You'd be hard-pressed to find a resident of the Chattanooga area who isn't familiar with the McCallie family and their many philanthropic contributions to the city.
It's for this reason, says Chattanooga History Center President Jo Coke, that this influential family will be honored at the Chattanooga History Center's eighth annual History Makers Luncheon Wednesday, November 6. "The McCallie family was chosen because they have an incredible heritage," she says. "Thomas Hooke McCallie came here in 1841 and went on to start the First Presbyterian Church. His family and his descendents started McCallie School and they were active not only in education, but in religion, medicine, philanthropy and civic involvement. The descendents of that pioneer have continued that community involvement ethos down throughout the years. You don't find a McCallie in town that isn't actively involved with something."
The eighth annual History Makers Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 6 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, located at 1 Carter Plaza. For more information on the History Makers Luncheon or to purchase tickets, call 265-3247.
The History Maker's luncheon is the Chattanooga History Center's one yearly fundraiser to support its operations and missions, including constructing high-quality, interactive exhibits at the museum's new location slated to open in April on the Aquarium Plaza.
"The idea is to provide a place for the community where we can tell stories, where we can think about where we've been in the past, think about the decisions that went into making futures and the responsibility we have to make decisions that will make a better future for ourselves as a community," says Dr. Daryl Black, executive director of the Chattanooga History Center. "This is our primary fundraiser for operations, so of course we need people to come out and support the event to keep our missions moving forward. But to me as a historian and a community member, the important thing is to recognize the McCallie family, to think about how important the family has been to making Chattanooga and think of how that can spur us all to think about ways to be engaged with the community.
In 1902, Thomas Hooke McCallie wrote a memoir to pass along his story to his children. A version of it was printed in 1938 in the centennial edition of the Chattanooga Free Press, and in 2011 his grandson, Dr. David McCallie, published an edition of the memoir with added information and early family documents, including several by Grace McCallie, who helped found a school of her own-Girls Preparatory School.
THM A Memoir is available on Amazon.com.
"Good places don't happen by accident and good committed community members help make the place we share a better place. The McCallie family-over the course of several generations-are a good example of how that type of activity makes a difference."
Past honorees at the History Makers Luncheon include Ruth Holmberg, the Rev. Paul McDaniel and Dalton Roberts; Mr. and Mrs. Jack T. Lupton and the Lyndhurst Foundation; participants in the Howard High School student-led sit-ins of 1960; the legacy of the William E. Brock Sr. family; leaders of Chattanooga Venture and Vision 2000; and the legacy of Mose and Garrison Siskin.
For more information on the Chattanooga History Center, visit chattanoogahistory.org