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Museum an asset to County

Museum an asset to County


The Chambers Museum, tucked away on a side-street in LaFayette needs your help. Receiving very little in public funds, the museum that houses many priceless artifacts, is appealing to the public for donations.

New museum president, Martha Lee Gatlin says the size of the donation doesn’t matter. “Any monetary donation makes a difference,” she says.

Much of their operating budget goes to maintain the museum, which is located in the old Central of Georgia train depot that was donated to the county by the railroad, after a decline in freight business occurred between Roanoke and Opelika.

The museum was the brainchild of Houston Kingery, who founded it in 1977. It features an extensive collection of regional stoneware made in early Alabama history from clays mined in Chambers and Randolph counties.

LaFayette’s own Joe Louis, world heavyweight boxing champion is featured with an exhibit of scrapbooks, photographs, trophies and a pair of his boxing gloves.
Other interesting items include a spinning wheel collection, dress fashions of years ago, a hand-woven and dyed pre-civil war coverlet and a mock-up of a typical general store. Outside a caboose originally built for the Southern Railway is on display.

There is also an annex to the museum which is a cotton warehouse which houses the first fire engine in LaFayette, a horse-drawn buggy, a blacksmith shop, a primitive carpenter shop and a large collection of horse and mule drawn farm equipment.

In short, the museum is truly one of the area’s treasures. For children and even adults who are interested in year’s past, this is an exceptional venue. It is certainly well worth any kind of contribution you would like to send their way.

Maybe if the group receives enough money it can open its doors on the weekends. Right now they are only open by appointment But Gatlin says, they are readily available to give tours to school groups, clubs, family reunions and individuals. She notes a visit is absolutely free.

I ask, where else can you get a glimpse of your ancestors’ past and not have to pay a penny? The museum ought to be near the top of your giving list. For more information, or to have a tour, or to donate call 334-864-5549 or 334-864-7689.


The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, and even this newspaper, has received numerous calls this last week about a scam targeting not only senior citizens, but anyone that might be filing a tax return. The scam begins with a caller claiming they are from the IRS. They even provide a badge number. They demand you, the victim, must go to the courthouse to file paperwork involving your taxes. As a courtesy however, they will take your money and make sure your taxes and penalties are paid.

In some instances they will insist that if you don’t send them the required money you will be arrested. Trust me, I took one of these calls, and the fake IRS agent, was very convincing. I was shaking when I got off the phone with him- BUT, like I will tell you, I didn’t send any money.

The Sheriff’s Dept. has identified a New York number- 202-766-6243 as one of the callers. There are many more, however. Unfortunately it is tax season, and there are several scams being perpetrated out there. If you receive a call like this, my advice would be to hang-up and please DO NOT SEND MONEY.