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September 2008

TheTelegraph News & Events from the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Association with the Smithsonian Institution

Vol. VI, No. 2

New Education Center Brings Railroads to Life for Children


hoo-whoo. Chug. Tap-tap-tap. Sounds coming from the Southern Museum’s new Education Center will be anything but the hush-hush normally reserved for museums. Years in the making and opening this month, the Education Center provides opportunities for all children to touch, listen, and talk as they find out about the impact of railroads on America through hands-on exhibits and activities designed just for them. “Community members wanted a place where they could bring children,” said Jennifer Legates, director of curriculum and educational initiatives. The result is an 8,000-square-foot space with something for all ages. Visitors can “drive” a train on an interactive locomotive by moving their bodies back and forth and waving their arms, or they can try on clothes like those found in America in the 19th century. Two telegraphs allow children to tap out messages, teaching them about the days before cell phones.

Grand Opening Sept. 27 Bring the whole family for a day of fun


n Saturday, Sept. 27, from 1 – 5 p.m., the Southern Museum will host a free grand opening for its new Education Center. Children can play outdoor games and listen to stories and short programs. Families will enjoy a signal corps demonstration on the Museum’s front lawn, a railroad flag-signaling program, and weaponsfiring demonstrations every hour. Winners of a student art contest, a special competition to commemorate the grand opening, will be announced and winning entries will be on display. For more information, see

Community members wanted a place where they could bring children. The result is an 8,000-square-foot space with something for all ages. The highlight of the Education Center is the historic Georgia Merci Boxcar, one of 49 boxcars sent to the United States by the people of France in 1949 to express appreciation (“Merci” is French for “thank you”) for American relief efforts there following World War II. The Southern Museum has been the custodian of the boxcar since January 2006. The exhibit displays some of the French cultural gifts that were aboard the boxcar. According to Assistant Curator Ava Wilkey: continues on page 3

In the new Education Center, younger children have a place to play with railroad-themed toys.

Education Center, cont. “Artifacts on display will include a beautiful conch shell carved using a cameo technique and a Victory bracelet made of German requisitioned coins. There are also military medals won during World War I and earlier, as well as an 1850s intricate needlework portrait of George Washington done by Francois Carquillat — a prolific weaver from Paris — done on a Jacquard loom.” according to assistant curator Ava Wilkey.

The staff hope the Education Center will make the Southern Museum even more popular for field trips. In addition to the exhibits, the Center is outfitted with two classrooms where students can meet after touring the Museum to discuss the significance of what they saw. Even children not quite ready for school can find a place in the new Education Center. The Georgia W. Pierce PreKindergarten Area offers small tables where little ones can play with train sets, color, or read books. A large soft train provides a place for children to climb and roll. The Museum staff hope the Education Center will make the Southern Museum even more popular for field trips. In addition to the hands-on exhibits, the Education Center is outfitted with two classrooms where students can meet after touring the Museum to discuss the significance of what they saw. “We really needed this space for conducting programs,” said Legates. Not only will school groups benefit, but Mommy and Me programs, day camps, and other events will take place in the classrooms. Access to the Education Center is included with regular Museum admission, and the Center operates the same hours as the Museum.

Education Center Donors LeoDelle Lassiter Jolley Foundation Fred R. Keith & Family Price Gilbert Jr. Charitable Fund Robert W. Woodruff Foundation Vaughan Foundation Imlay Foundation Entertainment Design Group Steve & Kris Guy Publix Supermarket Charities Georgia Northeastern Railroad Cobb County Board of Commissioners Federal Highway Administration North American Railway Foundation Bright Wings Foundation Thank you to our Cornerstone members.

Georgia’s French Gratitude Boxcar is decorated with coats of arms of the historic provinces of France. Visitors can learn about the history of the car, see the gifts that were inside it, and participate in an activity to learn more about these signs in the new exhibit.


In the new Education Center, children learn about railroad safety.

What Is It?


ould this be a long-lost jack belonging to a child? Or maybe it’s a weight of some sort. Your official clues: It’s not much larger than a quarter, it’s metal, and it’s from the Civil War era. If you recognize this item, e-mail curator Mike Bearrow at The winner and the correct answer will be announced in the next issue of The Telegraph.

disorders during this time. Readers who were stumped should take solace in knowing that this item fooled even the museum staff. “I, the so-called expert, pronounced it a ‘fifty-four caliber bullet mold,’” said curator Mike Bearrow. “We here at the museum play ‘What Is It?’ more than our visitors might suspect,” he said. Congratulations to the two astute readers who responded correctly: Cedric Gifford and Bob Hoenes.

What Was It? In the last issue of the newsletter, we asked you to identify the item on the right. The correct answer is Civil Warera suppository mold. Such pharmaceuticals were much more common then than they are today due to lack of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits and the commonality of digestive


aturday, Oct. 25, 2008, will be a night to remember as the Kennesaw Museum Foundation hosts the 11th annual Heroes and Legends Gala to benefit the Southern Museum. Enjoy an elegant dinner at the museum and bid for enticing prizes at a live and silent auction. Tickets are $125. Call Leslie Edge at 770-427-2117, ext. 3183 to purchase tickets or for more information.

Golf Tournament Benefits Museum


golf tournament held April 14, 2008, raised more than $42,000 for the Southern Museum. Thirty-one teams braved unpredictable weather to participate in the event, held at the Brookstone Golf and Country Club, west of Kennesaw. The MacTec threesome of Ron Huffman, Jon Hart, and Leslie Stubblefield won the tournament. For the sixth consecutive year, the event was presented by Carl Black Buick/Pontiac/GMC. Other tournament sponsors include Carrabbas Italian Grill and the PGA Tour Superstore. Proceeds will be allocated for educational programs and acquisition of artifacts at the Museum.

Winners of the April golf tournament.

Last Chance to Win Custom Fishing Boat


very fisherman dreams of catching “the big one.” Usually this refers to an enormous fish, but this fall, catching “the big one” might just mean you’ve won a fully loaded custom boat. The Kennesaw Museum Foundation is raffling off a high-performance boat to benefit the programs of the Southern Museum. The drawing for the boat will be Oct. 25, 2008, at the foundation’s annual Heroes and Legends Gala. Boat tickets cost $100 and can be purchased at the museum or online at Only 2,008 tickets will be sold to ensure good odds for participants. Donated by Kennesaw-based Yamaha Marine Group and ordered specially for this raffle, this Skeeter 20i dual console with Yamaha VZ250 HPDI fishing boat offers features such as: • Hot foot and pro trim • Hydraulic tilt steering • CD player with AM/FM stereo • Minn Kota 36V Max Pro troll motor

• Hummingbird 997 cSI dash-mounted fish finder and GPS • Custom EZ Loader trailer on custom aluminum wheels In addition to the high-grade features, the boat also boasts a custom paint job with a twist: It’s painted in the colors of the star attraction of the Southern Museum—the General locomotive. For more information on this special opportunity, see

• Hummingbird 797 c2SI bow-mounted fish finder


The Curators’ Corner

Saving Your Stuff By Ava Wilkey, Assistant Curator


e all have too much stuff. It is hard to get rid of, and we always seem to accumulate more. But while your broken 1970s blender should be sent to curb, you probably have other items — quilts, old photographs, Grandpa’s uniform — that should be cared for and saved as part of your family history. Two of the most common questions we field at the museum are, “How do I take care of it?” and “What do I do with it?” A retired senior conservator at the Smithsonian Institution, Don Gaither wrote in his book, Saving Stuff, that “you are responsible for the museum of you.” His book is an excellent resource on how to care for and display personal historical material.

Your Collection’s Six Enemies According to Gaither, the conditions below speed the deterioration of your materials: 1. Light. Ever wonder why that old letter’s ink is fading or a photograph framed on the wall is turning yellow? It is likely light damage, which is irreversible, so it is best to avoid it if possible. 2. Moisture. Material kept in humid conditions will expand and mildew. But too-dry conditions cause cracking. 3. Temperature. When items are kept too hot or too cold, or experience wide temperature fluctuations, numerous problems can result. 4. Contamination. Air pollution, salt water, soot, oil, and other substances damage collections. 5. Biological attack. Uninvited “guests” to our homes, such as rodents, moths, silverfish, carpet beetles, and even pets can invade and multiple quickly, causing serious damage.


6. Use and handling. Excessive handling and improper storage material can cause more damage than many of the items listed above. Yes, sometimes you are the enemy to your stuff.

Never store your collection in the attic or basement. Basements are a wet, humid, and dark haven for mold and mildew, while attics are too hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. Now that you know your collection’s enemies, here are some easy guidelines on how to avoid these problems: • Never store your collection in the in the attic or basement. Basements are a wet, humid, and dark haven for mold and mildew, while attics are too hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. Keep your materials where you comfortably reside in your home. Your living spaces have steady temperature control and fewer pests. • Remember natural materials are most sensitive: wood, paper, leather, and textiles. • Inspect for pests and, if there is evidence of them, have the area or home treated. • Do not display items such as prints and paintings within inches of a light bulb or within direct view of an outside window. • If possible, invest in acid-free storage containers such as acid-free albums and boxes with acid-free tissue. There are many products on the market. • Handle materials only when necessary and with clean, washed hands. Cotton gloves are best for picking up metals.

• Do not attempt to repair items in poor condition. When in doubt, consult a conservator. There are professionals who specialize in the care and preservation of artifacts. Visit or call the American Institute of Conservators at http://www. to locate a conservator. Finally, consider the long-term care of the material. After you and your family are gone, who will care for it? A museum’s role in a community is to provide a repository where objects are preserved and interpreted in public trust for perpetuity. In other words, we’re in the business of saving stuff. The Southern Museum’s mission is to collect material relating to Civil War and locomotive history. A museum’s ability to accept a donation depends on the item’s suitability for that particular museum, the condition of the item, its origin, and availability of storage space. While museums cannot accept every item offered, there might be a facility that would appreciate your item, interpret it for the public, and, most importantly, preserve it for future generations. Remember, you are just a caretaker for today — the work you do now will make sure historical materials are here for generations that follow.

Don’t Forget! Renew Your Museum Membership Yearly! Call Membership Coordinator Cindy Dadyala at 770-427-2117 ext.3182

Mark Your Calendar! Seniors Month Sept. 1 – 30

March on Big Shanty Oct. 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In celebration of National Grandparents Day, the Southern Museum is offering senior citizens (60 and up) half-price regular Museum admission through the entire month of September. Come celebrate the past with us. For more information contact the Education Department at 770-427-2117 ext. 3174 or

The 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry will be encamped on the Museum’s front lawn and hold weapons firing demonstrations throughout the day. The event is free.

History of War: A Military Timeline Oct. 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oct. 12, Noon – 4 p.m. Trace the history of wartime experiences and the evolution of weaponry and tactics

in a unique living history weekend. Tracing back to Roman times, living history interpreters and military personnel will bring history to life in a truly educational and interactive experience. Co-sponsored by the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History and City of Kennesaw Parks and Recreation. Location: Park across the street from the Southern Museum. Admission: $5 continues on page 6

Preschool Programs All programs are from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Designed for children ages 3 – 5 and their parents. Free with Museum admission. No reservations required. For more information, contact the Education Department at 770-427-2117 ext. 3173 or

Mommy & Me Sponsored by Gas South The Museum’s history, themes, and exhibits provide a fun and exciting starting point for educational activities.

Making Dot Pictures

Sept. 18 Learn all about pointillism by making your own work of art.

19th Century Children’s Clothing

Oct. 2

What were skeleton suits, and who wore them? Find out during this fun and interactive program.

A Music Lesson

Oct. 16 What songs were popular in the 19th century?

Pumpkin Party Oct. 30 Come out and decorate your own pumpkin. Harvest Time

Nov. 13 Holidays have changed throughout the years. Learn how Americans celebrated Thanksgiving long ago.

The Polar Express

Dec. 4 Based on the popular children’s book, come join the Southern Museum on an imaginary trip to the North Pole.

A Creature Was Stirring … Dec. 18 The classic Christmas story as only the Southern Museum could tell it, just in time for the holidays.

Share a Story Come listen to a story and then act it out using props.

“I Spy Shapes in Art”

Sept. 24 You’ll explore art through shapes in this interactive story.

“Curious George Takes a Train”

Oct. 22

What will happen when our favorite monkey goes on a train ride?

“Down by the Station”

Nov. 19 How many ways can people get around?

Kreative Kids The Museum’s exhibits and themes provide the historical perspective for creating.


Sept. 13 Children will get to make their own traditional “ball-and-cup” catch toy in this fun lesson.

Mask-querade Oct. 4 Become your favorite animal by creating your very own animal mask.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Nov. 1 Did you know that you could make a turkey out of a pine cone?

Old Fashioned Holiday Ornaments

Dec. 6

What did people in the 19th century do during the holidays? They made their own decorations, of course, and so will you at this fun workshop.

Games for Learning The Museum’s exhibits and themes provide the historical perspective for playing games.

Old-Time School Games Sept. 9 What games did children enjoy playing in a one-room school? Old-Time Circle Games Oct. 7 Enjoy circle games from long ago. Old-Time Board Games Nov. 4 Play some familiar and not-sofamiliar board games.

Winter Fun

Dec. 9 Come play some old-fashioned winter activities. continues on page 6 5

Learning: An Endeavor For All Seasons By Wesleigh Reaves, Group Tour Manager


pring is one of the busiest times for student field trips at the Southern Museum. You might think the education staff prepares for a nice summer break, right? Not so! The staff spent the summer combing through the new Georgia Performance Standards for schools, putting the finishing touches on the new Education Center, and rebuilding our educational offerings from the ground up. In addition, we brought back some of your favorite public programs. Children participated in camps: “So You Want to Be a Civil War Soldier” and

“So You Want to Be a Railroad Engineer.” There is no better sight for the Museum educators than to see the enthusiasm of these young historians as they practice drilling or signaling. Our public interpretive programs were also popular with many families this summer who vacationed in town. We continued to build relationships with Georgia educators this summer by offering teachers free Museum admission and goodie bags in the month of July. As we move into fall and children return to

school, we’re gearing up to bring students up close to history. The Southern Museum staff has unveiled the much-anticipated Education Center. We’re also kicking off new thematic educational tours that incorporate interactive team activities, living history presentations, hands-on learning opportunities, and new “heads-on” activities in which students analyze historic objects and primary-source documents. Check the Museum calendar online as we keep our momentum going throughout the fall. Watch for details on new Homeschool Days themes, the Military Timeline and Special School Day in October, and Seniors Month in September. For more information or to plan a group outing, call me, or send an e-mail to programs@ or

Mark Your Calendar, cont. continued from page 5

Homeschool Days Fall 2008 Oct. 6, Nov. 3, and Dec. 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

per adult, $3 for children 4 – 12, children 3 and under are free. For more information, contact 770-427-2117 ext. 3176 or

A Polar Express Adventure Dec. 13, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Your family can travel on a make-believe journey to the North Pole in this hands-on event like no other. Take an imaginary train trip, help make toys in Santa’s Workshop, and be sure to get your very own jingle bell before leaving as the halls of the Southern Museum are transformed. Be sure to wear your pajamas as you embark on a unique experience inspired by the popular “Polar Express” book. Admission: $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for children 4 – 12. Museum members and children 3 and under are free. For more information,

Children of all ages who are homeschooled can explore the Museum’s exhibits for a special rate. Educational programs will be offered hourly, giving everyone the chance to learn more about history. Reservations not required. (Please note: The Museum does not provide group tours on Homeschool Days.) Admission rates: $4 per student (4 – 12 yrs.), $6 per adult, children 3 and under free. For more information, contact the Education Department at 770-427-2117 ext. 3174 or contact the Education Department at 770-427-2117 ext. 3177 or 6

Archives Collection Expands By Sallie Loy, Senior Archivist


n the five years since the Southern Museum opened its doors, the Archives and Library has grown from a small entity to a larger, well-respected, professional division of the Museum. This behind-the-scenes section of the Museum houses historical Civil War and railroad records, and is a place where researchers can go to gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, photographs, and other primary sources. In 2003, the Archives’ major collections were the Glover Machine Works collection, including glass-plate negatives, photographs, builders’ files, locomotive specification sheets, accounting records, books, catalogs, business and personal correspondence, and the Museum’s own Civil War collections. Today, we maintain and store — and make available to the public — 51 Civil War, 57 railroad, one cotton industry, two Merci Boxcar, and 21 individual collections.

We also have increased our book collection tenfold, some of which include Railway and Locomotive Historical Society magazines/bulletins, 1921–2007, a complete set of Poor’s Manual of Railroads, 1868–1930, donated by the Jack Tarver Library of Mercer University, and the George Wray Civil War Collection, donated by the Kennesaw Foundation. In the summer of 2003, we acquired the extensive 6,000 cu. ft. Southern Railway Historical Association Collection. We recently reached a milestone in processing our 10,000th Southern Railway Presidents file. This achievement was achieved so quickly because of the work of Charlie Bell, Harry Carpenter, Carol and Greg Clarke, Kelsey Fritz, Katie Odom, and Harry Saunders, our faithful, dedicated and very hard-working volunteers. We cannot thank you enough for being a part of our Museum family. Staff member Dick Hillman continues to write articles for “Wheels of Time” magazine and the Railway and

This photo from the Museum Archives shows a Tennessee street scene from the late 1920s. It is part of the Southern Railway Historical Association’s collection.

New staff member Daniel Pete, assistant archivist.

Locomotive Historical Society, help with grant work, and process the Southern Railway Historical Association’s D.C. files. He also works side by side with Daniel Pete, our newest team member.

We recently reached a milestone in processing our 10,000th Southern Railway Presidents file. Daniel graduated from the State University of New York Fredonia with a degree in history and enjoys genealogy research. In the Archives and Library, he currently is working with the Southern Railway Val Section Reports and scanning historic photographs to enhance the Museum Web site with visuals. Our tremendous growth has been made possible by the individuals and organizations that have loaned or donated collections, the professional staff, our dedicated volunteers, and our donors. Thanks all of who have taken part in allowing us to become a firstclass research facility.



P.O. Box 846 • Kennesaw, Georgia 30156 770-427-2117 • Fax 770-421-8485

Please visit for more information on upcoming events.

From the General Emporium


chools are back in session (did we hear a collective sigh from parents?) and the summer travel season has wound down. Now is the time to take advantage of the 10 percent member discount on gift shop purchases as you plan for the fall. And believe it or not, the busy holiday season will be here before you know it. We have a nice selection of ladies’ long-sleeved shirts with four different Museum scenes — the General, Kennesaw Depot, Glover Machine Works, and the famous locomotive Best Friend of Charleston. Freshen up your home décor with our teapots, glass tankards, and perfume bottles. Historical wall-hanger rifles and pistols make interesting conversation pieces in the den or living room. We have an assortment of weapons available. Children and adults alike appreciate good books. We have a wide collection of new books about the Civil War and railroads for both age groups. Don’t forget to present your membership card at the gift shop counter to receive your 10 percent discount.

Volunteer at the Museum


o matter your skills or schedule, the Southern Museum has a place for you on its volunteer roster. Our volunteers play a vital role in outreach, education, and Museum maintenance. With the new Education Center and the addition of many new children’s history workshops and early education programs, now is a great time to find out how your skills can benefit the community through the Museum. Opportunities include assisting with exhibits and special events, leading tours, keeping the museum exhibits in good repair, and much more. For more information, contact Cindy Dadyala at 770-427-2117 ext. 3182.

Thanks to Our 2008 Corporate Members Ashton Staffing BB&T Bentley, Bentley & Bentley Carl Black Buick/Pontiac/GMC Chastain & Associates Inc. CheckPoint Mortgage Cobb Energy Management Georgia Power Kennesaw Mountain High School North Metro Technical College O’Neill Communications Pacesetter Steel Services Vulcan Materials Company

The Southern Museum Telegraph - September 2008  

New Education Center Brings Railroads to Life for Children

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