By Fred Woods
The Museum of East Alabama will dedicate a new recognition wall Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by hosting the Genealogical Society of East Alabama quarterly meeting at 11 a.m. The 10 a.m. program will also include a reception.
The recognition wall will contain a special plaque honoring the museum’s founders, Eleanor and John T. Harris. In addition, plaques honoring other donors who have made significant contributions to the museum will be featured on the wall. These donors are Billy Hitchcock, Mary and Yetta Samford, Mary Samford and Richard D. Williams, Charter Foundation, City of Opelika and Pat and Tommy Davis.
A large digital screen will serve as the centerpiece of the recognition wall. This screen will honor donors, members and volunteers. The screen information will be updated periodically and will also provide information about coming events.
This wall was made possible by donations from the Opelika Historic Preservation Society, the Henry J. Stern Family Foundation, Auburn Heritage Association, Auburn Preservation League and the Genealogical Society of East Alabama.
At the 11 a.m. GSEA meeting, the early days of the Museum of East Alabama will be remembered in a program presented by Jim Harris. Jim is one of the sons of the museum’s founders. For many years Eleanor Harris wrote a weekly column called “What’s New with the Old?” She also saved articles that chronicled significant events in the museum’s development. Eleanor later compiled these columns and articles into two volumes titled “Early Days at the Museum of East Alabama.” These serve as the source material for the program.
Since its founding in 1989, the Museum has served the region as a place to preserve historical items and interpret the area’s history. More than 5,000 artifacts have been donated to the museum. Many volunteers, board members and contributors have made the museum’s development possible.
People involved in the early days of the museum are invited to come and add to the program by sharing their personal stories. The public is invited to both events.