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2018 CNS Y-12 Community Investment Fund

Grant Awards' Report

Project Name:

Oliver Springs African American History Museum

 

Presented By:

Mayme Carmichael School Organization, Incorporated

P. O. Box 516

Oliver Springs, Tennessee 37840

Contact Information:

Julia Hopper Daniel, President

P. O. Box 516

Oliver Springs, Tennessee 37840

juliadaniel@comcast.net

865-789-0846

 

Oliver Springs African American Museum

Project's Mission:

         To capture the history and cultural significance of the Oliver Springs

          African American Community and its people for the collection and

          preservation of historic information.

          Goals:

                     The goals at the focus of this project are to identify, research,

                     and interview individuals and family members:

                     -  who may date back to the late 1800s, with information and artifacts

                     -  who may date to "Then and Now".

                     -  who attended the "Oliver Springs Colored School".

The accomplishment of the "Project's Goals" is ongoing.  Lists have been generated of people who were born, reared, and migrated to the Oliver Springs area.  These lists continue to be "work in progress", as the search for family members of the deceased continues.  However, through the efforts of this project's goals, this report contains collections of historically significant documents of community members (deceased and alive.  Collections of biographies and obituaries have been compiled and will assist with family connections, as the search continues.  Also, included in the collection are individual and group accomplishments and accolades of public notoriety.

 

Additionally, the museum displays will focus on the educational, social and economic welfare of the people during the early years of Oliver Springs and the surrounding areas.  The museum will serve as a facility to enable the “present

age” to become knowledgeable of the past and gain appreciation for the heritage of the Oliver Springs African American community.  It will provide indoor space that will educate visitors about the historic and cultural background

of the one-room school, teachers, individual students, families and associates.

 

In Oliver Springs, African Americans have made their marks in society through the

coal mines, military (Tuskegee Airman and Prisoner of War), the medical profession, educational arena and farming.

 

The Oliver Springs African American Museum, which is located at 1069 Tri-County Boulevard, remains under construction with a possible date projected for completion during mid 2020.  As a result, onsite visitations or tours can not take place.  Instead, the Mayme Carmichael School Organization, Inc.  In addition to Oliver Springs, MCSO has arranged mobile displays and “Walk-Through Museums” in Clinton, Harriman, Jefferson City, Knoxville, Morristown and Pigeon Forge.  Events have included:

 

                                           Events                                            Attendance 

 

               MCSO 3rd Annual Soul Food Dinner/Fundraising Event – February 10, 2019              450-500

               Coal Miner’s Quilt on display in museum - Morristown, TN                                              Public 

               MCSO 6th Annual Oliver Springs Colored School Reunion – May 4, 2019                        82

               Fish Fry & Fundraiser – July 19, 2019                                                                               225

               Annual East Tenn. Historical Fair in Knoxville – August 17, 2019/5 years                7,000-12,000 +

                  - MCSO set up display booth and shared oral and written information.                

               MCSO 6th Annual Banquet & Fundraiser – August 24, 2019                                            250

               Oliver Springs’ Annual October Sky Festival – October 12, 2019                                   5,000 +

                  - MCSO set up display booth and shared oral and written information.

 

During this grant’s year, time has been spent identifying significant people and connecting the dots to denote family members, location of school attended, occupation, military preference, community members who are deceased, and those who were area students.

 

Books have been compiled to maintain this information, which is ongoing.  Presently, photographs, books, and a few oral videos are among the collection, as some people are not so readily available or willing to be on video.  Some prefer more time to prepare.  Also, some preferred a photograph instead of an oral interview.  However, with time this may change, as this phase of the project is ongoing.

The website will serve as one of the main sources of publicity.  It will highlight the Mayme Carmichael School Organization’s identity and mission.

This project’s video will connect the Oliver Springs Colored School students and family members and will highlight the organization’s events since its inception.

 

In summary, it is the goal of the organization to develop a facility that has a state-of-the-art museum of learning.  The area and facilities should accommodate the physical and educational needs of the community and the surrounding areas.  These efforts and goals, as presented in this document, should prove to be adventurous and will attract diverse experiences and tourism to the town of Oliver Springs.