Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Drives

As I was at church this morning, I heard a comment which made me remember the Sunday afternoon drives that used to be quite traditional for persons in the South. Usually around 4:00 in the afternoon, we'd load up the car and take a drive out into the country and down some back roads. I'm not really sure what the purpose of the drive was except to get out of the house and see a little of the county. We would always go back and eat leftovers or a sandwich before heading to church for the evening. It was a simpler time. The late afternoon ball game was probably on the television network we didn't get. This gave us a way to get out of the house and do something together as a family.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Genealogy Conference in Sevier County

The SCPLS 2011 Genealogy Conference focuses on the 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the Civil War. The conference dates are Thursday, November 3 – Saturday, November 5. Conference location is at the Sevier County Public Library System (SCPLS) King Family Library, 408 High Street, Sevierville, TN.

A pre-conference session features “Rediscovering Sevierville Walking Tour.” A tour of the historical sites and buildings in downtown Sevierville hosted by Carroll McMahan starts at 12:00 P.M. at the SCPLS King Family Library. The tour ends with refreshments at the library followed by a Local Author Reception featuring Fred McMahan (Auto Parts, Pickin’ and Politickin’: The Three Lives of Fred McMahan) and a review of the book, Images of America: Gatlinburg with Kenton Temple and Karen McDonald, Anna Porter Public Library.

A special part of the pre-conference will be the unveiling of the “Laura C. Cooper and David A. Cooper Memorial Collection” of genealogical materials. The collection represents a wealth of work covering over 15 years of research and data collection of the Cooper, Cowan, Buchannan, Thomas, Silver, Rice, Quarles, Peay, Cooper, Pearson, Lewis, Householder, and many more surnames. The collection will be on display during the conference and available for use after the conference.

Conference sessions for Friday, November 4 start at 9:00 A.M. include: 

  • Duay O’Neill - Talk on the Civil War
  • Dr. Stanley A. Mize – Mize Family in the Civil War
  • Don Williams – The White Caps & the Blue Bills
  • Hannah Clevenger & Julie Ferguson – The Fields Ran Red: Battle Field Medicine in the Civil War

Finishing the day from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. will be the “StoryTellers’ Dinner & Down-Home Silent Auction.” The auction of local handmade items and book collections will start at 5:30 P.M.   The story telling dinner featuring Conny Ottway, Music & Songs of the Civil War, begins at 6:00 p.m.
Conference sessions for Saturday, November 5 starting at 9:00 A.M. include:

  • Carol Roberts - Tennessee State Library & Archives: Conservation Basics for Family Collections
  • Bill Walker – Civil War Surgical Experience 
  • Kathryn Rutherford – Identification and Care of Photographic Collections
  • Dr. Gail Palmer – Cemeteries of the Smokies  
  • Donna Stinnett – Plants and Herbs Used During the Civil War

The SCPLS Foundation is sponsoring the Sevier County Public Library System History Center 2011 Genealogy Conference. The registration fee for the three-day conference, including evening meal on November 4, will be $75.00 or $50.00 for the three-day conference and $25.00 for the StoryTellers’ Dinner & Down-Home Silent Auction.

The Sevier County History Center is located on the third floor of the King Family Library at 408 High Street in Sevierville. Brochures and registration forms for the conference are available at the King Family Library, the Seymour Branch Library @ 137 w. Macon Lane in Seymour, and the Kodak Branch Library at 319 West Dumplin Valley Road in Kodak. For more information regarding the Sevier County History Center Genealogy Conference, please contact Tim Fisher or Theresa Williams at (865)453-3532 or

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Main Street Public Library by Wayne A. Wiegand

Wiegand provides histories of four upper midwestern libraries and then devotes a chapter to analyzing the catalogs of these libraries up to about 1970. The libraries studied are The Bryant Library in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, The Sage Library of Osage, Iowa, The Charles H. Moore Library of Lexington, Michigan, and the Rhinelander Public Library in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The study is interesting as it shows the development of these small town libraries through the ages. Today's libraries scorn censorship, but it was not a problem for most of these libraries in their early days. They scorned some of the dime novels of the day. Book selection was usually made by committee in the early days and later became a responsibility of the librarian. One thing that really surprised me were the late hours many of the libraries kept. Libraries often did not open until mid-afternoon and were open until as late as 10 p.m., closing during the supper hour. The bibliography is fairly extensive, providing an excellent starting point for those interested in further research. Wiegand has done a good job researching the literary history of these communities. My only criticism is that the text becomes mired down with details that make for tedious reading in places. This book, however, is intended for a more scholarly audience, and persons interested in these communities as well as persons interested in literary or library history will find it fascinating. This review is based on a advanced readers galley received through NetGalley for review. 4 stars.