THOCO Chronicles

In response to COVID-19, five local organizations are joining together to collect and document the pandemic within Thomas County. The Jack Hadley Black History Museum, Pebble Hill Plantation and Museum, Thomasville Center for the Arts, Thomas County Public Library, and Thomasville History Center hope to ensure that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic within Thomas County, are recorded and preserved for future generations. The group asks individuals and businesses to consider donating items that they believe reflect life during the pandemic. Items may be submitted digitally at THOCOCHRONICLES.ORG or in person at any of the five partner locations.

The group intends for this project to provide an avenue for our community to collect, share, and document the stories of this event to show how the community is adapting and changing in response to the pandemic. The partners have all worked together in the past and feel they can provide a service to the present and future community through this collection.

Donors of all ages can contribute a variety of materials including photographs, written records, audio recordings, videos, or art. Donors might consider asking themselves whether they have written any poems, created any works of art, kept a journal or diary, witnessed acts of kindness, or observed a hero at work. You might be an educator trying to adapt to virtual teaching? Are you a medical professional caring for the sick or maybe you have witnessed the very real change that this time has had on our community. 

“These items will allow our community to reflect back on this time and learn from it as well as keep the events relevant,” said History Center Executive Director Anne McCudden.

Collected materials will be housed at Thomasville History Center but will be shared collectively with all of our partners and be made available for researchers once they are processed and catalogued. The partners are excited about this work and believe it will provide documentation for our residents to learn from and look back on as they reflect on this time in our history. 

The collaboration encourages community residents to collect, share, and document their stories, stories of how each person is adapting and changing in response to the pandemic, this historic moment in time. As cultural institutions in Thomas County, they have worked together in the past and are working together now to provide an avenue for your stories to become part of Thomasville’s history.

With time comes historical and emotional perspective. The partners believe this moment in the community’s story will be a subject for commemoration in the years to come. Your participation ensures that your voice, experiences, and artistic expressions will be woven into the fabric of this moment’s larger story. It is the partners’ hope that this program will inspire reflection and introspection and provide a meaningful way for individuals and as a community to process the upheaval and uncertainty all are experiencing. 

Follow this program @thocochronicles on Facebook and Instagram. 

Below is more information about the partners in this program.

The Jack Hadley Black History Museum’s main objective is to get the message to young people that Black Americans have done great things to help build and shape America’s goals and dreams. The organization feels that all children, regardless of race, need to know the accomplishments of Black men and women in American history. The museum’s main mission is “to document, preserve and exhibit African American History of Southwest Georgia, including state and national history as well." 

Today, the collection is on exhibit at the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville, Georgia, and features over 5,473 pieces of Black American artifacts. The museum has a traveling exhibit of approximately 500 artifacts that has been on exhibit at local schools in Southwest Georgia and North Florida. Find the museum on Instagram and Facebook using @hadleyblackhistorymuseum to follow its updates on programs, research projects, and images from its photographic archives. For more information, visit www.jackhadleyblackhistorymuseum.com, email jackhadleyblackhistorymuseum@rose.net, or call (229) 226-5029.

In 1896, businessman Howard Melville Hanna Sr., from Cleveland, Ohio purchased Pebble Hill Plantation. The Hanna daughter, Kate Hanna Ireland Harvey, was given Pebble Hill in 1901 by her father. She restored the existing house and enjoyed it as a winter home and shooting preserve. 

In 1934 a fire destroyed that house. By 1936, a new house was built. This house is as you see it today. After Mrs. Harvey’s death in 1936, the property passed to her daughter, Elisabeth (Pansy) Ireland Poe. 

Mrs. Poe was the last mistress of Pebble Hill, and it was her desire that Pebble Hill be left as a museum. She established and endowed a private foundation for Pebble Hill so that visitors could enjoy seeing her family’s beloved country estate. After Mrs. Poe’s passing in 1978, Pebble Hill opened to the public in October 1983. 

Today, the Pebble Hill story is shared with students, lifelong learners, and travelers from around the world.

Thomasville Center for the Arts is committed to encouraging artistic expression and purposeful creativity to connect people to one another through arts education, performances, public art, and exhibitions. Visit the Center at the historic East Side School building at 600 East Washington Street or online at thomasvillearts.org

The Thomas County Public Library was the first official “library” established in Thomasville on February 16, 1880 and became a truly free public library on January 1, 1964. It became its own entity and an established regional library system on July 1, 1988. 

Serving Thomas County, the TCPLS is headquartered in Thomasville, with neighborhood branches in surrounding towns of BostonCoolidgeMeigsOchlocknee and Pavo.

TCPLS is a part of the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) which is the state library administrative agency and a unit of the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. The Library also provides assistance with genealogy research and classes for learning to use computers and the internet.

Thomasville History Center was formed in 1952 and opened a museum within the Flowers-Roberts House in 1972.  

Since 1972, Thomasville History Center’s collections have grown to include more than 500,000 artifacts and archival materials and eight historic structures.  

The History Center, in partnership with the state of Georgia, also operates the historic Lapham-Patterson House. The board, staff, and growing membership invite you to join them in their dedication to ensuring that the appreciation of the area’s unique history remains an intrinsic and unbroken thread connecting the past and future through settings that advance the area’s story.  Find them on Instagram and Facebook using @thomasvillehistory to follow daily updates on current programs, research projects, and images from our photographic archives. 

For more information, visit www.thomasvillehistory.org, email history@rose.net, or call (229) 226-7664.

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