September 7, 2017
CONTACT: Trevor Beemon
Family makes remarkable donation to the Root House Museum, not in the form of funds, but something much rarer - Root family artifacts.
MARIETTA - Owned and operated by Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society, Inc., the William Root House was built c. 1845 for Hannah and William Root, early settlers of Marietta. In 1989, Cobb Landmarks acquired the house and moved it to its present location at the corner of the North Marietta Loop and Polk Street. In 1990, the exterior of the house was restored to its c. 1845 appearance. Inside, Cobb Landmarks furnished the home with period artifacts in the fashion of the 1850s; however, there were very few personal objects from the Root family available. That changed when Gary Lassiter, a Root family descendant, knocked on the front door of the house with several boxes in tow.
As luck would have it, the Root House Furnishings Committee Chair, Terri Cole; Cobb Landmarks Executive Director, Trevor Beemon; and former Root House Curator, Maryellen Higginbotham, happened to be at the museum. The boxes were opened and the contents revealed: stacks of books, photos, letters, shoes, jewelry, bank notes, and more - all of which belonged to William Root and his family. The photos offer the first clear look at William and Hannah's sons, William and James, and the letters give an intimate look at the Root siblings' personalities, relationships, and even their nicknames (Willie, Jim, and Sissie).
Also included in the donation is a large collection of Victorian-era calling cards from many prominent Marietta families. Calling cards, also known as visiting cards, were often given to servants as a way to introduce visitors to a house or to let the homeowner know that a visitor had stopped by and wished to meet with them. Small works of art, many of the cards feature embossed lettering, decorative engravings, and delicate scalloped edges.
Cobb Landmarks staff members have just begun to catalogue the collection, but it's already clear that the artifacts will change the way they interpret life for the Root family at the museum. When asked what will be done with the collection, Cobb Landmarks Executive Director, Trevor Beemon, explained, "We are still working on plans to display the collection. Our intention is to have exhibit cases built and installed at the house." He added, "I can tell you that we are blessed beyond measure to have these items come home to the Root House nearly 150 years later."
ABOUT THE WILLIAM ROOT HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDEN: Owned and operated by Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society, the William Root House Museum & Garden offers an authentic look at life for a middle-class Georgia family during the 1860s. The simple frame house is more typical of its time and place than the grand plantations and columned mansions people typically imagine when they think of the Old South.
INFORMATION: 770-426-4982; roothousemuseum.com