Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring Break, Part 4 - Oxford, Georgia


Proverbs 22:28
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

In our recent travels to Oxford, Georgia, to visit my mother, my granddaughter, Virginia Rose, and I decide to take a walk from the Hopkins House, Mom's home, down to the Old Church, less than a quarter mile away.

For those of you unfamiliar with the town of Oxford, it was founded in 1836 as a Methodist community, with a small college, Emory (1837).  The name "Oxford" was chosen in honor of the alma mater of both John and Charles Wesley.  Surveyor and Methodist minister, Edward Lloyd Thomas (1825-1852) designed the layout of the town, with all roads leading to the college.



The aforementioned Hopkins House (1841) was once the home of Isaac Stiles Hopkins (1841-1914), professor, Methodist minister, and scientist, who served for a time as Emory's president, and later, due to his keen interest in technology, was appointed president of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).  My parents purchase the home in 2003.  As my father, too, was a scientist, professor, and Dean of Emory's Oxford College, I'd say the Hopkins legacy lives on!



The Old Church is my favorite Oxford landmark.  Although it is no longer used for regular church services, it is available for special events such as weddings, concerts and funerals.  It is where Dad's memorial service is held in 2014.  Built in 1841 as a chapel for Emory College students, it underwent a thorough renovation in 1996, and was reopened in 1999, while Dad was still the dean.  The monument featured here stands on the Old Church's holy ground; the inscription includes the verse from Proverbs quoted above.



Behind the Old Church stands Kitty's Cottage.



As I do not get a decent shot of it, I borrow the photo from this website, which offers a brief history of the slave, Kitty Andrew, whose ownership by a Methodist bishop by the name of James O. Andrew, stirred up a huge schism between the Methodist churches in the North and South.  Here is Virginia reading all about it.



But much more than history, Virginia loves exploring the outdoors.  The nature trail behind Kitty's Cottage is a spur that leads to the major path, which extends from the college to the Oxford city limits.  This, too, is another goal set by my father for the community while he is dean, and later, mayor (a job he reluctantly took).  Thankfully, he lived to see it completed.  Virginia and I take the shorter route back to West Soule Street, where the Hopkins House sits.













Although I only snap a side view of the President's House, this is where my parents lived when Dad was the dean for twelve years.



It was built in 1836 by Emory's first president, Ignatius Few (such a quaint name), and has been home to countless presidents and deans ever since, not without some major renovations, however.  In fact, one of Dad's bargaining chips in accepting the job of dean at Oxford College is his insistence that Emory University completely restore the residence.  And I can't begin to describe to you how much that old house needed some love!  My family and I have such treasured memories of this beautiful home.

Virginia's and my field trip gives only a small sampling of Oxford's rich and unique history.  In this day and time, when it seems folks would rather dismantle our country's history than preserve it for future generations, Oxford is a refreshing place, where old mingles with new, and the landmarks our forefathers set still remain.

May they never be moved.

Amen!

18 comments:

  1. wow! I had no idea of your family's heritage and wonderful history connected to Emory College. That is fascinating, and I am so glad that you shared it with us...and with Virginia Rose! What a proud heritage she has! Such a beautiful place...I would love to visit sometime. Thank you for sharing this with us today. I am in awe and delighted.

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    1. So glad to know you enjoyed this, Pamela. Yes, Oxford has played a huge part in our family life and given us many sweet and lasting memories. As you can tell, I really love this place.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Thanks for the travelogue Martha. I love seeing things like this.

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    1. So happy you liked today's post, Bill. History can and does teach us so much, doesn't it?
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, Thank you for sharing this post. History is so full of life and interesting tidbits. And to realize that God is in the midst of this history, even when people refuse to recognize Him makes it even sweeter.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, God's hand has been in history all along. One need only turn to the Old Testament for that affirmation. Of course, I love the New Testament, but the OT is what prepares our hearts to be able to receive the Good News of Jesus.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I really loved this post, Martha.

    It is good to go back and learn from history, and in your case, to be part of history. It's great that what your family did in Oxford will be remembered in years to come; and as they grow up, your grand-children and future generations will visit Oxford and be proud of your legacy.

    God bless you all.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words here, Victor! Yes, Dad did leave quite a legacy at Oxford College and the town itself. There is even a dormitory on the campus named after him. He was such a humble man, I'm sure he would be surprised by that last one.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. You should be very proud of your family; I am sure you are.

      Often, our parents leave us a legacy which is understood and appreciated, and we're thankful for, many years into the future. I know my parents have.

      God bless you and your family.

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    3. So glad to know your parents left you an admirable legacy, too, Victor. It is such a precious thing to have.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I love to be informed of delicious history such as this. Such a timely article. “May they never be moved.”

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    1. Ah! Someone else who loves history! Yes, Nells, 'may they never be moved.'
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I love it that not only do you share nature with your grandkids and us but this deep love of history. Stories are all around us if only we stop and look for them. Thank you for brightening my day today!

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    1. Yes, Jean, the stories are endless, and we can learn so much about ourselves when we take time to study history and apply it in our own lives. As I responded to Kim above, it's one reason why I love reading the Old Testament as well as the New, making connections between them both.
      So glad to know this post brightened your day, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, I loved reading about the rich history in this post. What a wonderful Grandma you are!

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    1. Thank you, Beckie! So glad you enjoyed this snippet of history about Oxford.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. A wonderful story of family and history. I grew up in Memphis, and I'm very familiar with Oxford, although I didn't know all the history you described here.

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    1. Wow, Galen, it's amazing to find out that you are familiar with Oxford. There are scores of folks even in Georgia that don't even know of its existence. Glad you enjoyed the mini history lessons.
      Love and blessings!

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