‘Fireside Chats’

Tuesday night here at The Martyn House in Towne we will begin our first of what we hope will be many ‘Fireside Chats’.

Since The Martyn House opened in June 2014 we have seen and met many people that have either lived here their entire life, settled here in the last 10-20 years, moved recently or are about to move here. We see and feel the common thread of people getting out of the cities and finding a peace here… there is a way of life that is a bit slower and an urge to connect with nature.

I happen to believe that the Cohutta Wilderness is one of the most inviting forests in the world. I have not seen them all but the comfort of the rhododendrons and the mountain laurel hugging you as you wander the many trails is intoxicating The watershed that these woods purge from every pore has that cleansing renewal feeling. For us that live here the hiking and biking and kayaking does not get any better!

The one small disconnect we hear over and over is the need to meet like-minded people. Many younger families want our town to grow and prosper for the future generations. As I have said many times the demographics  here has scattered us about… from Coosawattee ~~ Walnut Mountain ~~ Big Creek ~~Hwy 52~~ we all live detached lives from one another and our town. Where does one meet like-minded people. Where can we go to be inspired to get involved in our community with purpose? How do we rise up with positive attitudes about our future here? And the future of the world at large? Lets start by taking a glance back at our past right here in Ellijay….

In the late 1800’s Historic Downtown Ellijay was an amazing mountain town ~.On December 29, l834, Ellijay was incorporated and designated as the County seat of Gilmer County….. all roads seemed to lead to Ellijay by 1849….The population had grown to 150 by 1850 and the town had five stores.  Some wood-frame buildings were being constructed at this time and in 1854, a new courthouse was built in the center of the square, replacing the earlier building.  The County’s first newspaper was the Ellijay Courier, started in 1875, and during this time period, Ellijay was a stop on the stagecoach line.  The railroad bridge over the Cartecay River was completed in 1884 and the town now had rail service.

With the arrival of the railroad and subsequent tracks to White Path, Ellijay began to grow much faster.  Many hotels were constructed and land was donated for a depot east of town.  More industries, such as a cheese factory and the Shippen Brothers Lumber Mill, located in Ellijay.  By 1898, the city had expanded its limits in every direction and now included the depot. By 1900, all the buildings on the town square were brick.  This included the recently completed Hyatt Hotel.  Most of the other buildings in town were still of log construction, but new wood-frame buildings were being built.  The Shippen Brothers Lumber Company production was expanding and exporting their lumber to Europe.  Within the next few decades, this company grew to be one of the largest employers in Ellijay, often with five to six million feet of lumber in the yard at one time. The population of Ellijay grew to 659 by 1910, and began to acquire many new modern conveniences such as electric lights and power, a telephone company and many new businesses. Then in 1912, a fire ravaged the city, destroying 23 buildings.  As a result, many new buildings were constructed under new and stricter fire and safety guidelines.  The population, however, decreased slightly at this time to 632 in 1920. During the 1920’s the town’s population began to grow again and, by this time, apples were being shipped out of the county and new storage facilities were built.  Chickens were also shipped to markets outside of Ellijay and Gilmer County.

From the mid 1930’s to 1950, Ellijay received much assistance from the Federal WPA Programs. The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and road)……

now lets dip into a bit of American history that ran parallel with Ellijay’s struggle

During this same time across the country another crisis was happening. The Great Depression in the United States began on October 29, 1929, a day known forever after as “Black Tuesday,” when the American stock market–which had been roaring steadily upward for almost a decade–crashed, plunging the country into its most severe economic downturn yet. It was during this time that Roosevelt took office in early March 1933, the American economy had declined to desperate levels, with banks in failure, industrial production crippled and more than 13 million people unemployed. In his first inaugural address, Roosevelt sought to impart a new sense of confidence for the struggling nation, declaring that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” During its first several months, famously labeled “The Hundred Days,” Roosevelt’s administration presented a broad array of measures to Congress aimed at jump-starting America’s economic recovery–these would become the building blocks of his revolutionary New Deal that aimed to restore some measure of dignity and prosperity to many Americans. More than that, Roosevelt’s New Deal permanently changed the federal government’s relationship to the U.S. populace.

As a way to connect to his countrymen Roosevelt turned to the radio and the Fireside Chats were born…here’s a bit of history of these chats….

By the Fireside

Roosevelt was not actually sitting beside a fireplace when he delivered the speeches, but behind a microphone-covered desk in the White House. Reporter Harry Butcher of CBS coined the term “fireside chat” in a press release before one of Roosevelt’s speeches on May 7, 1933. The name stuck, as it perfectly evoked the comforting intent behind Roosevelt’s words, as well as their informal, conversational tone. Roosevelt took care to use the simplest possible language, concrete examples and analogies in the fireside chats, so as to be clearly understood by the largest number of Americans. He began many of the nighttime chats with the greeting “My friends,” and referred to himself as “I” and the American people as “you” as if addressing his listeners directly and personally.

In many of the speeches, Roosevelt invoked memories of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln other inspirational figures from America’s past. “The Star Spangled Banner” was played after each chat ended, underlining that patriotic message. Finally, the president appealed to God or Providence at the end of almost every speech, urging the American people to face the difficult tasks ahead with patience, understanding and faith. Through depression and war, the reassuring nature of the fireside chats boosted the public’s confidence (and Roosevelt’s approval rates) and undoubtedly contributed to his unprecedented number of election wins.

And so here we are January 2016 having our own ‘Fireside Chats’….

The purpose is to broaden our horizons…. The Martyn House In Towne would like to be a catalyst for growth, inspiration, education, and connecting our community.

How can we inspire growth through creativity and the arts?

How we can all be better educated … (This year Great Decisions topics are ~~ Middle East Alliances • The Rise of ISIS • The Future of Kurdistan • Migration• The Koreas • The United Nations • Climate Change • Cuba and the U.S. Maybe someone could lead us through monthly gatherings here on these tough topics that will enlighten and educate us all on foreign affairs!~how can we be better informed?

How can we help you better understand your community and thus serve it better.Who are your local businessman and women and how can we support them better?

These are just a few thoughts we have but we want to hear your ideas……come join us for our first ‘Fireside Chat’ here at The Martyn House In Towne ~~Tuesday~~ January 12 / 6-9 PM

about the me magic eyeauthor…JoAnn

I am an accomplished artist, designer and gardener with an admitted compulsion for natural intuitive healing and a spiritual connection with the earth. I am a lifelong serial entrepreneur, a creator of extraordinary ideas, and soon to be published author …..let the dreaming begin….






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