(Locator: Gainesville, Georgia)
A walk down memory lane in Gainesville, Georgia is filled with
Linda Rucker Hutchens/Co-author, Hall County Georgia: “Mrs. Rena
Bush, she not only had the boarding house but that she was over a
cooking staff at Brenau College, that she had all of these business
Residents of this Atlanta suburb have a growing collection of stories
about the men and women who built their community.
Ella Jean Smith/Co-author, Hall County Georgia: “Dr. Butler lived
one street over from me. It was very easy for you to go to the doctor.
Knock on the door and he would come out, see his patient and go back
home. He made house calls.”
The book, Hall County Georgia, includes stories like that of
George Stephens, the well-to-do tailor who loaned money to the city and
Brenau College in the 1920s. Citizens formed the Gainesville-Hall County
Black History Society to preserve this rich heritage from an
James Grady Brooks/Member, St. Paul United Methodist Church: “In my
kids’ generation there was a disconnect. Everything is mostly the now.
You just exist in the now. There’s no connection, or very little
connection, between the past and the future.”
Brooks wants young African Americans to appreciate their history and its
landmarks, including the building where the historical society
meets--St. Paul United Methodist Church. This is Gainesville’s oldest
church still in use today. These members hope their work will inspire
African-American leaders of the future.
James Grady Brooks/Member, St. Paul United Methodist Church: “Know where
you came from, know where you are and aspire to go somewhere.”
St. Paul United Methodist Church was founded by former slaves in 1876.
The church was also used as a school for African-American children
before formal schools in the town were constructed. For more information
on the Gainesville Black History Society, contact Ella Smith at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church at