2018-06-14 / Kitty Bits

Kitty Bits

Kettle Creek featured at The Fox

We received an email from Debbie Hopkins Pittman who worked at The News-Reporter many years ago. “You recently asked about the white squirrels; well there are two living around my brother’s (Bill Hopkins) house. I see them often when visiting my brother and his wife. They run through his yard and around Joe Ward’s house (the late Smythe and Jane Newsome home).

“As for the Pignatel House, my brother (Bill Hopkins) lived there after he was born. My grandparents leased the house in the early 40s. He said the house had numerous rooms which they rented to other people. He remembers my grandfather had a hog pen in back and had a corn field where the fire department is now. My mother and brother lived there while my father was in the war. Also living there were other family members, Orlando and Christine Hopkins, and Ralph and Sarah Hopkins. He has fond memories of living there. He lived there several years before my family moved to Charleston, S.C.”


Susan Abramson attended a performance of “Hamilton” at the Fox in Atlanta. She was excited to report that the playbill has a story about Kettle Creek Battlefield and mention of the lost Confederate gold in it. Alexa and Daniel Newsome also attended the play this past week and she texted us photos of pages 52 and 54 (isn’t technology great) of the program with the Kettle Creek info. The article opens, “More than a century has passed but the hopes and hostilities of Georgia’s war history have not gone with the wind. Arm yourself with knowledge at these locations.” Kettle Creek Battlefield is the first location listed. A photo of crosses marking graves at the site is accompanied by the text, “At Kettle Creek Battlefield in modern day Washington, Georgia (Wilkes County), 240 patriots beat back 600 British loyalists. Some 27 graves from the American Revolution lay here.” In researching on www.kettlecreekbattlefield.org, we find that the number of patriots was 340 (another reference gives the number of 400), so typos aren’t unique to us at The News-Reporter. Regardless, the article gives information on the history of the battle, which is a huge help in informing the public and promoting the drive to preserve the historic site. There is also mention of Washington as the first town in the country named for George Washington. The article gives information about the picnic area atop War Hill, hiking trails and historical markers, and also directs tourists and history buffs to The Square to see the monument dedicated to African-Americans who fought for the Colonies. “The Civil War Connection” portion of the article touches on the Confederate gold legend and The History Channel’s airing of “The Curse of the Civil War Gold.” So hundreds, even thousands, of folks who attended the play and are interested in the Revolution had this information at their fingertips. Just wonderful!


And while we are talking about history, we had the pleasure of attending the Georgia Press Convention, held at the Jekyll Island Club Resort, a Historic Hotel of America, last Wednesday through Saturday. At check-in we were informed that our reserved room at the club had been given to someone else. The nervous employee continued, “You have been moved to the Sans Souci next door, upgraded to a king suite,…but it’s on the fourth floor… and there is no elevator…but we can get a bellman to carry your luggage if you need assistance.” Being a proud, older couple, in denial of our age, we assured them that we would be fine and we hauled our luggage up the four flights, huffing and puffing all the way. But, the upgraded suite was delightful! And we were absolutely blown away by the architecture and detail of the building, constructed in 1896, of which J.P. Morgan was a part owner. The Sans Souci originally had six apartments and was one of the nation’s first condominiums.


We recently ran a correction about WWII veterans to include Marvin Armour among Wilkes County’s number, in addition to Duck Moore. Someone has also mentioned that Jimmy Reynolds may have served in WWII. If you know of other Wilkes WWII veterans please let us know. We certainly don’t want to leave anyone out.


Another email this week came from Myra Blackmon saying, “I was happy to see the news of Jordan Tyler’s graduation from the Air Force Academy. I was there, too. Sort of.

“My granddaughter Amelia Johnson’s school is just across the Interstate from the Academy. The last day of school always coincides with the Academy graduation. School is out at noon, and families gather with blankets and chairs on the athletic fields to watch the Thunderbirds do their traditional flyover. We were there with my son Richard Johnson and granddaughter Scarlett. At age three, she is already an airplane aficionado (like her pilot father) and loved the show. Absolutely amazing to watch!

“My hotel was full of families there for the graduation. At breakfast there were lots of casual conversations about graduates and their families. It all reminded me of the diversity that is such a strength of our country.

“There was a man staying there – in Colorado Springs for his grandson’s high school graduation – who had graduated from the Academy in its second class in 1963. We loved his stories of his career and of the differences in the Academy between now and then. “Also saw a few cadets in their stunning uniforms! The Air Force Academy does an amazing job of a multi-day family celebration!”


Borrowing from the June 10, 1993 issue of The News-Reporter and “This week in local history” compiled by Irvin Cheney Jr. we find some interesting bits. The “years ago” have been updated and are in comparison to 2018.

100 years ago this week

Dr. Soule, Federal Food Administrator, has issued an order prohibiting the use of ice in individual soft drinks and other beverages. Ice may be used only to preserve food stuffs.

The latest telegraphic reports tell us that there are over 700,000 Americans in France. If each American can kill four Germans, they will have exterminated 2,800,000 of the savages.

Out of the 152 counties in Georgia, only three have more mules than Wilkes. Burke has 6,900. Houston has 6,010. Washington County has 6,420. Wilkes has 5,875. Do we even keep count of how many mules there are per county anymore? KB

85 years ago this week

Most downtown stores have agreed to close early Monday through Friday during the summer. They have agreed to close at 6 p.m. on those days.

The U.S. Civil Service Commission will hold a competitive examination for the position of Collector of Cotton Statistics in Wilkes County. The position pays $279 per year.

A sign that the economy is improving is that 30 loaded freight cars arrived in Washington on Monday.

75 years ago this week

The 1942 Senior Class of Washington High School had an enjoyable senior trip to the National Park at Crawfordville. The trip was made by train to conserve gasoline.

H.C Jackson has bought the R.D Callaway farm of 1065 acres three miles from Washington on the Atlanta highway.

Miss Edythe Brooks has joined the WAVES, and will report soon for training at Hunter’s College 50 years ago this week Mrs. Calvin Gunter’s car was stolen from the parking lot of the Washington Loan and Banking Company Tuesday. It was subsequently located in Atlanta.

In its first municipal election, citizens of Rayle elected B.S. Armour as mayor. Councilmen will be C.W. Bridges Sr. and John T. (Jack) Armour. A third council position will be filled in a runoff election among three candidates, James W. Armour, James Short, and Owen Callaway, who tied in the June 4 election.

And from that same issue we find this…

25 years ago this week

A photo of Kermit Hocutt shows him surrounded by the children of Debbie Lindsey’s first grade classroom. The children expressed their thanks to him for everything he had done for them over the year and shared stories, poems, and their projects with him. Anyone who knewMr. Kermit” misses him dearly. His death in 2010 was a great loss to us all. KB

The Office Cat wrote, “When Albert Huyck married Eudora Le- Roy June 5, it was the first wedding of a First Baptist pastor since the first pastor, Jesse Mercer, married Nancy Simon in the 1820s….And in one more year, Albert will have been pastor of First Baptist longer than any other pastor in the church’s history.” The Huycks recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary! KB

An article in this issue announced plans for the Toombs family reunion and 183rd birthday celebration for General Robert Toombs. The celebration was scheduled for June 27 and was sponsored by the Toombs Historic Site. That means the general would be 208 this year. KB

114 W-WCHS seniors were set to receive diplomas at graduation on Friday evening, June 11.


Please email kittybits@news-reporter.com or kittybits@wilkespublishing.com with your contributions to the column. Or you can call 706-678-2636 or stop by the office.

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