Greetings from the Town Square Museum.
Recent visitors include Richard Wells of Collierville, Tenn.; Howard and Zelia Bell of Kansas City, Missouri; Graden Jarrett of Pontotoc; Kayla and Katie Odom and Tyler Cooper of Bay Springs, Miss.; Rebecca and Amber Odom of Pontotoc; Amy Long, Margaret Bolton, Linda Fitzpatrick and Tracy Kramer all of Pontotoc; Ken and Doris Lancaster of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; Amy Wages, Kenneth Keith, James and Diane Hill, and Cynthia Easley all of Pontotoc.
Howard and Zelia Bell of Kansas City, Missouri donated items to the museum. Mrs. Bell is a descendant of the Dandridge family, one of the pioneer families to settle in Pontotoc when the Chickasaw Lands were opened for settlement after the signing of the Treaty of Pontotoc Creek (1832) and the formation of Pontotoc County in 1836. Elizabeth "Betty" Bolling Dandridge recorded her impressions as a young woman in her diary, and later offered her wisdom to her children. Family letters of Zelia Dandridge Orne who describes life in the 19th century New Orleans, Annie Maud Orne who describes life on a plantation, and Cara Coffin maintaining contact with her cousins one will experience life as it was day to day. From Lizzie Cleveland Orne Brown (Mrs. Bell's grandmother) to Mary Annie Brown Zulauf (mother), Jacob Zaulauf (father) to Zelia and her husband these family treasures have been preserved and now brought home to Pontotoc.
The items presented to the museum include the diary of Elizabeth Bolling Dandridge, a pen and ink drawing of Thomas Bolling Dandridge (February 3, 1789 - May 10, 1842 by his grandson The Rev. Edmond Fontaine and the transcription of the diary and letters titled "'My Dearest Child'...Voices from the Past" Transcribed and Edited by Zelia Orne Zulauf Bell. The transcription includes 400 pages of the diary, letters and other family history. Copies of some of the letters, family photographs and other family information are also included.
First entry: "January 1st, 1855 Tis midnight's holy hour Silence now is brooding like a gentle spirit - O'er the still and pulseless world. The lights have all gone out. Like breaking hopes, they glimmed one by one and faded into darkness..."
We appreciate the work of Mrs. Bell in preserving this precious family history so that we may get a glimpse of the family and the history and culture of Pontotoc in a bygone era. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are both retired educators and a delightful couple.
Just to give everyone a heads up: The Chickasaw Nation will host a Chickasaw Celebration in Pontotoc on September 6, at the Pavilion at First Choice Gateway in Pontotoc. The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation is working to get events organized and publicity published. Events will include Stomp Dance, Stick Ball, History and Culture table with weapons and tools, Archeological station, Cultural Face Painting, music, and more. So, please make sure to make plans to attend this event which will start in the afternoon and continue until around early night. Look for times and more information in the coming days. This is a great opportunity for our community. We want to give the Chickasaw a warm Pontotoc Welcome.