After years of only having an exhibit on prominent local African Americans up for February, the Hopkins County Historical Society has now created a yearlong exhibit.
Margie Bowman, a volunteer and past member of the historical society, said having an exhibit up all year was suggested by Bob and Linda Thomas, both members of the historical society.
“We have lots of history laid back here in folders that we want to put up there,” she said.
There is so much history that the historical society plans to change parts of the exhibit out every few months.
“On the table, we have some ready to put some out,” said Bowman.
There are so many prominent and important African Americans that live or have lived in Hopkins County they want to represent them all, she said.
Linda Thomas said their other goal is to not only showcase prominent members of the community but to have people bring in items for the exhibit they may want to part with.
“We talked about trophies and other memorabilia,” she said.
The exhibit is organized into categories like former mayors, sports, educators, businesses, and just history in general.
Danny Byrum, the historical society docent, talked about a few displayed in sports, including Ishmeal Baker, who was a graduate of Rosenwald High School. He also mentioned Arther Johnson, a basketball starter who went on to become a civic leader and Mayor of Earlington.
“There is so much more sports-related stuff that we can emphasize, but we don’t have the space,” he said.
Also part of the exhibit is the Reverend C.L. Timberlake, who was very instrumental in starting Rosenwald High School and for furthering education for the black community in Hopkins County.
For the education part of the exhibit, Bowman said she got Michael Lowery to donate some things from his time teaching at Browning Springs Middle School.
“He has been everywhere, and he has done everything when it comes to education,” she said.
Other prominent African Americans in the exhibit are Frank Stafford, a former Mayor of Mortons Gap, the story of The Mandy Tree, Tyrone Hopson, Tonya Bowman, Mary Hendricks Woolridge, and Dr. Jerry Sue Pritchett Thornton.
As part of Black History Month, Margie Bowman and Linda Thomas will be presenting and talking about the exhibit to a few organizations.
On Monday, Bowman will be visiting the Senior Citizens Center to present to Spencer Brewer’s 10 a.m. history class. On Thursday, when the Hopkins County Historical Society meet, Bowman and Thomas will be the speakers to talk about the exhibit. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the governor’s center.
The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, call 270-821-3986.
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