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0720 echoes
Above are champions in a poultry cooking contest, from the Springfield Herald in the 1960s. Those who won top honors in a district cooking contest in Statesboro were, left to right: Mrs. Ralph K. Rahn of Springfield; Mrs. Carlyle M. Neidlinger of Rincon; second place winner Mrs. Hilbert Witmer of Savannah; first place Mrs. Delmas Rushing of Register; Mrs. E.E. Lynn of Register; and Mrs. Charles Seckinger of Rincon. The district contest and state cooking queen event were sponsored by the Georgia Poultry Federation in cooperation with the Georgia Egg Commission, the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Poultry Processors Association and the Georgia Power Company. - photo by Photo provided

For six years and five months, Historic Effingham Society has published this column gratis in the Effingham Herald. It has been a pleasure for me to learn from many sources and people the stories about our county. It takes research and time to do the stories well and I appreciate your assistance and suggestions for the column that I have sent to the publisher every week.

I have used information from other sources and especially the works of Norman Turner, who has done a lot of research publishing many booklets on history in Effingham County. When someone writes a column from HES to help, I appreciate it.

For the past year and a half, one of Effingham Museum’s most used references has not been available to us. Shortly after Fort Howard Paper Corporation, now Georgia-Pacific, was established in Effingham County, the organization generously paid for the purchase of a microfilm machine for the museum. This donation made it possible for many people to access the historical resources of our county at Effingham Museum.

It is a wonderful educational resource to students, genealogists, historians or the average person looking for data, like an old wedding announcement. The machine is now broken and obsolete, with parts no longer available. The only other one in the county, in the public library in Effingham, is also broken, with no budget to repair or replace. This machine provided access to most copies of the Springfield Herald (now Effingham Herald) from its beginning in 1908 to 2000. Effingham Museum also has census records and some early minutes from the Effingham County Commissioners on microfilm. None are available to view without a microfilm reader.

Times are hard for everyone, especially non-profit organizations like ours. We face shortfalls and the inability to keep our employees in the museum without decreasing hours. We need volunteers to fill the gaps. We need your support. Becoming a supporting member of the organization will help.

Contact us Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for membership information. We also seek members in our corporate and small business categories. You may drop by our office at 1002 N. Pine St. in Springfield for applications.

Please help with a special project.  We are seeking funds to replace the microfilm machine which will enable me and other researchers to utilize our old newspapers for reference. Historic Effingham Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and acknowledges your donation. We have a donor who has given $250 toward the $4,900 needed to purchase an updated microfilm reader that will work with a computer. The donor challenges you to make a gift in that amount and they will match their first donation.

I challenge Effingham Herald, local businesses and my readers to make a donation.  Make your check payable to Historic Effingham Society with a note designating “Microfilm Machine Fund,” P.O. Box 999, Springfield, GA 31329. If everyone who reads the column will make a small donation, perhaps we can reach our goal and have access again to these wonderful resources we can no longer access.

Small donations will add up; 100 $10 donations would get us well toward our goal.  Please give whatever you can to keep Echoes in this newspaper providing a way to view our old Heralds for research for the weekly articles. Thank you very much.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: