William Edsel Snowden, Jr.


We would like to thank Mr. Richard H. Still for his generous gift to the Georgia Heritage Room of three pen & ink illustrations by William Edsel Snowden, Jr.

William Snowden, Jr. was born in Elberton, Georgia in 1904, and was by profession a designer, illustrator, graphic artist and writer. In 1975, he was commissioned by Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust to create a series of drawings depicting historically relevant buildings in Richmond County.


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Discovering The Story Of Your House

property search flyer

Join us on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm in Room A of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library Auditorium as Erick Montgomery of Historic Augusta teaches a short workshop on how to research your current property or the old family homestead. Learn why land records are important to genealogists, what types of land records are available, and how to navigate maps, city directories, plats and land lotteries. This workshop is free and open to the public, but please call the Georgia Heritage Room to register– (706) 826-1511

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Saving The Voices From Augusta’s Past

In 2010, Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, Reese Library, and Paine College came together to find a way to save the audio content in some of their most important oral histories. Through a grant sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council, many of the oral histories were digitized, and are now accessible via the internet. If you are interested in hearing the oral histories, please visit the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library website at www.arcpls.org and click on the Georgia Heritage Room tab, scroll down to the Saving The Voices From Augusta’s Past link.

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Film Screening: “Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964″

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum at 1116 Phillips St.

Admission is $5.00

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History will screen the independent documentary “Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964.”

“Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964” is an award-winning, independent documentary about women in the Class of 1964 at Spelman College, who participated in the largest coordinated, series of civil rights protests in Atlanta’s history as college freshmen. As young women – sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen years old – these willing souls were some of the foot soldiers of the Atlanta University Center who carried the Atlanta Student Movement through relentless picketing, sit-ins, kneel-ins, and other non-violent demonstrations.

Their bold activism is an Atlanta story that helped change the world. For decades, the faces in the crowd have gone unnamed; their voices unheard. Who were these young women? What motivated these students who had just completed high school to get involved in such a movement? What in their family background prepared them for such an undertaking? How did their activism as young college students impact the remainder of their college matriculation and the rest of their lives?

These questions are answered in “Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964.” Director Alvelyn Sanders tells the story of that of her mother, Dr. Georgianne Thomas, and her mother’s classmates at Spelman College, sharing the story she “grew up” hearing to honor their courage and to inspire others to engage in working for the greater good of all.


For more information, please call Laney Museum at (706) 724-3576.

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Southeastern Indians: 5000 Years of Native American History

NA exhibit web

Southeastern Indians: 5000 Years of Native American History, presented by Savannah River Archaeological Research Program. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, November 1-November 30, 2014, the Georgia Heritage Room of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library will display a collection of artifacts spanning five thousand years of Southeastern Indian culture. The Georgia Heritage Room is located on the third floor of the Headquarters Library at 823 Telfair Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901. Please call (706) 826-1511 for details. Exhibit is free and open to the public.

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Stallings Island: Archaeology, Activism, Art

Wonderful article in Augusta Magazine on Stallings Island:


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2014 Summerville Tour of Homes

appleby sketch

The Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library will be one of the featured homes on the 2014 Summerville Tour of Homes. Saturday, October 18-Sunday, October 19

If one type of architecture could be singled out as indicative of the Old South, the Greek Revival style would immediately come to mind. Derived of classical form, Greek Revival has an almost confectionary quality, but a stateliness all the same. Of the three orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library is best described as a neoclassical adaptation of the Doric order. Proportion and ratio are fundamental principles of classical architecture, and Appleby Library, also known as the Montgomery Place is a lovely example of such perfect arrangement. Painted a crisp, uniform white, the wood frame structure boasts twelve fluted Doric columns, which symmetrically flank both the north and south facades. The tapered columns extend the full height of both stories, and support a substantial architrave, through which six double-hung, sash windows look out on a lawn abundant with antique boxwoods, old growth hardwoods, and a recently donated Italianate fountain.
Local lore suggests the structure was built circa 1830 by Judge Benjamin Warren. Situated on the corner of Walton Way and Johns Road, at the Western edge of what was once a vast pine barren, the home was among the earliest found in Old Summerville, a hilltop community designed in the 1780s by George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Milledge, former governor of Georgia, and Thomas Cumming. During much of the nineteenth century, the area became the destination of affluent Augustans who desired an inland escape from the oppressive heat and humidity of city neighborhoods situated just steps away from the Savannah River; at a higher elevation, and verdantly wooded, Summerville offered a reprieve from the stagnant summer months of the riparian low lands.
The Warren family was the first of four families to own the home, and indeed the house served as a summer residence, as Benjamin Warren also owned a magnificent home in downtown Augusta on the Southeast corner of Greene and Sixth streets, which has since been torn down, and a plantation at Bedford, which includes much of what we now know as National Hills. Judge Benjamin Warren was a notable figure among the Augusta elite; with considerable business and political acumen, he was actively involved in the Whig Party, and in the construction of the Augusta Canal. Warren owned the 200 acres on which the Confederate Powder Works was built, served as a Richmond County Probate Court Judge, and served on the board of directors for the Georgia Railroad. Judge Warren died on March 31, 1870 and was buried in the family cemetery near the present day Augusta National.
Following his death, the home was sold to Janet Blair Montgomery, widow of W.W. Montgomery, and remained in the Montgomery family until it was sold to former Augusta mayor, William P. White on October 1, 1919, and following his death, sold to Scott B. Appleby on October 22, 1928. As Mr. Appleby himself once aptly stated, the home should be known as “the Montgomery House” because it was associated for so many years with the Montgomery family, particularly Anna Montgomery. A story handed down through the years tells of a catastrophic fire which destroyed the Montgomery home while the entire family attended Sunday service at St. Paul’s Church. Upon returning, the family found their home a smoldering ruin, and shortly thereafter acquired the house on Walton Way. Whether the story is true remains a mystery. However, it is known that following her husband’s death, Janet Montgomery moved from Spring Hill on Butler Creek to Summerville to be near her mother. She and her children lived in a sand hills cottage on the southwest corner of Milledge Road and Pickens Road, until she purchased Appleby. For years, the house passed through a succession of hands, but remained in the Montgomery family until 1919. General Edward Montgomery, grandson of James Gardner Montgomery, one of the last of the family to own the home, was born in an upstairs bedroom, and recalled vivid memories of food being served from the outside kitchen and of playing with friends on the palatial lawns.
Scott B. Appleby bought the house from May White, the widow of William P. White in 1928, and immediately gifted the home to his wife, Annie de Prairie. Although Mr. Appleby made several alterations to the home, ones mostly of comfort and convenience, like the addition of bathrooms, closets, and a kitchen, its architectural integrity was never compromised. The upper gallery rail, which was added to the house by Mr. Appleby, synchronizes with the elegant design of the columns at the lower floor level. The stair rails are of the same style. The home remained with the Appleby family until 1954 when it was gifted by Scott B. Appleby to the city of Augusta to serve as the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library in honor and memory of his late wife.
On Monday, May 30, 1955, during the dedication ceremony, Scott B. Appleby with his son, James Scott Appleby marked the occasion as, “one of deep, emotional significance” for his family. He said his late wife, Annie de Prairie Appleby, loved Augusta and its people “and her spirit will always be with this library.”
This year celebrates the 60th year of the Annie de Prairie Appleby Branch Library, and marks the advent of “Evenings in the Appleby Gardens,” a summer concert series which continues, rain or shine, to the present day.
Tina Monaco
Georgia Heritage Room
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library

Erick Montgomery—Historic Augusta
Winter, Mary Carter. Classic Beauty Characterizes Appleby House on Walton Way. The Augusta Chronicle, Sunday, April 25, 1954, Section C, Page 1.
Appleby Library Branch is Deeded to City, County. The Augusta Chronicle, May 31, 1955, Page 21.
The Appleby—Summerville’s Library. Summerville Post, Volume 9, Number 3, July 1984.
Jones, Charles C. Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia, D. Mason and Co., 1890.
Callahan, Helen. Summerville: A Pictorial History, 1993.
Appleby Library Brochures

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Basic Genealogy Research Classes

OakBeginning Tuesday, 21 October 2014, at 10 am the GA Heritage Room will be offering basic Genealogical Research tutoring lessons. During the one-hour course we will go over the basic rules of research and briefly discuss various resources you can access and how. Some of these resources are Web-based so basic computer skills are required. We will also practice filling out a Pedigree Chart and Family Group worksheet, the building blocks of family research. Class sizes are limited; please call (706)826-1511 to reserve your spot. These classes will be offered on a weekly basis.

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Shine a Light on GRU Ghosts

Shine a Light on GRU Ghosts

Back by popular demand! Join Carol Waggoner-Angleton, Special Collections Librarian at Reese Library, for a walking tour to explore the sites of Georgia Regents University’s famous ghosts. Hear their stories and learn about their ties to people of the past. The tour will begin in front of Bellevue Hall on the Summerville Campus on Thursday, October 30 at 7 pm.

For more information, contact Carol Waggoner-Angleton at 706-737-1475 or cwaggone@gru.edu.

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November is Native American Heritage Month

maggie flyer

Cultural Interaction, Migration, and Displacement: Native Peoples of the Savannah River

The Savannah River acts as the border between the states of Georgia and South Carolina, but in the eighteenth century it acted as a trading area and buffer zone between Native American and European communities. The native groups that occupied these river areas were not a homogenous unit, and displayed great cultural variety; this is especially evident in the construction of ceramics. During the winter of 2010 a study of Native American ceramics began that attempted to both distinguish differences between Native American created wares, and to determine if the effects of cultural interaction, migration, and displacement could be recognized on their pottery. A combination of archaeological methodologies, statistical analyses, and extensive historical research were utilized to reveal differences in ceramic style. These investigations led to a greater understanding of the formation of individual ceramic cultures and aided in the identification of at least one Native American group’s distinct style.

November is Native American Heritage Month, so please join us on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library as Maggie M. Needham of Georgia Regents University discusses the cultural history of prehistoric and historic native groups who once lived along the Savannah River. Please call (706) 826-1511 for details.

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