevant, relatable, and powerful!" - Museum Services Manager David French



"I'm a big fan of our folk pottery and ceramics exhibit. I love that some of the oldest pottery on display were created for functional use yet were still made with artistry. Other pieces in the exhibit highlight the creative side of the artist. If there's one that has really caught my eye, it's the rattle snake! I'm amazed at the detail and notice something every time I take a look." - Director of Media & Communications Libba Beaucham



"I've always loved the 'washing clothes' section of the exhibit with a washtub, a mechanical washer, and an electric Maytag. At first glance it's quite simple collection of historic artifacts, but when you start to consider all the aspects of what they represent it really becomes a remarkable way to talk about so many aspects of our past: the day's worth of sheer physical labor to wash clothes traditionally; gender roles; the birth and grown of electricity in the rural south; the birth of 'free time' thanks to labor-saving devices; the advent of just one of a myriad of new technologies that transformed everyday life; and new markets and financial credit systems that allowed even the poorest homes to take advantage of such advances. Maybe I'm crazy for my fascination with the mundane, but the facets of our past that you can share with the most ordinary of items continues to inspire (yes, inspire) me." - Executive Director Glen Kyle






The History Center has a new mascot! But we now we need a name for it. We're holding a naming contest for our new feathered friend, and the winner will receive a free Sponsor-level Membership to the History Center! This includes:

  • unlimited admission for two adults plus children or grandchildren to the History Center and special events
  • an invitation to special exhibit preview events
  • 10% discount in the Museum Shop
  • Reciprocal membership to over 65 other museums through the Southeast Museums Reciprocal Membership Program


  • You must enter the name through the online submission link
  • One submission per person
  • Keep it PG
  • The submission period will end on June 30th at midnight
  • The History Center will choose their top five favorite submissions to be voted on by the public throughout July. At the end of the month, the most popular name will win!

Enter this contest here!

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From the Archives this week is The Family Fallout Shelter, a booklet produced and given out to encourage Americans to build a nuclear shelter in their own backyard or basement. The booklet was produced by the Office for Civil Defense in 1959, a government project intent with educating the population about how to prepare for nuclear war. Inside there are instructions on how to build a concrete underground shelter and a partially buried twin-wall shelter.




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New Gainesville Chautauqua 2019 Season: The 1830s – a Decade of Removal

June 11th, July 9th, and August 13th

$6 cash/card at the door or Free for Museum Members

Our Chautauqua series for the 2019 season explores the decade of the 1830s; the years that saw the passage of the Indian Removal Act and its implementation, and the treaty negotiations between the Indian Nations and the Federal Government - whether perceived as realistic or perceived as forced. We’ll hear from a Chief who looked to make the best deal as quickly as possible, a Chief who delayed removal as long as possible, and the President who sought to ensure removal as essential to his view of the United States.

June 11 - Cherokee Chief John Ross - portrayed by Alex Morse

Chief Ross in his youth fought with Andrew Jackson against the Red Stick Creek and later caused Jackson considerable trouble by fighting Removal vigorously and vehemently, and who after Removal applauded the murder of fellow Cherokee leaders for signing the treaty of removal with the Federal Government – but also made sure that his own brother got the Government contract to provide food, lodging, and transportation in the final phase of what became known as the Trail of Tears.

July 9 - Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore - portrayed by Matt House

Chief Leflore negotiated and signed the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek within four months of the passage of the Removal Act, thus securing the best lands in the Indian Territory for the Choctaw – and then stayed behind in Mississippi while his tribe went west, taking U.S. Citizenship and becoming a wealthy cotton planter who owned 400 slaves and 15,000 acres of land.

August 13 – President Andrew Jackson – portrayed by Ken Johnston

Andrew Jackson, the man perceived in the popular imagination as being almost single-handedly responsible for the Indian Removal Act and the resultant Trail of Tears. Jackson could be ambivalent regarding Native Americans, treating the Red Stick Creek as enemies at Horseshoe Bend, while the Cherokee and Choctaw as allies at Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans, respectively. Whether Jackson viewed Indian Nations as enemies or allies, though, his first and overriding priority was White settlement and expansion; and as Jackson saw it the Nations had best accommodate Removal for their own good - regardless of how the Native American Nations themselves saw it.

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



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The first graduating class of North Georgia Agricultural College in Dahlonega, Georgia in 1878. Pictured in the center is the first female graduate, Miss Willie Lewis. NGAC was the first co-educational institute in Georgia. It became North Georgia College in 1929 and later merged with Gainesville State College to form the University of North Georgia in 2013.

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