HIGHLIGHTING THE HISTORICAL NAMESAKES OF THE HISTORY CHEROKEE GALLERIES
History Center Gallery One Features Earliest Times
The new Cherokee County History Center in downtown Canton offers visitors a chance to browse through artifacts and information from each era of the county’s rich and varied past. The History Center includes five galleries with exhibits in chronological order and a sixth gallery used for rotating exhibits.
Gallery One is home to our county’s earliest time period, covering Cherokee County’s indigenous peoples and their cultures. Gallery One includes the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods of local history as well as the Muscogee/Creek peoples and Cherokee peoples.
The archaeological objects on display in Gallery One largely come from a collection Lamar and Mary Fowler Holcomb donated. This collection contains a significant number of artifacts from the Long Swamp archaeology site in Ball Ground. Kaylee Johnson, History Cherokee’s exhibits and collections manager, points out that the collection contains several pottery bowls and jars, earspools, pipes, carved pottery figurine fragments, beads, and many other items.
The large glass case in the gallery displays several impressive unearthed archaeological artifacts. Drawers offer a more in-depth look into the History Center’s vast collection of artifacts. Native peoples hundreds and sometimes thousands of years ago created and used the objects, Kaylee elaborates.
“It is very rare to have such a large and diverse group of objects from a single site. Displaying these artifacts allows the historical society to share thousands of years of different Native American cultures in Cherokee County,” she explains.
Children and visitors of all ages enjoy the interactive exhibits, according to Kaylee.
“One of the highlights of this gallery is the touch-table interactive. It has various animal pelts, shells, and bones that would have been hunted and used for food by native peoples. The touch-table lets visitors interact with these natural resources directly and is meant to spur curiosity and discovery for our younger visitors.”
Gallery One is named for Carolyn Smith Galt, a member of one of Canton’s oldest families, through a naming gift from her family to the capital campaign for the Cherokee County History Canter.
Carolyn moved to Canton in 1958 after graduating from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in English, and marrying Canton native Odian Putnam Galt, Jr.
She spent the next fifty-seven years in Canton raising her family. Carolyn lived in a Victorian home built by the first mayor of Canton, her husband’s ancestor, Odian Wilson Putnam, in the late 1800s. Her husband, Odie, also served as mayor of Canton, like his illustrious ancestor.
She died in 2021 at the age of eighty-four.
While Carolyn lived here in Canton she was involved in many efforts, including helping Canton and other cities in Cherokee to become aware of the importance of trees and to be a Tree City USA.
Carolyn enjoyed traveling, reading, her pets, and the arts, especially theatre. Carolyn Smith Galt left a living legacy in Canton.
CHEROKEE COUNTY HISTORY CENTER
The Cherokee County History Center is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
Located at 221 East Marietta Street in Canton, History Cherokee provides free parking for guests. There is also a free public-use parking garage across from the History Center at 200 West Marietta Street.
Admission to the museum is $9 for adults and $7 for children ages five to fourteen as well as seniors over sixty-five. Admission for children under the age of four is free. All History Cherokee members also receive free admission.
For more information visit HistoryCherokee.org.
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Canton writer Rebecca Johnston is a Cherokee County native and graduate of Cherokee High School and the University of Georgia. Rebecca has won several Georgia Press Association awards for her writing, including the 2007 First Place Award for Serious Columnist. She currently writes for Enjoy Cherokee Magazine.