Lower Altamaha Historical Society

Lower Altamaha Historical  Society

P.O. Box 1405
Darien, Georgia

Speakers at LAHS Meetings

*JANUARY 18 - The program for the evening will be presented by Scott Coleman, ecological manager for the Center for Coastal Conservation on Little St. Simons Island. Scott will summarize the history of the Island and how human history has impacted its landscapes. He will also cover a summary of his conservation work of other conservation projects.


As ecological manager, Scott works directly for the owners of Little St. Simons Island, Hank and Wendy Paulson, founders of the Coastal Conservation Center. The Center works with the Ga DNR, the Nature Conservancy and many other conservation partners to maintain, enhance and restore the natural ecological communities and wildlife populations on Little St. Simons Island.


Scott is actively involved in the broader Georgia coastal conservation community, serving as chairman of the board for One Hundred Miles and on the board of the St. Simons Land Trust.  Scott helps to administer the programs and projects of Stewards of the Georgia Coast, an informal affinity group for donors with an interest in coastal conservation.


If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Scott is a member of the steering committee for the Coastal Georgia Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, a member of the Georgia Shorebird Alliance, the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative and the Georgia Living Shoreline working group.  Scott is a past board chair of Coastal WildScapes and currently serves on their advisory committee.

Scott grew up in Fort Gaines, Georgia and is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School for Forestry and Natural Resources, with a degree in Wildlife Biology. He lives on St. Simons Island with his wife Ann and his two children.

*FEBRUARY 15 - Maggie Van Cantfort is the Coast to Confluence Watershed Specialist with the Altamaha Riverkeeper. The Altamaha Riverkeeper works to protect the 14,000 square mile Altamaha basin that drains from the foothills of north Georgia mountains to the Atlantic Coast. Maggie monitors watershed impacts along the Ohoopee and Altamaha Rivers and forty miles of coastline. Altamaha Riverkeeper takes action to protect Georgia’s waters to achieve swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all.
 *MARCH 21  This month's program will feature guest speaker Paul Downs with the Richmond Hill History Museum. The Museum is housed in the Ford Kindergarten building built in 1940 by Henry Ford as a kindergarten to serve the children of Ways Station and Richmond Hill. The campus also includes Carpenter's Barber Shop - an iconic community business for more than fifty years. The museum explores the area's history from the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War eras to the Ford era when Henry and Clara Ford made their winter home in Richmond Hill. Paul will share an overview of how the Museum serves the community and interprets the history of Bryan County. 
APRIL 18  Adam Mackinnon is a biologist and the education coordinator for the Sapelo Island National Research Reserve and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  Adam has spent the last twenty-six years working on the Georgia coast through his position with the DNR as well as with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation in Costa Rica and the U.S. Parks Service in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of his work focused on imperiled sea turtle species, but also has done extensive field work studying the North Atlantic Right whale, bottlenose dolphins, manatees and our coastal shorebirds.   Adam has spent the past 12 years managing the education program on Sapelo Island with The Sapelo National Estuarine Research Reserve and educating the next generation of scientist. Adam currently lives with his wife and two children on St. Simon’s Island.
* MAY 16 -   We are thrilled to have Lucy Hatcher share her expertise on Early Native Americans Along the Altmaha River. Lucy is the assistant manager at Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum. She graduated in 2020 from the College Of Coastal Georgia with a degree in American Studies focused on History and Political Science. As an undergrad, she held a special interest in Native American History and U.S. History studies. Lucy went on to graduate school to earn a Certificate of Public History from Virginia Commonwealth University. She had the opportunity to intern and then work under Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Indian Tribe as head archivist and moved back to Saint Simons Island last summer. 
* JUNE 20
* JULY 18 - Capt. Paul Medders

Capt. Kim Medders and Capt. Paul Medders are science people who love sharing the beauty of the natural world. Coastal Georgia, and specifically the Altamaha River Delta, is the perfect location to explore the land where the rivers meet the sea. From the freshwater swamps, through the vast estuaries, and to the Atlantic Ocean.

Capt. Kim is a high school biology and environmental science teacher and when she is not in the classroom she would rather be on the river. Capt. Paul has worked nearly 30 years as a Marine Biologist in Coastal Georgia. They look forward to sharing an adventure with you.

Our team is committed to offer the highest quality outdoor experiences. We put safety and customer service first and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you have the best experience around.
The Delta Belle is the flagship of our fleet and is a 2022 30' Sightseer Marine custom catamaran. She is US Coast Guard certified and inspected for 24 passengers and 2 crew with all required safety equipment.  

JANUARY 19 - This month Myrna Crook will talk about Native Americans on coastal Georgia  and their pottery as it pertains to their culture. She will bring a display case that will show the types of pottery they made and it’s evolution in their culture.
Ms. Crook is a retired university administrator.  She also had the pleasure to work along side  her husband, Dr. Ray  Crook , for decades uncovering the secretes on various archaeological sites across Georgia coast.
Currently, she retains the position of Coastal Georgia Historical Society Archaeology  lab manager and Serves on the St. Simons Land Trust History Task Force.
It is will be an exciting look into the some of the original inhabitants of our precious coast.
FEBRUARY 16 - Jingle Davis, author, and Ben Galland, photographer, will speak at our Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 p.m.
Jingle Davis initially wrote children's stories for magazines like Jack and Jill and Children's Playmate, later moving on to freelancing for magazines and newspapers like the New York Times and Sports Illustrated. Eventually she moved to Atlanta to work full time for Atlanta Journal/Constitution in various capacities, during which time she wrote a weekly column for two years and won first place in its category from the Georgia Press Association both years
In 2006, Davis, a native of St. Simons Island, retired and now lives on property her parents bought in the 1930s which overlooks the St. Simons Sound. Her constant companion these days is Ransom, a big brindle bundle of love who may be an American Staffordshire. And now she is writing books.
Since coming back home, she has written three award-winning nonfiction books, all published by the University of Georgia Press and all illustrated by Benjamin Galland, renowned local photographer.
Their first book, Island Times, is an illustrated history of St. Simons. Their second book, Island Passage, is an illustrated history of Jekyll Island. Their third is entitled Following the Tabby Trail, Where Coastal History is Captured in Unique Oyster Shell Structures, which was published last year. The southeast chapter of the Association of Architectural Historians awarded this book its top prize in their guidebook category.
We look forward to seeing both Jingle and Ben at a our February 16th meeting at the Fort for a "show and tell”--Ben to show videos of his photos and Jingle to tell us all about her unique history book
MARCH 16 - Our March speaker will be Paul Foster whose presentation will be, “Exploring the Past and Uniting Family and Community Through Family History Research.”
He will share stories of how he has found living descendants of people named in books, etc., that he has found, and how he has returned these items to family to appreciate and treasure as family heirlooms and keepsakes. His experiences will be both uplifting and will inspire you to think of your own love for history and community and lead you to consider how you could use it to bless the lives of others.
He says "Sometimes we happen across something from days gone by (a book, a letter, a photo, etc.) which contains a name and other identifying information inside. When that happens most of us might think “Oh, that is interesting “ but our minds may not immediately consider that these items were once a precious possession in the life of an individual...highly valued by an actual living and caring person.
"When we think of our own ancestors with fond affection, we quickly realize that we owe much of our own success in life to their sacrifices on our behalf.” Mr. Foster will discuss how people can use resources like Family Search, Ancestry. com, and often the internet in general to connect with their past. He has taken this process of historical and genealogical research to another level in his desire to be a part of what the Holy Scriptures refer to as the time when “the hearts of the fathers shall be turned to their children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers...” (Malachi 4:6).
Paul Foster is retired from some 40+ years of public service in the U.S. Navy and Federal civil service. He loves family history research - albeit he says being a self-taught hobbyist, he knows just enough to be dangerous! He and his wife Ann Foster, a retired Glynn County school teacher, run the Family History Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Community Road in Brunswick.”
Come and join us for an interesting night of stories and dialogue
APRIL 20 - Navy and Federal civil service. He loves family history research - albeit he says being a self-taught hobbyist, he knows just enough to be dangerous! He and his wife Ann Foster, a retired Glynn County school teacher, run the Family History Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Community Road in Brunswick.” Come and join us for an interesting night of stories and dialogue. At our April meeting, Pam Mueller will make her sixth visit to LAHS in the last fifteen or so years to tell us about a new book she has written. The Sky Is My Home is the ninth and latest in a string of historical novels, each of which brings to life the story of an amazing, unforgettable person.
Hazel Jane Raines, a Georgia girl, is just such a person. She logged 6,400 hours of flight time during her 20 years of service. She was the first female pilot licensed just before World War II broke out. Because the U.S. government did not allow female pilots to fly fighter planes, Hazel moved to England and flew Spitfires and Hurricanes for England's Royal Air Force. Later, back in America, she flew as a WASP and then with the Third Air Force during the Korean War. She learned Portugese to teach pilots for the Brazilian Air Ministry. She became one of the first female officers in the new United State Air Force and later became a recruiter and advisor to young women entering the military. She followed her dreams, never letting rigid, traditional restraints hold her back.
Pamela Bauer Mueller was raised in Oregon. She has worked as a flight attendant, commercial model, actress, English and Spanish teacher, and a U. S. Customs officer.
Pam's young adult and historical novels earned her acclaim as 2006/2008 and 2009 - Georgia Author of the Year, three Mom's Choice and Children's Choice gold medals, the Independent Publisher's Gold Book Award, and other national awards with Writer's Digest and Foreword Magazine.
Currently, Pamela lives on Jekyll Island with her husband Michael and their cat, Morgan Maurice. They are long-time members of LAHS. She's an endearing speaker.
May 18 - Fred Marland, oceanographer- Sapelo Island, SAPELO ISLAND: How a Georgia Barrier Island Was Formed
June 15 - LAHS July 4th Celebration Picnic
July 20 - Michael Putnam, Director-FKG, Timber & Sawmill History, McIntosh County GA Taking a walk around Fort King George, it is easy to see the lasting impact of the sawmilling industry on the Lower Bluff. Site manager Michael Putnam will guide you through this 200 year history with a focus on the technological innovations, the major players in the mills, and our mission to maintain the remains of the mills.
Aug  17 - T.M. (Mike) Brown, author, The Last Laird of Sapelo We are all in for a treat this Thursday night at 7:00PM at Ft King George, when author Mike Brown will talk about his new novel, The Last Laird of Sapelo. The book is historical fiction about Randolf Spalding, son of antebellum agriculturalist and politician Thomas Spalding, one-time owner of Sapelo Island. There will also be a book signing at the end of the talk.
Sept  21 - Our special guest speaker will be Ranger Phil Officer, a Supervisory Park Ranger at Fort Frederica National Monument. He oversees the Fort’s Interpretation Operation on St Simons Island.

Phil’s previous work experience includes employment at such well-known locations as Yellowstone National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park. His passion for history brought him to Fort Frederica National Monument in early 2022, and since that time he has relished the opportunity to help visitors from around the world uncover the truth of Fort Frederica's past!

His presentation will center on the foundations of Georgia and efforts of the Scottish Highlanders at Fort Frederica and other fortifications in the "debatable land."
Oct 19 - Michael Seibert, archaeologist, Fort Frederica National Monument

Nov 16 - Buddy Sullivan: “The History of McIntosh County as told by Maps”. We are pleased to welcome Buddy as he shares his slides of maps, charts, and land surveys that he has encountered in his 40 years researching McIntosh County and Coastal Georgia. The maps will cover a period of time from the Spanish Occupation in the 1500s to the present day. The program is based on his recent book. Buddy is the author of 35 books and is in frequent demand as a lecturer. He has twice served as president of LAHS, most recently from 2014-2018. We are honored to have him: Let’s give Buddy a warm welcome!
 ▪ Dec. 7   5:30pm: Holiday Party! St. Andrew’s Parish Hall, 106 Green St., Darien. Details to come!

▪ June LAHS Annual Picnic
▪ July James Atwater, History of Fort Stewart, US Army Garrison
▪ Aug. Claire Shipman, History of Bees
▪ Sep. Members Show & Tell
▪ Oct. Peter Martin, Ft Morris/Revolutionary action in McIntosh Co.
▪ Nov. Chad Carlson, DOT Historian, Mitigation of Darien River Bridge Replacement
▪ Dec. LAHS Christmas Party