April 9, 2009
Pilgrimage is right around the corner
On every street in town, you can see people hard at work getting their yards ready to welcome the flurry of tourists who flock here yearly to attend the Pilgrimage, which is hosted by the Holly Springs Garden Club.
This year, there will be an arts and crafts show on the square. Vendors from all around the area will be attending to peddle their wares. There will be one-of-a-kind items for sale, so be sure to stop on the square and shop, as well as the stores that will be open on the weekend!
There is a 5K run slated for the weekend, as well. Nancy Jones has worked hard to coordinate this run, as it is the first ever 5K run for the Pilgrimage. Runners will be guided through our town and will see all of the beauty that our town has to offer.
There is also a cemetery tour. This will include re-enactors who portray famous people by their graves. It is a very interesting tour, as you learn about some of the “local color” that makes our town historic!
Saturday night, The Diggs (1989-2009) will be entertaining on the lawn of Montrose. There will be a dinner and a silent auction prior to the dancing. The monies raised will benefit the restoration project that is going on at Montrose. Tickets are still available for the evening festitivies. If you are interested in attending, please call 662-252-2365 or 662-252-6479. There are tickets available for the entire evening or just for the dance. Tickets for the dance only will be available at the door. It promises to be a fun-filled evening!
Let’s remember to put on a happy face for our tourists! There are so many homes in town for sale. Let’s welcome our out-of-town visitors; we may attract them to move here! It is a great weekend to showcase what we have to offer.
If you have not done so already, spruce up your yard! It is time to plant things now anyway. If you have plans on planting, try to get it going this weekend. Let’s beautify our own homes and impress our guests!
(To put your news in City Personals, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; mail to City Personals, The South Reporter, P.O. Box 278, Holly Springs, MS 38635 or call 662-252-4261. You may also e-mail your City Personal news to email@example.com).
Alexander and Bobbie Jean Shead were married April 6, 1959 in San Antonio, Tx., by the late A.N. Patterson, former minister of the Laurel St. Church of Christ. They are the proud parents of five children, Debra Hart of Las Vegas, Nev., Alexander Jr. of Abilene, Tx., Michael of Herndon, Ky., Stephen of Houston, Tx., and Nova Spence of Decatur, Ill. They have 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Chad and Janet Fitch, along with big brother Jackson Avery Fitch (4-1/2), of Pelham, Ala., proudly announce the birth of Kinley Grace Fitch. Kinley was born on March 4, 2009 at 7:46 a.m. at Shelby Baptist Hospital. She weighed six pounds, ten ounces and was 20-1/4 inches.
Grandparents of the baby are Ralph and Mary Thomas of Quitman; Ronnie and Cindy Shaw of Holly Springs; and Bo and Polly Fitch of Pickwick Dam, Tenn.
Locals enjoy Costa Rica trip
Carey Crain of Holly Springs recently led a local group to Costa Rica during spring break. The trip was coordinated through EF Educational Tours of Cambridge, Mass. The group included Cora Jean Tomlinson, Sarah Brigance, Barbara Gilliam, Ecky Leak, Joan Ragsdale, Pat Smith, Betty Bailey, Sarah Crain, Jo Fleming, Kathy Clayton, Heather Tomlinson, Drew Brigance, Arron Brigance, David Breithaupt, Chelsey Gilliam, LouAnne Tomlinson, Barbara Pipkin and Marianne Schadrack.
The group enjoyed learning about the culture, customs and history of Costa Rica. Some of the interesting places and activities included: participating in a zip line across the jungle canopy, viewing of huge iguanas and howler monkeys, kayaking on Lake Arenal, viewing the Arenal Volcano, horseback riding, hiking to a waterfall, snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean, visiting with the locals and testing our Spanish, and enjoying many hot springs heated by the nearby volcano. The group also “enjoyed” lots of rice and black beans! The people and scenery of Costa Rica are awesome and all the group enjoyed visiting in this beautiful country.
The group enjoyed everything they saw and did and made some new friends along the way. They all agreed it was one of the best trips ever.
Carey Crain is currently planning the trip for Spring Break 2010 through EF Educational Tours. The plans are for “A Grand Tour of Italy.”
The life of Kate Freeman Clark
I lived across the street from Kate Clark and was her neighbor while I was growing up. Her house had a mystery to it as it was enshrouded in a thicket of trees and bushes enclosed in a picket fence.
Miss Kate loved cats and in her secluded spot right in the middle of town she had a bunch of cats of all assorted sizes and color.
In a servant’s quarters in her backyard lived Bennie (Freeman?) and his family, (Miss Kate’s maid and Bennie was her chauffer). Miss Kate always had utterly fantastic cars. One was a Pierce-Arrow; the others were Packards.
Miss Kate was born in 1877 and early in her life her mother and grandmother realized her preciosity as an artistocity. When she was sixteen her mother took her to New York to study under America’s leading artist, William Merritt Chase, who had a studio on Long Island. He taught her to paint so well that it is hard to distinguish between her paintings and his.
Kate’s father was a lawyer and they lived in Vicksburg early in her life. He was appointed Under Secretary of the Interior of the United States (imagine what an honor that was!) but when he went to Washington, D.C., to fulfill his duties, malaria that had been dormant within him came out as sometimes happens when a change of climate occurs. After two weeks, he died of the fever and never got to fulfill his official duties.
Kate, and her mother, Cary, moved back to Holly Springs, into her home place with her parents. Her grandmother was named Kate Walthall Freeman and she was Confederate General Edward Wathall’s sister. When Kate was at school in New York, her mother, and later her grandmother, lived with her. Her mother went to art school with her every day.
Kate considered art hard work. Each morning her mother would set out the canvas, the paints, the brushes for her so all Kate had to do was paint and she was very prolific. She painted at least 1,050 paintings and never sold any, as they were like the children she never had.
She had many gallery showings in and around New York to show her paintings. She also had a real social life with beaus, but all her dates had to be chaperoned.
Her grandmother and mother were very social and were invited to the White House in D.C. several times to special functions by the first ladies of our land.
Her beloved teacher and mentor, William Chase, died in 1916, then her grandmother who was a driving force in her life died about 1920, and then in 1923 her mother, Cary, died and Kate was all alone in New York. It was then she decided to move back home to Holly Springs.
She built a new studio upstairs at her house with a northern exposure and a southern exposure, but as far as we know, she never painted any more but one picture of Holly Springs and that was the Finley House next door. Art was hard work for her and her helper was gone. When Kate came back home, she had a huge dog, at first. We have the dog’s silver collar but it was the only dog that was significant. We don’t know of others. Kate was social, belonging to the town clubs and her church after moving back. She had five pianos in her house and there is music that she may have written.
Quite often, music and art in a person go hand in hand and if you have one talent, you probably have both.
Kate loved Holly Springs and had plans to build an art gallery on her property and planned for her house to be a part of it. One cold winter day in 1957 she died. In her life she had great accomplishments. When she left New York, she placed all her paintings in storage and there they remained until after her death. Here at home, we knew she was an artist but she was an unsung heroine while she was living as we never saw her paintings. It was like being a concert pianist and nobody ever hearing you play. She left enough money to build the gallery and frame her pictures. In 1957 the only picture out of her collection she had given to the Brooks Art Gallery in Memphis years ago.
Her source of income was always a mystery, too, as the trio lived very well in New York all those years, which took lots of money at that time also. I found out that they had inherited a plantation named “Cary” in the Delta and it supported them very well all of her life. She didn’t have many relatives but one emerged at her death as her half-sixth cousin.
After she died the majority of the town was shocked at the rich legacy that we had been bequeathed.
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