MOULTRIE — To mark a milestone of service, the Museum of Colquitt County History recently held a reception to invite the community to join all the volunteers who have given of their time and efforts to keep the area’s history alive.

The museum, on 4th and 5th streets is the home of the area’s pioneer families’ relics and keepsakes, school day memories and local war heroes’ memorabilia. It’s made possible by generous donations from local individuals, families, businesses, organizations, municipalities and county support.

The process to earnestly begin this project was in 1996 after the County Commission agreed to let the museum utilize the vacant former health department building. Frank Pidcock donated $20,000 to renovate the building. After renovation, dedicated volunteers worked for two years receiving area artifacts and compiling records on each item.

The museum opened its doors to the public on Sunday, April 25, 1999, with Barbara Gregory as president. It is open on weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m., with volunteers and free admission.

The 10th anniversary was co-hosted by the Moultrie Federated Guild, a board member organization, who generously furnished several homemade cakes and served during the reception.

Another board member organization, The Magnolia Garden Club furnished a number of fresh cut flower arrangements throughout the building for visitors to enjoy. Lorena Barhite, presented a plaque from the Magnolia Garden Club to the museum in recognition of the 10th anniversary. Another plaque was presented to their founding president, Peggy Bridges. The Magnolia Garden Club designed the landscape of the museum in the beginning and still maintains its upkeep and beautification ten years later.

During the opening program the executive director, Jack Bridwell, recalled the many volunteers who have served the museum. He also recognized the presidents over the years as Barbara Gregory, Ann Glass, Hoyt Holland, Charlie Blalock and current president, Dr. John S. Newton.

Dedicating the Veterans Room seemed to be a rewarding portion of the celebration. It gave the museum an opportunity to honor two local men, Master Sergeant Gene Newton and Col. Hoyt Holland and give them some appreciation for serving the country and the museum. Gene Newton was involved with the early development of the museum and he served in three wars and the Pentagon until his retirement. Col. Hoyt Holland is a veteran of Korea, retired from the reserves, and has served as museum president for four years. He continues to work as a volunteer when he’s not busy helping local veterans through the activities of the South Ga. Veterans Activity Committee.

Holland was on hand to unveil the Veterans Room plaque along with the museum president, Dr. John Newton, representing the Gene Newton Family who live out of town.

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