Early County Museum working to preserve history

Some of the most interesting pieces of the museum date as far back as the late 1700′s.
Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT
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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - The Early County Museum was once a dream by the late Joe Cannon. It came to fruition just over a decade ago.

The museum takes you back in time, showcasing how life was lived in the area in the 1800′s and 1900′s. Through the multiple buildings, the museum showcases the history of the county and how it has evolved over time. It is preserving the history of Early County for all to enjoy whether you are familiar with the area or just curious.

Janie Thomas is the administrator assistant at the museum. She has been giving passionate tours at the museum for years.

“Nothing makes me happier than to have visitors who come in, and sometimes even those older people that have dementia or younger mentally challenged adults, and you see them see something and they make a connection, and the light bulb goes off, those are my happiest times,” Thomas said.

This museum is made up of multiple buildings all filled with artifacts, books, artwork, and pictures.

A few of the sections include replicas of the South Georgia home style in the early 20th century, an archive section, and a war section featuring many items from WWII.

“We are doing it because nobody else would,” Thomas said.

Some of the most interesting pieces of the museum date as far back as the late 1700′s.

“The dugout canoe, which is from the creek period, which gives me the opportunity to educate usually children and often their parents about the difference of all of the Indian cultures that have been in early county through thousands of years now,” Thomas said.

The canoe is one of the oldest artifacts in the museum.

Another is this quilt from 1844.

“It was made by a miss Mary Jane Hutchins, and then I tell kids, ‘Read this name, now because you’re going to see it again,’” Thomas said.

And they do, just right over in the third room on the FFA display.

“It’s a sweetheart FFA jacket from 110 years after the quilt was made that says Mary Jane Hutchins,” Thomas said. “She was the first sweetheart of the local FFA, and those generational legacies are what we really try to embrace.”

This is what makes this museum stand out.

“There’s things in this museum that you’ve never seen,” Phillip Moore, Board Member for Historical Society and Early County Museum, said.

Phillip Moore grew up right here in Early County.

“It’s the opportunity for us to show the young people of a different generation what happened in early county back in maybe the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s,” Moore said.

He is at the museum to share what life was like through his own experience.

“Back then it’s not like you could run to a fast-food restaurant now and grab a hamburger or hot dog, back then we made our own,” Moore said.

The museum offers an entire building filled with the farm equipment that was used over time, some of which Moore is all too familiar with.

“I grew up on a farm, and so we got a lot of mule equipment here that we used to plant peanuts, cotton, and corn, and so this is what we are interested in, letting the young people know how hard it was to make a living back then,” Moore said.

The educational opportunities at the Early County Museum are endless. Working to put education at the forefront through visuals for many generations to come, just as Cannon wanted.

“Wanted something that you could come through and it would evoke memories of life growing up here,” Thomas said.

Their doors are open, and they are ready to give a tour.

“I’m right past Blakely’s Chicken at the mural, so come on up,” Thomas said.

There is no cost to visit the museum, they exist on donations. It is open Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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