Genealogy helps to preserve small town America

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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On Sunday, the United States of America celebrated 244 years of independence. This country’s independence didn’t come without tremendous sacrifices and the costs extremely were high.

Theresa Trawick, Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library director, said in celebrating Independence Day, we are called to reminisce about those who came before us — those who built their families, businesses and their lives in the United States of America. 

“With that said, the small town of Brundidge, Alabama has played its part in building a strong history,” Trawick said. “A call to ‘archive’ came from the Brundidge Historical Society for the Brundidge History Celebration in June and July. The Brundidge library is fortunate to be able to assist citizens who realize the importance of preserving our past —those precious photographs, letters and documents that will be available for future generations of citizens.”

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The local history and genealogy department of the library is growing.  The library saves photos and documents in electronic form, in paper and “on a cloud.”   The library will make copies or preserve original items.  The key either way is preservation of information for future generations, Trawick said.

“Several years ago, The Knox Ryals collection was one of the first ones preserved,” the library director said. “He served for many years on the Pike County Board of Education.  The library has been gifted with an apron from Bob’s Feed and Seed, where Bob Godwin and family employed many and provided feed for many farms. The library has prints from Larry Godwin, a well-known metal sculptor, who was the son of Bob Godwin. 

“The library has scrapbooks from The Brundidge Garden Club and The Brundidge Historical Society.  Relatives of Jackson Hardware and Dykes Drugs have gifted items about the businesses and the families that built them.   Recently, we received Brundidge Rotary Club programs that will be archived.  A stack of scrapbooks has been gifted from Jimmy Ramage.  Several church members have been kind enough to share histories of Brundidge churches.  Some of these organizations have a history going back into the 1800s.”

Historical Society members are sharing information about houses that have historical significance in the community. The library is expecting documents from the National Guard unit that existed in Brundidge for decades.

“Of course, the library is archiving its own history and that of Tupper Lightfoot, its namesake,” Trawick said. “So much of the past gets discarded and thrown away, but the Brundidge Historical Society and Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library are spending the summer assisting individuals, families and businesses in preserving their pasts.  Knowledge is power and knowledge about our past is so important in building the future for individuals, families, neighborhoods and the United States.