Local News

July 3, 2014

Freight depot will feature Bandy center collection

For the past four years, Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center has preserved and passed on the history of northwest Georgia through seminars, exhibitions and lectures. But one thing the Bandy center has lacked is a permanent place to display its vast collection of historical artifacts.

That will change late this summer, when the Bandy center begins leasing the open floor space in the old freight depot in downtown Dalton.

“We are looking to move in in August,” said Brian Hilliard, project manager for the Bandy center. “I can’t be more specific than that because we are waiting on some display cases.”

Hilliard said the first exhibition will probably be either devoted to the center’s Civil War collection or to a look at men from north Georgia who served in the United States Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the Air Force, during World War II. That latter exhibit would include a replica of the B-24 Liberator flown by Whitfield County native Col. Harold Babb over Europe as well as photos of the raid over Tokyo led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle from the private collection of Lt. Denver Truelove of Lula, the only Georgian on that raid.

“Those will probably be the first two exhibits. We are still putting everything together, and it will depend on what we have ready and available,” Hilliard said.

Future exhibits could focus on the origins of the carpet industry and other aspects of local history.

Hilliard said the plan calls to change the exhibits regularly.

“We’ll probably keep them in there for three months at a time, maybe longer,” he said. “We want to have the time to properly promote each one and give the community a chance to see them.”

The space the Bandy center will use has previously been used by the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) as a meeting space and for its own exhibits of local historical artifacts. But CVB Executive Director Brett Huske said he believes having the Bandy center in the freight depot will help bring even more people to the depot and to downtown Dalton.

“The quality of these exhibits and these artifacts that the Bandy center has brought together is high enough that they should not only be a draw for visitors but also for locals,” Huske said. “The impact could be significant. We will certainly be marketing that along with Prater’s Mill and Tunnel Hill.”

The CVB will continue to run a gift shop and visitors center in the depot, which is also home to the offices of the Downtown Dalton Development Authority.


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