Home Nonprofit organization The Historical Society salutes the Kiwanis Ogeechee fair and the host club with a field marker

The Historical Society salutes the Kiwanis Ogeechee fair and the host club with a field marker



A local nonprofit active in the community saluted another when the Bulloch County Historical Society dedicated the “Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair” and “Kiwanis Club of Statesboro” double-sided monumental marker to the Kiwanis Exhibition Center.

The leaders of the Historical Society, including its President Joe McGlamery, Executive Director Virginia Anne Franklin Waters, Historical Markers Committee Chair Bill Waters, and Program Vice President Brent Tharp spoke to Kiwanians over their lunch- weekly meeting January 6, 2022. Members of both organizations went outside to circle the marker, which is near the flag poles and whose “Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair” side faces the parking lot.

You must go around the marker to see the side labeled “Kiwanis Club of Statesboro”. But the historical text, in gold leaf lettering, is continuous from front to back. In fact, the Historical Society erected this marker about two years ago, but as Bill Waters noted, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the idea of ​​a dedication service.

McGlamery, after noting that he joined the Kiwanis in the 1960s before there was a permanent cattle barn, said running the fair was a lot of work then and he knows it was is still the case.

“Thank you for the effort you have put into creating this entertainment for our community – not just the entertainment, and that is of great value – but the money that you are able to put back into the hands of organizations, schools. , individuals, children, ”he told Kiwanis members. “It’s a wonderful thing that you are doing. Thank you also for allowing us to install this marker to commemorate both the Kiwanis Club and the fair itself.

The Kiwanis marker was actually the 26th placed by the Historical Society. Since the “Adabelle, Georgia” marker was placed and dedicated at the site of this extinct southern Bulloch County town in November, the total is now 27 markers.

Made to order by Sewah Studios in Marietta, Ohio, of cast aluminum, with gold lettering and an electrostatically applied dark brown powder coat finish, a full-size marker like the one at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds weighs approximately 100 pounds, including its metal pole, Bill Waters noted. Lettering is limited to 20 lines on each side and each line can contain up to 62 characters including spaces.

“The hardest part is not selecting the subject of the marker – in Bulloch County we could put one in a month, if we had $ 3,500. That’s what it costs for these markers – it condenses this wonderful story, ”said Virginia Anne Franklin Waters.

The text of the 26th marker traces the Kiwanis Ogeechee fair 56 years ago to the official first, which opened on October 11, 1965. But it also notes that the Kiwanis had attempted to organize agricultural fairs two years before. at a different location.

Tharp read aloud the full text of the marker that follows. Each side of the monument also contains a notation at the bottom: “Supported by the Jack N & Addie D. Averitt Foundation.” The foundation is the primary source of funding for markers and other Historical Society programs.

Marker text, front:


Established in 1960, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro held agricultural fairs in 1963 and 1964 on open land on Stockyard Road as fundraisers. After torrential rains nearly ruined the 1964 Fair, the club purchased 28 acres at the site on November 7, 1964 from John Rushing for $ 20,156. Using their own labor with hand tools, the Kiwanians of Statesboro erected a 25,000 square foot exhibition building and two cattle sheds.

The first Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair here was opened on October 11, 1965 with an address by Georgian Senator Herman Talmadge. In 1971, a new breeding arena was opened by Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Lester Maddox. In 1973, the Kiwanians of Statesboro focused on preserving local agricultural history and crafts by establishing a heritage village. The Aldrich House, a timber frame dwelling built in 1886 on Harville Road, was moved to the exhibition grounds in 1975 as a historic centerpiece. In 1990, the Kiwanis Community Building was built. From boiling syrup and flipping pancakes to the excitement of the midway rides, these fairgrounds have been dedicated to preserving the memories of generations past and building family memories for generations to come. .

(continued on the back)

Marker text, back:


(Continued from the front)

The Kiwanis Club of Statesboro held an organizational meeting at the Mrs. Bryant’s Kitchen (a local restaurant) on February 29, 1960 and elected the following: Josh Lanier, President; Thomas Preston, vice-president; Weldon Dupree, secretary; Herman Bray, Treasurer and Board of Directors: Belton Braswell, B. Avant Edenfield, TW Rowse, William Franklin, Naughton Beasley, Robert Ussery and Isaac Bunce.

The club’s first major community project in 1961 was a matching contribution of $ 3,807 to Georgia Southern College which triggered matching federal scholarship funds of $ 34,259. The following Kiwanians have personally guaranteed a note to Sea Island Bank for reimbursement: B. Avant Edenfield, Marion Brantley, JW Ray, JE Owens, Jr., J. Thurman Lanier, WO Stubbs, HP Jones, Willie Mac McGlamery, LE Mallard, Herman Bray, JL Dixon, William McKenney, Belton Braswell, Harold Howell, Miles Frank Deal, James Aulbert Brannen, Brown Childs, Wendell Rockett, John C. Wilson, Charles L. Brinson, WH Carroll, Weldon Dupree, Tal Callaway, Warren Evans , Naughton Beasley, Henry Appell, Wyatt Johnson and club pianist Emma Kelly. The loan was repaid in 1963 with the proceeds of the first Ogeechee Fair.