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 […]

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 […]