Archiving the School Room

“Archiving the School Room” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (text as printed in The South Reporter on December 5, 2013) For the last month, the quiet of the Marshall County Historical Museum’s third floor has given way to the sound of shuffling paper. The scratch of a pen often follows it, and stops. Then starts again. Down the hallway where the typewriter collection sits, there’s a room with thousands of books and periodicals. They wrap around the walls, and more are piled onto desks, just below a chalkboard. Two large portrait paintings of Holly Springs’ school officials hang with authority over a small row of empty benches. This is the School Room, and Martha Fitch is at work, leaning over her notebook. An homage to old fashioned, single-room schools, the “School Room” isn’t an exact replica of an old schoolroom. However, with three desks, it is arranged to embody the spirit of one. The room houses the bulk of the Museum’s education-related items, including law books, encyclopedias, and vintage classroom photographs. If you find the theme a bit strange, in the context of the Marshall County Historical Museum, it makes perfect sense. Each room of the […]

Lost at Sea

“Lost at Sea” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (as printed in The South Reporter on November 21, 2013) Lieutenant Jim Bright Buchanan of Holly Springs, Miss. flew into Pearl Harbor without any guns. A radio operator on a B-17 aircraft, his squadron left San Francisco for the Philippines on Dec. 6, 1941, with a scheduled stop at Hickam Field in Honolulu. There, the plane would be armed for battle before picking up a battalion march in the Philippines. That was the plan. The surprise attack by the Japanese meant the squadron couldn’t land at their scheduled stop. Instead, they were diverted to Wheeler Field in the central part of Honolulu. The attack on the Harbor was in full swing, but they were safe. Born in 1915, Buchanan left work as a bonds salesmen in Memphis, Tenn. to enlist in the Army Air Corps in March of 1941, at the age of 26. After the incident at Pearl Harbor, he soon qualified as a bombardier. Mrs. Frances Buchanan, Lieutenant Buchanan’s widow, recalls during a recent interview that it was an exceptionally patriotic time. “I don’t think there has ever been a more patriotic time,” she said. On […]

Witches, Ghosts, and Halloween

“Witches, Ghosts, and Halloween” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (as submitted to The South Reporter for publication the week of October 30, 2013) One day a year children can be anything they want to be. Well, almost. Depending on a household’s values or beliefs, the choice of costume for a child on Halloween has its limits. Some costumes can be too graphic, too risqué, too weird, or too “witchy”. There’s varying degrees of all of these things, and some costumes can, actually, be too graphic or too risqué for common decency. In terms of “witchy”, I relate this to whether or not a child is allowed to dress up like the stereotypical witch or ghost for Halloween. Some children are. I wasn’t. Instead, my mom sewed elaborate costumes that were pumpkins, clowns, Popples, and princesses. The Popple was especially nifty. For anyone who remembers the 1980s plush toy by Mattel, my costume even had a pouch I could roll myself up into and bounce around. In researching the origin of Halloween for this article, I realized how unintentionally Victorian it was for Mom to exorcise the spookiness out of my holiday. During the 1800s, the holiday […]

Long Island Summers

“Long Island Summers” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (as printed in The South Reporter on October 24, 2013) Since taking the helm of the Marshall County Historical Museum as Interim Director on 01 July 2013, Chelius Carter and the Museum’s intrepid staff have busied themselves with a thorough inventory of everything that is contained within its three floors, a formidable task. The inventory process is being done to make the collection searchable, as it will be logged into a database, making it more accessible for research and help in bringing more visitors to our area. Though Lois Shipp’s daily presence is dearly missed, her impact upon the Museum and its immense collection assembled during her tenure is ever-present. The inventory process will be of help in planning future programs, thus ensuring that Miss Lois’ legacy will continue to evolve. The inventory process, though tedious, has not been without it “eureka” moments. In fact, if you were to take the tour at the Marshall County Historical Museum, you would uncover an array of oddities, old southern history, and estate treasures. There’s a feeling of archaeology, bringing to light buried treasures, as you take the tour. The itch […]