The Thomasville History Center received its first official donation in 1955: a booklet with a transcription of the 1850 census for Thomas County from Folks Huxford, the Homerville-based preeminent historian of Southwest Georgia history during the mid-twentieth century. At the close of 2022, the History Center has received a total of 2,008 donations since 1955, which averages to be 30 donations a year. By this metric, 2022 was a well-above average year for our collections, adding 39 new donations, each contributing to the preservation of Thomasville and Thomas County in its own unique way.
Some of the donations relate directly to the county and county towns: Anita Cooper Meisen’s donation of furniture, clothing, photographs, and documents related to the White and Cooper families of Meigs and Ochlocknee significantly increases the History Center’s collection about these important county towns, as does Doris and Grady Davies’ donations of photographs from the Davies family of Boston. Bill Edwards’ donations of items from the MacIntyre and Hjort families contribute to our understanding of early county history, and those from the Edwards family enhance our original decorations of the Lapham-Patterson House. New photograph collections from Boxhall Plantation, the Steyerman family, and Neel family further advance our visual holdings.
Not all donations are considered historic, yet. But they will be, which is why we add them to the collection: “new” item donations include the Thomasville Center for the Arts’ “Thomopoly” board game and DVDs of the 2018 and 2019 Rose Queen Pageant from the Junior Service League. Sharing and preserving the history of a place requires an impossibly broad spectrum of material, visual, and written evidence, and we strive to collect things that tell all parts of the story, from families who can trace their presence here back to the founding of the county in 1825 through people who only may have been here for a short while but left an impact on this place, which in turn left an impact on them.
Do you have something relevant to the history of Thomasville and Thomas County you would like to donate, or maybe have something but you’re not sure? Please, do not hesitate to call me at the History Center at 229-226-7664 ext. 103 or email me at email@example.com.
And as always, thank you for your continued support of Thomasville and Thomas County history!
Published in The Hourglass, Winter 2023