Exhibit spotlights early black history in Troup
LaGRANGE — Legacy Museum on Main will host a reception officially opening its new exhibit on Saturday.
The reception is set for 1–3 p.m. The title is Lifting More Voices: Early Troup County Black History, which is now open and will be on display until Sept. 16.
The exhibit focuses on Troup County’s heritage from its founding to the end of World War I.
“It brings to life the rich diversity of our population,” said Clark Johnson, Troup County historian, in a press release.
The story is told with photographs, news articles, maps, biographies, documents and artifacts. There are several sections to the exhibit. One large panel outlines the entire exhibit, detailing Troup County’s heritage.
Two walls cover the period prior to 1865, including a look at slave life as seen in court documents, people who were free as early as 1831, and the documents that brought freedom to the whole nation: the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.
On display are articles made by black craftsmen in the 1850s and a family Bible that gives birth dates for early Troup County residents.
Positive achievement from 1865 through 1920 is the main focus. One section includes information and photographs of early churches, ministers, schools and teachers, as well as historically black cemeteries.
One area deals with architects and builders, merchants, professionals and property owners during the period — and a few before 1865 — and the development of early industry. There are items related to individuals and families, women, people for whom streets were named and cultural events.
Part of the exhibit covers several years of the first black fair held in America, which began in 1878 in Troup County. There are displays about communities such as Cannonville, Thomastown and Antioch. One wall contains information and photographs about early doctors, lawyers and post masters.
Another wall includes information about the two black militia companies that started in Troup County in 1878 and 1884 and the roster of Troup County residents who served in World War I, with an honor roll of those who died in service.
“We invite everyone to come in and browse,” said Johnson. “It will require more than one visit to take it all in. Admission is always free.”
Legacy Museum on Main, 136 Main St. in LaGrange, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and usually the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To check Saturday openings or schedule a group visit, call 706-884-1828.