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‘Taste of History’ event observes Hall’s bicentennial, raises funds
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Brenau University and the Northeast Georgia History Center hold their 12th annual Taste of History program with “Cherokees, Churches, Choo-choos, Chickens and Churns” Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at the First Baptist Church banquet hall. - photo by Scott Rogers

Mixing an eclectic auction with re-enactors sharing Hall County history, a Northeast Georgia History Center event Thursday, Sept. 13, served to raise money for the organization while celebrating Hall County’s bicentennial.

The history center held its 12th annual Taste of History program with “Cherokees, Churches, Choo-choos, Chickens and Churns” at First Baptist Church on Green Street.

“This community has been very involved in what the history center is today,” History Center president Cathy Herdener told a crowd of about 200 people. “Your presence helps in everything we do.”

The auction, conducted by Gainesville Realtor Doug Carter, featured pieces of art, including the sculpture of a chicken, meant to pay “tribute to the importance of poultry to Hall County,” according to program.

Also sold to the highest bidder were a dinner for 16 in an 18th century atmosphere, a trip to Italy and a 1950s-era Gainesville parking meter.

The event also featured a telling of Hall’s history through performances and video, recognizing the county’s official birth date, Dec. 15, 1818.

The program provided a sampling of various aspects of the county’s history, including a Cherokee Indian dance and a portrayal of Lyman Hall, a signer of the Declaration of Independence for whom Hall County is named.

Other segments featured Confederate Gen. James Longstreet, who lived out his life in Hall County after the Civil War; Dr. E.E. Butler, prominent physician and civic leader; an interview with someone wearing a chicken head in a tribute to the county’s poultry industry; and nods to such sports figures such as Masters Champion Tommy Aaron and events such as the 1996 Olympics on Lake Lanier.

“This is a great way to celebrate (the bicentennial), and the (history center) is a great cause,” said Norma Hernandez, who heads the Northeast Georgia Latino Chamber of Commerce

Glen Kyle, museum executive director, said the event depicted “just a taste of what we’re able to offer school kids and teachers, and they’re clamoring for it.”

“When they learn history this way, it sticks with them,” he added. “It stays them in their mind and their heart and helps guide them to be better people.”