Dear Members,

On September 1, 2020 we announced the creation of a new members portal on our website. With this addition, you will have more ways to engage with the museum at your convenience 24/7. The portal houses information on the following:

What’s new? – Check here frequently for announcements, updates, and other pertinent information regarding your membership. Be the first to know!

Event information – Locate information about future events and tickets. As a reminder, be sure to activate your membership card on the website and then login to receive member discounts.

Virtual experiences - Find videos, slide presentations, and activities. If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out my video on the history of the 1869 Courthouse. 

iRecollections – Refer to past editions of our digital newsletters. If you are a new member, they are filled with information on our staff, objects in the collection, and the archives.

Southeastern Reciprocal Membership Program – Learn about other museums you can visit for free with your Bartow History Museum membership.
Each month we hope to grow this library of resources allowing you to access more information on a variety of topics from anywhere in the county. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Oh, by the way, you can now easily communicate with any of the staff by simply visiting the staff page on the portal, where you will find our contact information.
On September 16th, we emailed our members a survey to help us get to know all of you better. We want to thank you for the feedback you provided! We will be carefully reviewing the responses and looking for opportunities to adapt and better meet our member's needs. Please watch for follow-up emails outlining some of our plans.
Member Spotlight

We’d like to introduce everyone to Ed and Nancy Hickman, two of our newest members. The Hickmans joined the museum just before the pandemic shut down, but they enthusiastically corresponded with us throughout the closure as they enjoyed our newsletters and emails. To get to know them better, we asked them several questions. We hope you learn enjoy learning about them as much as we did.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
"Neither of us have a "green thumb" but we do like to make our backyard beautiful...We do garden a little. We have some pepper plants and an eggplant this year. I still have an old sage plant and we planted some basil."

With Veteran's Day approaching, do you have a special veteran in your life and will you share a story with us?
“I did have a cousin who was in a concentration camp during WWII. After the camp was liberated and he was brought back to America, he became a psychiatrist… During his time in the concentration camp, my mother told me that he would study the people in the camp to see what made them live…He would study how each individual would respond to the conditions of the camp and why some would survive and others would give up…”

What’s your favorite holiday?
“Both of us love Christmas. It seems that most people are at their happiest. With all of the lights and glitter. …being with family, and if you have little ones, it is wonderful to see how their eyes light up at all of the things that are going on around them during this time of year. It is not about the presents that are given to each one, but the love and joy that each family possesses at this time of year."

What is your favorite part about being a BHM Member?
“Ed and I love to know the history of Bartow County, and we love coming to the lectures that the museum has. We enjoy meeting all of the staff and other members. Bartow, like so many counties in Georgia, has a varied and remarkable history. There are so many things that we do not know about Bartow County, and we are enjoying learning about what went on at an early stage in its history. We are looking forward to becoming more involved with the museum and the history of Bartow County.”
The next time you see Nancy and Ed, please be sure to say "hi" and perhaps even exchange a garden story.
Employee Spotlight

Guest Services Manager Pat Taff, a nine-year employee of the organization, greets guests with a warm smile and personal knowledge of the people and area of Bartow County. We continuously receive positive comments from visitors about her and her team. Pat works hard year round to make sure the gift shop is beautifully decorated each season and for special occasions. It is her attention to detail that makes the museum an extra special place!

Pat is a native of Bartow County and a recognized resident of the area. Prior to coming to the museum Pat worked in the banking industry for almost 40 years. Pat has two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is a member of the sorority Beta Sigma Phi Chapter Chi Master in Bartow County. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing and gardening.
Upcoming Happenings...
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Digging into the Past - SOLD OUT

Join us on Saturday, October 10, as we learn how to locate materials related to Bartow County's history using widely available internet tools, such as, Family Search, Hathitrust, and more. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to noon, and seating is limited. Lead by Dr. Keith Hebert from Auburn University.
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Robert Jones Discusses His Book, 30 Most Influential Women in Georgia History
Join us at 7 p.m. to learn about several of the most influential women in Georgia's history. Advanced ticket registration is highly recommended. Members are free.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Trick or Treat at the Museum
Bring your child to the museum (costumes encouraged but not required), and, as you wander through the exhibits, discover sweets and treats left for your little ones. Members are free.
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Photos With Santa
Bring your letter to Santa, and have your photo taken in a socially distant, but creative way that will still be fun for the whole family.

Families will be able to peek in on Santa in his workshop and chat with him about their wish list. Also, hear from elves about Christmas traditions of the past.

Photography is in partnership with Louis Tonsmeire Studio. Children 3 and under must have an adult with them in the photograph. Visits begin at 9:00 a.m. Reservations must be purchased in advance. Masks are not required for your photo, but are encouraged for the rest of your visit.
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Traditions of Holidays Past
Take a guided tour of the Museum decorated for the winter holidays, and hear museum staff explain different Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday traditions throughout Bartow County history. Advanced ticket registration is highly recommended.
Members are free.
Cemetery Tour - Save the date.
Walk with us through historic Oak Hill Cemetery as we uncover details about the lives of some of the women buried there and hear their individual stories. More information to follow on tour times and tickets.
Nature Inspired Decoration Demonstration - Save the date.
Join Master Gardeners Kate Posey and Susan Butler as they demonstrate the principles of wreath making, talk about the history and traditions of decorating for Christmas with greenery, discuss Williamsburg style wreathes and garland, and give a wreath away as a prize to one lucky attendee. Museum educators will also demonstrate and discuss the best ways to clean, store, and display your heirloom ornaments. More information to follow.
Explore Cassville's History

Fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Why not combine it with a drive through the Cassville area, a place rich in history? The material below can be used as a guide for this activity. Have fun as you explore our local history.
Looking for a road trip this fall?

Beautiful and tranquil Beaufort, South Carolina, is home to the Beaufort History Museum, and it offers free admission to Bartow History Museum members through the Southeastern Reciprocal Membership (SERM) program. Located in the historic Arsenal (1798), the Beaufort Museum highlights 450 years of history, through exhibits on Native American history; rice, indigo, and cotton plantations; Civil War and Reconstruction; and more. 

This area is full of historic sites, good food, and fun things to see, including the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory! Please go and enjoy our friends on the coast.
Christmases Past

Decorations for Christmases in the past were not laden with lights or images of reindeer and snowmen, but rather made from natural materials found locally. Greenery common to north Georgia, such as pine branches and holly with bright red berries, were used to decorate mantels and shelves. Christmas trees were present in the past, but were usually used only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Table top trees were the norm, as full sized Christmas trees were not used until after the Civil War era. These table top trees were adorned with candles and natural or handmade ornaments. Hand stitched or embroidered decorations, pine cones, or holly berries were placed on these small trees.

Fruit, such as red and green apples and pears, was also used to embellish the home. Surprisingly, oranges, from the sunny lands of Florida, were used as decorations and were a special treat during the holidays. Beeswax candles were incorporated because of their sweet smell and lack of smoke when burned. In the homes of the early to mid 1800s, real stockings were used on Christmas morning to hold presents. Kitchens at Christmas usually had a turkey or a ham in the oven. Gingerbread men were not only delicious, they were also used to trim the tree. In the 1960s, aluminum trees became popular, but quickly fell out of favor because, to some, they were seen as symbols of the over commercialization of Christmas.
Who remembers the
Index Building?

The Lion’s Club began construction on this building in 1938 to house exhibits featuring the history and culture of the area. Located in the city park on Public Square, a naming contest ran in the local newspaper that year, and the winning entry was the Index Building. The building was closed during World War II and then reopened sometime following the war. In 1949, it was offered to the American Red Cross for their use.

If you have more information about the history of this building, including when it disappeared from the landscape, please email us at

Also seen in the photo is the Cooper’s Friendship Monument, which was originally located in the town of Etowah. Mark Cooper, town proprietor, had this monument made to thank his creditors for helping him during a financial crisis. The monument was moved to the location shown in this photo on April 26, 1927. It was later moved to the overlook area of the Allatoona Dam, and then again to its present location near Main Street and the depot in downtown Cartersville.
Movie stars and other famous individuals entertained the troops at canteens located around the world?

In this letter dated September 10, 1945, Riley Milam of Cartersville, wrote about a recent show at the Hollywood Canteen (club for soldiers), where the troops were entertained by stars of the day.  Milam had just returned from duty in World War II in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany with the U.S. Army Infantry 104th Timberwolf Division and was enjoying some much needed rest and recreation.

Interestingly, in his letter, he mentions seeing Bette Davis, Jimmy Durante, Jeanette McDonald, Eddie Cantor, and "the young girl who played in National Velvet." That young girl was actress Elizabeth Taylor.
The gift shop offers curbside pickup through the holidays.

This holiday season simply call in your order, and we'll bring the package to your car. Don't forget to ask for it to be gift wrapped. Remember, members receive 10% off merchandise.
Inspector John Albert Spence

This badge was worn by Cartersville Police Inspector John Albert Spence. His portrait shows him in uniform wearing the badge. He died in 1929, and his obituary in the Tribune News stated, “He was the possessor of the happy faculty of making staunch friends of all with whom he came in contact, and he enjoyed the esteem of every citizen of the community.”

The badge and portrait were donated to the museum by Mr. Spence's descendants.

New videos in production for YouTube

The Bartow History Museum is producing videos for our recently established YouTube channel. "As a way to engage with guests who might not be ready to get back into the museum just yet, BHM staff is currently recording a series of videos about objects in the collection and events from local history," says Dr. Joshua Graham, Manger of Programs. Once several videos are completed, we will release them in a weekly YouTube channel format. Our first batch of videos will all have a focus on the 1920s, so expect to see talks on local fashion, food, and parties. Let us know what you are interested in seeing next! Email me at
10% OFF
Halloween Merchandise
Take an extra 10% off above your regular member discount
in October.
Please present his coupon to the front desk at check out.
One per customer.
Call to Reserve your 2020 Collectible Christmas Ornaments.

The 2020 Collectible
Christmas ornaments
feature Stilesboro Academy
and the 1869 Courthouse.
Mark your calendar.
The gift shop will be open for your shopping pleasure.
Downtown Holiday Open House - November 5 (5 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Black Friday - November 27 (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Small Business Saturday - November 28 (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Jingle and Mingle - December 12 (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Trey Gaines, Director
Tina Shadden, Registrar
Sandy Moore, Archives Assistant
Joshua Graham, Manger of Programs
Sarah Strickland, Program Support
Lisa Romans, Marketing Manager
Pat Taff, Guest Services Manager
Shanna Latimer, Guest and Membership Services
Brenda Harris, Guest Services
Our Mission is to preserve Bartow County History, educate a diverse community of students and visitors about its unique heritage, and to celebrate its sense of place through exhibits, programs, and outreach activities in an engaging and pleasant manner.
4 East Church Street
Cartersville, GA 30120
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sunday Closed
13 North Wall Street
Cartersville, GA 30120
Call to schedule an appointment or to discuss a research question.
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Weekends By Appointment