Bandy Heritage Center Seeks Stories, Photos Sought for Textile History Day

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Women were key to the chenille bedspread industry that was born and flourished in Northwest Georgia. The Bandy Heritage Center is hoping to collect the personal stories of men and women who worked in the industry.
Women were key to the chenille bedspread industry that was born and flourished in Northwest Georgia. The Bandy Heritage Center is hoping to collect the personal stories of men and women who worked in the industry.

Did you ever hand tuft chenille bedspreads? Work in a chenille mill or early carpet mill? Live in a mill village? If so, the Bandy Heritage Center wants to hear your story.

The Bandy Heritage Center of Dalton State College, in partnership with The Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, will host Textile History Day Sunday, November 10, from 1 to 5 pm at the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau located at the Dalton Freight Depot.

During that time historians will conduct short interviews in which they will record oral histories and stories and scan photographs and documents related to Dalton’s rich textile history. All interviews and scanned images will be archived at the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia for research purposes.

Textile History Day is part of a larger Textile Heritage Trail that the Center for Public History is developing. It will run from Dalton to Columbus, Georgia, along Highway 27 and will tell the story of textile history in the greater West Georgia region. As an institutional member and partner in the Textile Heritage Trail project, the Bandy Heritage Center recognizes and celebrates the significance of Dalton’s carpet industry as the culmination of Georgia’s textile industry.

“The importance of oral history lies in the fact that with it you are capturing first-hand accounts of individuals who were associated with an historical event,” said Dr. John Fowler, Executive Director of The Bandy Heritage Center and BJ and Dicksie Bandy Chair of History at Dalton State. “In the case of the textile industry, we have an opportunity to have folks that actually worked in the chenille industry and/or the textile mills explain the entire process from manufacture to sale.

“This sort of ‘we were there’ history will soon be lost if the voices of these participants are lost,” he said. “Since the textile industry was so important to Northwest Georgia’s growth and development, it is vital that we capture the accounts of this aging population now.”

Fowler defined “oral history” as the collection and study of historically relevant information about individuals, groups, and events. He explained that historians often use digital recorders, cameras, and transcriptions of planned interviews.

“The term ‘planned interview’ is important, because without a set of standard questions, the information could become a disorganized ramble,” he said.

“The Bandy Center is excited to be supporting the West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail with their oral history project,” Dr. Fowler said. He serves on the advisory board of the Textile Heritage Trail and is currently developing a traveling exhibit that focuses on the development of both the textile and carpet industries.

For more information about this event, please contact Daniel Kellogg at the Center for Public History at 678-839-6141 or by email at wgtht@westga.edu, or Brian Hilliard at The Bandy Heritage Center, 706-272-4452, or bhilliar@daltonstate.edu

 



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