The Whitfield-Murray Historical Society announces special Social Distancing Outdoor Concerts at the Chatsworth Depot for 2020.
When the Second Saturday concerts began five years ago, they were outdoor, so a return to the recent past will also follow social distancing guidelines of the present. The first event for 2020 will take place on Saturday, June 13, with other events on July 11 and Aug. 8. All concerts start at 5 p.m. and are provided free by event sponsors.
The initial concert will feature Chatsworth native Jason Lyles, a singer-songwriter and recording artist currently booking high-energy, acoustic shows. A favorite on the Chattanooga/North Georgia music scene since 2003, Lyles delivers an upbeat, caffeine-charged blend of alternative, Americana and roots rock styles. His shows feature strong vocals and rhythmic guitar, crafty songwriting, and a knack for breaking out your favorite '80s pop or '90s alt rock cover. Lyles is at home on any type of stage — at clubs, pubs, festivals, colleges and special events such as Nightfall Chattanooga. This is his first appearance at the Chatsworth Depot, located off First Avenue.
The 1905 Chatsworth Depot will be open for “socially distanced” tours from 2 p.m. until concert time. Ed Campbell’s HO train has been refurbished for the 2020 season and will be operating for the first time in its new setting along with a visitors' favorite, Stan Rogers G-Scale model train.
The public is also invited to walk through the historic 1960 caboose behind the depot to see its just-completed makeover. This restoration project was led by Murray County Probate Judge and historical society member John Waters. This will be the public’s first opportunity to see the restoration and learn about “life aboard a train” from the crew’s perspective.
The Wright Hotel will also be open for tours. The hotel opened in 1909 and has served many tourists, jurors, schoolteachers, judges, politicians and honeymooners back in the day. Among the interesting things visitors can see are the rock on the newel post used to hold guests’ mail for pickup, the 7-foot tub in which hotel owner Tom Wright was baptized, original furniture, Indian pottery and baskets, and nursing paraphernalia belonging to Kate Raine, daughter of Mr. Wright, who served as a nurse on Indian reservations of the Southwest. A new special display for this season will feature a collection of 78 rpm records from the 1920s and '30s — records one young visitor described as “really big CDs!”
The first Second Saturday event is made possible by Peeples Funeral Home, Chatsworth First National Community Bank, Captain D’s, Bojangles' and Bradley Ace Hardware.
Future concerts will feature the return visit of popular prior entertainers Ray Catoe on July 11 and Earl Brackin on Aug. 8.
You are invited to enjoy history and music in this historic era.