Thursday, May 22, 2014
The University of West Georgia’s Ingram Library and the Bowdon Area Historical Society are pleased to announce an exhibit highlighting the history of Bowdon College titled Bowdon College: The Athens of the West. The exhibit will be on display in the Ingram Library’s Thomas B. Murphy Reading Room until Aug. 4, 2014.
“Bowdon College is not only an important part of our regional history, it is a forgotten piece,” said Candice Larson, UWG history graduate student, who curated the exhibit. The college, once located in Bowdon, Ga., opened its doors in 1857, thereby becoming the fifth-chartered institution of higher education in the state. Originally open only to male students, Bowdon College began admitting females in 1872, making it the first collegiate institution in Georgia to offer coeducation. The college was an important educational center in the west Georgia region 50 years prior to the establishment of the Fourth District A&M School, which is currently the University of West Georgia.
According to Bowdon Area Historical Society museum chairwoman Judy Rowell, “The education afforded students at Bowdon College between 1857 and 1936 impacted not only the lives of the students but the local area, the state and, in some cases, the nation.” Students at Bowdon College formed part of the “Bowdon Volunteers,” a regiment of Cobb’s Legion Infantry, Company B, of the Confederate States of America Army. The regiment was formed in 1861 by Charles A. McDaniel, the founder and first president of Bowdon College. Company B saw action at Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and others. Therefore, the College should be remembered not only for the education it provided to its students but also for its rich history on the local, state and national stage.
The exhibit will showcase materials pertaining to the founding of Bowdon College, the “Bowdon Volunteers,” student life and activities at the college, community supporters, and the closing of the college. Displays will incorporate a variety of artifacts, including attendance rosters, catalogues, textbooks, photographs and an original brick from the building that was demolished in 1961.
This exhibit is free and open to the public. Parking on UWG campus is unrestricted on Saturdays and Sundays, other than handicapped, reserved, yellow curb and red curb spaces.