Gearing up for a party, May 6, 2005

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

Tom Powell of the Addison Group marketing firm in Suffolk gave a great presentation at Thursday's meeting of the Suffolk Rotary Club about Suffolk's participation in the Jamestown 2007 celebration.

Powell is heading up the committee established to plan Suffolk's role in the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Tourism director Lynette Brugeman, who introduced Powell, noted that Suffolk has been designated a certified community for the event.

Among the plans Powell noted are the establishment of a non-profit foundation, Suffolk Heritage, to raise money for the event. Their first order of business will be the setting up a Web site,, to publicize their efforts to accumulate Suffolk history.

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Powell mentioned that much of Suffolk's written history was lost in fires during the early 20th century and the group will be looking for family stories, artifacts, etc.

I've often wondered what became of early Suffolk history. Here at the newspaper, where we trace our ancestry back to 1873, we have microfilm files back to just 1936, except for a couple reels of the old Suffolk News from 1925. The library is in the same shape, though they are in possession of a few Suffolk Herald reels from earlier in the century.

I suppose it was all lost in the fires.

I hate that, too, because I love reading those old papers when we do our Times Past feature. I'm a particular fan of the yellow journalism error of the early part of the century. The writing was so vivid and alive. It's a shame it's lost.

Powell noted that another of the group's projects will be publishing a 2007 edition of Kermit Hobbs' history of Suffolk, with 16 pages added to cover the 20 years that have elapsed since the original publication. It will also be leather-bound.

Watch the News-Herald and, for a full report soon on the Jamestown effort. A couple months ago we sent reporter Allison Williams to an overnight media tour of the 2007 celebration plans in Williamsburg. She'll be doing a big story on the state and local efforts.