The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter November 18th - 24th
November 25, 2019

gw webcasts

Last Wednesday the Cottrell Digital Studio had a marathon of sorts – 4 George Washington character webcasts in one day! For eighth graders, no less – the toughest student audience in the biz! Through the Cottrell Digital Studio, the History Center was able to engage with students and teachers 150 miles away in Dodge County (just south of Warner Robins, GA). From 9:50 am to 3:20 pm our Director of Education Ken Johnston was on set as George with an age that can sometimes be challenging – but to quote Shirley Maddox, the booking teacher, “The kids really enjoyed the Webcast. Ken did an awesome job!! This was our first experience. Ken handled them very well. We will definitely recommend your program to others. Thanks!” And we’ll be delighted to do it again!

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Ken Johnston as George Washington during a live Webcast in the Cottrell Digital Studio

caption contest

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Congratulations to our Caption Contest winner Gary Bryant who submitted this hilarious (and relatable) caption for this photo from our archives! We had *many* great submissions, including a lot of Beverly Hillbillies references! Read them all on the original post at this link: Caption Contest

lunch and learn

Lunch & Learn programs, in which you have your mid-day meal while taking in an educational or otherwise interesting presentation, have been around for a while and are done in corporate and cultural facilities in meeting rooms, break rooms, common areas, etc. The History Center has recently begun its own unique brand of ‘lunch and learns’: outdoor lunch hour presentations in our amphitheater that are simultaneously livestreamed through our Facebook page. Our first two have started out with a literal “bang”, with black-powder firings of an arquebus in the De Soto Expedition program and a fish-tail matchlock in the Thanksgiving program. Join us in person or click in the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at 12:15 pm – you bring the food, we’ll bring the thought!

Watch our latest Lunch & Learn at this link: Thanksgiving Lunch & Learn

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Some of our Lunch & Learn audience from our Thanksgiving program!

oral history project


The holidays are a wonderful time to hear family stories and learn even more about the lives of our older family members. The History Center's online oral history survey is a great way to capture those memories and share them for future generations to enjoy! You can participate at this link: Northeast Georgia Oral History Project

If you would prefer to record the answers on your phone's voice recorder, we will happily accept those recordings to include in the Northeast Georgia Oral History Project. Simply email your recordings to


We were thrilled to have WSB Community visit the History Center for a feature on the White Path Cabin earlier this month. You can watch the interview with Executive Director Glen Kyle and White Path descendant Counte Cooley at this link: White Path Cabin Feature


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This week From the Archives is the 1918 Gainesville City Directory. 2,916 names appear in the directory and the foreword within the book believed that with the addition of the population within the New Holland and Gainesville Mill, the city had roughly 9,600 citizens. Included within the directory are the names of all who are over the age of 16. It is very detailed, with names of streets and their occupants, their wives and occupation, and even includes churches, fraternal organizations, clubs, and colleges. Our copy is in top condition and has "Mrs. T. H. Robertson" inscribed in the front. We have many annual Gainesville City Directories within our archives and love looking through the city’s history!

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“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” So said John Kennedy at a dinner honoring Noble Prize winners, but the man he was complimenting is an enigma that one line, no matter how clever, can define. Join Ken and Glen as they discuss the brilliant legacy and troubled reputation of Thomas Jefferson.

Listen at this link: Thomas Jefferson

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Suggest a topic for an episode at

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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! A great event to attend before the Christmas parade begins (and there's plenty of parking!) 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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Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Couch dancing at the Fair Street Class Reunion in Gainesville. The reunion is for the class of 1937.


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