PRESIDENTS Annual Report
Our 2009-2010 program year included the following: our picnic at Fort King George in July; Command Sergeant Major Clifton Johnson and his contingent from Fort Stewart visited in August to share the work of a sustainment brigade and its involvement with the community; and in September Teresa Williams, VSU’s Graduate School’s administrative coordinator and history instructor, told us about the roles women played during the Civil War, in particular, a black woman.
October was a very special month, as we met at Ashantilly to celebrate our 30th anniversary and to dedicate our brand new historical marker for Ashantilly, co-funded with GHS. Ashantilly Center and LAHS jointly sponsored the community festivity and the publication of Buddy Sullivan’s history of Ashantilly. He was master of ceremony for the big day. Bill Merriman and his crew installed the new marker. Both groups provided the food and drink, and the Lord blessed us with a beautiful day that saw more than 100 people join us for the afternoon.
In November Michael Jordan brought his fascinating documentary, "Ships for Victory: Liberty Ships of the Georgia Coast." We learned of the magnitude and importance of all the Liberty ships built during WWII in Brunswick and Savannah. It was especially nostalgic for those of us whose family members were a part of that effort. We enjoyed another in a long line of fabulous Christmas parties in December at Belvedere Plantation Clubhouse thanks to our accomplished hosts, Bob and Jean Hawkins, and our eggnog master, Everett Moriarty.
Then in January, we had another return engagement with Pam Mueller as she gave us a review of her 3rd historical novel, "Splendid Isolation: the Jekyll Island Millionaire’s Club," written from the perspective of four longtime employees. February saw the arrival of Ensign John Stewart (in the body of Jon Burpee from Fort Frederica National Monument) who told us the story of how he came to join the service of the British Crown, leave England, and end up in the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Our own dear Buddy Sullivan came in March to relate the story of sawmills, timber ships, and bar pilots in the saga of the logging industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Darien and McIntosh from his newest book, "High Water on the Bar." While he was handy, we awarded him an honorary life membership in LAHS – much deserved.
In April another old favorite of ours, historian Bill Ramsaur, brought to life the action of the Revolutionary War in 1778-1779 when the British devastated Liberty County, which at that time also included McIntosh County. A return visit from Al Sandrick came in May as he told us of Georgia’s hurricane history, highlighting several major storms in the 19th century. We ended the year with our picnic in June at Fort King George with the added bonus of playing some of the games that children and families in the early days of America’s history enjoyed – researched and led for us by Jessie Clavin.
We lost a number of faithful members during the past year and they are missed. We are fortunate to have gained many wonderful new members, attracted in part by Howard Klippel’s super programs and in part by our friendly members. Speaking of members, Everett Moriarty has been a member of LAHS for 26 years and in all that time has missed only one LAHS meeting. WOW!
This year’s Buddy Sullivan Scholarship was awarded to Jacob Caldwell, an outstanding MCA graduate.
The Archives continues to be open every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and we received several valuable gifts during the year: maps and map table from Dan Good, and genealogical materials from members Ronnie Bacon and Richard Smith. We also purchased a much-needed
dehumidifier for the Archives building. Wonderful, fascinating materials are there for all you "history buffs" to delve into. Our book sales are a major source of income for us, with the Ashantilly book and "High Water on the Bar" as well as a new supply of our cemetery book which had been out of print for several years.
We started a scrapbook again, we printed an updated LAHS brochure, and continued our memberships in the Chamber of Commerce and the Altamaha Riverkeepers. An ad hoc committee did a complete assessment of all historical markers in McIntosh County, and as a result two new posts have been installed and a "missing" marker (Ardoch) was found and will be recast and returned to its site. The marker work will be ongoing as we try to clean up sites and make repairs. Maybe others of you could help with this effort.
We took an informative and delightful historic tour of St. Mary’s, led by author, long time resident and local authority Eloise Thompson. Super time!
We continue our support of Fort King George, and they reciprocate, hosting our meetings and our Archives building, and we are very happy with this cooperative arrangement. Thanks, Steven. Others to whom I extend my thanks are Carole Williams ("Echoes"), Carol Churi (membership), Jim Bruce (web site), Ann Howard (scholarship), Casey MacMillan and Martha Carney (Archives), and Everett Moriarty (hospitality). Couldn’t have done it without you!
My congratulations to our new leadership slate for 2010-2011. Give them your support. This organization is dear to my heart.