It is truly amazing how quickly three years
pass. It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve as LAHS President for
the past three years and I can truly say it has been very interesting. Since
I am not a McIntosh County native, LAHS has given me the opportunity to meet
people in the community as well as participate in several community events.
One of my favorites was participating with the planning committee for the
“Burning of Darien Commemoration.” I grew up hearing stories about my
grandfather floating logs down the Altamaha River to Darien, and one of my
prized possessions is his black iron cook pot that he used on the river raft.
I want to thank the officers, board members,
and committee chairpersons for the excellent job they did these past three
years. They are the ones that keep LAHS working efficiently. The job of
President is a real pleasure when there are dedicated officers and members
like we have. The meals at B&J’s before the meeting are always a time to get
to know our members better. This informal time involving humorous and
serious conversation gives the opportunity to develop lasting friendships.
The summer picnic at Fort King George was on July 18, 2013. The meal is
always delicious and the fellowship great. We had lots of fun sharing
humorous events that have occurred in our lives. Everyone has had something
funny happen to them in their lives, and it was interesting to share these
with the group.
The actual burning of Darien occurred on June
11, 1863, and several lectures and events to commemorate this event were held
in May and June, 2013. In August, Nancy Crosby presented a program for her
new book, “Tales of Old Tattnall and Evans.” Interviews with people
who lived through the Great Depression on cotton farms were very
interesting. Peter Conover, an LAHS member, presented a program on Joshua
Chamberlin, Civil War hero of the battle of Gettysburg. After the war he had
a notable career as Governor of Maine.
In October our own Buddy Sullivan presented a
program on Georgia hurricanes, especially those that hit McIntosh and Glynn
Counties. The last major hurricane to make landfall in coastal Georgia was
1898. Peter Mullen, the Kentucky Colonel and Professor at Florida State
College, presented a program in November on “Civil War Medicine.” It is
amazing to see how medical knowledge has advanced in 250 years. Bob and Jean
Hawkins and Howard and Jeanne Klippel hosted our annual Christmas party at
Belvedere Plantation in December. The famous eggnog recipe was present, and
everyone had a joyful time. In January Bill Ramsaur, a member of the Marshes
of Glynn Chapter of Sons of American Revolution, presented a program on
“Flags over Revolutionary Georgia.” He displayed ten flags that flew over
Revolutionary Georgia. Bill is also a member of LAHS. In February, Buddy
Sullivan presented a program on “The Naval War of 1812.” The USA had a very
small number of naval ships in 1812, and they were against England’s Royal
Navy, the largest in the world at that time. Several frigates of the U.S.
Navy were built from coastal Georgia live oak timbers.
In March, Peter Mullen, The Kentucky Colonel,
gave a program on the Genographic Project. This project attempts to trace
our human DNA back to the beginning of mankind. This was very interesting.
April brought Pamela Mueller back to review her new book, “Lady Unveiled:
Catherine Green Miller.” Her husband was a Revolutionary War general,
reporting directly to General George Washington. After the war she settled
in the Savannah, GA area and a frequent guest, Ely Whitney, invented the
cotton gin there. In May John A. Caramia, Jr., presented a program on
Georgia and the War of 1812. The preparations Georgia took to defend itself
and the brief British occupation were of great interest. In June Michael
Higgins presented a program on the naval war battle between CSS Alabama and
USS Kearsage off the coast of France. The CSS Alabama was sunk after
slightly over an hour’s combat.
After the May meeting, I passed the
president’s gavel to Buddy Sullivan, incoming president. LAHS is certainly
in good hands with a person of Buddy’s knowledge and ability. Buddy is the
author of 17 books on coastal Georgia history. He also has a busy teaching
and lecturing schedule on Georgia history. LAHS enjoyed numerous field
trips arranged by Harriet Roberson. She does an excellent job selecting
interesting places to visit. Some of those places visited this year were
Effingham County’s historic museum and the St. Mary’s historical train ride.
Fort King George site manager for many years,
Steven Smith, left for a new position with Massie Heritage Center in
Savannah. He did a great job at Fort King George and the McIntosh
community. We wish him much success in his new position.
A special thank you goes to Howard Klippel for
arranging all of these excellent programs for LAHS and to Carole Williams for
her dedicated work on the Altamaha Echoes. Thanks again for allowing me to
serve LAHS as president for the past three years.
Jack F. Godfrey