Mayor Wade with Governor Jimmy Carter and other Georgia dignitaries. Carter went on to serve a term as US President and win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mayor Wade and West Georgia College Professor Newt Gingrich, who later served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Great Britain's monarch Edward VII (1841-1910), during whose brief reign (the "Edwardian Age") the SWHH was built. The son of Queen Victoria, Edward made a good-will tour of North America in 1860, and was entertained by President James Buchanan, former US Minister to Great Britain. Buchanan and the Queen had earlier exchanged greetings during the brief lifespan of the first Trans-Atlantic cable. The seat of Haralson County, the City of Buchanan, founded at the dawn of the Buchanan presidency, was named after him.
First known bird's-eye-view photo of Buchanan,
The original building which housed Buchanan High School,
Youthful Mrs. Evelyn (née Shepard) Sanford using her amateur
radio rig. At the time she earned her
Mrs. Evelyn Wade in her latter years, as mayor of the
The Sanford-Wade Heritage House was originally to have been
dedicated in a ceremony on
Part of the ceremony might have featured the performance of 25 minutes
of recorded music from a century ago, the collection of musical pieces
annotated and linked below, digitized from original
Of course, as related in the 1901 book A Preliminary Report on the Roads and Road-building Materials of Georgia, transportation in Haralson County at the turn of the century was far from the cutting edge:
Area, 269 square miles; total road-mileage, 200; number of miles of graded road, 0; number of miles of macadamized road, 0; amount of money annually raised for public-road purposes, 0. The roads are constructed and maintained by statute labor.
...little interest seems to have been manifested in the country, so far, in the betterment of highways. The county has in the last few years constructed four iron bridges at a total cost of $12,000; but, otherwise, there has been little or no money expended upon the roadways. The roads are kept up solely by statute labor. Each person, subject to road-duty, is said to work on the public roads, on an average of six days per annum.
Haralson County, 1904
Nonetheless, as early as 1905 the automobile arrived in the county, as detailed in the article here.
Even before the century turned, Buchanan's neighbor town of Tallapoosa could boast streetcar lines during its boom years: The Dummy Line ran from the Georgia Pacific Railroad depot along Atlanta Street to Head Avenue, then to Mill Street, then Alewine, reaching the Lithia Springs Hotel before arriving at the industrial section on the eastern side of town. It then looped back to the depot, taking Atlanta Street, then Michigan Avenue and finally High Street. Another local rail-line ran between between town and a gunpowder mill near the Adderhold Bridge on the Tallapoosa River, using a steam locomotive to pull several cars, while in town mules provided traction.
The music of a century ago reflects not only the technologies of its time, but also its social attitudes, including race relations very different from those common now. One might, as a matter of taste, elect to evade the issue; but one cannot deny that the recordings themselves were made. The musical pieces below are hardly the most provocative one might have chosen to include, but archaic (and potentially insulting) words like coon and darkie can be found in the lyrics.
But even in those times, things were starting to change. Years earlier, the advisors of the future King Edward remarked on his unusual habit of treating all people the same, regardless of their social station or color. Edward wrote, complaining of the treatment of the native (Asian) Indians by British officials: "Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute." And he specifically deprecated use of the word nigger as "disgraceful."
In this country, President Theodore Roosevelt, the son of a Lincoln-supporting New York father and a mother raised in a Georgia family owning slaves, broke the "color line" by inviting African-American leader Booker T. Washington to be his guest at the White House. And Roosevelt's hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft, running for office at this time, took note of his party's support for the ideal of color-blind justice, as exemplified in this 1908 voice recording. Notably, unlike Georgia as a whole, the majority in Haralson County voted to elect both Roosevelt and Taft in those days.
But the road to the type of society which typical Americans support today would not be a direct one. Taft's immediate successor would "redeem" not only the White House - but the entire national capital district - from black-white racial integration.
Also at this time, the United States as a whole was experiencing its second great wave of European immigration - and dealing with the challenges that it imposed. While Haralson County received Central European ethnics during the Tallapoosa boom years, Georgia scarcely saw this influx, except through the prism of the media, such as this ironic song of 1911.
The sound recordings below - made in an age before broadcast radio or talking
cinema - gladly supplement the singing voice and musical instrument with a
variety of audio special effects, delighted in the ability to do so affordably
through the cost amortization offered by the mass production of audio cylinders.
This Scott Joplin classic is rendered instrumentally with a banjo solo.
A simple love song set in "Cotton Town, that near-forgotten town."
A mildly romantic song celebrating conquest of the skies.
A conventional period dialect song full of typical regional details.
A novelty song praising the economic merits of urban trolleys, set in New York City.
Celebration of the type of inter-regional union President Roosevelt's parents enjoyed. Similar matches took place in Haralson County in consequence of the "Yankee Boom" years during the late 19th century in Tallapoosa.
A humorous song about a certain US President. In this song, the word "Yankee" refers to Americans as a whole, from the perspective of Great Britain and King Edward.
A love song in the rich operatic style then popular, especially among "barbershop quartets".
Irving Berlin's talent shines through in this humorous cautionary tune from his early career.
The concert was to have been capped with a live performance by talented
songbird and Christian evangelist Helen Morgan of the most famous song
written in Haralson County, her original interpretation of the enduring
Row Us Over The Tide. Penned no later than 1910 by native son
Homer Franklin Morris, this touching and tragic tune was supposedly inspired
grievous medical epidemics
sadly common in early 20th century Georgia. Read more about the song
and its place in county history
While the rest of the concert was cancelled, happily Helen Morgan's act was redirected to the main stage of the fair and came off well. The photo below shows her in costume after the performance with one of her grateful fans.
Poor health due to epidemic and endemic disease was probably both a cause and effect of persistent poverty in Georgia a century ago. But other issues had profound economic import, too.
One of the most dramatic ways in which today's Georgia differs from what it was a century ago is the enormously higher average level of material wealth. Real per capita income throughout the United States has grown markedly over the decades - more than six-fold nationwide between 1930 and 2004.
But the most dramatic gains have been amongst the federal states which were the
poorest in the early twentieth century - of which Georgia was one. The differences
between various states has shrunk dramatically through convergence, illustrated
in the graphic immediately below.
The general explanation for convergence is the Solow growth model, through preferential capital intensification in lagging states, which is potentiated by the substantial essential commonalities between states, like language, currency, culture and laws. A frequently cited paper laying out the evidence is Convergence across States and Regions by Robert J. Barro and Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin (Brookings Papers on Economic Activity; n1 1991, pp. 107-58.) This paper writes:
"An important economic question is whether poor countries or regions tend to converge toward rich ones. We want to know, for example... how the American South became nearly as well off as the North... For the U.S. states, we estimate the rate of convergence of per capita personal income from 1880 to 1988 to be around 2 percent per year whether we look within or across four geographical regions.
In Tallapoosa, the late Victorian boom - or the recent establishment of a Honda transmission assembly plant - are microeconomic details of such macroeconomic phenomena.
But that's not to say that people can't work to frustrate such
developments. Various sources from around the twilight of the 19th
century reported 5,000 or even 13,000 acres of Haralson County were
planted in grapes. Yearly harvests approaching a thousand tons made
possible wine production
exceeding 64 thousand gallons annually.
Then alcohol prohibition began in Georgia January 1, 1908; wine-making
and its allied local industries were destroyed. By 1910 not even 12 tons
of grapes were harvested and this engine of Haralson County's former
prosperity was quieted for a century.
The original editorial material on this page was authored by Ron Feigenblatt,
while Mary Tolleson
kindly provided information on the streetcars of Tallapoosa's boom years.