The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter November 4th - 10th
November 11, 2019

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Happy Veterans Day! Today we honor and thank our veterans for their service and dedication to ensuring our freedoms. Please enjoy an interview with WWII veteran and Northeast Georgia native Ernest Pittman at this link: Oral History Interview with Ernest Pittman

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A view of the American Freedom Garden at the History Center which honors veterans of the 20th & 21st century

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This past Sunday for our November Family Day the History Center presented a hands-on Living History program on the War of Jenkins Ear – one of the more colorfully named but little remembered conflict’s in Georgia’s history. While the war got its name from an incident in which a British mariner named Jenkins had an ear cut off by a Spanish naval officer who suspected him of smuggling, it was larger national, territorial expansion issues years later that finally triggered hostilities.


Depiction of the incident in which Captain Jenkins was attacked by a Spanish naval officer

The main land battles were fought back and forth along the Georgia-Florida border with forays by James Oglethorpe all the way to Saint Augustine in a failed attempt to take the city and counter attacks by the Spanish culminating in their defeat by Oglethorpe at the Battle of Bloody Marsh on Saint Simons Island – marking the last attempt by Spain to contest British claims to the territory of the Georgia colony.

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Depiction of the Battle of Bloody Marsh

The majority of the other military actions were conducted in the Caribbean and centered on naval engagements and landings. In one of these actions a Captain from the colony of Virginia named Lawrence Washington commanded a company of Infantry acting as Marines on the flagship of Admiral Edward Vernon during his successful assault on Porto Bello. As a mark of friendship and respect, Lawrence named the home he was building on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River after the Admiral – Mount Vernon. Subsequently Lawrence’s younger brother – George Washington – inherited the estate, and that’s how the home of our first President came to be named after a British Admiral from the War of Jenkins Ear!

Learn more from our Family Day Highlights channel at this link: Family Day Highlights

Check out photos from Family Day at this link: Family Day Photos

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The History Center is happy to welcome Diana Mancilla, our Program Manager for the new Gainesville Reads reading program. Diana is currently a junior at the University of North Georgia pursuing her BA in History Education and has been an intern for the History Center's Education Department. Her past experience assisting in ESOL courses, work with both children and older students, dedication to education, and her excellent work as an intern made it an easy choice to hire her for Gainesville Reads. When asked why she was excited for this position, Diana said, "While history is the past, children are the future. My only goal as a teacher is to teach future generations the roots and journey of our nation as part of a bigger picture, the world." We couldn't agree more!

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Diana Mancilla, new Program Manager for Gainesville Reads

Gainesville Reads will begin with a small pilot program of 15 students and volunteer tutors in January 2020. We are currently accepting book donations at this registry link: Book Donations

If you would like to donate books another way, you can either ship them to us at 322 Academy Street NE Gainesville, Georgia or drop them off during our opening hours Tues-Sat 10 AM - 4 PM. We are currently seeking new or gently used books appropriate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.

Learn more about Gainesville Reads at this link: Gainesville Reads

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The Northeast Georgia History Center has been nominated for the Best of Hall County 2020 Museums category! We pride ourselves in our educational outreach to schools and the community at large, and we would appreciate your vote toward this award. Vote for the Northeast Georgia History Center at this link: Best of Hall County - Museums

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The History Center's Lesley Jones was lucky enough to attend the 81st Annual Cotton States Cat Show! The very first Cotton States Cat Show was held in December 1938 at the Atlantan Hotel in downtown Atlanta by Mary Kate Carroll and Gladys Donaldson. The first cat show had 118 cats competing for best in show. Today, the cat show is a licensed Cat Fanciers’ Association, an organization that has the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats and is the most prestigious cat registering association in America. The Cotton States Cat Show also has a club for cat lovers and annual events to recognize the cats, owners, and vendors from the annual show.

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A young Mary Kate Carroll, one of the founders of the Cotton States Cat Show, with her cat.

Held on November 2nd and 3rd in Duluth at the Infinite Energy Center, the Cotton States Cat Show featured over 300 cats and 42 different breeds. The cat show featured not only pedigree cats, but household pets and rescues too. Vendors of various cat-related merchandise were in attendance as well as local no-kill rescue shelters with cats available for adoption.

Eight judges gave awards for four kitty categories, Championship, Kitten, Premiership, and Household Pet. Congratulations to the 2019 winners: Misty Springs Arctic Snow, Velvetkist Crow Me Already, Cinema’s Donatella of Calcat, and Pierrot of Blueyonder! Next year’s show is scheduled for November 7th and 8th and we can’t wait to attend.





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This week From the Archives is a bottle of Hot House Rose toilet water, made by the Imperial Crown Perfumery Company. The company was established in the late nineteenth century by Otto Paul Meyer as a subsidiary of the Meyer Brothers Drug Co. Due to it’s popularity, Mr. Meyer looked to expand the family business to include upscale perfume and cosmetics, beginning with scents “Purple Azalea” and “Soul Kiss.” The Imperial Crown Perfumery, along with the Meyer Brothers Drug Co., was bought by the Fox-Vliet Co. Today, the Fox-Vliet Co. is now Fox Meyer Health Corporation, the second largest wholesale drug distributor in America.




This bottle of Hot House Rose was made in 1905 and is in excellent condition. The back has a “Cinderella stamp,” created by the Imperial Crown Perfumery as a way to distinguish them from other companies. It is only a few inches tall, but it is a great addition to the History Center archives.

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Part 2 of our podcast episode on J. R. R. Tolkien is ready for your ears!

The mythos and worlds Tolkien created have been celebrated in their own right, have influenced numerous other authors, and inspired some of the most popular fantasy/action films ever produced – but what’s really cool is the essay he wrote on Beowulf that redefined the way it’s taught and understood! In this episode Ken and Glen discuss Tolkien’s life, influences, WWI service, work as a linguist, love of trees, surprise at fame, love of beer and pipe smoking, being bitten by a baboon spider at age two…well, the list just goes on.

Listen at this link: Tolkien: Master of Middle Earth (Part 2)

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Thanks for listening! Questions? Comments? Talk to us at

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Forum: The Berlin Wall

Tuesday, November 12 at 7 PM

$3 General Admission or Free for Museum Members

Though it might not seem that long ago to SOME of us, it has been 30 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.


Museum Theatre: A Decade of Removal

Friday, November 15 at 7:30 PM

$12 General Admission - $10 for Students w/ I.D. - Free for Museum Members

Tickets at this Link!

On November 15 the History Center presents A Decade of Removal, an encore performance of the Summer 2019 Chautauqua series. This museum theatre performance 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.

Our Special Exhibit on Court Cases of Cherokee Removal in Georgia will also be available to view before the event beginning at 6:30 PM. The performance will begin at 7:30 PM.

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Family Day: Victorian Christmas

Sunday, December 8 from 1-4 PM


Join us in December for our most popular event of the year – Victorian Christmas! With hands-on activities, music, dance, storytelling, and more you’ll be immersed in the holiday traditions of 120 years ago.

Family Days are free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center

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



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Henry and Mandy Bolton weave baskets on the Spratlin Homestead in Wilkes County, Georgia ca. 1902.

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