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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Researching Your Civil War Ancestor: Johnny Reb or Billy Yank

Researching Your Civil War Ancestor: Johnny Reb or Billy Yank

The seminar will explore a wide variety of records about soldiers as well as people with Union sympathies, those who supported the South, and those who just tried to keep out of the way. Mary Helms, Head of Local History and Genealogy, will illustrate how to use many sources, such as Official Records, 1890 Special Census Schedule, Southern Claims Commission, and research on the Internet, including Fold3 and Ancestry. For more information call 757-5317 or email
Open to the public at no charge as part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Dec. 7 at Downtown Library
Dec. 14 at Eastgate Library
Dec. 21 at Northgate Library

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CCH Historical Society Meeting to Highlight Veterans

The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society will meet Sunday November 17 at 3 p.m. at The Hiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston.   Laura Spann of Whitebluff, TN will present a program on the recent discovery of more than twenty veteran’s graves in the Calhoun Cemetery, whose roles in prior wars had not been known.  For many years, various groups in Calhoun have placed flags on the graves of veterans buried in the cemetery, and this recent finding will give these newly discovered veterans the recognition they deserve as part of history. 
Several of the veterans, including the names of Bates, McCarty, Workman, and McClatchey served in the War of 1812 while others served in the Civil War.  There are fascinating stories connected with each of them, several of which had key roles during the Removal of the Cherokees.  Other were very active in the early county government and the founding of Calhoun. 
Ms. Spann has been very active the past year doing extensive research on the Calhoun Cemetery.  Her efforts have located several missing gravesites and markers and have established many family relationships, including those of Cherokee families, buried in the cemetery. 
At the meeting, visitors will be given an update on Phase II of the Heritage Center.  The public is invited to attend the meeting.  The Center is located on Highway 11 in Charleston near the school. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fourth Civil War Walking Tour

The Chattanooga History Center will present the fourth downtown tour in its Civil War Sesquicentennial series, A Walking Tour: Siege Lines, Confederate Perspective, at 5:30pm, Tuesday, November 5th.  The walk will be led by CHC Executive Director and Historian, Dr. Daryl Black, and Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Chief Historian, Jim Ogden.  Participants will meet the guides at the corner of Orchard Knob and Ivey Streets, by the Orchard Knob Military Park.   The fee is $5 per person (CHC members free).  Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Monday, November 4th.  Call 423-265-3247 to register.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Civil War Walking Tour Part 3

History Center Presents The Third
Civil War Sesquicentennial Walking Tour


Chattanooga, TN--- The Chattanooga History Center will present the third downtown tour in its Civil War Sesquicentennial series, A Walking Tour: Occupied City, at 5:30pm, Tuesday, October 8th. The walk will be led by CHC Executive Director and Historian, Dr. Daryl Black, and Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Chief Historian, Jim Ogden. Participants will meet the guides on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza in front of the Chattanooga History Center. The fee is $5 per person (CHC and Friends of the Park members free). Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Monday, October 8th. Call 423-265-3247 to register.

2 West Aquarium Way, Suite 200 | Chattanooga, TN 37402 | p: 423.265.3247 | f: 423.266.9280 |

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fort Wood Civil War Banquet

Chattanooga, TN . . . An outdoor Civil War Banquet will be held in the Fort Wood Historic District on September 27, joining the list of special events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battles of Chattanooga. This event will serve as a fundraiser for the Fort Wood Neighborhood Association, a 501(c)3 organization.

The banquet will be hosted under a tent on the lawn at 850 Fort Wood Street, one of the neighborhood’s historic buildings, which now serves as the business headquarters of Jay Robinson Real Estate. The banquet will begin at 6:30 PM with appetizers and spirits, followed by a three course plated dinner at 7:15 PM. Music of the period and Civil War re-enactors will add to the ambiance. Following the dinner, Daryl Black, executive director of the Chattanooga History Center, will speak about Fort Wood’s role in the battles of the Civil War in a 20-minute program entitled "After Chickamauga."

Self-guided historic walking tours of the neighborhood will be offered at no charge, and prints of the original fort in Fort Wood will be offered for purchase.

Attendance for the Civil War Banquet is limited to 150 seats. The ticket price is $75, and may be purchased online at Sponsors for the banquet are First Tennessee Bank, Cansler Photography, Jay Robinson Real Estate and the Chattanooga History Center.

The original "fort" in Fort Wood was an earthwork stronghold constructed by Union forces in 1863 during their occupation of Chattanooga. Originally named for Colonel William R. Creighton, killed at Ringgold, Georgia, in November 1863, the fort was renamed after 1864 in honor of General Thomas Wood.

On September 19 and 20, 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland struggled with Confederate forces south of Chattanooga along the banks of Chickamauga Creek. After an epic collapse on September 20, Union troops retreated into Chattanooga demoralized and beaten. Many feared for the army's survival. Within days, however, these men had created a formidable ring of fortifications around Chattanooga. Centered on Fort Wood, these lines of entrenchments provided security to the harried soldiers and allowed them to hold the town that Abraham Lincoln considered among the most strategic points in the nation. A mere two months later, the decisive attack on the Confederate forces on Missionary Ridge began when signal shots rang out from the Union artillery at Fort Wood. The victory gained that day assured the collapse of the Confederacy.

For more information about the Civil War Banquet, call 423.265.0771 ext. 100. For more information about the Fort Wood Historic District, visit


Family Civil War Program

Chattanooga, TN--- The Chattanooga History Center will present From the Journal of a Confederate Nurse for ages 8 and up at 2:30-4:00pm on Sunday, September 15th, at the Center.  The program will be led by CHC History Educator, Caroline Sunderland.  The fee is $10 for 1 parent and 1 child ($5 for CHC members).  Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Thursday, September 12th.  Call 423-265-3247 to register.
This program offers a great opportunity for family members to explore history together.  Parents, grandparents, or other relatives or caregivers are invited to accompany their youngsters in taking a then-and-now look at the practice of medicine.  They will be guided by an historic interpreter dressed as Civil War nurse Kate Cumming might have been.  Using Kate's journal, participants will learn about the importance of research based on primary sources, and the potential importance of journaling.  There will be fun activities and an examination of the authentic Civil War field surgeon's kit to be used in the CHC's new exhibit.
In1862, Confederate nurse Kate Cumming served the wounded in the Chattanooga area.  As the Union Army moved toward Chattanooga, Kate moved south into Georgia, where she worked at several locations receiving the southern wounded.  She continued to move with the front line of battle throughout the war. She recorded in her journal the work performed in the wartime hospitals, including the field tent hospitals.  Much of what is known today about Civil War medicine comes to us through Kate's journal.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Walking Tour of Wilder's Bombardment

This just in from the Chattanooga History Center...

The Chattanooga History Center will present a Walking Tour: Marking the 150th Anniversary of Wilder's Bombardment of Chattanooga at 7:00pm, Wednesday, August 21st.  The walk will be led by CHC Executive Director and Historian, Dr. Daryl Black, and Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Chief Historian, Jim Ogden.  Participants will meet the guides on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza in front of the Chattanooga History Center.   The fee is $5 per person (CHC and Friends of the Park members free).  Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Tuesday, August 20th.  Call 423-265-3247 to register.

check our their website:





Friday, July 26, 2013

Experience the Trail of Tears

Ron Cooper, a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma walked and hiked the northern route of the Cherokee Trail of Tears. His book entitled "It's My Trail Too- A Comanche Indian's Journey on the Cherokee Trail of Tears" records Ron's experience, as well as, celebrates the resiliency of Native Americans.

Mr Cooper will be the speaker at the Chattanooga Downtown Library on Monday evening, July 29, 2013 at 6 pm. The event is sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Historical Association. The event is free of charge and open to the public. We invite you to attend and bring a guest.

We look forward to seeing you there.

James County Historical Society August 2013 Meeting

The James County Historical Society will meet Sunday, August 4, at 2:30pm in the Ooltewah Methodist Church in the Sunday School addition.

The program will be presented by Joe Bryan and Darlene Goins who are president and Treasurer of the Calhoun-Charleston Historical Society.

Their presentation will review some highlights of the rich history of that area and also the exciting development of their three-year old historical society.

 If you use email, please send your email address to me at and receive future meeting notices via email.

Spring Place Festival in Murray County Georgia

This just in from Whitfield-Murray Historical Society.....

Spring Place Festival Set for August 17

The 15th annual Spring Place Community Festival will be held Saturday, August 17 at the Old Spring Place Methodist Church just off Georgia Highway 225 South.  Sponsored by the Spring Place Ruritan Club and the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, the Festival commemorates Spring Place’s heritage and raises funds for the continued preservation of the Old Spring Place Methodist Church. 

The theme this year is “Spring Place:  A Legacy in Education” and will feature a special display of pictures, paintings, and memorbelia relating to the various schools that were eventually consolidated into Spring Place Elementary—as well as a sort of reunion for those who attended those schools. (See related article.)  A raffle of a framed artist print of the famous “Lucy Hill Institute” by the late Erik Gallman will conclude the Festival’s activities.

The festival will open at 8 am and will have something for everyone. Members of the Ruritan Club will have their usual bake sale with homemade cakes of all kinds. Breakfast biscuits and lunchtime hotdog plates are among other items being sold to raise funds to maintain the old church. A large assortment of “new” and used books, historical society publications, collectibles, and flea market items including Christmas decorations, linens, glassware, toys, office and household items attract buyers as well. The flea market will also include clothes again this year, too.

The largest fundraising event is an auction set to begin at 10:00 a.m. Things to be auctioned include several artist prints; gift certificates to area businesses including Little Rome, Big V, The Biscuit Box, Zaxby’s, The Crème Hut, Pork n Beans, Los Amigos, Paul’s Dive-In, and John’s Bar B Que; sets of local history books; furniture; coin sets; and rugs donated by Value and Beckler Carpets.

The MCHS Alumni Association will have rock building post cards, notecards, and prints for sale while a variety of vendors will sell jewelry, crafts, and specialty items. Friends of Linda Lunsford will have a booth to raise money to help this beloved Murray County educator receive a kidney transplant, too.  First National Bank, The Spring Place Ruritan Club, the Chatsworth-Murray County Library, Go Murray County Arts, The Humane Society, the Murray County Gideons Camp, and Keep Murray Beautiful Commission will have information tables while the Boy Scouts will be on hand to help with parking and other activities.  An assortment of historical items will also be on display including original doors from the old courthouse at Spring Place.  That building later served as a school longer than is was used as a courthouse!  It was the home of Lucy Hill High School.

Parking will be available on Elm Street as well as across the road from the church.  To find out more about the festival, call Elizabeth Robinson at 706-695- 6021Carlton McDaniel at 706-695-2110, Jyana and Chuck Smith  at 706-695-8297, or Tim Howard at 706-695-2740.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How the Civil War Affected NW Georgia Families

Join Chattanooga Delta Genealogy Society for our monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Rossville Public Library.

Using various record groups, Dennis Rhea will provide a glimpse of what life was like in northwest Georgia in the 1860s, and share stories of how the Civil War affected some families in the area.

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tour of the Hamilton County Courthouse

The building that you see here is the 7th Hamilton County Courthouse. It has been located in different towns and in non-commercial buildings such as a tavern since 1819.

1.  Poe's Tavern
2.  John Mitchell Farm
3.  A log house in Dallas belonging to Rawlings
4.  James Hall at 6th and Market
5.  A building at 4th and Market
6.  A building on the hill at Georgia, Walnut, 6th and 7th Street
7.  Our current location after the prior building was hit by lightning. The new building's grand opening was in 1913. The building was designed by Rueben Harrison Hunt and was built for $35,000. It sported a glazed tile roof, colored glass dome and gray marble.

The tour is sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Historical Society and will be conducted by our County Historian, Linda Mines. This private tour is a unique experience and Ms Mines will bring the history alive.

Come join us on Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm. We will meet on the Georgia Avenue side of the building. The party for the Courthouse's 100 birthday begins when you get there!

I have included directions from various locations around the southeast courtesy of the Hamilton County website.

From Knoxville
  1. Start going west on I-40
  2. Take I-75 south split
  3. Take I-24 west split in Chattanooga
  4. Take US-27 N exit into Downtown area
  5. Take 4th St Exit (1C)
  6. Follow 4th St through Downtown
  7. at 7th stop light (Georgia Av), take a right
  8. County Courthouse is on the right
From Nashville
  1. Start going east on I-24 toward Chattanooga
  2. Take US-27 north exit to downtown
  3. Take 4th St Exit (1C)
  4. Follow 4th St through Downtown
  5. at 7th stop light (Georgia Av), take a right
  6. County Courthouse is on the right
From Atlanta
  1. Start going north on I-75
  2. Take 1_24 West split in Chattanooga
  3. Take US-27 N exit into Downtown area
  4. Take 4th St Exit (1C)
  5. Follow 4th St through Downtown
  6. at 7th stop light (Georgia Av), take a right
  7. County Courthouse is on the right

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tom Griscom at the White House

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association will be hosting Tom Griscom. He will be discussing his years in the White House under President Reagan.

Tom Griscom

Mr Griscom is a past and current native of Chattanooga who graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Previously, Griscom was the the Executive Editor and Publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press; Executive Vice President for external relations for the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. He was the Director of Communications for the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan; the Press Secretary for the former U.S. Senator, Howard Baker, an employee of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd; and a public relations consultant with Powell-Tate.

Before entering the political and lobbying business, he was the political editor at The Chattanooga News-Free Press. In 1978 Griscom joined the staff of Senator Baker and later became part of the Reagan administration. As Baker's senior staff person, he essentially ran day-to-day operations at the White House while Baker was chief of staff, and he maintained the strong links between the administration and the Republican Party.  He now has his own consulting firm.

Come hear some fun and interesting stories about one of our country's most beloved Presidents from a Chattanoogan who was there when it all happened.

The event will be held at the Chattanooga Downtown Libray at 6 pm on Monday, the 29th April. It is free to all. No reservations are required. Come and bring a friend.

1001 Broad Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

James County Historical Society May Meeting 2013

The James County Historical Society will meet Sunday, May 5, at 2:30pm in the Ooltewah Methodist Church in the Sunday School addition for an unusual meeting.

J T Shadrick and others from the Whitwell Coal Miners Museum will present the program.

They established and operate an excellent small museum.  We will hear the history of the area and mining, and they will tell of the founding of their museum.

Everyone is invited and there is no charge.

At the meeting, two questions will be asked – come prepared to answer:

Who is the oldest living person who was born in Old Jim County?

What are names and age of any living person who was born in Old Jim County?
6131 Relocation Way, Ooltewah, Tennessee 37363

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chattanooga Delta Monthly Meeting

The Chattanooga Delta Genealogical Society will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rossville Public Library (504 McFarland Ave).

Vice President Jim Douthat has arranged the program this month, so I'm sure there will be some surprises!

Why don't you come visit us?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


 My Heart’s In The  Highlands 
Farewell to the Highlands,  frewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love…  
Robert Burns






 The border wars between England and Scotland have been romanticized in poetry, prose and on film.  As a result of these century-long conflicts castles were built on both sides of the English/Scottish border to provide lodging and protection as well as central rallying points for allied forces in times of peril.  Just outside Jedbugh, Scotland stands the Scottish border castle known as Ferniehirst Castle.   Built in the 15th century, Ferniehirst Castle is the ancestral home of the Kerr family.


 In the summer of 2012, Rufus Williamson, a descendant of the Kerr family, visited Scotland and toured Ferniehirst Castle.  For Rufus it was an opportunity to see firsthand the home of his ancestors and to add to his substantial knowledge of the Kerr family history.


The fascinating stories of the border wars, Ferniehirst Castle, and the Kerr family will be shared on April 2, 2013, at the meeting of Signal Mountain Genealogical Society.  Rufus Williamson, guest speaker for the April meeting will present, “A Visit to the Home of my Scottish Ancestors.”   The meeting, held at the Walden Town Hall, 1836 Taft Highway, will begin at 1:00 p.m. with refreshments followed by the business meeting and program at 1:30 p.m.  Guests are always welcome at the meetings.


Whether for an interesting telling of family history or for a tour to a Scottish Castle, I urge you to join us on April 2nd at the meeting of the Signal Mountain Genealogical Society.  




Saturday, February 16, 2013

TVGS Spring Seminar

TVGS, Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, will hold their Spring Seminar at the Huntsville Public Library Auditorium on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The seminar will be held from 9:00am to 2:30 pm and presented by James L Douthat.
He will be discussing the Appalachian Migration Routes and East Tennessee Genealogy. Lunch will be provided. The day's entertainment, including lunch is $30.00.

9:00-9:30 am          Registration
9:30-10:30              East TN Genealogy Research
10:30-10:55            Break
10:55-12:00            Appalachian Migration Routes
12:00-1:00 pm        Lunch and Book Sales
1:00-2:30                Appalachian Migration Routes Continued,
                                Cherokee Removal Records

Mr Douthat is the owner of Mountain Press, a publishing house for genealogical and historical materials. He has published over 200 volumes in the past 35 years of genealogical work from local history, county court records, and family histories. A variety of books relating to the genealogical seminar topics will be on sale by Mountain Press.

 I just recieved this announcement and it states that registration had to be in by Feb 15th. I believe, though,  if you called them you wouldn't be turned away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society to Celebrate the Beginnings of Signal Mountain  

Join us for our March 5, 2013, meeting at the Walden Town Hall at 1:00 p.m. as John Wynne, a native of Signal Mountain noted for his knowledge of our community, will present "C. E. James and the development of Signal Mountain."  From Charles James's dream of building the Signal Mountain Inn to the present day community of over 7,000 inhabitants has been quite a journey.  John Wynne's presentation will provide us with an in-depth look at the beginning of that journey. 

The March meeting will begin with refreshments at 1:00 p.m. and the business session will begin at 1:30.  As always guests are welcome. 

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the State of Tennessee in the spring of 1986.  It was established for the purpose of allowing all persons interested in the process of genealogical research to share their research and to find encouragement to further their work in that field.

Membership is open to anyone who has a desire to explore their roots and family background.  Our members come from a varied background and are interested in a multitude of locations other than Signal Mountain.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. at the Walden Town Hall.

Dues are $10.00 per calendar year.
Programs vary from general genealogical workings to specific families as well as local history.  If you are interested in genealogy, membership in our genealogical society, or just curious - come to one of our meetings and see what is going on in the field of family history.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Signal Mountain Genealogical Society February Meeting

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at

the Walden Town Hall. The speaker for the day will be Joan Hanks. Her presentation, "2012 to 2015

 -The Bicentennial of the War of 1812," will inform those in attendance of the rememberences and

celebrations of that historic event. The hostess for the day will be Ellen Matthews. Refreshments will

 be served at 1:00 p.m. and the business session will begin at 1:30 p.m. As always guests are


Monday, January 14, 2013

James County Historical Society February Meeting

The next quarterly meeting for James County Historical Society will be held February 3, 2013. The meeting will be held at the Ooltewah United Methodist Church  in Ooltewah, Tennessee at 2:30 p.m.

Everyone is always welcome. It is always free.

Our speaker will be Doug Roy. He will present a program about the history of the Roy Family that lived in the area. Roy Lane, north of Ooltewah, bears the family's name.

Come learn about your neighbors and James County. Also, remember to follow James County Historical Society on its or follow and "like" us on our Facebook page located here.