Winter 2023

News & Updates from

the Milton Historical Society

Telling Milton's Story

Visit our website: www.miltonhistoricalsociety-georgia.org

In this issue:


  • President Dufresne's recap of 2023
  • McConnell-Chadwick House clean-up
  • Meet Jenny Doyle - new Vice President
  • Young Milton Historians - poster contest
  • The Story, and Mystery, of John Milton
  • New Lifetime Patrons Named
  • A Gift Repaid - Ireland-Choctaw connection
  • A Day to Remember - small-town holidays past
  • 29 Questions to Decide your Fate
  • Code of the Hills
  • Pat Statham's rescued recipes
  • And more!

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

by Jeff Dufresne 

                                   


In five short years, the Milton Historical Society (MHS) has evolved from a budding group of history lovers to a respected Society recognized for preserving and promoting our past… both locally and nationally.


The year 2023, in particular, has been an incredible year for the Milton Historical Society. Here are just a few accomplishments:


McConnell-Chadwick House: Through MHS’s adept facilitation, this 180 year old historic home (circe 1840) is in the process of being donated by the Larry Chadwick family to the City of Milton. 


District at Mayfield: MHS facilitated its passage of this concept plan in an effort to protect several historic homes in Crabapple from demolition.


Archival Projects: Our Society continues to acquire donations and feature select portions of our collections at our public programs and signature events. Looking ahead, we are looking for volunteer SUPPORT to help receive, analyze, catalog, and store incoming donations.


Public Programs: This year, our Society has hosted several public presentations at various locations on far reaching topics such as the History of Boiling Springs Primitive Baptist Church; Early Cotton Production in Milton County; and the The Definitive History of John Milton.


Signature Events: In 2023, we hosted four popular social gatherings, such as our annual Spring Fling (in May) and Autumn Shindig (in September) to raise awareness about the importance of teaching history as well as preserving and promoting our past. Signature events always have a historical theme and take place at beautiful Milton locations.


Newsletter/Social Media: Our esteemed Society newsletter and Facebook page keep the Milton community informed about local historic facts as well as promoting our past. Please feel free to submit your own family stories to the Society to share with the community!


If you are looking for ways to get more involved with the Milton Historical Society, I invite you to reach out to any of the following Society Board Members whom you may know to explore the possibilities: Mark Amick, Kathy Beck, Joan Borzilleri, Mary Cronk, Jenny Doyle, Jeff Dufresne, Jim Farris, Byron Foster, Carl Jackson, Bill Lusk, Bob Sorcabal, and Lynn Tinley.


You may also inquire about volunteer or staff opportunities with the Milton Historical Society via President@MiltonHistoricalSociety-Georgia.org


Wishing you the happiest of holidays.


Jeff Dufresne, President

Milton Historical Society

McConnell-Chadwick House Clean-up:

Local volunteers at work

Bill Lusk - never happier!

Two bright summer days a few months ago found an erstwhile group of men single-minded in their pursuit. They could have been on the tennis court, golf course, or at the pool. This group however, under the direction of Bill Lusk, chose to brave poison ivy, any number of flying critters, and clouds of dust to continue work on the McConnell-Chadwick House - Milton’s own Place in Peril!


The Chadwick House Preservation Committee and the Milton Historical Society had for years spoken about the need to clear out the interior and clean up the landscape. The time was finally right - not too hot or too cold or too wet - just right in order to spruce up the 180 year-old house.


We have included before and after photos to illustrate their herculean task.

John Morley Company

truck and crew

Entrance hall

Interior before

Interior after

Cast of Characters

Bill Lusk organized the following energetic group of volunteers: Larry Chadwick, property owner, who pitched in and also supplied the tractor; the John Morley Company supplied six workers and a 40 cubic-yard truck; Gregg Cronk, Tom Fiorillo, Byron Foster, Bob Gamble, and Carl Jackson supplied much needed muscle power.


In the Works

A Preliminary Eligibility Application has been filed with the State Department of Community Affairs for the house’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Next steps include a property survey, environmental impact study, and a title search that are necessary for restoration efforts. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting project!

Bill Lusk and Byron Foster: the tree doesn't stand a chance

Side of house after clean-up



Chadwick House

mid-20th century

And today



PR help from the Georgia Trust - Summer 2023 Rambler

Meet New Board Member and VP: Jenny Doyle

In her own words...

“My family has had many teachers and professors; all of the men are or were in the military. My grandfather was a high school history teacher. I have always loved nonfiction and the History channel as well as documentaries. 


“I am a realtor with a team of seven moms who work and live in Milton, GA. I used to teach 4th grade and also owned a bar in Athens, GA.” 



Jenny has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia. Her children are Luke, age 6 and Mary Piper, age 8. Jenny enjoys jogging on Wood Road and hosting two Milton book clubs. 


“My favorite dining spots are 7 Acres, Milton’s Restaurant, The Standard Roswell, and Citizen Soul. I would like to see more families get involved (in the community) as well as more learning about the history of Milton and purposefully preserving more aspects of our beautiful city.”


Jenny Doyle


Jenny serves as Vice President of the Society.


One illustrious ancestor: Jenny is descended from the Carroll family of Maryland! Charles Carroll of Carrollton was an Irish-American politician, planter, and signatory of the Declaration of Independence.


He was the only Catholic signatory and the longest surviving, dying 56 years after its signing. He served as U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1789 to 1792.



Portrait by Michael Laty

Jenny Doyle Real Estate team

Young Milton Historians:

Students earn society membership with poster art!

Five local students have received FREE Student Membership to the Milton Historical Society for their submissions to our Constitution Day poster coloring contest. The contest was announced at the Society's annual Autumn Shindig. This year, the event honored our country's adoption of the U.S. Constitution 235 years ago and promoted the importance of studying history.


Everyone who entered was a winner!

Students and their art are displayed by age.

Megan's Poster

Megan Leaders, age 10

Megan attends Saint Francis Elementary School. She enjoys art, volleyball, baking, and Legos. She is in the Saint Francis chorus and garden club. She does aerial silk acrobatics, dance, and is in Cub Scouts.

Matthew Dsilva, age 9

Matt's Poster

Matthew is in the 4th grade at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School. He likes to play tennis, chess and spending time with his brother

Annie, Ben, and Jack

Teagle

Jack's Poster

Annie, Ben, and Jack Teagle attend Fellowship Christian School


  • Annie, age 5, is in kindergarten and loves art.
  • Ben, age 5, is in kindergarten and loves golf.
  • Jack, age 8, is in second grade and loves basketball.


Ben's Poster

Annie's Poster

Thanks to all for participating and for reminding us what the Constitution and our country stand for! Congratulations!

The Story, and Mystery, of John Milton

The Society’s lecture series in October featured a discussion on Georgia’s lost patriot, John Milton. Mark Amick’s four-year research project centered on the topic of this patriot who fought in the Revolutionary War and helped shape America and Georgia. Most sources agree that John Milton was the namesake of old Milton County and, indeed, the City of Milton. Mark’s challenge was to fill in the blanks by tirelessly pursuing original sources that took him back 250 years in early American history. He shared his extensive research and gave us a program that was both informational and entertaining! The high points of his presentation are outlined here.


“I beg leave to recommend him to you as a brave and worthy man, who merits much from his country.” 

Q: Who wrote this and who was the ‘brave and worthy man’? 

A: Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, writing to General Horatio Gates about John Milton, November 1780 during the Revolutionary War.


What We Knew - Highlights of John Milton’s Life:

  • John Milton owned land in many places throughout Georgia, but primarily lived in Louisville and in the Augusta area at his home, which he called Padan-Aram.
  • January 7, 1776 - Milton was among the first to enlist in the defense of Georgia. Ensign John Milton is listed among Officers of the Georgia Battalion, Fourth Company.
  • February 18, 1777 - Lt. Milton is captured by the British and held prisoner at Castillo de San Marcos, in Saint Augustine, Florida.
  • 1777-1799 - Milton is named Georgia’s first Secretary of State and serves for 22 years.
  • December 6, 1778 - Milton secures official Georgia colonial and state records and the state seal, moving them from Savannah to Purrysburg, South Carolina.
  • January 1779 - General Benjamin Lincoln takes command and orders Milton to move the records to Charleston, SC. With an expected siege of Charleston, Milton is then ordered to take the records to Monk's Corner, South Carolina or another secure location as he sees fit. Milton actually moves them to New Bern, North Carolina; they eventually end up in safe harbor at Annapolis, Maryland where they remain until war’s end.
  • December, 1782 - Milton is promoted to Major.
  • January 2, 1788 - Milton signs to ratify the U.S. Constitution on behalf of Georgia; designated as a signer out of Glynn County, where he owned property.
  • April 30, 1789 - Milton is an elector from Georgia in the first presidential election. While voting for Washington, Milton himself receives two electoral votes for president.
  • Milton is Mayor of the Town of Augusta from 1792 to 1794.


What Mark Amick’s Research Disclosed:

  • May, 1780 - After securing the state records, John Milton returned to South Carolina.
  • He joined Colonel Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox); as they had both previously reported to General Benjamin Lincoln and took part in the Siege of Savannah. (Scroll down to see a brief refresher on the military importance of Marion.)
  • Marion received orders to report to Hillsboro, NC for a leadership meeting with General Horatio Gates. Milton accompanies Marion.
  • Colonel Otho Williams wrote:
“Colonel Francis Marion…attended by a very few followers, distinguished by their small leather caps and the wretchedness of their attire.” “Their number did not exceed twenty men and boys…and all mounted, but most miserably equipped.”
  • Marion and Milton were ordered to recruit militia, cut off British supplies and escape routes, and to create general havoc for the British in South Carolina. It is at this meeting, and a letter later sent from Marion to Gates, that clearly calls out that John Milton was one of the originals fighting alongside Col. Marion.
  • 1781 - Marion is named Brigadier General and forms Marion’s Brigade; Milton is named Francis Marion’s Aide de Camp.
  • Marion’s Brigade engaged in 12 different battles; serving at the battles of Mingo Creek and Kings Mountain. Milton left active service on July 15, 1782.


Research Sources - the Hunt:

Amick visited the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah, Georgia Archives in Morrow, resources in Augusta, Louisville, and locations in Florida. (Milton’s descendants relocated to Marianna, Florida; his grandson John Milton was Florida’s Governor during the Civil War.) Mark also accessed records from the National Archives, and official State of Georgia records. Mark gathered an extensive collection of books and documents. His sources included payroll records, pension payment records, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of the Cincinnati, and numerous books and articles. He also reached out to Milton descendants via social media.


Mark Amick’s Donations to the Milton Historical Society:

Mark acquired two official State of Georgia documents written and signed by John Milton and an extensive collection of at least 24 research books, which he generously donated to the Society library.

Letter of Appointment of Justus Hartman Sheuber as Notary and Tabellion written on behalf of Governor Telfair -

 February 13, 1786

John Milton letter regarding Governor Jackson's concern for security at the governor's mansion - February 7, 1798





Ways to Honor John Milton: Veterans’ Marker, historical marker, page on city’s website, John Milton Day celebration, and/or a statue are all options. Mark would like to see the Milton horse logo be named 'Aries' in honor of John Milton's horse!


Note: Bill Lusk and Mark Amick installed the new veterans' marker for John Milton this fall in anticipation of Veterans Day.




John Milton, Revered by His Contemporaries:


“He was regarded in high esteem by his fellow countrymen as long as he lived and is one of the most heroic figures in Georgia history.” Newnan Herald and Advertiser 


“…who had done the state invaluable service both as military and civil officer during and after the revolution.” The Cherokee Advance, October 9, 1891


Francis Marion to General Gates: “John Milton has been with me from the start.”


And this from the New Georgia Encyclopedia on Milton County:

“Milton County was named for John Milton, Georgia’s first Secretary of State, who was elected three times. A lieutenant colonel in the Revolutionary War (1775-83), he is credited with saving and preserving the state’s official records during the British occupation.” Caroline Dillman


The Hunt’s Not Over: Mark will continue researching for the burial site of John Milton and would dearly like to find a likeness of this important person.


Local history is much richer for Mark’s diligence in uncovering new information about John Milton.


Note: For the excellent recent John Milton article in the Milton Herald by Bob Meyers, click Opinion: On the trail to solve the mystery of John Milton | Opinion | appenmedia.com

Bonus - Francis Marion’s

Military Importance


Born circa 1732 in Berkeley County in the Province of South Carolina, Francis Marion served as Brigadier General in the South Carolina Militia, and as Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army.


Though he never commanded a field army or served as a commander in a major engagement, Marion's use of irregular warfare against the British has led him to be considered one of the fathers of guerrilla and maneuver warfare and his tactics form a part of the modern-day military doctrine of the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment.


Marion joined Major General Horatio Gates on July 27, 1780 just before the Battle of Camden. Gates sent Marion towards the interior to gather intelligence on the British forces opposing them. He thus missed the battle, which resulted in a British victory. Marion showed himself to be a singularly able leader of irregular militiamen and ruthless in his terrorizing of Loyalists. Unlike the Continental Army, Marion's Men, as they were known, served without pay, supplied their own horses, arms, and often their food. Marion's Men operated from a base camp in Florence County.


Marion rarely committed his men to frontal warfare but repeatedly bewildered larger bodies of Loyalists (or British Regulars) with quick surprise attacks and equally sudden withdrawal from the field. After their capture of Charleston, the British garrisoned in South Carolina with help from local Loyalists.


A state-erected information sign at Marion's gravesite on the former Belle Isle Plantation shows that he was engaged in 12 major battles and skirmishes in a two-year period, including Black Mingo Creek; Georgetown (four attacks) between October 1780 and May 1781; and Eutaw Springs on September 8, 1781. British General Cornwallis observed, "Colonel Marion had so wrought the minds of the people, partly by the terror of his threats and cruelty of his punishments, and partly by the promise of plunder, that there was scarcely an inhabitant between the Santee and the Pee Dee that was not in arms against us.”

Wikipedia

New Lifetime Patrons Named!

The Society recently voted to name two local citizens as Lifetime Patrons. Lifetime Patrons are those who have contributed to the Society with outstanding service, donations, or dues of $1000 or more. Lifetime Patrons are recognized in our communications and receive other benefits, such as priority for events with limited capacity. We are pleased to recognize the following:


Patti Dubas - John Milton descendant


Patti Dubas is a descendant of John Milton and his son, Algernon Solomon.  Patti is originally from Florida which is where her family line, along with other Milton descendants, relocated to in the 1800s. However, Patti returned to her family roots in Georgia and moved to then unincorporated north Fulton County.


Maybe it was the draw of old Milton County and her family namesake which was calling her back to Georgia. Patti even attended the Town Halls about the creation of the City of Milton in the mid-2000s. After meeting Patti at the October presentation on John Milton and sharing more of her family history – dating back to the 1500s, the Milton Historical Society Board voted to approve Patti Dubas as a Lifetime Patron. 


Larry Chadwick - long-time Milton resident and donor of the McConnell-Chadwick House to the City of Milton

The Society is recognizing Larry Chadwick (pictured here with daughter Christy) and the Chadwick family with Lifetime Patron designation for long standing in the community and especially for the generous donation of the McConnell-Chadwick house to the City of Milton. The house is one of the oldest in the original Cherokee County, which was formed from the Cherokee Nation following Removal.


The house, built circa 1840, is significant both historically and architecturally. The original owner was Brigadier General Eli McConnell, one of the early merchants with trading rights to the Cherokee Nation. Eli was also a landowner, state representative, state senator, sheriff, Judge of the Inferior Court, and warden of the state penitentiary in Milledgeville. The Greek Revival house has influences of Willis Ball, architect of numerous plantation-style homes in Roswell.


The house was recognized by the city with an historical marker in 2018. It was also named to the 2023 Places in Peril program of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (one of ten in the state so designated each year). The Preliminary Eligibility Application for the National Register has been submitted to the State Department of Community Affairs.


The Chadwick house has been in Larry’s family since the late 1800s. His great grandfather, Sylvestus Chamblee, opened a store in Little River and his daughter married into the Chadwick family.

 

The Chadwick Store, built in the early 1900s across from the house, was for decades a staple on Arnold Mill Road, serving the rural community for more than 100 years. It was the anchor ‘feed and seed’ store in the northwest corner of old Milton County and later in northwest Fulton County. The store was a gathering spot for local farmers. Early residents remember Arnold Mill with a cotton gin, general store, sawmill, blacksmith’s shop, and a grist mill run by Sylvestus Chamblee.


Larry Chadwick made his mark on the old Milton High School in Alpharetta. He served as class president, lettered in all four sports available at the school as well as the band, was editor of the school newspaper, and was voted most popular. He went on to Southern Polytechnic, then located in Chamblee. Larry worked for an engineering firm before returning to run the family business. He was the fourth-generation owner of the Chadwick Store. He started working at the store at age 10, running the cash register. Larry managed the store for decades; he was also a director of the Cobb EMC for 30 years, chairman for 24 years. He was a director of Oglethorpe Power.


The Society is grateful to the Chadwick family for protecting their historic family home and their generous donation of the McConnell-Chadwick house to the city. We are hopeful that it can be preserved for future generations. 

A Gift Repaid:

The Choctaw-Irish connection

Kindred Spirits monument in Ireland commemorating

the Choctaw gift during the potato famine

Photo credit: choctawnation.com

The September-October 2023 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine recounts a story that had been nearly forgotten. Synopsized here, On Common Ground, by Richard Grant, tells the tale of what followed “when members of the Choctaw Nation heard about a tragedy half a world away and didn’t hesitate to help. The Irish never forgot their generosity. Some 175 years later, the bond remains.”


“On March 23, 1847, at a meeting in the small town of Skullyville in Indian Territory, Major William Armstrong, the U.S. agent of the Choctaw Nation, took the floor to speak. In attendance, gathered in a stone and timber building, were tribal members, agency officials, missionaries, and traders. Armstrong (himself an Irish-American), reading aloud from a pamphlet, informed them about an event taking place on the far side of the Atlantic and of no obvious interest to the Choctaw people: the Great Famine in Ireland. The Choctaw were deeply moved. Some reportedly wept. Despite their own impoverished circumstances and the recent dispossession of their homelands, they raised either $174 or $710 (the number is disputed), the latter the equivalent of more than $5,000 today, to help with famine relief efforts.


The Irish backstory: “Many Irish were living in harsh conditions before the famine…Ireland, colonized by England centuries before, had been forced into a land tenure system.” The Irish were essentially sharecroppers who subsisted on three meals of boiled potatoes a day. “Nearly half of them were living in one-room windowless mud cabins. Historians estimate that more than a million Irish people died between 1845 and 1851, either from starvation or hunger-related disease…another million people left Ireland, mostly to England, Canada, and the United States.”

Choctaw Nation seal

Photo credit: choctawnation.com

Choctaw removal

Photo credit:

Smithsonian Magazine

The Choctaw backstory: Beginning in 1830, the Choctaw Nation was removed by the federal government from their ancestral homeland in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama and relocated to what is now Oklahoma - yet another iteration of the Trail of Tears. An estimated 15,000 Choctaw people traveled a journey of 500 miles, and approximately a quarter died along the way.


“On their new land, many Choctaw members were living in poverty, with inadequate housing and little access to food…which only makes the tribe’s generosity all the more astonishing.


“The money collected that day in 1847 went to Memphis and then to New York City, where organizers wrote it had been ‘contributed by the children of the forest…the Choctaw nation.’ It was likely used to buy grain and other foodstuffs that were shipped across the Atlantic.”


Retrieving the story of the gift: “The person most responsible for resurrecting the story of the ‘Choctaw gift,’ as it became known, is Don Mullan, an Irish humanitarian, author, and filmmaker.” Mullan created the Great Famine Project, a commemoration for the three million Irish who died or ultimately emigrated. “In 1989, Don Mullan and his father-in-law became the first Irish people to visit the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma to thank them for ‘the gift,’ as it is known.” He publicized the gift in a radio program for Ireland’s national broadcasting service.


Like Begets Like: “In 2018, the Irish Prime Minister visited the Choctaw Nation…and announced a new scholarship program for Choctaw students to attend school in Ireland.” Two of the scholars are of mixed Choctaw and Irish heritage due to indigenous intermarriage with Irish settlers.


“In 2020, when the Navajo and Hopi were among the groups in the United States hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Irish donated nearly $2 million to their relief fund.”


In Midleton, Ireland, the Irish-Choctaw relationship is memorialized in a sculpture by the Irish artist Alex Pentek. The sculpture, entitled Kindred Spirits, (pictured above) is comprised of nine stainless steel feathers, 20 feet high and arranged in the shape of a bowl, representing the gift of a bowl of food. As Choctaw activist Waylon Gary White Deer observed, “It’s about the power of compassion and generosity.” On both sides, you might say!

A Day to Remember:

And a Holiday Gift to Us


by Ruth Friend Messerschmidt

Creative Writing Class

Milton resident, naturalist, and Society volunteer Gena Brown recently shared a family treasure, reprinted here. Her great-grandmother was a talented and prolific writer.


Perhaps it will encourage our good readers to jot down their own early memories for future generations!

It was a day to remember…a time to recall…a memory that was so old that it was a part of a past that marked the beginning of my childhood. Earlier memories were faded or forgotten, but this was as a vivid, crisp, sparkle of a falling star. The warmth of a family gathering of aunts, uncles, and cousins at Grandfather’s farmhouse for the yearly Christmas dinner. The large black monster of a kitchen range gave off belches of hot air every time the oven was opened to check the huge turkey and its fat companion, the goose. Maneuvering the pans and kettles of thinly shredded noodles, last summer’s dried corn, and plump green beans, Grandmother stoked the stove with wood that was placed handily behind the stove. The pie safe was laden with pies of every kind that would suit a man’s taste. The huge table, centering the overlarge kitchen was covered with a damask table cloth brought out for such occasions. All the dishes, silver, condiments, pickles, and spiced apples were already awaiting the rest of the feast. The men had gathered around the base-burner in the sitting room, where they could talk politics and corral skittering children that raced from one room to another, paying little attention to admonitions.


With the ease of long practice, Grandmother had the hot, steaming food on the table. The children were in their proper places, with bibs tied around their necks. The fowls on their platters were placed before Grandfather.


It was time for the table prayer, always delivered by Grandfather. He spoke slowly, distinctly, savoring each word of the blessing he was delivering. Seemingly, he sensed that all the preparations led up to this moment in which he would deliver up thanks to God.


There was no Christmas tree, no decorations at the windows. Stern, Methodist Grandfather would have no foolishment. Thus he was sharing the harvest of his fields, and the fruits of the garden with his children and their children.


In the late afternoon, a small exchange of homemade gifts was handed around bringing forth genuine amazement that the giver had given the receiver just what he or she had wanted for months. It was during this time that Grandfather disappeared to the barns. Just when dusk was beginning to hover, he drove up to the house with his bobsled and horses. Soapstone and bricks that were warming on the kitchen stovetop were wrapped in pieces of flannel. Coats and caps and mittens were hurriedly donned. Children, wild with excitement, could hardly wait to get into the bobsled and the gay jingle of the bells on the horses increased the excitement, as the horses shied, pawed, and reared, as if they too, were glad to get out of the big red barn and breathe the crisp, bracing air. Finally, everyone was settled, wedged in shoulder to shoulder, with robes tucked around them and welcome heat of the bricks at their feet.

Grandfather drove the team sedately down the lane until he reached the main road. Then slapping the reins upon their backs, he let the team step out at their own pace. People ran to the windows, hearing the sound of sleigh bells. The few people on the streets turned to stare and admire and envy this merry bevy of people crowded into the bobsled. Up and down the streets of the town Grandfather drove, enjoying it fully as much as his passengers.


Out to the Ridge Road he directed the horses. The children were ecstatic with this new Christmas treat. The grown-ups, warm and cozy, laughed and sang Christmas carols, each one trying to outdo the other remembering words and songs.


Finally, the lights of the little town came on, and the horses were turned homeward. Where each family lived, Grandfather reined in, and children were lifted out along with presents. The youngest ones, already falling asleep, were carried into their houses on daddy’s shoulders. With the last ones delivered, Grandfather and Grandmother returned to their farm home.


It was a day to be remembered.


Ruth Friend Messerschmidt

29 Questions to Decide Your Fate:

How would your ancestors have replied to these immigration questions?

A hundred years ago, an Ellis Island immigrant’s fate depended on a brief physical exam, a five minute interview, and their answers to 29 questions. Ellis Island was called “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” due to the screening process. Typically first- and second-class travelers were not screened; steerage passengers almost always were. Translators fluent in many languages were present to assist.


Did names get changed at immigration? Whether names were altered on the ship’s manifest or at Castle Garden or Ellis Island, an Atlanta friend with the last name of Becker recounts this story: her Ashkenazi Jewish great grandfather was emigrating from Eastern Europe. When asked his name, he thought the officer was inquiring about his trade. He was a baker and Becker became the family’s new surname, like it or not!


The Questions: The key questions the inspectors, at immigration, focused on were purposely scattered throughout the list - numbers 6, 16, and 22. Basically Do you know a trade? Do you have enough money? And where will you work in the United States? In other words, would you be able to contribute to the United States, or be a burden on its society?


  1. Your manifest number (from your ship)
  2. What is your full name?
  3. How old are you?
  4. Are you male or female?
  5. Are you married, single, widowed, or divorced?
  6. What is your occupation?
  7. Are you able to read and write? (yes or no)
  8. What country are you from?
  9. What is your race? (note: no question was asked about religion)
  10. What was your last permanent place of residence? (city and country)
  11. What is the name and US address of a relative from your native country?
  12. What is your final destination in America? (city and state)
  13. Your number on the immigration list?
  14. Do you have a ticket to your final destination? (yes or no)
  15. Who paid for your passage?
  16. How much money do you have? (at least the equivalent of $50 was needed)
  17. Have you been to America before? If so when, where, and how long?
  18. Are you meeting a relative here in America? If so, who and their address?
  19. Have you been in prison, charity almshouse, or insane asylum?
  20. Are you a polygamist? (yes or no)
  21. Are you an anarchist? (a real anarchist would have been a fool to say yes)
  22. Are you coming to America for a job? What and where will you work?
  23. What is the condition of your health?
  24. Are you deformed or crippled?
  25. How tall are you?
  26. What is your skin color?
  27. What color are your eyes and hair? (much like on today’s driver’s license)
  28. Do you have any identifying marks? (scars, birthmarks, or tattoos)
  29. Where were you born? (city and country)


Source: YouTube - Lost in History, September 5, 2021

Code of the Hills:

An interesting list of long-ago sanctions from a

mountain church

A look back at the mores and morals that helped civil society function back in the day when law enforcement was scarce. How many items in the list still ring true today?


“The most common sins that members were cited for were drinking excessively, cursing, fighting, dancing, and breaking the Sabbath.


"Some of the other things that members were accused of, or made acknowledgment of, were:


  • trading a horse on Sunday
  • getting angry with a neighbor
  • drawing a knife to stab a man
  • wanting a boy to steal fodder
  • selling lard that was not merchantable
  • speaking rashly and in a bad spirit
  • selling whiskey in a public way
  • keeping disorderly company
  • taking unlawful interest (usury)
  • striking a neighbor with a gun
  • practice of playing ball
  • taking the Lord’s name in vain
  • talking unbecomingly about other members
  • making use of very bad language
  • having a malicious spirit”

Pat Statham's Rescued Recipes:

Holiday favorites


Submitted by Linda Statham

Linda's mother-in-law, Pat, was an antique shop owner and co-founder of the Crabapple Antique Fair.


Note: Recipes are presented 'as published' or 'as written'; you may have to use your imagination while trying them out!


Brownies Deluxe

4 squares Bakers chocolate (unsweetened)

1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup sifted flour

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup broken nuts


Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water. Cool slightly. Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating thoroughly. Blend in chocolate mixture. Stir in flour. Add vanilla and nuts.


Bake in 9x9x2 inch pan at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes. Cool in pan. Makes about 2 dozen.


Pecan Squares

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1/2 cup pecan meats

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup butter or shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla


Add sugar to beaten eggs, mix well. Add pecan meats. Sift flour, measure and sift again, adding gradually to first mixture. Melt butter and add, mixing well. Add flavoring (vanilla).


Bake in 350 degree oven about 25 minutes. Cool and cut in squares. About 16 servings.


We hope you enjoy these treats from the past!

Thoughts for today...

“We can call it whatever we want to, but culture and identity are a component of historic preservation. That is why you are seeing more interest now in historic preservation in urban environments."

David Mitchell, executive director of Atlanta Preservation Center


“Oh yes the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” 

The Lion King


"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

Winston Churchill


"You can do it and you know it. You got it in you. Dust off and get up.Turn 'can do' into 'can did'! The show must go on. A pep talk in every drop."

Affirmations on a Hall's cough drop wrapper

Coming Attractions...

Milton Historical Society events currently scheduled for Spring 2023:


May - Spring Fling


Watch this space for more information on program topics!

Milton Historical Society Patrons


Many thanks for your support!


Lifetime Patrons

Amy and Mark Amick

Larry Chadwick

Patti Dubas

Josephine and Jeff Dufresne

Laura and Byron Foster

Brenda and Brett Giles

Fran Gordenker

Felton Anderson Herbert

Johnny Herbert

Bill Lusk

Linda and Robert Meyers

Adam Orkin

Charlie Roberts

Sarah Roberts

Donna Savas

Marsha and Kevin Spear

Karen Thurman

Kate and Ron Wallace

Kim and Dana Watkins


Corporate Sponsors

Lithic Genealogy Group

The William B. Orkin Foundation

Savas Digital Creations



Sustaining Patrons

Kathy Beck

Philip Beck

Micaela and Paul Burke

Mary and Gregg Cronk

Kevin Filer

Rebecca Morris and Robin Fricton

Sheryl and Carl Jackson

Marlysa and Jan Jacobus

Laurie and Brad May

Curtis Mills

Susan and Kent Moe

Marjorie and Clayton Pond

Jennifer and Robert Sorcabal

Marcie and Daniel Suckow

Susan and Scott Vadner

Ann and Jeff White

Jennifer Yelton


Family Patrons

Sheree and Marc Arrington

Robert Ballard

Jan Bastien

Catherine and Lee Bates

Kristi and Paul Beckler

Joan and Don Borzilleri

Jackie and Kevin Brannon

Luz and Daniel Cardamone

Michael Coady

Charlie Dorris

Jenny Doyle

Linda and James Farris

Seth Garrett

Garman Gordon

Lauren and Tony Hill

Megan and Peyton Jamison

Dean Lamm

Lynna and Brian Lee

Gwen and Eric Leichty

Mary Jo and Ed Malowney

Family Patrons (cont'd)

Pat Miller

Kathy and Paul Moore

Donna and Nick Moreman

Martha and Sonny Murphy

Lynn Tinley


Individual Patrons

Michael Albertson

Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society

Melanie Antos

Nancy Boldin

Rhonda and David Chatham

Michael Critchet

Janice Cronan

Susan Day

Hazel Gerber

Jeff Johnson

David Kahn

Laura Keck

Hub Kelsh

Donna Loudermilk

Carole Madan

Rick Mohrig

Elizabeth Montgomery

Sheila Pennebaker

Gary Schramm

Linda Statham

Lara Wallace

Tom Wunderle


Student Patrons

Matthew Dsilva

Megan Leaders

Jack Miller

Annie Teagle

Ben Teagle

Jack Teagle

We Love our Founding Members!
Ron Wallace
Felton and Johnny Herbert
Adam Orkin
Pat Miller
Dawn and Keith Reed
Amy Christiansen
Kathy and Philip Beck
Jessica and Warren Cheely
Heather and Joe Killingsworth
Ronnie Rondem
Seth Chandlee
Curtis Mills
Mary Ann and Clarke Otten

Mark Amick

Joan Borzilleri

Norm Broadwell

Jeff Dufresne

James Farris

Byron Foster

Kim Gauger

Bill Lusk

Connie Mashburn

Robert Meyers

Charlie Roberts

Sarah Roberts

Kevin Spear

Karen Thurman

The newsletter of the Milton Historical Society is produced quarterly by volunteers of the Society. Have an idea, a link, or a story to share? If you loved our newsletter and would like to become a patron, click HERE.


We'd love to hear from you at president@miltonhistoricalsociety-georgia.org.

Thanks for reading and supporting Milton's history!