History lesson

Published 8:50 am Monday, October 6, 2008

It was 20 years, plus a week of heavy duty finger-food cooking, in the making. But to watch all the volunteers who put together the 20th anniversary celebration of the home of the Lawrence County Historical Society, Sunday afternoon’s party was a labor of love.

In the fall of 1988 the society opened up in the Gray family house, 506 S. 6th St. With a lot of “sweat equity” from its members, the house was turned into the showplace that it is today.

During the celebration, which featured a special cake with an icing sketch of the museum by Tammy Tipton, presidents past and present were honored. Also violinist Jill Dean and her students performed

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Starting with Ann Edmundson who served from 1964-1984, the leaders included Dr. John Haney, 1985; Art Shaffer, 1986-1987; John L. E. Jones, 1988-1989; Richard D. Kennedy, 1990-1991; Margaret McMillian, 1992-1993; Marvin Black, 1994-1996; Sharon Kouns, 1997-1998; Vera Billings, 1999-2001; Naomi Deer, 2002-2003; Patricia Arrington, 2004-2005 and current president, Peggy Karshner.

“This is something we have needed for a long time,” Karshner said. “It tells us about our history of our county.”

It also tells about the quality of area residents who give of their time on regular basis to bring about a variety of special events for the community, says Nancy Livingston, currently a docent and past board member.

“We have high-quality volunteers who give their time and money,” she said. “Maybe it’s the type of ancestors Lawrence County had.”

Throughout the afternoon visitors stopped to look at the displays of paintings, furniture and finery before going to the buffet in the dining room.

Looking around at the gathering Mayor Rich Blankenship praised the work of the society in preserving the roots of his hometown.

“It shows you how much history was in our county, in our city,” he said. “We are rich in history. I’m glad we have people who volunteer to keep it going.”