First Floor Tarpley

The Reinhardt University History Program Blog

First Floor Tarpley

Alumni News

I was very pleased to be able to have lunch today with Addy Huneke ’23, who graduated from Reinhardt with a history degree and creative writing minor this past spring. Addy is now working at the National Archives at St. Louis, where she helps researchers find the documents (largely military records) that they’re interested in. She also continues her writing and is finishing up her second novel. Congratulations, Addy!

History Program

Some good news:

• History Professor Ken Wheeler has been awarded Reinhardt’s Faculty Scholarship award for 2020-21. Modern Cronies is available on May 1 – order your copy at the UGA Press online store


• Tripp Wickard and Josh Belden have been named as Reinhardt’s History Program students of the year.

• Martie Turner has been named Reinhardt’s History-Secondary Ed. student of the year.

• The history program’s excellent student-worker Brianna Arnold has been named Reinhardt’s Political Science student of the year. 

• History program graduate Lara Bowen ’09 is now head of the ESOL program at Sequoyah High School. Lara’s daughter Nikki Bowen, a junior at Reinhardt in the creative writing program, was recognized today as a Reinhardt University Academic Scholar (GPA >3.9). 

Congratulations, everyone!

Alumni News

Over the horn today, some news about Reinhardt history major Mat Pinson ’05:

Mathew Pinson Elected GUMF President/CEO

The Georgia United Methodist Foundation Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Mathew Pinson as the Foundation’s next president/CEO, effective July 1, 2021. Pinson will succeed the Rev. Keith E. Lawder, who is retiring after serving as the Foundation’s president since 2016.

GUMF Search Committee Chair Kathryn H. Dennis said of Pinson’s selection, “We selected Mathew after conducting an extensive nationwide search. He brings great talents and a strong vision to lead the Foundation in the challenging years ahead. We are delighted he has accepted the challenge!”

Pinson responded, “I believe the Georgia United Methodist Foundation has an exceptional opportunity to provide leadership and resources for Methodists across the state. We have great potential to convene strong partners to advance the Foundation’s mission further—from our existing programs to developing new opportunities.

The way the Foundation directly supports individuals, congregations, and organizations is inspiring. I look forward to joining a strong team of board members and staff at the Foundation as we seek to serve as a leading financial partner by providing faith-based solutions for investing, lending, training, and planned giving.”

Congratulations, Mat!

Local Exploration

• I just finished reading Joseph B. Mahan’s History of Old Cassville, 1833-1864, kindly leant to me by my neighbor Mark Leary. I was pleased to learn that Mahan was a graduate of Reinhardt College. The book tells how the Western & Atlantic railroad passed Cassville by, so the city decided to become an education center by sponsoring two colleges: Cherokee Baptist College and Cassville Female College. These closed during the Civil War and were transformed into hospitals, and then destroyed in retaliation for the murders of ten US soldiers whose bodies were dumped on the grounds of the Female College. 

I was pleased to encounter this map, which is probably the most accurate reconstruction of the Cassville Affair that I’ve seen. Note the road that leads to “Wofford’s Crossing,” which is what White was called at the time. 

• On Brooke Road stands one of those chimneys that was once part of a house. You see them here and there around these parts; they make for interesting follies. 

This one, apparently, was once part of a school, according to an Etowah Valley Historical Society sign on the road:

The Boston-Brooke Schoolhouse is not yet included in the catalogue of Bartow County schools on the EVHS website. 

• The iron furnaces mentioned earlier on this blog are not the only industrial remnants on Stamp Creek. If you walk down Old Mill Road and continue on the trail after it ends, eventually you come to the remains of a bridge that once spanned the creek. Presumably this was how the Pool Creek furnace was supplied. 

South of this bridge (but north of Pool Furnace, and on the opposite side of Stamp Creek) are the remains of a building. I took these photos in April, hence the vegetation. 

I am told this was a carriage works! 

• The nearest railway depot to Cassville was Cass Station, two miles to the south of Cassville, not far from where Burnt Hickory Road crosses the Western & Atlantic. The depot burned down in 1969, but the nearby ruins of the old cotton warehouse and Quillian’s store may be explored. I took these photos in July. 

UPDATE: A couple more discoveries:

• The Goodson Cemetery is found on Goodson Cemetery Road near Lake Allatoona. The road itself is blocked off and the cemetery is in a rather unkempt state, which is a shame (a YouTube video illustrates what the cemetery looked like in 2015; whatever cleanup they did at the time has since been erased by the forces of nature). 

I was interested to discover the grave marker of Jacob Stroup (1771-1846), one of the major figures in the local antebellum iron industry, in the form of a miniature iron furnace. 

It reads:

Sacred to the
Memeory [sic] of
Iron Master
Jacob Stroup
Born 19 Mar 1771
Died 8 Nov 1846
GGG Grandfather of
John R. Jackson
Phone 770 445 3591

Judging from the font (and the publication of a phone number, including area code!), it would appear that this marker was erected by Mr. Jackson some time in the late twentieth century. It’s a shame that it wasn’t better constructed in the first place, though. 

It seems that the current grave marker of Stroup’s third wife Sarah Feuell Stroup dates from the same point in time. 

This one dates from much earlier – 1817, which is really quite early for white settlement in this area.

Of course, there are also many poignant reminders of just how common childhood mortality once was. 

• This photo is not historical as such but these two street corner preachers, spotted on January 2 in Cartersville, are certainly in a long tradition: 

I’ve got to commend their creativity, although I have no idea what “Hooters Hookers” or “Twerker Berzerkers” are…

The Georgia State Capitol

On Saturday we enjoyed a private tour of the Georgia State Capitol by Madeline (Gray) Lara ’19, now an Executive Legislative Assistant for State Senators William Ligon (R-3) and Renee Unterman (R-45). Quite apart from the excellent company, it is one of the more interesting state capitols in the Union.

Ms. Lara at her desk – with Reinhardt diploma on the wall. 

Her handiwork keeping the senators on track. In case you were wondering, the “Ice Cream” bill (SB 198), if passed, will “authorize the manufacture, distribution, transportation, or sale of ice cream or frozen desserts made with alcoholic beverages without an alcoholic beverage license or permit.” Sounds like a great idea!

The Senate and House Chambers, which we could only see from the balcony, unfortunately.

I do love a good custom doorknob! Such things are well due for a revival. 

The interior of the dome, however, leaves something to be desired. Think of all the ways they could decorate this. 

To my delight the halls contain all manner of portraits and statuary of past governors, including:

Joesph E. Brown, native of Canton and Georgia’s governor during the Civil War.

Jimmy Carter who, prior to being elected president in 1976, served as Georgia’s governor from 1971 to 1975, thus this decidedly youthful portrait. 

Joe Frank Harris, governor 1983-1991. Harris is a native of Cartersville and the namesake of the main drag. 

Zell Miller, governor 1991-1999 (a Democrat, but a speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention, on the principle that “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me”). Gov. Miller was Reinhardt’s commencement speaker back in 2007. 

Roy Barnes, governor 1999-2003, the last Democrat to hold the office. One of the reasons why may be seen in the background: it is a rendition of Barnes’s state flag, which he instituted to replace Georgia’s 1956 flag, which featured a large Southern Cross. At the time this shift did not go over very well with white Georgians outside of Atlanta. The fact that it was a train wreck of a design didn’t help much. 

George Erwin “Sonny” Perdue, governor 2003-2011, and currently the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue insisted on his wife Mary’s inclusion in his official portrait. I recall a campaign advertisement from 2006 in which putting “Innanet predators behind bars” was on his “Sonny-do list.” 

Nathan Deal, governor 2011-2019, with wife Sandra. Ms. Lara pointed out that the portrait includes a lot of meaningful detail: the crane for Deal’s sponsorship of urban development, the statue of Justice for his program of criminal justice reform, the apple and leaf (lying atop a copy of Pete the Cat by Atlanta author Eric Litwin) for education, and the movie camera bookend for the film industry. 

Lester Maddox, governor from 1967 to 1971. Maddox also inserted a lot of meaningful detail. The peaches are for Georgia, of course. His rumpled seersucker suit indicates his unconventionality. Apparently he was not permitted to have his wife Hattie included in the portrait, so he did the next best thing and included a picture of her. 

The state seal on the upper left includes a bicycle for Maddox’s love of cycling.

His adversarial relationship with the press is indicated by a copy of the Atlanta Constitution acting as fish wrap, which is all he said it was good for. 

(No pickaxe handles, though.)

Maddox famously denied Martin Luther King a lying-in-state at the Georgia Capitol following MLK’s assassination in 1968, so a portrait of the great man now hangs permanently. 

Around the rotunda are busts of men considered Georgia’s founders, including:

Button Gwinnett, signatory to the Declaration of Independence and namesake of Gwinnett County. 

Abraham Baldwin, founder of the University of Georgia and namesake of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC). 

On one of the main staircases is a bust of James Oglethorpe, founder of the Colony of Georgia, looking concerned. 

The third floor of the Capitol functions as the Georgia State Museum, which provides lots of interesting things to see (although It’s probably past due for this collection to find a permanent home in its own building, parallel to the Bullock Texas State History Museum or the Louisiana State Museum.)

A Mississippian chief.

From the days before Dominion Voting Systems.

The ERA era.

A diorama of the wildlife in the Upper Coastal Plain region.

A local product (mostly from Tate): marble, used for the construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Minnesota State Capitol. 

I was also very edified to see some historic flags on display!

Flag of the 82nd Division 325th Infantry Regiment (era of World War I).

Flag of the First Georgia Infantry, U.S. Volunteers (era of the Spanish-American War).

Flag of the Richmond Hussars (organized 1819).

The Georgia State Capitol follows the regular pattern of such buildings in the United States, and features a dome. 

Georgia’s is covered in gold leaf, a signature product of Dahlonega. 

The dome is also topped by a statue of “Miss Freedom,” restored and reinstalled in 2004. 

Ms. Lara’s office is next to a vault, which now serves as a copy room. Some people claim that the room stored Confederate gold during the Civil War, but as you can read the building only went up in the 1880s (and Atlanta only became the state capital in 1868). 

When we arrived at noon we had to dodge the pro-Trump Stop the Steal march, and all the state troopers making sure nothing got out of hand. But by the time we left the only demonstrators appeared to be a group of Black Hebrew Israelites.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Alumni News

From (hat tip: Ken Wheeler), news about history major Ari Tatum ’13:

Client success manager secures job during international crisis

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

As Americans scramble to keep some semblance of income, the unemployment rates continue to skyrocket across the country. A lot of people are worried for their lives and wellbeing as they seek employment at whatever company is currently hiring. Though many are unsuccessful in their attempts to get hired, there are a few that are fortunate enough to gain a job.

One of the lucky people who has secured a job in the COVID19 era is local Georgia resident Ari Tatum.

Tatum is a graduate of Reindhardt University with degrees in History and Business Marketing. He was also a student athlete for University of Houston’s football team for two years before transferring institutions. He is currently pursuing his MBA at University of Georgia.

This July, Tatum was hired full-time as a client success manager at ServiceTitan. A client success manager is someone who interacts with customers routinely to update them on campaigns or projects and serves as the main point of communication between clients and the company.

Before applying to ServiceTitan, Tatum applied for other jobs, which ultimately led nowhere. Due to the large quantity of applicants trying to get hired as well, he says his application process was very extensive.

“It was tough, man. There were times where I felt discouraged and I was lost in the shuffle. You go through the motions of filling out job applications and going on interviews, only to hear ‘we’re freezing all hiring,’ or you don’t ever hear back from anything,” said Tatum.

Tatum says that the endless cycle of applying everywhere and getting nowhere could take a toll on his confidence and motivation. However, when he applied to ServiceTitan, he felt that the directness of their instructions gave him the drive he needed to not give up.

“It was definitely tough because there were so many unknown factors. But it was nice working and interviewing with ServiceTitan because they were very upfront about everything. They never left you unsure; you knew where you stood and it was nice,” said Tatum.

More at the link. Congratulations, Ari!

Congratulations, Graduates!

This past year has been a little… different, of course. In common with most colleges in the United States, Reinhardt did not hold a graduation ceremony on account of the plague – which meant that I, regretfully, neglected to acknowledge our history graduates on this blog. To rectify this, please allow me to present, and congratulate:

Abigail Merchant.

Caitlin Neighbors.

Joshua Carver.


My former student Danilo Bozovic, now back home in Podgorica, shared this photo of Montenegrin flags in observance of Montenegro’s Independence Day. The referendum of 2006 was held on May 21 in that year, and since independence from Serbia was supported by 55.5% of voters, was followed by a formal declaration of independence on June 3, 2006. But it is the day of the vote that has become a public holiday.

Alumni News

From the Dalton Daily Citizen-News, an announcement about Reinhardt history major Hannah Mayo Harris ’13: 

Coming home: Harris leaving Murray County, returning to Dalton High as head girls basketball coach

Basketball is coming full circle for Hannah Harris.

The Dalton High School graduate is set to return to her alma mater to coach the Lady Catamount basketball program, pending school board approval, according to Dalton High athletics director Jeff McKinney. Harris has been head girls basketball coach at Murray County High School since 2016.

“I’ve taken different paths and different jobs, and ultimately to come back to Dalton High where my basketball career started is special in a lot of ways,” Harris said. “It’s a pretty special opportunity that not everyone gets to have.”

Dalton relieved former coach Brad Beck of his duties last month. He was 22-33 in his two years as head coach.

Congratulations, Hannah, and all best wishes in your new job!