The Whitfield-Murray Historical Society announces its first Social Distancing Outdoor Concert at the Chatsworth Depot for 2020 on Saturday. The free concert starts at 5 p.m. and 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 musical styles. His shows feature strong vocals and rhythmic guitar, crafty songwriting and a knack for breaking out favorite '80s pop or '90s alt rock covers. He 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 on 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 can be viewed 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 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 old RCA Victrola will probably be spinning some of those "really big CDs."
This month’s Second Saturday event is made possible by Peeples Funeral Home, Chatsworth First National Community Bank, Captain D’s, Bojangles' and Bradley Ace Hardware. Future Social Distancing 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 setting.