Holland spends her time with history

Published 10:25 am Friday, October 4, 2013

Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer



COURTLAND—For the past two months, Dawn Holland has spent most of her time at the Museum of Southampton History in Courtland.

“I have a passion for the place,” the museum’s assistant chairperson said. “It grows on you.”

Holland, along with chairperson, Gail Camp, worked diligently to get the building, located just off Main Street, cleaned up and in shape to open last month. After a lot of work, they succeeded, she said.

“I was more in charge of the military room,” Holland added, “and I don’t mind telling you, I’m pretty proud of it. It turned out really well.”

The room contains uniforms worn by Southampton veterans of all the wars, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW II and later ones. Memorabilia from all branches of the service, such as swords, shells, guns, cannon balls, flags and pictures, to name just a few, are enclosed in showcases and on the walls.

Holland added that there is one item she needs for this room that she has not been able to get—a woman’s uniform. She is hoping this will be taken care of soon.

“I didn’t know a lot about most of the items,” she said, “so I researched and I researched; I read books, I scanned the web and I talked to everybody I knew who could help me.

“Did you know there are books on just uniform buttons? Amazingly, that was one of the books that helped me the most.”

Holland, who moved to the area from Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1982, said she was thrilled when asked to help with getting the museum in shape.

“I used to work for Gail’s husband and son at S.V. Camp and Associates,” she said, “and I knew Gail, so I was happy to help.”

Holland and her husband, Jimmy, have five children, all grown, and one grandson who she keeps but is in pre-school, so she had extra time.

“I honestly didn’t know how much I would enjoy getting involved with this project,” she said. “Once I started, I didn’t want to stop.

“Although everything had to be cleaned and polished, which took an enormous amount of time, it was so satisfying to see the end results.”

Holland said at present there are two rooms available for visitors, the military room and one with replicas of old homes made by the late E. B. Gayle.

A sports room with items from championship games was displayed during the museum’s opening, but all items were loaned to the museum and have now been returned.

“Our next display will be about early trains that traveled through the towns in the county. We’re looking for any items that people are willing to donate or loan to us for this display,” Holland said.

“I know there are train collectors around here,” she said. “It would be nice if these people would help us out.”


NAME: Dawn W. Holland.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: I moved here with my family in 1982.

HOMETOWN: Chattanooga, Tenn.

OCCUPATION: A volunteer at the Museum of Southampton History, which is under the umbrella of the Southampton County Historical Society.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to Jimmy Holland for 12 years.

CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND AGES: We have five, all grown and out on their own.  They are: Alison Carter Frazee, Caitlin Carter,  Scott Carter, Nikki Gray and Kaitlynn Holland. We have one grandson, Mitchell Gray.




WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I put the military room together here at the museum. I researched uniforms and memorabilia for several wars, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War and WW II, as well as the later ones.

WHAT IS THE BEAST THING ABOUT YOU: When I start something, I usually finish it if at all possible.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: I watch too much television.

PETS: We have four dogs, a Great Dane, chocolate lab and two Yorkies, five cats and lots and lots of chickens, turkeys and ducks.

FAVORITE HOBBIES:  I love sewing and making crafts.  I’m working on a quilt now.

PET PEEVE: I can’t stand it when someone on social media ends a comment with “just sayin.”

FIRST JOB: I worked in a pizza and ice cream establishment in Chattanooga.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: As an honest person who loves her family.

IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: My subject would be history, especially Southampton County history. We should preserve the things that our ancestors worked so hard to obtain, learn as much about the way they lived and worked and the hardships they faced. Join a historical society, volunteer to work at a museum and preserve the things that your grandparent had. Once this information is gone, there’s no way to get it back.