A very special treat arrived in my mailbox last week – the Fall/Winter issue of the Chattooga County Historical Society’s Quarterly. What made it so special? At more than 70 pages, it’s probably the largest quarterly I’ve received from them. The reason it was so large is that the entire issue was devoted to newspaper clippings published in the county’s newspaper, The Summerville News, throughout World War II. There are stories of local men heading off to basic training, photographs of them in uniform, promotion announcements, and stories on those who were wounded, missing and killed.
There are letters, including this excerpt from one sent from “somewhere in Italy”:
My mother said for me to write to your paper. I don’t know why, but just the same I am writing, and would like to say hello to my many friends and neighbors in Summerville and Chattooga county.
There are lots of homefront news too. I loved the photo of the students serving in the Home Guard drilling at the local high school. They were allowed to bring their own guns to school for these drills. Imagine that happening today! The notices asking people to collect scrap paper, boxes and rags along with announcements that spare parts and other scarce items were available showed how the war impacted everyone.
I appreciate that The Summerville News allowed the historical society to go through their archives to find these wonderful clippings and I admire the effort made by society members to collect, organize and layout this issue. They have given their members a precious treasure that brings one era of this county’s history to life in a truly fascinating format.