Sunday, October 31, 2010

31 October 1911: "Hallowe'en at the Kindergarten"

On this day in 1911, the Lucy Cobb Institute kindergarten entertained the first grade class with "a delightful Hallowe'en party." The Athens Banner reported that "the event is looked forward to with intense pleasure by the little tots."

A total of 70 students attended with their teachers. The "bright little children" of the kindergarten made all the decorations and favors themselves, with assistance from their teacher, Miss Jessie McGregor. According to the report in the Society News column the next day,
The school room was most attractive and artistic with Jack-o'-lanterns and lanterns of bright colored paper. The favors were black cats and witches filled with candy, made by these little tots who displayed wonderful talent in their artistic work.
Their happy voices echoed through the halls as they took part in Hallowe'en games, such as bobbing for apples, "Here we go round the pumpkin man," and various others quite as enjoyable.
The ices and cakes carried out the Hallowe'en decorations and the party was a great success.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Fantastic Free Newsletters From the Heritage Room!

On this day, we'd like to remind you to sign up for the Heritage Room newsletters that are delivered directly to your email Inbox.

Our Genealogy and History Events newsletter covers everything from Archives Month displays outside the Heritage Room to Lunch and Learn Series at the Georgia Archives and Augusta Historical Society to basic genealogy classes to booksales and ghost tours. You don't want to miss it, or you'll miss out on the great programs and events for the researcher and the entire family!

Our Genealogy News and Tips newsletter makes sure you are kept up-to-date with the world of genealogy and history, covering topics ranging from the new hours for the Georgia Archives and how to organize your research to DNA testing programs and archeological finds at historic sites. There's something for everyone in the News and Tips newsletter!

Click here (or either newsletter link above) to read the current newsletter and subscribe. It couldn't be easier, so sign up today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Hands That Can Do: A Centennial Celebration of Harriet Powers"

On this day, we'd like to remind you of events at the Athens-Clarke County Library associated with our week of events celebrating the life of Harriet Powers. This Friday is the 137th anniversary of her birth.

This afternoon from 4-5pm in YA downstairs, teens are welcome to come make their own felt quilt squares that will be displayed in the library. Free and open to first 15 teens, aged 11-18.

Tomorrow evening at 7pm in the library's auditorium, is a gospel concert featuring the groups Voices of Praise and Teresa Haynes & Spiritual Harmony. This concert is free and open to the public.

"Hands That Can Do" is a partnership between the Athens-Clarke County Library and Lyndon House Arts Center, with support from the Georgia Humanities Council.

Monday, October 25, 2010

25 October 1916: Ideal Wholesale Location for Rent

On this day in 1916, J.J. Fowler ran the following ad in the Athens Daily Herald, page 5, cols. 4-7:

Most advertisements and news stories from this time period relied on illustrations, but the location of the store along the tracks was a selling point worth seeing in a photograph.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

23 October 1897: Georgia Celebrates First of 60 Victories Over Georgia Tech Football Team with Shutout

On this day in 1897, Georgia Tech brought their football team to the Athens campus and lost to the University of Georgia team by a decisive score of 28-0. Three different players scored touchdowns in front of 600 fans gathered at Herty Field on North Campus. Kickoff was at 4pm, and admission to the game was 50 cents for adults, 25 cents for children.

The Athens Daily Banner proclaimed the game to be "a battle royal," noting the Tech players were "heavy and skilled" and Georgia's team "is in good shape for the fray." Georgia was coming off an undefeated (4-0) 1896 season, and had opened the schedule beating Clemson 24-0 the week before Tech came to town. It seemed a promising start to the first season for Coach Charles McCarthy, who had taken the reins from legendary coach Glenn "Pop" Warner that fall.

Though the 1897 game started slowly, luck went Georgia's way on some early plays, and they went into halftime with a 10-0 lead. The second half, however, was a rout, with Georgia steadily running through the Tech line to score 18 points. At the time, a touchdown was worth only four points, and point-after kicks were worth two.

It was the second meeting between the two teams, the first coming in 1893 when a brawl amongst the fans spilled into a fight on the field, causing the Tech players to eventually flee to their specially chartered railcars and locking the doors behind them. In the weeks following, allegations of cheating and other misbehavior filled the Athens and Atlanta newspapers, and it was thought best that the teams refrain from contests until tempers had cooled. By 1897, faculty and administration at the schools thought it would be safe for the teams to meet again.

The overall record for the game is in Georgia's favor, 60-37-5, with their biggest win so far a 51-7 victory in Sanford Stadium in 2002.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

21 October 1908: Ringling Brothers Great Jubilee Season Comes to Athens

On this day in 1908, the Ringling Brothers circus performed two shows in Athens, Georgia, at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets were 50 cents for adults, 25 cents for children under 12, and could be purchased the day of the show at Palmer & Son's drugstore at 225 East Clayton Street or from ticket wagons on the show grounds.

Ringling Brothers had advertised the two weeks before the show in the Weekly Banner:

Sadly, there are no surviving Athens Banners from the day of or after the show to describe the pagentry of the circus arriving in town with their "3 miles long" parade.

The five Ringling Brothers (Al, Otto, Alf, John, and Charles) formed their circus in 1884, with early shows travelling in a 9 nine-wagon tour for twenty-five cent admissions. The Barnum & Bailey Circus began in 1888, and created the elaborate American circus experience, moving to three rings of spectacle, and travelling from town to town by railroad. A few smaller, independent circuses also toured the United States during this time.

P. T. Barnum died in 1891, and a year after the death of James Bailey in 1906, the Barnum & Bailey circus was acquired by the Ringling Brothers. They continued to run two separate circus shows until 1919, when they began to tour as the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Ringling family opened the Ringling Museum of the Circus in 1948 in Sarasota, Florida, and sold the circus in 1967.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

19 October 1916: Dress Patterns from the Newspaper, Only 10 Cents

On this day in 1916, the Athens Daily Herald ran this ad for one of their many patterns for women's and children's clothing on page 7, column 6, at the top of the page:

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Deadline for Night Owl Registration Is This Wednesday!

On this day, we'd like to remind you that the Heritage Room's annual Night Owl event is this Friday, October 22nd from noon to midnight, which means the last day to register is Wednesday, October 20th, at 6pm.

When the Library closes at 6 p.m. on October 22, you and fellow genealogy researchers will have the upper floor of the Library all to yourselves. There will be food and beverages and a security guard to walk you to your car if you leave before midnight. The charge is a small fee per person to cover the cost of security and food.You may want to bring a sweater or light jacket, because the Heritage Room is known to be chilly! Not for beginners!

Number of participants limited, so check and registration form must be received by Wednesday, October 20 at 6 p.m.

Download and print the registration form or come by the Heritage Room and fill out one of our forms here. Remember to include a check made out to Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society (COGS) for $20 to cover the cost of security and food. No refunds!

We hope to see you here for a great day and night of research!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

16 October 1918: Spanish Influenza Pandemic Postpones October Term

On this day in 1918, Judge Andrew J. Cobb of the Western Circuit issued an order to delay the October term of court for the second time. The initial postponement moved the term from the second to third Monday of October, but was advised by the Athens Board of Health to move the opening date again because "the danger of the spread of the disease" was not over.

The Judge's order stated:
It being the opinion of the chairman of the Board of Health of the city, in which the presiding judge concurs, that it is wisest that for the present all the assemblages of persons in the unusual numbers within walls should be avoided, it is ordered: 
1. That the grand jurors, traverse jurors and tales jurors drawn for service on October 14, 1918, report for duty on November 4, 1918.
 2. That traverse and tales jurors drawn for October 21, 1918, be served to attend on November 11, 1918.
3. The civil calendar arranged for the week beginning October 14, 1918, is transferred to the week beginning November 4, 1918, and the cases thereon will be in order for the corresponding days of the week. 
4. All criminal cases, including those where parties are in jail as well as under bond, will be in order for trial on Monday, November 11, 1918.
5. Nothing in this order shall prevent the transaction of any business either at chambers or in-term where the services of a jury are not required and the attendance of witnesses is not necessary.
6. Let this order be entered on the minutes and published in the daily papers of the city.
This October 16, 1918, in open court.
Judge S. C. W. C.

At the time, the Athens papers did not report many deaths from the flu epidemic, but many advertisements for medical cures disgused as articles about the disease "rapidly spreading" were published. Among the largest and long-winded advertisements were for the new invention of Vick's VapoRub, with long explanations of the symptoms and treatment of the Spanish flu, as well as the ways to avoid the disease and how to use VapoRub to treat symptoms of flu and cold. It was one of the few advertisements that overtly told the public that the flu was "no occasion for panic."

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

14 October 1874: Undertaker's Notice

On this day in 1874, the following ad ran on page 3, column 6 of the Southern Watchman weekly newspaper:

During this time, a common place of burial for Athens residents was Oconee Hill Cemetery, only a few blocks from J. F. Wilson's location at the corner of Broad and Thomas Streets.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

12 October 1920: Dinner and Supper Specials at Thornton's Luncheonette

On this day in 1920, the following ad appeared on page 8, column 2 of the Athens Banner:

The diner was owned by Asa and Minnie Thornton, who later were the proprietors of the Daffodil Cafe at 164 East Clayton Street, where the bar General Beauregard's is today.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

CORRECTION: Genealogy on the Internet is on October 21st!

On this day, we'd like to offer a correction to last week's post about our Genealogy on the Internet class. The date for the class is next Thursday, on October 21, 2010.

There are several spaces still available. Please plan to meet in the Heritage Room at 10am; the class will last 3 hours.

Genealogy on the Internet is an introduction to the many and growing resources for researching your family history online, and includes handouts that provide descriptions of the various websites available and their offerings. Time to explore on your own and ask questions is provided in the last part of the session. These resources are not limited to Georgia, or even to the United States. This class is not intended for beginners in computers or genealogy.

The class is free, but space is limited, so registration is required. Call us at (706) 613-3650, ext. 350, or email us at to reserve your space.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

9 October 1942: The Tree That Owns Itself Falls

On this day in 1942, the Tree That Owns Itself "passed away...quietly and with all the dignity befitting its historic life."  The white oak was believed to be nearly 400 years old, and had been badly damaged in a sleet storm at the turn of the century.  The Athens Banner-Herald reported that "life in the center of the tree disappeared years ago and it was only a question of time until the tree fell of old age."

Ownership by the Tree of itself is based on an item that appeared in the August 12, 1890, Athens Weekly Banner that states "... the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears the said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all land within eight feet of it on all sides."  The full story indicates the Tree was one Jackson had "watched grow since childhood" and was "pained to think what might happen to it" once he died.

However, no original deed can be found at the courthouse, and it is likely the news item was a hoax.  W. H. Jackson did not own the property where the Tree stood, and only lived in Athens while attending the University of Georgia, then again much later in his life.

Little to no mention of the Tree is made in papers or books until the Centennial Edition of the Athens Banner-Herald revived the story in June, 1901.  In 1906, George Foster Peabody paid to have granite posts erected around the tree, good soil added and sodded at its base, and a marble marker placed on the spot.  At that point, the Tree took on a career of its own, with photos printed on postcards, artist renderings as check decoration by Citizens Bank and Trust Company, and the Tree was noted in books about historic trees, including one issued by the U. S. Forestry Service in 1935.  The city recognizes the Tree's ownership of itself and its plot.

Four years after the Tree fell, the Junior Ladies Garden Club of Athens planted a sapling grown from an acorn of the original tree.  Sometimes known as Son of the Tree That Owns Itself, the white oak planted in 1946  is the one that stands today at the corner of Dearing and Finley Streets.  Keeping with the times, it has its own Facebook page.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Discover Genealogy Resources on the Internet!

On this day, we'd like to let you know there are still spaces available for our Genealogy on the Internet class, Thursday, October 14th, from 10am to 1pm. Please plan to meet in the Heritage Room.

The class is an introduction to the many and growing resources for researching your family history online, and includes handouts that provide descriptions of the various sites available and their offerings. Time to explore on your own and ask questions is provided in the last part of the session. These resources are not limited to Georgia, or even to the United States. This class is not intended for beginners in computers or genealogy.

The class is free, but space is limited, so registration is required. Call us at (706) 613-3650, ext. 350, or email us at to reserve your space. We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

4 October 1913: For Children and "Nervous Ladies"

On this day in 1913, the following ad appeared on the back page of the Athens Banner:

Learn More: