had the honor to serve as your president for many years, I have been a part of many changes. Several years ago, we moved Payne’s
Chapel Church, worshiped in by the Fords, to the grounds of the John Ford home. We have also run our own water line to the
property and installed security lights.
Six years ago, with the
assistance of the City of Columbia, we opened the Marion County Museum and Archives. Since one of the goals in our original
charter was to collect and preserve artifacts, historical documents, etc., we felt that this was a fine addition to the Society’s
efforts in the county and in the city.
As many of you are aware,
we have an extraordinary Civil War Library with many first edition books. We have what is becoming an invaluable collection
of interesting artifacts and information.
We are now in the process
of working with the Records Management Program of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. For many years, I had
visited the attic of our courthouse and marveled at the age and amount of historical and genealogical information therein
contained. After the old books and records were moved to metal containers outside to accommodate new air conditioning in the
courthouse, we were very concerned for their safety and stability.
the assistance of our Supervisors and the City of Columbia, we successfuly secured a safe place for the archival records and
documents. Here they may be sorted, organized, and catalogued properly. We are working toward securing the necessary funding
and resources for the digitization and publishing of some of our most important records.
Ann Atkinson Simmons