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February 2015 Programs - History Month in Georgia

Dr. Wheeler Dr. Roberts Ogelthorpe Dr. Curry
Dr. Ken Wheeler Dr. Mark Roberts Mr. Scott Hodges Dr. Carolyn Curry

The Funk Heritage Center is participating in the statewide Georgia History Festival sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society. Four excellent programs are scheduled during "Georgia History Month" which is held annually around the anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Georgia on February 12, 1733. Two members of Reinhardt University's faculty, Dr. Ken Wheeler and Dr. Mark Roberts, will present interesting programs on February 3 and 17 respectively. On February 10, a well-known author and historical interpreter, Scott Hodges, will present a program about Georgia's founder, General James Oglethorpe. You will enjoy meeting Dr. Carolyn Curry, author of a best selling book Suffer and Grow Strong on Saturday, February 28. The public is invited to all of these programs and reservations can be made by calling 770-720-5967. See the information below for details concerning each program.

The Etowah Valley Iron Industry During the Civil War February 3, 2 p.m.

Dr. Ken Wheeler, a popular professor of history at Reinhardt University, has opened many students’ horizons by involving them in local and public history research. His program on the iron industry folds the story of the Industrialization of the Etowah Valley into that of the rise and fall of the Confederate war effort. The struggle with an industrialized enemy forced the south to do likewise. Despite defeat, the war prepared a new generation of southern entrepreneurs to help build the “New South.” His lecture will be held in the Bennett  History Museum. Call 770-720-5967 for reservations, donations are welcome. 

Oglethorpe: An Intimate Conversation with Georgia’s Founder February 10, 2 p.m.

General James Oglethorpe initiated the greatest humanitarian enterprise of his era when he launched the founding of the English colony of Georgia. Despite the common misconception that Georgia was a penal colony, his plan was to create a society where small farmers and tradesmen prospered and where neither slaves nor lawyers were welcome. Royal support was given in part because Georgia could serve as a buffer against Spanish incursions from Florida, and Oglethorpe was a military man who was experienced in war. The notion that is popular today, that Georgia was populated by men from debtor’s prisons, is not the case. Enjoy a chance to ask questions of the great man as portrayed by author and historical interpreter, Scott Hodges. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is $10 and will benefit the Hickory Log Exhibit. Discount for members. Call 770-720-5967 for reservations.

“Hillbillies:” A Modern Product Lecture February 17, 2 p.m.

Dr. Mark Roberts is Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Reinhardt University. His training and research in American Studies include an effort to understand how Appalachian people became stereotyped as “hillbillies” in the early twentieth century. As the automobile brought more mainstream Americans into contact with mountain people, comic strips and “hillbilly” advertising images helped outsiders believe-often wrongly-that they understood the people and culture of the southern highlands. His lecture will be held in the Bennett History Museum. Call for 770-720-5967 reservations, donations are welcome.

Meet Author Dr. Carolyn Curry Book Signing and Lecture February 28, 10 a.m.

Book signing Suffer and Grow Strong

Meet author Dr. Carolyn Curry on Saturday, February 28 at the Funk Heritage Center. Refreshments will be served at 9:30 before her lecture begins. Her biography of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas reads like that of fictional heroine Scarlet O’Hara. The daughter of one of the richest men of the South, she saw her world collapse when the Civil War destroyed her family’s wealth and  position. Struggling alongside a college-educated man whose   determination and qualities seemed lacking, she fought to sustain her children and to build an independent life of her own. College educated, she became a writer and activist championing the rights of women, like Susan B. Anthony and Georgia’s own Rebecca Latimer Felton, the nation’s first woman senator. Admission is $10.00 and will benefit the Hickory Log Collection exhibition at the Funk. Reservations are required, discount for members. Call 770-720-5967. 

 

History Beneath Our Feet - Presented in 2013-2014

In May, 1938, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee from their homelands in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina. They were sent to Indian Territory, today known as Oklahoma. This tragic chapter in American history became known as the Trail of Tears. Hundreds of American Indian people died during their trip west and thousands more perished from the consequences of relocation. 2013 -1014 is the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears.

The Heritage Center offered a free symposium in September, 2013. "History Beneath Our Feet" included programs on Cherokee Archaeology of the Trail of Tears Fort Sites and Preserving the Cherokee History and Heritage. In February, 2014, another program free program on Native Plants: Food and Medicine on the Trail of Tears and Tracing Cherokee Families was held. These programs were supported by the Georgia Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 mandated the removal of all American Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to lands in the West. The story of  the Cherokee people is sad and the impact on them was devastating. Four detachments of Cherokee people were removed from their homeland in Northwest Georgia to water routes, while 13 detachments made their way overland along existing roads. These routes are part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Hundreds of Cherokee people died during their trip west, and thousands more perished from the consequences of relocation. This tragic chapter in American and Cherokee history became known as the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that Cherokee detachments followed westward. It also promotes a greater awareness of the Trail's legacy and the effects of the United States' policy of American Indian removal, not only on the Cherokee, but also on other tribes, primarily the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.

History Symposium speakers

September symposium speakers are pictured here (left to right); Jeff Bishop, President of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears. Dr. Ben Steer, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of West Georgia. Paul Webb, Archaeologist on the Canton Hickory Log site in 1995. Dr. Russell Townsend, Preservation Officer for the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina.

The Center hosts various history programs during the year. Every November, a Native American Day is held during Native American Month. On this special Saturday, programs are planned for both adults and children. The Funk Heritage Center is certified as an interpretive site on the National Park Service Trail of Tears Historic Trail. The National Park Service administers this historic trail in close partnership with the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association. This non-profit organization was formed to support and document the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail in Georgia. Additional partners include the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee, and federal, state, county, and local agencies.

The Mill Town Employees of the Canton Mill in 1925 - Presented in February, 2013

Canton Mill workers 1925

On March 19, 2013, the Funk Heritage Center held a special evening program on Life in the Mill Town. Eighty-five people attended the free program held in the Bennett Theater and shared their interesting stories about growing up in the Canton Mill Town.

In 1899, Canton Mill was chartered by Robert Jones, the owner of one of the largest mercantile companies in the area. At its height, the mill provided employment for one-third of the area’s population and its story is an important part of Cherokee County’s history.

Jim Satterfield grew up in the Canton mill village and agreed to relate his memories for the video camera. Joseph and Anna Lee, two young video and music artists, captured 14 hours of Jim’s recollections and edited them into a compact professional video production which was shown. Background research was completed by Zach Waits, FHC’s 2012 summer intern from Kennesaw State University. The program was followed by open discussion by audience member of their childhood in the mill village.

Thanks to all who attended and made this an evening to remember!