The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter December 9th-13th
December 16, 2019

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The NEGAHC is dedicated to preserving and sharing our regional history and being our community’s pathway to history education.

That’s our new mission… and it’s so important. With less and less focus on history in schools, that means it’s up to places like the History Center to make sure students get what they need: an understanding of the past that is crucial to planning for the future. And we are doing it with the most cutting-edge programs and methods... But we need your help. I’d like to ask that you consider an end-of-year donation to the History Center’s annual fund.

Annual Fund gifts directly support:

  • Educational programs and hands-on learning for thousands of school students.
  • The ongoing operations of the museum – it keeps us open to the public, able to answer your research questions and ready to provide programs like our summer Chautauqua series, monthly Forums, and Family Days.
  • The care and growth of our rare and unique collection of historical artifacts.
  • The development of new and exciting exhibitions

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Any amount makes a difference, whether it’s $25, $50, $100, or $1,000! You can make your tax- deductible donation by mailing a check, dropping by, or going to our website at and clicking on the “Donate Today” button in the upper right-hand corner.

A year-end gift to the History Center demonstrates your belief in our institution, its value to the community, and the importance of preserving our past for future generations.

As a thank you for your support, any donation over $50 will receive a personalized holiday greeting video from any of the historic characters we offer. Whoever donates the most will receive this holiday video plus a weapons demonstration and lesson with a weapon of your choice!

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Abraham Lincoln or another historic character from our list could wish your loved ones a holiday greeting with a donation of $50 or more!

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Whoever donates the most during our Holiday Donation Drive will receive a weapons demonstration and lesson with Ken & Glen!

Donate Now at this link: Donations

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Students from Dobbs Elementary met Harriet Tubman during a Live Webcast from the Cottrell Digital Studio last week! Harriet told her life story from being born into slavery, escaping to freedom, and helping hundreds of enslaved people escape through the network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Chiara Richardson, who portrays Harriet Tubman for the History Center, spoke to students out-of-character about what it's like to portray Tubman. Chiara has found much inspiration from learning about the famed abolitionist and said that Harriet was her favorite historic figure to portray. You can even learn more about Harriet Tubman's life in our Quick History Webisode at this link: Harriet Tubman

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Chiara Richardson portrays Harriet Tubman in the Cottrell Digital Studio during a Live Webcast

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The land in what it now Clarke County, Georgia was originally inhabited by Cherokee and Creek Indian nations. White settlers arrived in the area soon after the American War for Independence ended in 1783. Many of the settlers were of Scots-Irish ancestry and were offered 1,000 acres per family at very affordable prices by the state of Georgia as a way to entice settlers to move there.


Photograph of cotton bales in front of E. D. Sledge machinery and parts store, Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, between 1912 and 1918. Source: Digital Library of Georgia__

The county was named after General Elijah Clarke who was a general during the American War for Independence and led the charge during the victory at Kettle Creek, Georgia in 1779. Clarke County is Georgia' smallest county geographically but became a center of commerce and education when the University of Georgia was established in 1785 and the Georgia Railroad built its line through Clarke County later in 1841.


Photograph of women boarding train to Tallulah Falls, Clarke County, Georgia, between 1898 and 1902. Source: Digital Library of Georgia__

Clarke County is home to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Georgia Museum of Art. The University of Georgia remains a major attraction for new residents as well as the Athens Regional Medican Center and St. Mary's Hospital.

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This week From the Archives are Whirl-Glo Revolving Xmas Tree Light Shades by the Sail-Me Company, made in 1936. The shades are tiny paper covers that spin to create animated pictures on the Christmas tree. The paper has a metal point on top and when set on top of the bulb of a Christmas light, the heat from the bulb would make the shade turn. The boxes came in 4, 8, or 12 designs.

We have two boxes of Light Shades in the archives, both unused. The designs in our boxes include toy soldiers, three wise men, carolers, and reindeer. Now all we need is some Christmas lights to watch them glow!

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"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas/Yule/Solstice/Saturnalia!" - Are you feeling the warmth of the festive holiday season? Which one?! There are so many traditions throughout the past for this time of year - Roman, Pagan Germanic, Medieval, Victorian. Join Ken and Glen as they joyously discuss the traditions associated with the winter season across time and space...well, Ken will be joyous - Glen's a bit of a Grinch!

Listen at this link: Winter Traditions


Suggest a topic for an episode at

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Lunch & Learn: Wintertime Traditions

Thursday, December 19th from 12:00-12:45 PM

Included in Admission

Merry Christmas! Yo Sturnalia! And Other Solstice Traditions! - Join us for an exploration of the Victorian Era Traditions that continue to shape the way we celebrate Christmas in the 21st century, along with a look at the Winter festivals of Yule and Saturnalia - all tracing their origin to the Solstice! Feel free to bring your lunch as you learn. This program is included in admission and will be held indoors.

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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.

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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Melvin Taylor and his son Wesley Taylor weigh green beans at the farmers market in Dillard, Georgia in 1974. Mr. Taylor was known as "The Bean Man of Rabun" and had a long career as a truck farmer.


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