Cherokee ball sticks, a wooden yo-yo, a "ball and cup" and marbles. These are just a few historic games and toys visitors can see during the 22nd annual Spring Place Community Festival on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Old Spring Place Methodist Church just off Georgia Highway 225 South. This year's theme is "Come play in Spring Place."
Sponsored by the Spring Place Ruritan Club and the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, the festival commemorates Spring Place's past and raises funds for the continued preservation of the old church, which is Murray County's oldest building built for public use.
An official Georgia Historic Township and a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, Spring Place began as a Moravian mission to the Cherokees in 1801. Home of Cherokee Chiefs James and Joseph Vann, the town was part of the Trail of Tears, became Murray County's first seat of government, was raided during the Civil War, survived the turbulent Reconstruction era and then declined after losing the courthouse to Chatsworth in 1913. The post office closed in the 1970s but Spring Place remains a special place to many folks and families.
To celebrate the past, a display will highlight the 40 years since the old church was dedicated as a museum and the almost 200-year history of Methodism in Spring Place that includes artifacts from the Spring Place United Methodist Church which held its last service in April.
The festival opens at 8 a.m. Members of the Ruritan Club will have their usual bake sale with homemade cakes of all kinds. Breakfast biscuits and Chick-fil-A lunches will be available for purchase. A variety of new/used books, collectibles and flea market items such as vintage glass and cookware, toys and Christmas decorations, pictures and frames, tapes and CDs, linens and clothes, tools, and sports-related objects attract buyers as well.
A raffle for a Dollywood gift basket, which includes two free Dollywood tickets good through December of 2020, will be underway throughout the event and the popular auction begins at 10 a.m. This year the auction will include a variety of antiques including a Victorian buffet, tables and curio cabinets, as well as a gas grill, chests, sofa and chair, a bedroom suite, bottles, mirrors, a lighthouse collection, ladder-back chairs, tools, several local artists' prints, dolls, antique tools and household items, a toy chest, a doll house, Disney figurines, a University of Tennessee ornament collection and lots of gift cards from area restaurants and businesses such as Bojangles', Captain D's and Krystal.
DVDs, books, maps, postcards, notecards, Christmas ornaments and posters will be available for purchase at the historical society booth. Historic calendars, prints, newspapers, quarterlies and even a cookbook are among other items that will be for sale. The old church museum room will be open throughout the day.
The Murray County High School Alumni Association will have Rock Building postcards, notecards and prints for sale while Spring Place Elementary School, First National Community Bank, The Spring Place Ruritan Club and the Murray County Gideon Camp will have information tables. The Chatsworth-Murray County Library will have goodies for the kids. Special vendors include Gwen Gray Frederick with "Thirty-One" gift totes and organizers, local author Jodi Lowery and artist Cathy Satterfield.
Parking will be available on Elm Street with shuttles to the church and auction site provided. For more information, call Elizabeth Robinson at (706) 695- 6021, Carlton McDaniel at (706) 695-2110, Jyana and Chuck Smith at (706) 695-8297 or Tim Howard at (706) 695-2740.