Madison County Communities Celebrate Unique History During Heritage Days

JACKSON, Tenn. – In addition to celebrating the 200th birthdays of the City of Jackson and Madison County, organizers in individual communities are planning “Heritage Days” to commemorate their history.

Previous Heritage Days were held earlier this month and the next Heritage Day will take place in Bemis on Saturday, May 21.

In celebration of the 100th year of the Bemis Mill Village Museum, museum doors will open to the community from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with free admission. Come early and browse the museum to visit with friends and to view artifacts and vintage photos. Visit the museum’s Company Store to purchase a cookbook, coloring book, keepsake hand-held fan, historical ornaments, baseball caps (Historic Bemis and Chat ‘N Chew), DVDs of vintage photos and other items.

At 10:10 a.m., there will be a grand opening of the new playground equipment purchased from funds donated by Amerigroup Corporation for the Stella Duncan Park of Bemis at 110 South Missouri Street. The grand opening will be led by Tony Black, Director of the Jackson Recreation & Parks Department, with special guests: Amerigroup President Chad Pendleton and Amerigroup staff members Madeline Mays, Psasha Taylor, Evan Swafford and Kelly Shearin.

From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., Bobby McAlexander will display his impressive and detailed ceramic replica of the Chat ‘N Chew, a well-known hangout, that was located beside South Side High School on South Highland Avenue from 1958 until 1972. Rhonda Young will have a display for historic preservation, “Archives R Us: Preserving Our Family Archives.”

From 10:30 until 11:00 a.m., a program inside the museum will include a joint proclamation by Mayor Conger and Mayor Harris. There will be a portrayal of Ransom Hammond, employee of Bemis Bro. Bag Company, portrayed by his grandson Greg M. Hammond, and a portrayal of a Bemis Book Club Founder from 1930, portrayed by current member Judy Roach Dorris. The Jackson-Madison Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, will recognize United States veterans on Armed Forces Day. The City of Jackson Fire Department will display a large flag of the United States of America in front of the museum.

Lunch will be available under the tent on the front lawn of the museum from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. (or until sold out) with delicious barbecue plates by Gaylon Cooper for $10 per plate (including soft drink). Will Kemp from R & J Feed Supply will provide homemade strawberry ice cream (made in an ice cream maker powered by a John Deere motor) for $3 per cup with all proceeds to Bemis Historical Society.

Enjoy live music from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s performed by the Bemis Boogie Blues Band – Willi X Evans, Steve Patterson, Tony McCaslin and Bobby Cleary. From 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Joel Jackson, Chairman of Bemis Historical Society, will present a slideshow of photos and a video about the Bemis Auditorium/Museum, including the entire building – attic, balcony, main floor, basement and tunnel. Children can enjoy the splash pad at the Bemis Mill Memorial Park located at 7 A Street and the playground at the Stella Duncan Park. Games will also be available at the museum for children and the young at heart under the direction of the Jackson Recreation & Parks Department with Recreation Manager Bridgett Parham and staff. Get ready for a game of washers, cornhole and other fun games.

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