Volunteers continue to meet, collect and set up donated items for display in the building shared with the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.
Karl Welscher and the Atlanta organization of the St. David’s Welsh Society have “adopted” Rockmart as part of their history, according to Chair Jean Laltrello.
This group has donated several unique items to the museum, including a colorful flag.
The Welsh Society promotes and supports efforts to preserve the culture, language and history of people with Welsh heritage. Polk has a number of descendants from the pioneers who came to mine slate in the Van Wert area.
Society members have supported local efforts by meeting at the historic Van Wert Church where several Welsh families are buried and hosting a booth at Homespun.
“We are excited about their interest and donation,” Laltrello said. “We will have an area in the museum that is devoted to Welsh history.”
She encourages continued donations of items with historic significance. There is also a need for small tables or glass cases for display.
Marc Stringer, museum historian, believes that every item in the facility is important, especially for young people.
“It makes history come alive,” he said. “It is not just words written in a book but tells a story of people who lived and used the things that are here.”
He said that it is easier to realize that someone wore a football jacket or received a diploma when it is seen on display.
“We are able to showcase what people who lived in Rockmart have done for this community,” he said.
Cathy Holtzclaw is credited with initially stimulating local interest in the preservation of Rockmart’s history.
“For me,” she said, “the greatest reward is knowing that people will share their heritage and personal stories with not only this but future generations.”
To donate an item for the museum, call Cathy at 770-684-5967.