At last June’s
picnic we watched the Fort King George film. At our picnic this May, we went to
see our new LAHS ARCHIVES BUILDING. This facility is a climate-controlled,
well-insulated (thanks to Chris Milner) 12x20 building on the grounds of Fort
King George, by the maintenance shop. It houses all of our books, records,
research, donated collections, genealogical information, reports, and papers. We
opened for business the first Thursday in June of this year, and with a
committee of volunteers, we are open from 11:00 am. to 3:00 p.m. every Thursday.
All persons are welcome to come and research, read, talk, visit, and just
generally look through what we have. Use of the materials is “on site only.” The
project has been a year in the making and now we can all be proud of what has
been accomplished here. We hope that the community and people near and far will
take advantage of this wonderful resource.
In our programs
this past year (set up by Howard KlippeI): Curt Steger gave examples of the
faith and character of Robert E. Lee; Dr. John Derden told of a Civil War
Confederate prison for Union soldiers located near Millen, Georgia; R. D.
Gardner, Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission of McIntosh County,
spoke about his goals; Jim Jordan explained the political and economic factors
in the South that led to secession; Catherine Shuman, graduate student at GSU,
told of Sunbury as a thriving port a century ago; Dr. William Harris, Jr.,
reviewed his newest book, “Wassaw Sound,” a novel about the nuclear bomb
buried there still; Robert Dunkerly spoke of the Scottish loyalists in South
Carolina and Georgia, as part of the Fort’s Scottish Heritage Days celebration;
Jack Ferguson related many interesting tales of Benjamin Franklin as statesman,
scientist, writer, and printer; and we heard from Ophelia Dent through the words
of Sudy Leavy and her new book, “Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation.”
Our money (from
dues, book sales, a share of the city’s hotel/ motel tax, and gifts) paid for
the Archives Building, supported Fort King George’s Georgia Day activities,
provided some additional chairs for the Fort’s auditorium, reprinted Buddy
Sullivan’s “Rice Grower” book (which was sold out), purchased additional
copies of Buddy Sullivan’s “Georgia: A State History” (which was sold
out), funded a donation to support the Blessing of the Fleet, funded our
membership in the Chamber of Commerce, and provided the annual scholarship we
present to a graduating senior at McIntosh County Academy.
Our website is
“super.” It is chock full of information ... LAHS history, newsletters, book
list and info for ordering, membership information, our McIntosh historical
markers and sites, Fort King George information, and links to other related
sites of interest, it is a real treasure, thanks to Jim Bruce, our webmaster.
You need to visit it often as he is continually updating and adding new things.
In late 2007, we
lost Annie Gill, a dedicated, long-time member, former president, and ardent
supporter of LAHS. She is sadly missed. Her son, Ralph Gill, has donated her
rather extensive collection of books, papers and genealogical materials to the
LAHS archives, for which we are most grateful.
Our books are
still selling well, attendance at our meetings is good, a number of us enjoyed a
trip to Leslie, Plains and Andersonville last fail, and several members attended
a workshop to learn how to register oak trees into the Live Oak Society. We are
continuing our wonderful working relationship with Fort King George thanks to
Steven Smith, Superintendent. Our officers, board members, and committee
chairmen are hard-working, dedicated LAHS members who give of their time and
talent to keep this group alive and well. We need to give them our thanks and a
round of applause, because we couldn’t do without them. This was the second year
of my presidency.