Artists in Action: Anniston shows itself rich in art, history
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Jun 09, 2013 | 5445 views |  0 comments | 123 123 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Brooks and Robin Waldrop performed at The Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library on June 4. Photo: Teresa Kiser/Special to The Star
Chris Brooks and Robin Waldrop performed at The Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library on June 4. Photo: Teresa Kiser/Special to The Star
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It’s been an interesting week, with more developments on the horizon. There were 61 entrants from northeast Alabama at the audition for “Anniston’s Got Talent” Sunday — the final competition on July 19 will be open to the public. Tessie Hand Fuqua shared an important discovery concerning her estate sale that reflects Anniston history. And the Ayers Room in the public library is attracting new visitors for a variety of events — two this week were particularly fascinating.

A keepsake for the archives

You never know what you’ll find at estate sales. Ten years ago, the most important treasure at such a sale was not a piece of silver or furniture, but a piece of Anniston history. It was a written account by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Milton Noble, a couple whose life here goes back to the beginning of the Woodstock Iron Company. According to an article written in The Anniston Star on April 2, 1931, Charles Noble was Samuel Noble’s nephew and the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Noble. He was superintendent of the Woodstock furnace for 13 years and resided at 315 E. 22nd Street at the time of his death.

When Fuqua, who coordinated the estate sale, discovered the seven-page “Brief Sketch of Anniston: 1872—1922,” the antique dealer was intrigued and kept it, knowing it was something that should be shared.

“After all, it was recorded by people who lived right here during The Model City’s beginning,” she said. “The Miltons were eyewitnesses to the achievements of the founders and the working people who made the town what it was and is today.”

The Miltons’ wedding in St. Michael and All Angels Church in February of 1890 was the first service of any kind held in the newly constructed church. This, and other landmarks mentioned in the text, still exist.

Reading the sketch by these Anniston pioneers is like reading a journal that is wonderfully and beautifully penned in the descriptive style of the turn of the century. Fuqua’s disclosure on finding the document comes at a perfect time — during the celebration of Anniston’s 130th birthday.

It’s easy to picture the labor going on in the mills, and the handsome residences being built. Also, the excitement of a parade that marked Anniston’s 16th birthday was paramount. (Will Anniston’s current birthday observance include a parade?) Other events they recorded have 21st century updates.

Look for an additional story in July concerning the Miltons’ “Brief Sketch of Anniston.”

Ayers Room a gathering place

The Ayers Room is becoming a kaleidoscope of arts. The Monday movies, various lectures — and in June, lessons on photography and ceramics are being offered. Even a dance tournament is on the schedule for June 13. What could have been more fitting than for Mike Stedham’s mystery play, “Murder by the Book” to have been performed as it was May 30 for teens in the reading program? On June 4, singer Chris Brooks entertained with his program “Places in the Heart,” in which he took viewers to romantic, exotic and nostalgic places with vocal standards.

“Places can be kept alive with the expression of music,” as the soloist said.

Brooks is director of worship and arts at First United Methodist Church in Sylacauga and sings in churches throughout the Southeast. His accompanist, Robin Waldrop, has been an accompanist at FUMC in Sylacauga for 35 years.

Another program this month that should be interesting is a photo and art “Safari” with local artist Larry K. Martin, June 25 at 2 p.m.
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Artists in Action: Anniston shows itself rich in art, history by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star

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