Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fayette Historical Society

Fayette County is chocked full of interesting places to visit. One that many might not have on their list of places to visit is the Fayette Historical Society. The Society can't be compared to Disney World, but it certainly is fascinating in its own way!

Recently I made my first visit to the Society, not having any idea as to what I'd find inside the aged house in Fayetteville.

I could have spent hours just flipping through the file drawers of old photos alone! People have donated photos through the years to the Society. Unfortunately, many of the photos don't have any information written on them so we'll never know who is pictured. Still, even without identifying information, the photos tell a story of days gone by.

The old newspapers are wonderful. People told of their trips, family news, who was ill, and generally shared their life in little vignettes on pages titled "Your Affairs" and similar. Today's newspapers are filled with all the horrible things that tantalize and grab attention. Yes, they printed the bad news way back when, and they editorialized quite a bit, too. But maybe because of all the personal inclusions, the way things were written, and the "homey" touches, things just didn't seem so over sensationalized.

The Society has volumes and volumes of old records. It's extremely time-consuming to try and research marriages and family history though as most of the older records were hand-written. Also, there was not any consistency in the spelling of words. It takes a lot of patience to trace a family using those old records!

There are old yearbooks, mementos from all aspects of the county's history and books by local authors. It's a small building but it houses a world of knowledge. Even if you have absolutely zero interest in the history of Fayette County, you'll have fun looking through the old papers and photos. For those who are interested in the history of the county, it's well worth a visit or two or three. Who knows, you may just find a photo of one of your relatives!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House

I've lived in Fayette County for umpteen years and somehow have not ever managed to find time to visit the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House! I corrected that huge oversight this past Thursday.

What a treat! I took two young home-schooled friends thinking it would be something that might make history a bit more interesting. I was right. My only mistake is I looked at it as something for them --- it turned out I enjoyed the visit at least as much, if not more, than they did!

We were lucky to visit at a time when we were the only visitors. We had a one-on-one tour led by John Lynch, official historian. Lynch is a walking encyclopedia of historical knowledge and community lore.

We started in the front "parlor" known as "The Family Room." We learned about the Holliday family and Doc Holliday's ties to Fayette County. Not only did we find out about who they were, but Lynch painted a picture of times gone by, giving us a glimpse of how it was way back when.

As it was just past Halloween, some of the costumes and articles show-cased were still hanging around. Mourning attire, photos and other bits from the past helped us to visualize how difficult life was not too long ago - and how our ideas about death and the value of life have continued to evolve.

The Dorsey and Fife history is almost as interesting as the Hollywood Holliday history! I imagine that not many know that a past Governor lived in Fayetteville! It was amazing to see the many crossties there were among the various famous families and to get a small snapshot of how Fayette Countians have played a part in the making of history in the area and in Georgia.

I had heard that Fayette County boasted some connection to Margaret Mitchell of Gone With the Wind fame. Turns out Fayette County plays a much larger part in that book than I knew. I would bet that not many in Fayette County know how Gone With the Wind, Doc Holliday and Fayetteville are connected! You'll have to go visit the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House if you want to find out more.

There is one room in the House devoted to Gone With the Wind. Costumes, photos, artifacts and history make the book come alive and give it a place in our past.

We learned about the much photographed Starrs Mill, the War Between the States, how our great county came to be and so much more than I could ever begin to capture in a short blog.

This week we're traveling over to the Historic Society. We're going to hopefully look at some of the old newspapers and try to get a different perspective on the past.

If you'd like to find out more about the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House visit their website at, call 770-716-5332 or send an email to We planned to spend an hour and ended up having to cut the visit short after a two-hour stay! Plan to relax, learn and have fun.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I have many frustrations with our voting system, just like many, many others. I sometimes don't like either candidate I have to choose from. I can't stand the negative attacks on candidates. If I gave it much thought I could make the list of frustrations very long!

No matter what though, I won't give up my right to vote. I will not relinquish what in realitiy is just a tiny, tiny little mark, barely noticeable for the government of my choice.

If you read history you'll see that the voices of a few became the only voices that were heard when country's fell. When the masses sit on their hands, when the masses don't make their voices heard, ideals are destroyed.

It's easy to throw up your hands in frustration, abdicate your responsibility, use any number of excuses to avoid voting. There will be a point in our future where we in America will be wondering what happened to our country. Some of us are already wondering! I think the majority of our problems are rooted in apathy. Laziness. It doesn't take much to vote. It doesn't take much to find out enough information about the candidates to make a choice, even if your choice is the lesser of two evils.

Want better choices? That takes involvement and time. Staying home in protest is not going to fix anything. You'll find your choices are worse in the next election. Get involved. Someday "get involved" is going to mean fighting for whatever is left of our democracy unless you take the time now to make your little mark. Vote.