Fleshing out history

Fleshing out history

January 26th, 2010 in Georgia

Chickamauga resident Gayle Duncan studies an atlas in the Heritage Room at the Chickamauga Public Library. (Photo by Andy Diffenderfer)

Chickamauga resident Gayle Duncan studies an atlas in...

By Andy Diffenderfer, Correspondent

CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. -- The manager of the Chickamauga Public Library is asking for the public's help in filling the shelves of a history room.

The library's Heritage Room contains many historical volumes and reference materials for research, and Manager Bobbie Abernathy hopes residents can volunteer items so the room can attract more patrons.

"We would love to have donations of history books," Mrs. Abernathy said. "It's been a good response, but we've got a long way to go. We need manpower and people with knowledge."

She noted Chickamauga's rich Civil War background and said that, while most of the estimated 1,000 volumes in the room focus on that conflict, "we are trying to branch out historically. We're working our way up."

The room contains computers, a microfilm scanner, old newspaper clippings and collections of microfilmed census records for Walker County and other Georgia counties.

Also inside are old Walker County Messenger newspaper editions on microfilm, volumes of information on veterans, atlases, several bound family histories and local school yearbooks, among other items. An expansive arrowhead collection sits under glass.

More information

Call Chickamauga Public Library at 706-375-3004 or go online at www.walker.public.lib.ga.us.

Because history books can be expensive, Mrs. Abernathy said financial support from the city, the Pierce Foundation and the Jewell Foundation have been invaluable in stocking the library space, which started taking shape about four years ago.

Juanita Crowder, a Chickamauga library board member, praised the support.

"Without these foundations and the city of Chickamauga, this room would not have been possible," she said.

Mrs. Abernathy's goal for the Heritage Room is to be "fully established" so visitors can look up comprehensive historical and ancestral information.

She encourages residents to bring in family histories so the library can make a copy of them and put them on display, and she also hopes one day to have a manned reference desk in the room to guide visitors.

Andy Diffenderfer is based in LaFayette, Ga. Contact him at andydiff97@comcast.net.