School is back in session and that means Family Day is too! Join us the second Sunday of the month September through April for our most popular and engaging program series. Sponsored by the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center, Family Days always make the past come alive using a variety of Hands-on activities, Living History Interpretation/Demonstrations, Museum Theatre, Music and Dance! Here’s what to look forward to this year:
September 8: Past Times, Pastimes - It’s hands-on fun front and center in September with Past Times, Pastimes – roll up your sleeves and play games of 18th to 20th century Georgia, from horseshoes to Pac-Man and many things between!
October 13: The Grandeur That Was Rome! - October is our month to take a journey farther back into the past than usual on a Family Day - and this year we go back to Rome! With The Grandeur that was Rome, join us to experience the rich tapestry of Roman daily life.
November 10: The War of Jenkins' Ear - Newly established Georgia, settled for only 6 years, the smallest of Britain’s North American colonies in both size and population faced a fight for its very existence in 1739 – in the War of Jenkins’ Ear. Learn about the threat to Georgia from forces in Spanish Florida, General James Oglethorpe’s siege of Saint Augustine, and daily life in the colony.
December 8: Victorian Christmas - Join us in December for our most popular event of the year– Victorian Christmas - and be immersed in the holiday traditions of 120 years ago!
January 12: First Contact – De Soto Expedition - The year 2020 marks the 480th anniversary of the Hernando De Soto Expedition through what Spain called “La Provincia de Florida” – including what is now Georgia. Join us as we 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.
February 9: Deerskin and Duffels - The most important trade in Colonial Georgia between Colonists and the Cherokee or Creek Nations was the exchange for deerskins given by the Native Americans for trade guns and “duffels” – a durable, highly prized cloth – to Frontier Merchants. This program will bring the vibrant and colorful 18th century Deerskin Trade to life.
March 8: Women’s Work – As part of National Women’s History Month the History Center takes a special look at the role of women working at home and in public through 300 years of Georgia history - from Colonial Era Native American Entrepreneur Mary Musgrove to 20th century African-American Educator Beulah Rucker.
April 12: Living in the Past – Museum Theatre & Living History Festival - Join the History Center for its first ever festival of Museum Theatre and Living History! Bringing together a Multi-Era, Multi-Culture timeline, this event will combine Theatrical and Musical Performances, Living History Demonstrations and Interpretations, and Hands-on activities to span centuries of daily life and fun!
By Sommer Stockton, Museum Services Manager
In the 1580s, England was beginning to establish colonies on the eastern coast of what is now the United States. While the first successful permanent colony in North America settled in Jamestown, the Roanoke colony were the first English colonists to reach the New World in 1587. Roanoke Island is a barrier island just off the coast of what is now North Carolina, which provided an ideal location for a settlement due to its accessibility. While the inaccessibility was ideal, the area around the colony was barren, leaving Governor John White forced to leave the colony and fetch more supplies from England. He instructed his family that if an ambush or any other trouble were to occur while he was away, they needed to leave a cross as a distress sign. When White returned in 1590, he expected to encounter the colonists in the same place he had left them years before. He was stunned to find the entire colony in ruins and his belongings strewn across the village. Governor White returned to England distraught and was never able to discover what happened to his family or to the colony itself.
The return of Governor White to the "Lost Colony"
Almost 350 years later, in 1937, a man named L.E. Hammond was traveling in the U.S. Southeast on vacation with his wife where, on the side of a road, discovered a stone with strange text markings on it. Not knowing what it was, Hammond picked it up and while on his way through Atlanta, he stopped by Emory University to discover if anyone would be able to identify the text. A group of Emory history professors, including Haywood Pearce Jr., deciphered the inscriptions and were amazed at the discovery. The text on the stone told the story of events that followed the disappearance of the colony from Roanoke Island. On the front of the stone is a description of the death of Ananias Dare and his daughter, Virginia Dare, stating “Ananias Dare & Virginia went hence unto Heaven 1591.” The stone further detailed the events following Governor White’s return to England. The artifact is thought to have originally been a death marker for the colonists, yet as the story of events is discussed on the back of the original stone, many historians, including Pearce Jr., believed the stone’s purpose changed over time to “convey a message” to Governor White. The message to be relayed to White discusses Eleanor Dare’s life after her father left for England.
The original Dare Stone
After weeks of discussion about the stone’s message, Emory University officials believed it would be an irrational decision to purchase the stone from Hammond without further confirmation and didn’t wish to risk being misled with a fake. Pearce believed differently and purchased the stone himself. He moved it to Brenau College, now Brenau University, where his father, Dr. Haywood Pearce Sr., was President. The college convened historical and archaeological experts to place a value on the stone and to see if they were, in fact, authentic.
In a later edition of the college bulletin, Pearce Jr. describes the stone in depth, ending with the offer of a $500 reward for the discovery of other stones pertaining to the Colony. As the original Dare Stone mentioned a second one, serving as a grave marker four miles from the first stone’s original resting place, Pearce believed there would eventually be more information on the lost colony.
From left to right: James G. Lester, Haywood Pearce Jr., and Ben W. Gibson examining the first Dare Stone
By January of 1940, Brenau College had a total of 24 stones in its Dare Stones collection. Consensus in the 1940s press was quick to declare the original stone a complete fraud. But as the years passed, many media outlets of the 1960s and 1970s changed their opinions by creating new media surrounding the stones, which lead to the stones gathering an interested audience and launching the Lost Colony mystery into a new spotlight of popularity.
In the decades that followed, many newspapers and television documentaries featured the mystery, grabbing the attention of the History Channel, MSNBC, and the National Geographic magazine. While the later 24 stones have been labeled as fakes, the original stone may be authentic and needs further research regarding it. At this time, the first stone, along with the two dozen forgeries, continues to reside in Gainesville, Georgia. Further testing may be able to determine historic authenticity of its inscription.
With the conclusion of summer and our incredibly successful and entertaining New Gainesville Chautauqua series, we go back to our “regularly scheduled” forums on the second Tuesday of each month. Don’t miss any of these great programs!
September 10: Dr. Crawford Long - Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia became the first physician who used ether for surgical anesthesia in 1842. Vicki Starnes, Director of the Crawford Long Museum will share this remarkable story of a “country doctor” who created a cutting-edge procedure right here in Northeast Georgia.
October 8: Buford Dam and Lake Lanier - Out of the the Hills of Habersham, Down the valleys of Hall.... When Sidney Lanier wrote the Song of the Chattahoochee it was doubtful that he foresaw those waters would someday not run as freely, or that the lake they formed would bear his name! Geoffrey Whitehead, of the US Army Corps of Engineers, will share the history and science of the building of Buford Dam and the creation of Lake Lanier. -
November 12: The Berlin Wall - Though it might not seem that long ago to SOME of us, it has been 28 years since the Berlin Wall, symbol of a divided Germany and the Cold War, went away. History Center Board Member Ron Stowe, retired pilot who has flown all over the world, will tell the history of the wall, what it meant, and what effect its removal had on Europe and the world.
Doors open at 6:30 pm, programs begin at 7 pm. Admission is $3, or FREE for members.
By Lesley Jones, Archives Media Assistant
This week From the Archives is a DeVilbiss Atlas Atomizer from the 1940s. Dr. Allen DeVilbiss founded the DeVilbiss Manufacturing Company in Toledo, Ohio, after creating the first atomizer. The company, now DeVilbiss Healthcare, is a leader of respiratory medical products and serves over 100 countries around the world.
In the 1880s, Dr. DeVilbiss was looking for a way to help his patients breathe better. His invention, the atomizer, was originally used to spray medicine on the back of the throat. Today, atomizers are used for spraying fragrances, car and airbrush paint, and for coating vitamins and food. The atomizer in our archives, no. 24, is still in good condition after 70+ years, with intact bulb, bottle, and original packaging.
The ultimate Frontiersman – Daniel Boone! No – Davey Crockett! Wait, weren’t they the same coonskin hat wearin’, flintlock rifle totin’ guy? Nope, but the same guy, Fess Parker, did play them both on TV – thus confusing a generation. In this episode, Ken and Glen head out to the Frontier to discuss what it is and isn’t, and just how accurate pop culture perceptions of The Frontier may be – Spoiler Alert: Not Very.
Family Day - Past Times, Pastimes
September 8th from 1-4PM
Free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center
It’s hands-on fun front and center in September with Past Times, Pastimes – a look at entertainment in Georgia from the 18th to 20th centuries. Hands-on activities, living history interpretation and demonstrations, and audience participation in games, song, and dance will make the past come alive with fun!
Forum: Dr. Crawford Long
September 10th at 7 PM
$3 General Admission or Free for Members
Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia became the first physician who used ether for surgical anesthesia in 1842. Vicki Starnes, Director of the Crawford Long Museum will share this remarkable story of a “country doctor” who created a cutting-edge procedure right here in Northeast Georgia.
For more fascinating photos and information on our region's past, follow our social media!
Gainesville, GA sometime in the 1950s. An employee of City Ice Co. with a large block of ice. City Ice Co. began in 1929 and served Gainesville for over 80 years.