A special exhibit celebrating 120 years of Woodstock history is open to the public this spring at the Woodstock Public Library. The exhibit, put on by Preservation Woodstock, will be displayed until May 21.
The idea for the exhibit was based on a similar event in Atlanta.
“The city of Atlanta had an exhibit where they had 50 items that were influential in the city’s history like a Coca-Cola sign and ‘Gone with the Wind’ memorabilia. It was things that represented items that were important to Atlanta,” said Samantha Daughertry of Preservation Woodstock. “Juanita Hughes went to that exhibit and thought it would be so cool if we did that for Woodstock to make people aware of the history, because we are celebrating 120 as a city this year.”
Though people lived here longer than 120 years, the time marks when the city was chartered in 1897.
“There was a settlement here before that, but the city was chartered 120 years ago as of this year,” she said. “Part of celebrating that, we thought we would put on an exhibit that was similar to the one that was in Atlanta that had items representing stories from Woodstock’s history.”
A variety of memorabilia will be displayed including medical items, books and cassettes.
“There will be medical memorabilia from when the hospital was in town from doctors who worked the city making home visits, Dean’s Store memorabilia from when Dean’s Store was the hub of the city—where the Visitors Center is now, we have items that are more popular to people now such as a baseball bat from Nick Markakis from the Atlanta Braves, a book from local author Mary Hood and different authors who lived in Woodstock, a CD or cassette tape from Mark Wills who is from Woodstock,” Daughertry said. “Some things that are connecting current to their history through Woodstock.”
There will also be items from past events from different eras throughout Woodstock’s history.
“We have events from Woodstock such as when President George H. Bush came in town, visited and spoke on Main Street, we have had other programs on Main Street that we have the flyers, articles left and pictures from the events,” she said. “Some are political, religious or community based—all different years though, not just from one era.”
The entire exhibit will be set up at the Woodstock Public Library and is open to the public during library hours.
“We don’t have other venues we are putting it in so it will all be in one spot. Even though the city is planning different events throughout the year to celebrate the birthday, this particular one will just be at the library,” she said.
Felicia S. Whitmore, who wrote “Woodstock: 1860-1970” on the history of the city when Preservation Woodstock was first set up and it was the Centennial Commission in 1997, has since written other books and will sign and speak on April 8.
“We are excited about Woodstock’s growth and all the new things coming in, even the projects people are doing to renovate old structures like the Reeves House and facilities around town altogether,” Daughertry said. “This is a way to connect people to what used to be there and give them a visual. People learn so much from visual aids of the stories that are connecting us to our past; we celebrate where we are in this current time.”
Woodstock Public Library is located at 7735 Main Street in Woodstock. For more information about Preservation Woodstock, visit www.preservationwoodstock.com.