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The Hardeman County Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities The Pillars and The Little Courthouse Museum 2nd online edition Fall~ Sept 2013

APTA’s Volunteer of the year for West TN

Hardeman County Chapter of APTA’s Annual Membership Meeting held in July This year our annual APTA membership meeting was held at The Pillars, July 13th. An ice cream social was held as a part of the event. New officers were elected for the next 2 years. Ken Savage: President Dianne Mumford: Vice President Little Courthouse Angela Galloway: Vice President – The Pillars Meri Collins: Recording Secretary Karen Nuckolls: Corresponding Secretary Judy Shackelford: Treasurer As President of the chapter, I for one could not do all things needed to be done without their help and yours.


Pictured: Frank McMeen (President for APTA) presents the award to Jane & Jimmy Stevens.

At the annual meeting of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy Stevens were presented with APTA’s award for Volunteer of the Year for West Tennessee. Presenting the award is Frank McMeen of Jackson, TN our state President for APTA. As a charter member of the Hardeman Co. Chapter of APTA, Mrs. Jane Stevens and her husband James (Jimmy) have both been a driving force behind APTA in Hardeman County for almost 50 years. Through their knowledge and research the Pillars and Little Courthouse Museum, were restored to proper colors and styles of each building. “Mrs Jane” has over the years held almost every position on the chapter board of directors, more than once. You can always count on her to have “everything right” and always manages to get the best docents to help during tours and special events. As host chairperson, she handles all rentals and parties, special events at the Pillars and The Little Courthouse Museum. Continued on page 2

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Luze Theater to be saved and restored.

Luez Theater, Bolivar, TN

Both the first and second movie theaters were originally owned and operated by Louise Mask. Mask first theater was located on Market Street and in 1948, Ms. Mask built her new air conditioned theater on Main Street. She held a contest to rename it using only 4 letters or less for the marquee. The name Luez, a phonic contraction the name Louise, was the winning submission. Ms Mask operated the theater until her retirement, but ruled as a queen in her court. If the crowd got unruly she would stop the movie and don’t be caught holding hands with the opposite sex, she might yank you up by the ear and give you a talking to. Most will always remember her for truly being the “baby sitter for the county” for you know if you left your child in her care, they would be as safe there as in church. The Bolivar Downtown Development Corporation (DEVCO) plans to renovate and reopen the theater. They are working with Malco Theaters to bring digital first run movies to our town again.

Volunteer of the Year continued from page 1: She is the go to person and we can always count on her tireless dedication to APTA and what it stands for. She is never too busy to help regardless of the chore. Without our “older” members as Mrs Jane and Jimmy, we might not have an APTA chapter in Hardeman County, today. Most young people are too busy, career driven or just not interested in preserving history or historic properties. But members, such as Mrs. Jane and Jimmy and some of our other senior members, they have dedicated most of their lives to APTA, with their time and labor for almost 50 years to see these properties prosper and carry on for future generations. As one of original 29 charter members in Hardeman County and now only a handful left, their determinations and dedications is what have held this chapter together for 48 years. Without their continued efforts and yours, APTA would not be what it is today in Hardeman County.

Most members that received the above postcard in the mail had not renewed their membership this year. The chapter has to account to the State APTA, how many members we have each year on our roll. $10.00 of your yearly fee goes to the State APTA and remainder to the chapter. It is hard for us to count you as a member without your dues being paid. With our part of the dues, we try to perform the day to day business of running 2 sites and promote APTA at the same time. Every membership counts and without our patrons it would be even harder to meet the needs of our sites. We are lucky to have The Pillars and the Little Courthouse Museum as our sites, but cursed too, since we have a lot to keep up. Basic membership fee of $25 per person and $5 for a junior membership is a small sacrifice for most to know your doing something to preserve history for our kids and grandchildren.

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The Pillars and Little Courthouse

Visit us on Facebook

Did you know the best way of spreading the word in today’s fast pace world? Facebook! With millions of users, our members, our friends and their friends can keep up with events, special tours and Hardeman County history, too, just by checking our Facebook page. All you have to do is “Search” for “The Pillars and Little Courthouse” or click here: Right now our chapter’s Facebook site has 300 members. I wish all were paying members, but every time they “Like” something on our Facebook page, their friends will see it, too. Now that is a fast way to get the word out. We need to get more of our friends and family interested in APTA and preserving our historic sites and their history. Facebook is one tool to get the word out to our friends and family. Check our site often and hopefully “Like” what you see, it will spread the word quicker!

Currently, there are 11 chapters that administer 14 sites. APTA sites include: Belle Meade Plantation, Nashville The Athenaeum Rectory,Columbia Buchanan Log House, Nashville Crockett Tavern Museum, Morristown Glenmore Mansion, Jefferson City Ramsey House Plantation, Rachel H. K. Burrow Museum, Arlington Historic Post Office, Arlington Blacksmith Shop Site, Arlington The Pillars, Bolivar The Little Courthouse Museum, Bolivar Lee House, Memphis Woodruff-Fontaine House, Memphis

When was the last time you visited our sites? Bring a friend next time! Discover Tennessee and visit some of our APTA sites. They are free to explore for our members and you will be helping to preserve history.

The APTA is the oldest statewide nonprofit historic preservation organization in the State of Tennessee and the fourth oldest in the nation. Since 1951 APTA has been preserving and maintaining historic sites that play an important role in Tennessee’s rich cultural heritage. The Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities’ mission is to promote and encourage active participation in the preservation of Tennessee’s rich historic, cultural, architectural and archeological heritage through restoration, education, advocacy and statewide cooperation.


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The County Journal

Again, I would like to express our appreciation to The County Journal for their continued support of APTA. The paper prints ads each week for us free, informing the public of events and museum openings. For the last two years they have stepped up and proved they are a true patron. For the last two years

Fall is here already, that means Festivals! With summer passing just about time to start thinking about Fall festivals and fund raising events for our APTA chapter. Our chapter of APTA will have booth this year at the 16th Annual Ames Plantation Heritage Festival at the Ames Plantation on Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9:00am5:00pm. This unique festival is sure to please everyone from the avid history buff to those with an appreciation for the diverse folk art of our past. Come and celebrate your past at the largest and most diverse event of its type in the region. Our chapter will be selling our APTA Sampler II Cookbooks and giving out information on APTA and our sites. This is the link to the Ames Plantation site: The next weekend (Oct 18 & 19) is The Hardeman County Music Festival in Bolivar. There we will be selling “white beans and cornbread” on the Square along with other APTA items. The Little Courthouse Museum will also be open that Saturday for tours. We have lots of work to get ready and will need volunteers for both weekends. We will need your help.

Pictured:Ken Savage (Regional Vice President for APTA) and Darrel Teubner of the County Journal

Darrell Teubner and his sales force at the County Journal have sold ads for our APTA Historic Home Tour tablature publication insert. Now this is the part that is different from our past inserts. The County Journal gives APTA half the profits from ads sold in support of APTA after printing and distribution of the tablature inserts. “I personally think it’s nice when a newspaper supports an organization, instead of just profiting from their existence. We are happy to partner with the County Journal”, said Savage, “I just wish more businesses would do the same.” The County Journal also runs a series each week on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. This article features not only national events but local events during the terrible time in our history. Occasionally, quotes from John Houston Bills of “The Pillars” are in the articles. All Civil Wars articles can be read here:

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Our newest APTA Junior Member. Calley Overton (pictured) and her mother LInda recently joined APTA. Here Calley (age 13) is receiving a medal at Duke University for honor students and got to attend courses at Vanderbilt University this summer. Junior memberships are only $5.00 to join APTA. I am sure volunteer time would also look good on anyone’s college entrance papers.

Preserving the Past by Angela Galloway It is likely that most APTA sites contain precious items that require special care in order to preserve them for others to appreciate now and in the future. The Pillars and The Little Courthouse both have many historic artifacts that belonged to members of our community at some point in the past. In this article, I will touch briefly on the care that is required for various types of paper artifacts. These suggestions do not just apply to historic sites, but can also help you to preserve your own heirlooms for future generations. The first consideration is to prevent deterioration of all types of artifacts by maintaining regular care and by providing a favorable storage environment. Direct sunlight is damaging to most artifacts. Additionally, it is imperative that artifacts are housed where there is a constant, cool temperature and low relative humidity of about 35-50 percent. Attics, basements, and other areas with extreme temperature fluctuations or variable humidity levels are not optimal for preservation. Family Tree Magazine offers advice for pre- servation of paper artifacts, books, and ephemera. Papers should be unfolded or unrolled. If paper is already brown or brittle, that condition cannot be reversed. However, professional paper conservators can camouflage water damage, tears, and other blemishes on significant artifacts. It is best to keep any brown/brittle items away from other papers, and if possible, photocopy the deteriorating artifact. News-

print is very acidic and photocopying onto archival paper is a good alternative. Archival paper is estimated to last up to 500 years. (I doubt we’ll be around to test this theory!) Paintings and prints that are still in the original framing material would benefit from being re-framed. Matting, wood, and backing papers that were used many years ago were very acidic (or contained lignins), and are, therefore, very damaging to the art. The Pillars has an extensive library of the Bills family books. The Library of Congress shares several suggestions for preserving books. One should always handle books with clean hands. Some experts recommend using gloves. However, many conservators disagree on whether it is best to use gloves or clean hands. Tape, glue, folds, paper-clips and/or acidic bookmarks are all damaging to books. Books should be kept upright or flat, but not leaning. Valuable or significant books can be stored in an archival boxes that are acid and lignin free. Experts now caution against using leather cleaners or conditioners on leather bound books. If it appears that a book has some sort of insect infestation, the book can be placed in a zip-lock freezer bag and put in the freezer. If books have a musty smell they can stand upright with the pages slightly open to allow air to circulate. Mold and/or mildew are more serious problems that require special handling. (More detailed instructions for these methods can be found on the LOC website). Hopefully, some of these ideas will allow you to better care for your precious family treasures. These links to the past cannot be replaced, so I will endeavor to do everything possible to make sure that Hardeman County’s priceless artifacts survive and thrive for another century.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Bills August 29th, 150 years ago: In Bolivar, Tennessee, John Houston Bills of The Pillars, an early settler, planter and diarist wrote: “This my 63rd anniversary - my health yet good, my action a little stiff, but no pains or giving way of the Machinery of Life. The horrors of Civil War yet upon us, many of my servants have run away & most of those left has as well be gone, they being totally demoralized & ungovernable.”

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The Wright House ~ 1867 It nice to see our neighbor at “The Pillars”, the Wright House getting a new face lift. Built in 1867 by Thomas Smith and named Ashley Hall, it formerly stood on LaFayette Street in Bolivar. The house was moved in the early 1970’s to McNeal Street. I remember watching the crew cutting the house into 2 sections and moving it down the street and around the corner. The house is a wonderful example of Victorian architecture perfectly depicted by its lovely bay window, dental work trim, and latticed porches.

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Hardeman Co. Chapter of APTA newsletter for Summer / Fall 2013 The Online Edition

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