Escambia County Historical Society room to move

Published 6:42 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
It was my privilege to attend the January meeting of the Escamiba County Historical Society on Jan. 27. This was a meeting to elect new officers for the coming year and I just happened to be nominated to be in charge of publicity. The election was held and all those suggested by the nominating committee were elected. They take over their offices right away.
It was also a special meeting because of some changes coming up.
Dr. Susan McBride spoke to the group about the need to relocate the Alabama Room from the Leigh Library in order to have more room for students. The plan is to move the materials out of the library and house them in the museum area located in the Thomas E. McMillan Museum in the Fine Arts Building. That is the same place the monthly meetings are held.
The arrangements with Jefferson Davis Community College were to furnish a place for the historical material but no specific place was named. Now that the space is needed at the library, the time has come to make some moves.
This new arrangement will include lock up space for the collection of old newspapers. The papers are in danger of disintergration and even more so when they are handled by the public. There is also office space with room to store the copies of the publications that are sold by the Society. Right now the copies are located in several places.
The college will hire someone on a part-time basis to oversee the museum and the materials. They will have to set up some sort of schedule in order to have access to the materials on a regular basis.
This may be very good for the Escambia County Historical Society. With no one to keep their eye on the materials, they seem to have a way of disappearing. The library employees have done a subperb job of keeping tabs on everything, but they can't watch everything all the time.
The membership of the Society seems to be growing and there is a great deal of interest in obtaining more things to add to what they have. The photographs sent to Peggy Bracken by Mr. and Mrs. Byrd of Maryland were my first experience of burning a CD and it went surprisingly well. There will be a copy at the college for anyone to see. Since that first group of photographs, Mrs. Byrd has sent some more and I have also scanned those. Although I have not burned them to a CD yet, I will and they will join the others.
I want to thank Mrs. Byrd for sending the photos. She said that her Strong grandparents used to live where First Baptist Church of Brewton sanctuary stands today. She remembers visiting there many years ago. The photos are mostly of the 1928 and 1929 floods but there are some other great shots such as downtown Brewton, the Cedar Creek Mill and many of Brewton Collegiate Institute classes.
It would be really great if we could start a campaign to see how many of these old photos are hanging around in someone's attic. If anyone out there has some photos of interest, I would be glad to scan them and return them right away. Let me know if you have any that you would be willling to share with the rest of us.

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