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History Center Christmas ornaments tell a story
The Christmas trees at the Northeast Georgia History Center feature different themes and ornaments with their own special local history. - photo by Tom Reed

Northeast Georgia History Center

Where: 322 Academy St., Gainesville

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Admission: $5 adults, $4 ages 65 and over, $3 students ages 18 and under, free under age 6

More info: 770-297-5900,

If you’re still looking for a place to get into the holiday spirit, check out the Christmas decorations at the Northeast Georgia History Center.

There are seven trees decorating the museum: a big tree in the rotunda and smaller trees in the halls and Education Center.

The rotunda tree and its ornaments were donated by John and Martha Jacobs when the History Center first opened in the present building. Some of the ornaments on the “children’s tree” were crafted by children attending a Christmas on the Homefront workshop in 2007.

As the trees were decorated Nov. 27, one of the center’s volunteers identified two ornaments she had donated in 2004, with a story behind it.

For several years, Tammy Slay worked at the Warren Featherbone factory during the production of Alexis baby clothing. Each year, her shift supervisor, Opal Seabolt, gave an ornament she had crafted to each of her department’s crew.

Hanging on the children’s tree is a wreath of red, green and clear beads featuring a candle in the center, one of the ornaments Seabolt gave to Slay.

A second ornament, this one crafted by Slay, hangs on the “angel” or “Victorian” tree. It is yellow satin with green ribbon and sequins. She made it during her semester break from North Georgia College in 1974.

Ann Reynolds Barker identified many of the ornaments on the Victorian tree as ones her mother made. She pointed out one in particular of pink velvet, seed pearls, rhinestones and gold trim.

“She made that one when I was born,” Barker said.

Each year since the series began, volunteer Colleene Ivey has donated a Historic Downtown Gainesville ornament. This year the collection of ornaments adorn a tree in the museum’s gift shop.

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