Scholarships from Whitfield-Murray Historical Society 2017
Area high school seniors who showed exemplary participation in historic preservation efforts were awarded scholarships at the May 21 meeting at the historic Eton Methodist Church. Students researched local history & volunteered at historic sites.
Back row, L to R: Amanda Jones, Northwest High; William Blanchard, Northwest High; Dawson Oliver, N. Murray High; Patrick Parrish, Murray High; Dakota Owens, N. Murray High; Andrew Bridges, Northwest High; & Raul Garcia, Southeast High. Front row, L to R: Erik Zamora, Dalton High; Aaliyah Odell, Murray High; Kaytlyn Brown, N. Murray High; Sarah Ensley, N. Murray High; Annsley Ingram, N. Murray High; Mikayla Feltman, Murray High; & Carson Cox, Murray High.
2017 HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARDS
Exemplary efforts in Murray & Whitfield historic preservation were shown by (left to right) Frank Adams, Keep Chatsworth/Murray Beautiful; Jim Cook; Dottie Shaw; & Lester & Nancy Strain. Dr. Conway Gregory was unable to attend the May 21 event & will be honored at a later date.
Jim Cook has videotaped over 35 interviews & is preserving stories of local personalities. These recordings capture the memories of people who shaped our area.
Conway Gregory was a charter member of the reactivated WMHS & the first editor of the Quarterly. He has authored Sumach on the Hill, A Presbytery Called Chattanooga, & History of the James Jathan Gregory Family.
Keep Chatsworth/Murray Beautiful has helped the old Spring Place Methodist Church, the Wright Hotel, the Chatsworth Depot, & the Vann House with trash removal, landscaping, & “unfailing willingness” to do any job.
Dottie Smith Shaw donated the Huff House to WMHS & has provided funds for its support. Due to her generosity, WMHS is able to tell the stories of Dalton’s Civil War history, the railroads, & the families & businesses that inhabited the home for 162 years.
Nancy & Lester Strain have donated a new roof, porch reconstruction, furnishings, a gazebo, & fresh flowers for the Huff House. Nancy has also dedicated herself to the grounds upkeep.
2017 Presidents Award
For “continued devotion & invaluable service” to WMHS, President’s Awards were recently given to (left to right) Jan McNeill, Bruce Davies, Joanne Lewis, & Ralph Ausmus.
President Tim Howard extolled Jan McNeill as “one of the hardest workers this Society has ever had. You might see her arranging furniture at the Vann House, mopping floors at the Wright Hotel, welcoming Murray on My Mind students to her home, calling hosts for Second Saturdays, or taking minutes at our meetings.”
Howard described Bruce Davies as a “second generation leader of our Society who is now one of our senior trustees. He’s Hamilton House property chair & serves on the Huff House committee—but his main business was and is insurance. He retired from his agency just in time to become our resident expert for trees on buildings and floods! He’ll work hauling stuff, & he keeps us out of trouble. He’s a genealogist with deep roots in both counties & Miss Emily’s oldest boy.”
Joanne Lewis has “rebuilt porches, dealt with leaning chimneys, balanced the books, raised a lot of money, done inventories & displays, coordinated refreshments, & added her special touch to dozens of special WMHS events—all this because she assumed leadership of our very first property committee, the Blunt House.”
For 30 years, Ralph Ausmus “has handled most of the sales of WMHS publications in Chatsworth. His store, Pat’s Antiques, is also the drop-off spot for folks who give us pictures & other items; in one way, it’s the Murray Co. Crown Gardens. Ausmus is a trustee, a long-time member of the Wright Hotel committee, & the only treasurer the Chatsworth Depot committee has had since the 1990s. He supports us in every way.”
EAGLE SCOUTS SHOW PRESERVATION AWARDS
Andrew Bridges (left) & Sam Stuart (right) were two of three Eagle Scouts whose projects had an emphasis on historic preservation. Bridges did work at Crown Gardens & Archives, & Stuart built a trail at Prater’s Mill from the park to Coahulla Creek High School. Matthew O’Neil, not pictured, created a native plant bed & seating at historic Prater's Mill.