Historic Photograph Identification

The Thomaston Upson Archives has received a request for information on the two following photographs.  The first photograph was taken in the Hotel Upson and we are hoping to identify all of the ladies in the photograph.  The next photograph is actually a post card of The Thomaston Cafe, which we would love to learn of anything anyone may know about this restaurant.  If anyone has any information, please let us know and we will be certain to pass it along.  Thank you so much!

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An Archives Tour of Fanciful Matters

It is quite often that the Thomaston Upson Archives is responsible for bringing individuals to Upson County for a daily visit.  Just today, we have had visitors from Crisp, Spalding, Gwinnett and Coweta Counties to come to this community for the sole purpose of visiting our facility.  After their visit, they then add an economic boost to our community as they stop for a nice meal in a nice town as well as various other amenities.  We are thrilled that our popularity draws in tourism to this beautiful county.  Although three of four outside county visitors were here to research, the group form Spalding County came for a world famous tour by our Director Penny Cliff.  Penny wowed the group with tales of Upson County from cemetery stories, history and artifacts.  Of course, the topics which Penny Cliff can speak on and offer a tour of, are endless and always entertaining.  This is not the first out of town group to come hear Penny speak, as this number would be countless.  Nevertheless, below are photographs of the group as they are enjoying their tour offered by Director Penny Cliff of the Thomaston Upson Archives.     ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Mortar of Many Colors

Thomaston and Upson County are filled with history and traditions.  One such piece of history sets proudly on the Southeast corner of the Upson County Courthouse lawn, which is one of the first cannon balls (Mortars), fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina to begin the War Between the States on April 12, 1861.  The story is that P.W. Alexander, a war correspondent, rushed into the Fort once the firing had ceased and captured what he felt was the very first cannonball/mortar fired.  He then provided this piece of priceless history to the B.B. White family who then lived in what is now known as the Pettigrew White Stamps house; when the home was in its original location on Highway 19 near where United Bank is today.  Nevertheless, this relic spent time at the house sitting in the yard, being used as a doorstop and lastly finding shade under the porch.  However, the cannonball/mortar was donated to the Sharman Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and they purchased the beautiful pedestal of granite, it now sits atop, as they placed it on the Courthouse lawn in 1953.  As days passed and the world continued to spin and those who were at the dedication parted ways, a new generation would pay a visit to the artifact.  However, this time the piece of history would be “honored” in a much different way by a much younger group.  The adolescent mind can be very creative as it has time and energy to be so.  Therefore, an unwritten tradition began for the students of R.E. Lee to adorn the cannonball with a new color, rather than the dull hazy color of the metallic object.  This noncommissioned artwork of course had to be created in the cover of night as it was frowned upon by some of the adult population of town.  So much so, a lookout party was created at times to attempt to catch the aspiring Renoirs.  As a result, public credit was not sought from the exact conspirators but rumors would normally be fairly close to properly labeling the culprits. Of course, now after years of recalling the days of good, which we must always leave behind, many will now admit their involvement.  Below is an article from the May 28, 1964 Thomaston Times regarding the painting of the cannonball that spring by an anonymous class of R.E. Lee. 

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