The Crawford W. Long Museum in Jefferson, Georgia will hold a special exhibit opening for its new Civil War Medicine Exhibit on April 15 and April 16.
Plaques on the Wall of Fame celebrate the names of almost 600 individuals, families and businesses who donated time and money to create and develop the museum which opened in 1957.
Speaking to the one hundred guests—including relatives of the museum’s founders—Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner said the exhibit honors “those whose vision led them to create an educational memorial to Dr. Crawford Long on the site of the first use of anesthesia for surgery, a discovery now considered America’s greatest contribution to modern medicine.”
In 1951, Jackson Herald publisher T.P. Williams and Crawford Long biographer Dr. Frank Kells Boland met with the Georgia Historical Commission in to discuss the creation of the museum. The commission said it would provide half of the funding for the purchase of a building if the citizens of Jefferson could raise the money. The local fund-raising drive was successful in less than a year.
The Crawford W. Long Memorial Museum Association was incorporated in 1955. Officers included those who had led the fund-raising drive: Frary Elrod, Storey Ellington, Robert Bailey, Edmond Garrison, Morris Bryan Jr., Thomas Bryan, Jack Davidson, and T.P. Williams. The museum is now owned by the City of Jefferson with the ongoing support of the Crawford W. Long Association.
Association board president Roxane Rose presented museum projects manager Lesa Campbell with a bench in honor of her late mother Sallie Holsonback who died last September. The bench was placed in the museum’s 1850s Pendergrass Store building.
Today’s dedication ceremony coincided with the first anniversary of the museum’s re-opening after a two-year restoration project that included exhibit upgrades and structural renovations to the facility’s historic buildings. During the past year, over 2,000 visitors and 43 groups have toured the museum.
Last year, visitors attending the museum’s re-opening came out in force on a bitterly cold day. Today’s guests attended the Wall of Fame dedication while weathermen were broadcasting winter storm warnings. (The six-inch snowfall held off until everyone got home.) With luck, Mother Nature will be more accommodating for upcoming events, including a March 30th Doctors Day celebration and the opening of a Civil War medicine exhibit on April 15th.
Everyone aboard every Navy ship that cruised between California and Vietnam in the late 1960s knew about liberty in Olongapo, Republic of the Philippines. The city stood just outside the main gate of the U. S. Naval base at Subic Bay, a regular port of call for Western Pacific (WESTPAC) ships.
Old salts called the town “hell” and promised Seaman Recruits coming on board the carrier USS Ranger out of bootcamp that anyone leaving the main gate of the base on liberty would be corrupted immediately by booze, drugs, girls, gambling and crime. They called the drainage ditch separating the base’s main gate from the town “the shit river,” though I saw it as the River Styx.
I crossed the shit river multiple times and found the world there to be everything the old salts described. As a former Eagle Scout, it crossed my mind on more than one occasion, “if only my Scout master could see me now.” Our Scout troop was sponsored by a church, so the Scout master was the least of my worries when I thought of how the deacons, elders and Sunday school teachers should they ever see a photo taken on Magsaysay Drive.
As a writer in training, I saw Magsaysay Drive and the Galaxy Bar and the touts and the constant ruckus in the streets as “research.” But I doubt my Scout master would have understood, or anybody else I knew, for that matter. Luckily, webcams and cell phones hadn’t been invented yet. There was no Facebook either in 1968. This meant that no pictures of me crossing the shit river appeared anywhere–and since a lot of time has gone by since then, I doubt they ever will.
Everyone who might know the Eagle Scout and paperboy who went to hell and then put his research into a novel called Garden of Heaven is long gone by now. So, I think I can safely post this excerpt without word getting back to the old neighborhood.
Excerpt from Garden of Heaven:
Standing on the bridge over the Shit River listening to the half-naked children in flimsy boats below shouting for a handful of centavos, the city in his face was—with more pride than apology—very much a city with its tattered underwear showing. If Magellan only knew what was here now. If Dad only knew David was here now.
Night was settling down over the hazy first lights of the bars and hourly rate hotels along Magsaysay Drive and the razor-sharp edges of Kalaklan Ridge like an old whore.
David dropped several 25-centavo coins over the railing, heard an explosion of whitewater, heard the laughter and the shouting, ‘Salamat, Joe, Salamat.’
He crossed Perimeter Road, ignored the hopeful greetings of the money changers behind their well-caged windows, then dodged a badly mixed throng of sailors, girls and honking multi-coloured jeepneys that swelled out into the Gordon Avenue intersection. He cut across the street, smiling, waiving at imagined friends in the distance, and moved with the deliberate intent of a man who had crossed this street hundreds of times.
‘Casual alertness, that’s the key to surviving Olongapo’s jungle of thieves, gangs, girls, high-strung Marines, bored Shore Patrol and Hard Hats, and drunk boatswain’s mates and snipes,’ Lowell had said.
“Hey Joe, cold beer cold beer cold beer, nice girls.”
Touts were everywhere below the slapdash smorgasbord of disheveled signs and awnings, leaning telephone polls, and the rag-tag assortment of buildings with upper floors stacked up in odd strata.
Assorted conversations flew past, barely audible in the close heat… ‘Hintayin mo aki,’ …‘Magandang amaga, Carlo, kumusta ang bagong sanggol?’… ‘Hey Joe’… ‘Tao po! Tao po!’… ‘Hoy, tulungan mo akong magdiskarga sa trak na ito, pwede ba?’… ‘Good food here, Joe!’… ‘Galing akong Maynila. Nasaan ang Zambales Bank?’… ‘Balut, Balut!’… ‘Tayo na’t kumuha ng makakain’ ‘Magandang ideya, handa na ako sa napunan’… ‘Nagustuhan mo ba ang bago kong kamera?’
The sign for the Galaxy Bar was plainer than most. An unadorned interior stairway led to the second-floor club, a large room strewn with tables occupied by sailors, many with girls whose eyes caught the low light like predators or gods. David didn’t see anyone he knew. He had a small envelope in his back pocket for Maria.
Two girls who had bathed in perfume and spackled their faces with makeup were leaning against the bar watching a waitress organise a tray full of San Miguel beer bottles.
“Maria, tingnan mo itong malambing na lalaki.”
“Lamayo ka sa kanya, Adelaide.”
Assuming he’d actually heard her name in those quick Tagalog comments, Maria was the one wearing a red dress, thrusting herself forward to him as he approached, posing her sweet curves, allowing her long hair to seductively frame her face, smiling as though they were friends with a history. He could almost see himself in the high gloss of her lipstick.
Copyright (c) 2010 by Malcolm R. Campbell
USS Ranger (CVA-61)
The USS Ranger has been decommissioned. The USS Ranger Foundation is working diligently to convert the aircraft carrier into a museum on the Columbia Driver near Portland, Oregon. The effort requires multiple phases, the next being a comprehensive environmental site analysis of the propose mooring location.
The Foundation is seeking donations to help pay for its on-going work. If you would like to contribute to the $15 million dollar fund raising project to bring a historic ship to Oregon as a museum, please click on the link above. Once you’re there, you’ll find some handy PayPal buttons.
The discovery of the use of ether as the first viable anesthesia for use during surgery by Dr. Crawford W. Long in Jefferson, Georgia on March 20, 1842 looms very large as a medical milestone. It’s on a par with–and predates by over 20 years–Joseph Lister’s discovery of antiseptics for sterile surgery and Louis Pasteur’s germ theory of disease. That the discovery happened in a rough and tumble frontier town makes it all the more remarkable.The museum, billed as “the Birthplace of Anesthesia,” reopened Saturday morning, January 9th, on one of Georgia’s coldest days of the winter after a two-year restoration and exhibits update project lead by consultant and acting museum director Lesa H. Campbell (front row, in black). In spite of the weather, the Crawford W. Long Museum at 28 College Street in Jefferson was packed.
Mayor Jim Joiner (standing, brown jacket) said at a Chamber of Commerce preview party the day before that some said that Crawford W. Long’s discovery in 1842 successfully put the town of Jefferson asleep. But then he indicated that the work done revamping the museum on a $200,000 USDA Rural Development Grant was another example of the reality that the town is very wide awake. Over 100 of the visitors surged through the front doors within the first 90 minutes. They flowed through the museum’s three, interconnected historic buildings seeing updated and enhanced displays with new information, and artifacts that had never been shown before. Outside, visitors were treated to a surrey ride through Jefferson’s historic district followed up by free coffee and hot chocolate across the street at Fusion Restaurant.
A visitor from Massachusetts said, “I think what they’ve done is absolutely excellent. I received a degree in museum studies from Harvard and this is even better than the Warren Anatomical Museum at the University.”
After the long hours put in by Campbell, by Vicki (to Campbell’s right) and Karen (far right) (museum staff), by Frank and Terry (contract craftsmen), Beth (Mainstreet Manager) and by Barbara, Jackie, Jim, Gerry, Reggie and other volunteers, such compliments are a tonic. So too, the wide eyes, smiles and kind words of the visitors upstairs in the new Anesthesia History Exhibit, on the main flow in the completely redone Crawford W. Long gallery illustrating the ether discovery and Long’s family and education, and down in the 1858 General Store.
The day ended with a fund-raising dinner, conducted in two seatings at Fusion, that featured guided tours conducted by Campbell. At the end of the last tour of the evening, she said that it was a little daunting explaining the import of Long’s work and the features of the anesthesia machines to an audience that included practicing anesthesiologists, one of who is a Crawford W. Long expert.
Everyone who shares the long-term vision for a museum hopes, on any given day, to treat visitors to an interesting and educational world of wonders. But in spite of the aching backs and tired feet that result from putting on a great show, there’s the inevitable pull by the work yet to be done. There are always new displays to construct and more research waiting to be done. The world inside the museum is infinite and both the staff and the volunteers are wide awake with the possibilities.
from the USS Ranger Museum Foundation
The US Navy announced that the USS Ranger Foundation’s Phase I application for donation of the super-carrier ex-USS Ranger has been approved and moved the group into Phase two of the four-phase process.
Phase two of the process has a 12 month timeline, during which the exact location of the museum complex will be finalized, environmental, marketing, business, neighborhood support and other studies will be completed and updated. Fund raising will increase, and national and international friends will be called upon to support the project.
The timing of this approval could not be better. At the completion of Phase three, the ship will be towed from its current home in Bremerton, Washington to Portland waters. When she arrives, she will bring much-needed jobs to the area, as there will be extensive work to prepare for opening as a museum.
Once open in her new role, the ship will have one of the largest event/conference areas in the area and will attract not only tourists traveling to visit the largest floating museum in the world, but corporate groups looking to hosting their next conference in a unique location.
During the aftermath of 9-11, the carrier museum Intrepid was activated as a command center in New York Harbor allowing communication, coordination and even helicopter operations. Ranger could be used in the same manner for emergency situations, natural as well as man-made. Movie companies have used the Ranger many times including “Top Gun”, and could bring more film opportunities to the Metro area.
We are looking forward to partnering with other local tourist attractions to attract larger groups adding much needed tourists’ dollars to the economy. There are five existing carrier museums spread out around the country. None of them rely on tax dollars to operate. The Pacific Northwest would be well served by Ranger and will be a great addition to the community.
As a former crew member of the USS Ranger (CVA-61) on two Western Pacific cruises, I fully support the restoration and conversion of this ship into a museum. Best of luck, guys.
JEFFERSON GA – The Crawford W. Long Museum will open January 9 after two years of exterior and interior renovations.
Extensive structural repairs have been made to the three historic buildings comprising the museum complex at 28 College Street on Jefferson’s Public Square.
The original museum building, a two-story brick structure built in 1880 by Dr. J.B. Pendergrass, is flanked by a one-story brick office constructed in 1930 by Dr. J.T. Stovall and the mid-1800s wood-frame Pendergrass General Store. A 1880 rear addition to the store occupies the site of Dr. Long’s original office.
Repairs to the buildings required existing exhibits to be removed. The main floor of the Pendergrass Store will feature expanded exhibits about items sold in general stores during different decades, from the 1840s through the 1960s
Dr. Pendergrass’ office building will house a new exhibit about Dr. Crawford W. Long on the main floor, and a new exhibit tracing the history of anesthesia on the second floor.
The Stovall Building will continue to serve as the museum entrance, but will also serve as the Jefferson Visitors’ Center. Exhibits in the Stovall Building will focus on Jefferson’s history.