Women of the Georgia Room

Genealogists and researchers lament that women’s stories are often lost to history through a lack of documentary evidence. Often, very little remains to point to individual women’s hopes, dreams and accomplishments. Because of this, fragments can play a part in each individual story. 

The Georgia Room is able to preserve pieces of women’s stories which may open the door to later research and discovery.   Let’s take a look at some of the fragments left behind in our collection which show women as mourners, moral examples, city representatives, or accomplished writers with established careers.

Barely 21, Sarah “Lallie” Adams Bulkley perished in the sinking of the Ville De Harvre on November 22, 1873.  Sarah Adams Bulkley: In Memoriam captures the grief of her mother Mary Keziah Bulkley as she writes the details of the shipwreck and relates her daughter’s last words. This missive, written to preserve Lallie’s memory, has succeeded in its task only by being preserved. The Georgia Room holds a copy of this booklet, along with newspaper clippings.

Title page for the booklet holding the account of Lallie Bulkley’s death

In 1901 we have another In Memoriam memorializing Lallie’s mother Mary Keziah Adams Bulkley and her grandmother Sarah Susanna Adams. Less desperately sad, the occasion of their memorial is centered on the dedication of the altar at the Church of the Good Shepherd in the Summerville area of Augusta, Georgia. The text is a reprint of the sermon preached at the event. At the close of the sermon, the lives of both ladies are commented on, praising their strong belief in God and their dedication to the church. Having been described as living and working in the domestic sphere, this dedication was a very public acknowledgement of women living very private lives.  This fragile piece of memory is in another small booklet preserved in the Georgia Room.

When living her “15 minutes of fame”, Evelyn McDaniel Kennedy was a young graduate of Converse College, Spartenburg, South Carolina and, as the Augusta Chronicle mentioned, “a popular Augusta girl”.  Apprised of her appointment as the sponsor of the USS Augusta on January 4, 1930, Evelyn McDaniel expressed thanks over the honor and wondered if she could represent the city to its credit. “I have never had the chance to break a bottle of any kind over anything, especially to christen a ship, but am happy to be selected as sponsor for Augusta.” She admirably carried out her christening duties on February 1, 1930, by breaking a bottle of Savannah River water on the ship.  The traditional champagne could not be used since this was the height of prohibition.  [4] The Georgia Room holds newspaper clippings of the event, as well as some photographs of Evelyn McDaniel Kennedy and her husband.

Evelyn McDaniel Kennedy age 12

Elizabeth Willis DeHuff (1886-1983) was born in Augusta, Georgia and grew up in Beech Island, South Carolina. She graduated from Tubman High School and Lucy Cobb College in Atlanta, Georgia. Having met her husband John DeHuff in the Philippines, she went with him to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she developed a great interest in Native American culture and started her writing career with children’s plays, stories and magazine articles. Living later in Augusta, DeHuff served as President of the Augusta Authors club. While Hoppity Bunny’s Hop is an example of her writing for children, she also wrote a number of genealogical works. An accomplished painter, DeHuff left her mark on the art world as the donor of the Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Collection of American Indian Art housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

The Georgia Room holds the copy editor’s draft of Hoppity Bunny’s Hop and a copy of the published work, inscribed by the author.

Inscription by Elizabeth Willis DeHuff in the library copy of Hoppity Bunny’s Hop

Ruby Lorraine Radford (1891-1971) was a resident of Augusta, Georgia. Valedictorian of the 1910 class of Tubman High School, she authored more than 50 books, often based around Georgia history. Many of her works featured females as lead protagonists. She also wrote under the pen names Marcia Ford and Matilda Bailey. She was a teacher, an active member of the Augusta community, a member of the Friends of the Augusta Library, and several arts groups. Radford is credited with being a co-founder of the Augusta Authors Club, and was honored as Author of the Year by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists in 1969.

 The Georgia Room holds the edited first draft of her book, Secret of the Peach Orchard Plantation, as well as correspondence pertaining to its publication. Included also are 25 of her titles which cover her work in both fiction and non-fiction, though our holdings of her works are not complete.

One of the most famous of Augustans, Jessye Norman (1945-2019), the world-renowned operatic diva, has left an unmistakable footprint in history. Acclaimed for her vocal performances and recordings, her accolades are too numerous to list here.  What could a small fragment add to the story of the life of an international icon? This poster, advertises what surely must have been a spellbinding concert. The world-famous star had returned home to sing at Paine College during its 100th anniversary year in 1982. This poster documents an evening when Augusta shone as the center of the operatic world, serenaded by its native daughter.

This item is part of the Don Rhodes Papers which hold files, binders, and scrapbooks generated by Don while writing his columns and books during his career.

This autographed poster is part of the Don Rhodes Papers.

These Women of the Georgia Room provide introductions to 20th century women who might be lost to time without the preservation of artifacts associated with their lives.  They also stand as colorful examples of the mission of the Georgia Room; to place special emphasis on the rich history of the Central Savannah River Area.  And with a nod to Abigail Adams, we remember the ladies!


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Augusta Fire Department Ledgers digitized by the Digital Library of Georgia

https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/gaec_agfdl?f%5Bprovenance_facet%5D%5B%5D=Augusta-Richmond+County+Public+Library

In 2023, the Digital Library of Georgia digitized two unique historical items donated to the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System. The material was donated by the Augusta Fire Department and includes two oversized, bound ledgers that document thirty years (1906-1937) of fire history in Augusta, Georgia. The ledgers detail several of the most significant and destructive fires in Augusta, making them an important resource for understanding how catastrophic fires shaped the cityscape and its history. Additionally, the Augusta Fire Department (AFD) is the second oldest in the state behind Savannah giving the ledgers an importance in terms of understanding AFD during the early twentieth century, a time when mechanization and new technology were altering the way fires were fought.

Both ledgers document line by line the daily fire alarm box alerts that came into the fire department headquarters on the 1200 block of Board Street, now the Marbury Center. The fire alarm boxes were numbered and spread throughout the city on street corners, telephone poles, and commercial buildings, connected by a telegraph system. When a box was pulled, a pulse was transmitted along a network of low-voltage wiring alerting the fire department. Whether the fire turned out to be small and insubstantial or a major conflagration, it was recorded in the ledger. Along with the time, and the box number, other information was recorded including the date, fire district, street location, building occupant/owner, cause of fire, and the type of building. Financial details such as insurance payouts and the cost incurred by property loss are also noted. Further information concerning damage or what was used to combat the fire may be listed too.

At 6:20 pm on March 22, 1916, as downtown merchants closed up shop for the day and folks were sitting down to evening meals, fire alarm box 34 on the corner of Board and Eighth Streets emitted a shrill call, alerting Augustans to what would become known as, The Great Fire of 1916, the most calamitous blaze in Augusta’s history. Local legend holds that it was started by an unattended iron in Kelly’s Dry-Goods store in the Dyer building on the corner of Eighth and Broad Streets. This has never been proven. Augusta’s fire chief at that time Frank G. Reynolds later called the 30-year old building a “fire trap” because its stairwells were constructed around an elevator shaft, creating an architectural nightmare in terms of fire control.

Augusta Fire Department Ledger March 22, 1916

A number of other factors led to the blaze growing in intensity as well. Among them were fierce March winds, which drove the blaze north eastward where it consumed everything in its path, ultimately laying waste to 35 blocks in downtown and Olde Town, burning up 541 dwellings and 141 businesses. 3,000 folks were left homeless. Miraculously, no one was killed. Long-time Augusta Chronicle newspaperman, Bill Kirby noted in his March 20, 2016 column that the winds were so fierce, singed hymnals and prayer books were discovered across the Savannah River in South Carolina.

Souvenir Views of Augusta’s Big Fire March 22, 1915

The Great Fire of 1916 is recorded in the 1906-1923 ledger along with notes describing the financial cost of the fire; $4,999,513.00 (nearly $100+ million today) in damages, of which $3,567,763.22 was paid out by insurance, totaling $1,431,749.78 in loss after insurance. Also noted was an issue regarding water pressure, which proved in the days following the fire to be a mitigating factor in the rapid spread of the inferno. Shortly following the fire, Chief Reynolds wrote a scathing indictment printed at length in the Augusta Chronicle, blaming city officials for allowing lax building standards, such as shoddy wood framing and shingles. He also cited inadequate water pressure, which dropped quickly as the fire began and stayed low in the hours that followed. Many of Reynolds complaints were later corroborated by the insurance investigations.

Augusta Fire Department Ledger from March 22, 1916 showing cost of the Great fire of 1916

Five years later, on the night of November 26, 1921 the 700 block of Broad Street was again leveled by fire. This time destroying both the Albion and Genesta Hotels. Haunting images taken in the days that followed show only the arched marble and white brick shell of the Albion still standing among the heaps of smoldering rubble. The images call to mind the bombed-out desolation of European cities during World War II. As with the Great Fire of 1916, the AFD ledgers record call box 34 again sounding the first alarm at 1:50 am, along with the financial cost incurred.

Images of America Augusta Surviving Disaster (Misty A. Tilson) Building on far left is the Albion Hotel.

Several other Augusta grand hotels succumbed to fires during this period. In the middle of the night, on February 3, 1921 call box 411 signaled a fire at the corner of Walton Way and Hickman Road. The illustrious Bon Air Hotel was burning. Standing at the entrance of Augusta’s exclusive Summerville district, the Bon Air was a playground for northern industrialists, politicians, and affluent families who wintered in Augusta due to its mild climate. According to the AFD ledger the hotel was a total loss, building and contents destroyed. Situated on the Sand Hills, a few miles west of Augusta, Summerville was established as a small village in the late 1700s and by the mid to late nineteenth century began attracting the northern elite. Referred to as “The Hill” by locals, Summerville offered relief from the heat, humidity, and mosquito-borne diseases that plagued Augusta due to its placement along the Savannah River and swampy lowlands.

Bon Air Hotel, circa 1900 from Picturing Augusta: historic postcards from the collection of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System
Images of the Augusta Fire Department ledgers from February 3, 1921 showing details of Bon Air fire.

While the AFD ledgers record the major fires that destroyed significant portions of Augusta during the early part of the twentieth century, they also document smaller, less destructive fires that might not have ever been reported in newspapers or other sources, along with identifying information about the individuals associated with the property. In May of 1906, a typical day in relation to the number and severity of the calls coming in, 27 were recorded, 26 from the call boxes and one by telephone. About half the fires were noted as insignificant, including a call that came in on May 23rd at 10:45 PM from call box 19 indicating a fire at 426 Greene Street. The ledger notes that the address is a residence owned and occupied by A. J. Tweedy. The cause of fire is listed as “window curtains.” Likely started by a candle flame or gas lamp coming in contact with the curtain, this fire is described as insignificant.

Image of Augusta Fire Department ledger from May 26, 1906 showing fire at A. J. Tweedy’s residence. Second from bottom.

Used in conjunction with additional Augusta resources, the AFD ledgers paint a more complete picture of the city’s historical landscape particularly of its people and places. They are also a beneficial to genealogists searching for ancestors and places those ancestors may have lived. For example, searching the 1905 Augusta City Directory to learn more about A. J. Tweedy, researchers will see that Albert J. Tweedy and his wife Emma were living at the Greene Street residence and Albert was the manager of the Tweedy Loan Company at 738 Ellis Street. When viewed as a single primary source the Augusta Fire Department ledgers simply record names and addresses, but in complement with other primary sources such as city directories, Sanborn maps, and historic newspapers, people and places come alive, individuals are personalized and no longer just a static entry recorded in a historic ledger.

1905 Augusta City Directory

It is also interesting to note that the Sanborn maps for Augusta reveal a lot about how the city worked to prevent large scale fires following the Great Fire of 1916. Taken from the 1917 Sanborn Map of Augusta, one year after the destruction. The image below shows the 700 block of Broad Street and the buildings which were destroyed along with those being rebuilt using “fire proof construction.” According the Augusta City Council Yearbook for 1916, “Almost immediately after the fire, a new building code was adopted which called for a better class of construction throughout.” This is evident in the image below that shows steel frames replacing the outdated and dangerous practice of wood framing.

Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, Apr. 1917 / Sanborn Map Company Digital Library of Georgia

The threat of catastrophic fires plagued U. S. cities until strict building codes, technological changes, and loosely organized volunteer fire departments were consolidated under the administration of city governments. All of this occurred during the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries. The Augusta Fire Department ledgers are a window into this time period of major changes, and a wonderful resource for exploring fire history not only in the city of Augusta, Georgia but throughout the United States.

Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System is grateful to Chief Keith Lively of the Augusta Fire Department for donating this one-of-a-kind record set, and to the Digital Library of Georgia for making it available to the public through their website www.dlg.org.

Visit the Georgia Heritage Room through the month of February to see the Augusta Fire Department ledgers on display. Call 706-826-1511 with questions.

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Let Your Fingers Do The Walking

The Georgia Room at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library maintains a collection of telephone books, most focusing on areas of Augusta-Richmond County though some include phone numbers from North Augusta and Aiken.


With the end of the telephone war between National Bell Telephone Company and the Western Union Telegraph company around 1880, Southern Bell Telephone Company emerged as the sole licensee of the American Bell Telephone Company, supplying telephones to Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Not only did they become the leader in providing telephone service to the Augusta area, they became the leading producer of that necessary telephone accessory, the telephone directory.


While it is difficult to say when the first telephone was operational in Augusta, enough units were in use to justify the construction of a telephone exchange in 1879, evidence that Augusta was an early adopter of this exciting new technology. Subscriptions grew steadily and by 1930, Augusta was eagerly awaiting the day when 10,000 telephones would be in use.


The speed of the adoption of telephone service could be tracked by the issuance of the telephone directory. Initially, a directory was printed for telephone subscribers quarterly. Later, the publication occurred bi-annually. By 1930, the book was published annually and had become a fixture of daily life. Southern Bell skipped issuing an annual directory for Augusta in 1934 and the public was irate. It was bad enough to cut the frequency of issues but to not have an up-to-date volume as all? Unthinkable. Southern Bell got the message and went on to issue a yearly directory until 1991 when, under the supervision of the Augusta Chronicle and the Augusta Herald, “The Phone Book” made its appearance.


Of course, there could be some discussion as to how successfully people were using their telephone books. Almost from the inception of the telephone information desk, intended to provide information on telephone numbers which weren’t listed in the telephone directory, the majority of callers asked for numbers that could, with a little study, be found in the current volume. In an attempt to reduce the load on the telephone operators, residents were instructed in 1916 to “Always Look in the Book.” In 1920, users were admonished that operators were there to answer questions about unlisted telephone numbers not to serve as “weather prophets” and experts on “miscellaneous subjects”. In 1949, it was reported that 79% of all calls to information could be answered with a quick peak in the phone book. However, all the pleading seemed to have little effect. A 1979 Ann Landers column published a letter from a harassed telephone operator lamenting that they regularly answered calls that could be answered by consulting the phone directory.


Ah, but what you could do with a telephone directory in by-gone years. In 1920, you could use it to learn the cheapest possible rates for each class of phone call. By 1931, you could flip through the attached business classified directory, the yellow pages, to shop without leaving your home. In 1933, you could win prizes, should you be so lucky to be called, in a promotion for the Modjeska Theater, using the phone directory to answer the questions. In 1950, users could combat “buzzing “or reckless airplane flying by a quick call to the Civil Aeronautics Administration just by looking under US Government. The Augusta Chronicle used the telephone directory in 1960 to conduct a “political survey” on how many listed Kennedys were going to vote for John F. Kennedy (The results were mixed at best.) In 1963, the directory was turned to a more noble purpose. The Girl Scouts used the directory to phone every household listed in Richmond County to publicize a county wide polio vaccine drive. The humble telephone directory even documented social change. In 1977, joint listings showing the names of husband, and wife appear in the phone directory for the first time. A company spokesman remarked, “These days there are more and more women who are known by their own first name rather than their husband’s…the new service will make it easier to find those names in the directory.”


And while examining the history of the local telephone unearths some interesting observations, what is the value of a phone book to the modern genealogical researcher? Telephone directories serve as additional sources for locating the names and addresses of ancestors. An appearance in the telephone directory can hint at the economic condition of the ancestor since it was a listing of individuals who could afford to maintain a telephone number. The same rational applies to businesses. Telephone books can give additional listings of businesses and paint a picture of their relative health. Larger advertisements or listings generally pointed toward a healthier business since a subscriber’s costs increased for larger, more elaborate ads.


So, if you discover an old telephone directory in an attic or basement, consider donating it to the Georgia Room to preserve its information. It will allow everyone to “let your fingers do the walking” through Augusta history.

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GAME ON: An Exhibit of Black Baseball History in America

Did you know baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson was a native of Cairo, Georgia, and played at Augusta’s Jennings Stadium twice early on in his career, once with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1950, and again in 1951? If you want to learn more about Robinson’s connection to Augusta, and other African America baseball giants who are a part of the history of America’s favorite past-time, visit the Georgia Heritage Room on the third floor of the Augusta Public Library to view our newest exhibit, on loan from local baseball collectors and historians, Lamar Garrard and Milledge Murray.

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GALILEO Offers Online Resources for the Study of Slavery in America


Audience at Juneteenth Celebration and Black Music Month, Atlanta, Georgia, June 20, 1993.
, Atlanta Journal Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, marking June 19th a federal holiday.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln two years prior in 1963, ending chattel slavery in America, the Confederate controlled states fought to maintain the system until 1865 when they met their demise at the hands of the Union army thus ending the Civil War.

Being the western most slave state, Texas was the last to capitulate, when on June 19th, 1965 Union Army General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming freedom for the slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment was passed five months earlier on January 31, 1965.

Early on, June 19th became a informal day of celebration for African Americans in Texas, but over the years has spread to other southern states with folks commemorating the day by holding parades, food festivals, church related events, and other celebrations. If you’d like to learn more about Juneteenth, as well as the history of slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the Augusta Public Library offers access to an array of online resources through GALILEO, its virtual library of databases. To access GALILEO go to our library homepage www.arcpls.org. You’ll need an up to date PINES Library Card, and the GALILEO password. Please call the Augusta Public Library at 706-821-2600 of you don’t know the GALILEO password.

Some of the online resources to look for:

Slavery in American and the World

Brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Our case coverage extends into the 20th century because long after slavery ended courts were still resolving issues emanating from slavery.

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

 Voyages is the result of the African Origins Project, a scholar-public collaborative endeavor to trace the geographic origins of Africans transported in the transatlantic slave trade. Many have contributed to this international research project, which is based at Emory University. The database provides information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Voyages section of the database tracks 35,000 slaving expeditions between 1514 and 1866 and includes the ship’s name, captain, owners, and nation as well as the number of slaves and some other information about the voyage. The African Names Database identifies over 67,000 African men, women, and children, including name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation. A section on assessing the slave trade provides statistics, a timeline, and maps that track the flow of the slave trade over time.

Civil Rights and Social Justice

HeinOnline’s Civil Rights and Social Justice database brings together a diverse offering of publications covering civil rights in the United States as their legal protections and definitions are expanded to cover more and more Americans. Containing links to more than 500 scholarly articles, hearings and committee prints, legislative histories on the landmark legislation, CRS and GAO reports, briefs from major Supreme Court cases, and publications from the Commission on Civil Rights, this database allows users to educate themselves on the ways our civil rights have been strengthened and expanded over time, as well as how these legal protections can go further still. A varied collection of books on many civil rights topics and a list of prominent civil rights organizations help take the research beyond HeinOnline.

Civil War in the American South

In recognition of the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War, Civil War in the American South provides a central portal to access digital collections from the Civil War Era (1850-1865) held by members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). ASERL members hold deep and extensive collections documenting the history and culture of the American South, developed over hundreds of years to support scholarly research and teaching. Many of the special or unique manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers, broadsides, and other materials have been digitized to provide broader access to these documents for scholars and students around the world. Civil War in the American South is a collaborative initiative to provide a single, shared point of access to the Civil War digital collections held at many individual libraries.

The Civil Rights Digital Library

The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) promotes an enhanced understanding of the Civil Rights Movement through its three principal components:

• a digital video archive delivering 30 hours of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement
• a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Civil Rights Movement by aggregating metadata from 75 libraries and allied organizations from across the nation
• instructional materials to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process

The CRDL links to primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale. The CRDL features a collection of more than 30 hours of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. These moving images – about 450 clips – cover a broad range of key civil rights events, including the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957); the Atlanta Temple bombing (1958); Atlanta sit-ins (1960); Freedom Rides (1961); desegregation of the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech (1961); the Albany Movement (1961-1962); desegregation of Ole Miss (1962) and University of Alabama (1963); and Americus Movement (1963, 1965); Birmingham demonstrations (1963); among many other topics.

CRDL is a partnership among librarians, technologists, archivists, educators, scholars, academic publishers, and public broadcasters. The initiative receives support through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is a gateway to Georgia’s history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources.

Many of the materials are from the holdings of GALILEO member institutions, and the Digital Library of Georgia continues to grow through its partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, and allied organizations across the state.

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The Augusta News-Review Now Freely Available in the Georgia Historic Newspapers Website

The Augusta Public Library is happy to announce that another historic Augusta newspaper has been added to the Georgia Historic Newspapers website. Thanks to the Digital Library of Georgia and former publisher Dr. Mallory Millender, the AUGUSTA NEWS-REVIEW, which served as a voice of the Augusta African-American community during the 1970s and 80s, is now freely accessible to all.

https://sites.google.com/view/ghn2millionpages/homee



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The Negro Traveler’s Green Book: the Bible of Black Travelers

The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, Fall 1956. New York Public Library

The Jim Crow era was a dark time in the history of the United States and for African Americans living during that era, being out and about in the world and navigating the basic logistics of the day to day could itself be a perilous act. Imagine being afraid to go to the store, or walk down a street, or take your family on a trip. African Americans learned what businesses welcomed them, and which did not in their own towns and communities, but imagine being in a new place where you weren’t familiar with the terrain, and the hidden dangers awaiting you simply because of the color of your skin.

For Black drivers during Jim Crow, taking a road trip was complicated and potentially dangerous. But, in 1936 what became known as the “bible of Black Travelers,” came onto the scene, and got African Americans in their cars and on the open road.

The Negro Motorist Green Book was the brainchild of Victor Hugo Green, a postal worker from Harlem, NY, who was sickened by the discrimination he experienced every time he left his neighborhood. Instead of letting it get the best of him, he found a solution. Published from 1936 to 1967, Green’s publication inspired African American travelers to venture out into the world with adventure and less fear.

For cities in each of the fifty states, the guide listed restaurants, hotels, and other businesses that welcomed African Americans, including those in Augusta, Georgia.

The Negro Motorist Green Book, 1947.
New York Public Library

This excerpt from the 1947 publication, shows four local businesses including two hotels, a tourist home, and a liquor store. Like the Augusta City Directories, the “Green Book” is a excellent resource for learning more about African American businesses that operated in Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. Here’s another from the 1967 publication:

The Negro Motorist Green Book, 1967. New York Public Library

The guides are also filled with advertisements of the businesses listed. Here’s one from 1960 in Alabama:

The Negro Traveler’s Green Book, 1960.
New York Public Library

In 2019, the New York Public Library digitized the entire span of the “Green Book,” and made it freely available to anyone and everyone. In honor of Black History Month, take a look and see what you can find! While you’re at it, get in your car and drive to the addresses listed for the Augusta businesses. What’s there now?

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/collections/the-green-book#/?tab=about

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Honoring Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, the Georgia Heritage Room of the Augusta Public Library has partnered with Mr. George Wingard, Program Manager for the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program at the Savannah River Site to provide free access to his documentary films, We Came A Long Way By Faith: Catholic Hill and St. James the Greater Catholic Church, and Death Rides on Every Passing Breeze: A Ground Penetrating Radar Survey of the Wesley United Methodist Church Cemetery. Both films shine a light on two little known historic African American churches in the low country of South Carolina.

We Came a Long Way By Faith: Catholic Hill and the St. James the Greater Catholic Church:

Catholic Hill, formerly known as Thompson’s Crossroads, is an area steeped in history. The predominant feature on the landscape is the 1935, gothic-revival inspired St. James the Greater Catholic Church and its recently renovated 1901 school house.

The first church on the spot was dedicated in 1832 and burned in 1856. Very little is known from that point until the 1890’s when it was learned that a group of former slaves and their descendants, with a vibrant and thriving faith, was worshipping in the area. Soon a new church and school was built. While mass was celebrated by itinerant priests twice a month at the church, the leadership flourished under the dedicated men and women of the church striving to preserve and strengthen the faith of the community on an everyday basis.
The present church, which was built in 1935, is home to a new generation of followers maintaining their strong Catholic Faith. Today’s congregation works tirelessly to preserve both the memory of those who came before them and safeguard the legacy for many generations to come.
This film will focus on the religion in South Carolina, early Catholicism, slavery, the history of St. James the Greater, and its importance to the Catholic Hill Community.

Death Rides on Every Passing Breeze: A Ground Penetrating Survey of the Wesley United Methodist Church Cemetery attempts to answer questions about the church’s two hundred year old cemetery by using the modern tools of archaeology. By comparing the oral tradition of the church which has been passed down through the generations with the scientific data produced by ground penetrating radar, questions surrounding the age of the cemetery are answered.

Please click on the links below to view the films:

https://vimeo.com/469824931

https://vimeo.com/415619367


Staff of the Georgia Room would like to thank Mr. George Wingard for his generosity, and continued support of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System. In the past, Mr. Wingard has partnered with the library on exhibits and programs highlighting the many facets of our local history, including an exhibit featuring prehistoric artifacts of the many Southeastern Native American cultures that inhabited this region. Mr. Wingard also presented his award-winning and inspiring film Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay about enslaved Edgefield potter David Drake to a packed library auditorium. We look forward to future programs and exhibits!!

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Free Family History Classes and Webinars for 2021

Looking for a learning opportunity while you’re stuck at home? FamilySearch has you covered. As a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System offers access to digital records that may help you solve some of your questions about hard to find ancestors. Many of these records are only available at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, but our Affiliate Library status gives our library patrons the privilege of accessing the records from any of our Richmond County libraries. Learn more about what FamilySearch has to offer by taking one of their free February 2021 webinars. Remember, the webinars are offered at 10:00 am MST so that’s 12:00 pm our time. Please call the Georgia Heritage Room on the third floor of the Headquarters Library at 823 Telfair Street if you have any questions. 706-826-1511.

Free Family History Classes and Webinars for February 2021
The free FamilySearch Family History Library Webinars for February 2021 include beginner classes in African American Records and Strategies, an Overview of FamilySearch, the FamilySearch Catalog, and US Immigration records, plus one special Spanish language session entitled “El amor es ciego, pero el sacerdote no: la infinidad de información en las actas matrimoniales” (Love is blind, but the priest is not: the endless information in marriage certificates). February’s schedule is notably abbreviated to support the 1,000+ free, exciting sessions that will be available at RootsTech Connect 2021, a three-day virtual family history conference beginning February 25, 2021.

If you cannot attend a live Family History Library webinar, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars.

All class times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

DATE/TIME CLASS WEBINAR


Mon, Feb 1, 10:00 AM MST Using the FamilySearch Catalog (Beginner)

https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/webinar/register/1016056279794/WN_Io0EzSiDQNqc0uUzoDwNqA


Tue, Feb 2, 10:00 AM MST Overview of FamilySearch (Beginner)

https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/webinar/register/4816056280242/WN_LE_CtbRmTly4FrRhdjuZqg


Thu, Feb 4, 10:00 AM MST The Tired, the Poor, and the Huddled Masses: U.S. Immigration 1820-1954 (Beginner)

https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/webinar/register/1216056281834/WN_zoEEPykaQqGSEJjl2qBxKQ

Tue, Feb 16, 11:00 AM MST El amor es ciego, pero el sacerdote no: la infinidad de información en las actas matrimoniales (Intermediate)

https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/webinar/register/2716056283188/WN_zVPgiVgwSgi2R10E6PdYnA


Thu, Feb 18, 10:00 AM MST African American Records and Strategies: Post-1865 (Beginner)

https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/webinar/register/9016056284590/WN_dQ_fwsW9Rz2qfqV-cEKkMg



About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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StoryCorps Comes to the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library

February is Black History Month and the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System wants to know more about African-Americans in our community. We are looking for people who would be willing to record an interview with a friend or family member about their everyday lives.

These interviews will be made using the StoryCorps app or StoryCorps Connect website and will be preserved by the Library of Congress. Interviews will be done virtually through StoryCorps Connect or within the household using the Storycorps app. Training will be provided.

There will be a virtual Zoom meeting on Monday, February 1st to teach participants how to prepare for their Black History Month StoryCorp interview by discussing the process, and the technology, as well as interview questions. Please register for the Zoom meeting at bit.li/storyinterviewingmtg

Please feel free to forward this information along to anyone who you believe might be interested. Interested individuals can sign up directly at bit.ly/storyblackhistory to participate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Erin Prentiss, Outreach Services Manager, at prentisse@arcpls.org or 706-821-2612.

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