Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Artifact of the Day - Augusta Arsenal Box

I'd like to continue showcasing a few artifacts that maybe you don't notice as you walk through our galleries but contribute a great deal of value and importance to our region's history.

Above is an image of a Rifle Ammunition Box (1864) used at the Augusta Arsenal (present-day location of Augusta State University (www.aug.edu)).

This wooden box held 1,00 rounds or cartridges of ammunition for the Enfield riffle. Paper labels on each side of the box identify the contents of the box and are dated "September 1864". During the War, Augusta was one of the leading production sites for ammunition for the Confederacy, due to the Confederate Powderworks, located along the banks of the Augusta Canal (read more at www.augustacanal.com).

Some of the powder produced at the Powderworks was shipped "up the hill" to the Augusta Arsenal where it was used to make ammunition for firearms, grenades, rockets, and artillery.

Only three such ammunition boxes are known to exist. One of which is displayed in the Museum's permanent exhibit - Augusta's Story. Be sure to spot it in your next visit to the Augusta Museum of History!

A Community that Heals Opening

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Museum adds medical exhibit

The following appeared in the January 29, 2009 edition of The Augusta Chronicle:

"Museum adds medical exhibit"

By Nikasha Dicks Staff Writer
Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Augusta Museum of History has added a couple of new exhibits.

A Community That Heals exhibit opened Jan. 16 and chronicles 200 years of medicine in the area, said Rebekah Henry, marketing and membership manager for the museum.

"It's a stellar exhibit," she said. "It shows the way health care in Augusta and the CSRA has transformed over the years. It also focuses on the speciality areas that this area has been adept in providing.

The exhibit, which is a permanent addition to the museum, includes artifacts from area hospitals, a uniform from Barrett's School of Nursing and images from the 1960s, when the nursing schools were integrated. (read more...)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Artifact of the Day - Springfield Baptist Church Wall Sconce

The Augusta Museum of History curates some 40,000 artifacts a year. Meaning that in our 72 year history, something like 2.8 million artifacts have probably gone through our doors. Now granted, a single letter is considered an artifact and certainly is not any where near the size of a stuffed bison (yes we have a stuffed bison in our collection), but it still is remarkable that our community's history will continue to be preserved thanks to the Museum and other local agencies.

I thought I'd show off a few of artifacts maybe you don't always necessarily notice when you walk through the galleries.
Today we're featuring a beautiful early gas wall sconce from the original Springfield Baptist Church, on display in Augusta's Story. Springfield Baptist Church was Springfield traces its roots to 1773, making it the oldest black church of any denomination in America. Served by African American pastors during the antebellum period, Springfield had the largest membership of any church in the Georgia Baptist Association. In 1844 if moved from Greene Street to its current location on 12th Street in downtown Augusta.

Springfield had an incredible history - in 1859, Springfield offered Sunday school instruction in, even though such classes were banned by the prevailing slave codes. In 1866, the church hosted the first meeting of the postwar Georgia Equal Rights Association, which became the Georgia Republican Party in 1867. The Augusta Baptist Institute was founded at the church; twelve years later it moved to Atlanta and grew into the legendary Morehouse College.

Be sure to look out for this incredible artifact at your next Museum visit. Matching pairs of this same sconce still hang today in the old sanctuary at 114 12th Street. Read more at http://www.historicspringfieldaugusta.org/.