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Bulloch Historical Society unveils eagle
Sculpture depicts key points of county history
062413 HISTORICAL SOCIETY EAGLE
Kathryn Olliff, far right, and Betty Lee examine the Bulloch County Historical Society's contribution to Georgia Southern University's "Eagle Nation on Parade" project during its annual meeting Monday at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

A new eagle will join the flock around Statesboro as the latest addition to the "Eagle Nation on Parade" prepares to be displayed at the Statesboro Regional Library.

Commissioned by the Bulloch County Historical Society, the colorful creation by artist Scott Foxx depicts several points of Bulloch County history.

The eagle was unveiled during Monday's annual meeting of the Bulloch County Historical Society at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, where Statesboro native Michael Hall McDougald, was the keynote speaker.

McDougald shared his family history as it related to Bulloch County. He is the chairman of Georgia Public Broadcasting, which owns and operates nine television stations and 17 radio stations across the state, including ones in Pembroke, Wrens and Savannah.

Foxx, who said he is a GSU Master of Fine Arts candidate, is from Savannah. Having done work for the Bulloch County Historical Society before, he was pleased when the group selected him to paint its eagle.

He said he learned a great deal about Bulloch County's rich history through research for the project and is now "a big fan."

The eagle includes scenes depicting the county's agricultural heritage, reflecting agriculture, including the mule industry, cotton, pine trees, tobacco and peanuts, said Bulloch County Historical Society project coordinator Virginia Anne Franklin Waters.

It also reflects the county's African-American leaders who have helped shape the community: William James, Dr. Harvey Van Buren, the Rev. W.D. Kent and Luetta Moore.

Education is included in the colorful design, which shows Excelsior Academy, Statesboro Institute and Business College, First District Agricultural & Mechanical School (now Georgia Southern University) and Ogeechee Technical College.

Businesses depicted in the design are Franklin Drug, Robbins Packing Company, Rockwell Manufacturing, Buggy and Wagon, Braswell's Foods, Minkovitz, City Dairy and Bulloch Packing Company, Waters said.

The city's historic banks, the area's rivers and creeks, towns and churches, and other points of interest found their ways into Foxx's design.

Historic buildings such as the Jaeckel Hotel, Aldred Motor Court, Franklin's Restaurant, Mrs. Bryant's Kitchen and the Statesboro Regional Library grace the design.

So do images of musicians and artists Emma Kelly, Blind Willie McTell, and John Abbott, Other people who have impacted the area's history are in the design as well, Waters said.

Even the county's roads, including U.S. Highway 301, and its historic events, such as the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, are included.

Foxx said his work was inspired by works of the Rev. Howard Finster and by the folk art collection of the late Bulloch County historian Smith Banks.

Many eagle statues are already on display around Statesboro. According to www.eaglenationparade.com, "Eagle Nation On Parade is a public art project that salutes Georgia Southern University's traditions, celebrates the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Statesboro, and supports student scholarships and research."

The 6-foot by 5-foot by 4-foot eagles are on long-term public display, and each statue has a different theme.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

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