The Newnan Times-Herald


Carmichael treasures come home to Senoia museum

  • By Winston Skinner
  • |
  • Aug. 13, 2018 - 5:24 PM

 Carmichael treasures come home to Senoia museum

Winston Skinner / The Newnan Times-Herald

Maureen Schuyler, right, admires the handiwork in Ina Mae Carmichael Wallace’s crocheted tablecloth. From left are descendants Don Patterson, Kathy Samples, Janet Brinkworth and Judi Dorn.

A set of tableware and delicate crocheted pieces have come home to the Senoia Area Historical Society Museum.

Four descendants of Abram and Beulah Gay Carmichael, who lived in the Victorian home that is now the museum in the early 1900s, visited and brought a trove of family memorabilia for the society’s collection. 

Janet Brinkworth, Judi Dorn, Don Patterson and Kathy Samples visited the museum on the afternoon of Aug. 3. They brought with them a set of table utensils that were used in the house years ago and a crocheted tablecloth and lacy doilies made by Ina Mae, one of the Carmichael daughters.

A collection of family photographs, some dating to the Carmichaels’ years at the house on Couch Street, were also among the gifts.

A china plate with a delicate peach design on the front had a message on the back that read: A.P. Carmichael Furniture, Senoia, Georgia, “Our Price is Right.” The plates were probably used as a promotional item and given to shoppers at Abram Carmichael’s store.

Abram and Beulah Carmichael paid $1,500 for the home in 1900, purchasing it from the Carmichael family. The SAHS already had the Carmichael family Bible and Beulah Carmichael's wedding ensemble on display.

Dorn, Patterson and Samples had all visited the house in 1996, when it was in the process of being transformed into a museum. “They were working on it, starting on it then,” Samples remembered.

Last week marked the first visit for Brinkworth, who lives in Indianapolis.

Dorn resides in Orlando. Patterson and Samples are closer by – in Conyers and Canton, respectively.

Maureen Schuyler, the museum director, marveled at the intricate handwork in the crocheted tablecloth and several doilies made by Ina Mae Carmichael Wallace.

“There are beautiful – really, really beautiful,” she said. “We will be honored to get this on display.”

“I’ve crocheted, but I’ve never been able to get down to this,” Dorn said, eyeing the gossamer threads in a doily. “We all have these in our homes.”

The photographs include scenes of Beulah Carmichael at her flower garden, a family group at Starr’s Mill probably for a picnic, a group at a family reunion in 1948 and one of Ina Mae at 2 years old, when she would have been living in the house that is now the museum.

There also was a photographic portrait of Ina Mae along with the invitation to her wedding to John Henderson Wallace. They married in 1924 at the Methodist church in Senoia.

The Carmichael descendants spent some time looking at the family Bible, a gift from Abram to his bride when they married in 1883 in Fayette County. The Bible has an elaborately tooled cover and engraved illustrations a Bible dictionary at the front of the book.

The visitors donned white gloves to look through the Bible, and Samples let out a small gasp when a pressed flower appeared between two pages.

The Senoia Area Historical Society has a wide ranging collection that chronicles east Coweta’s history from Creek Indian days to the present. Furniture, clothing, documents and photographs tell the Senoia story.

The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.