The Melungeons blog

Monday, January 30, 2006

Melungeons, history, genealogy, research, articles

Melungeons, history, genealogy, research, articles: "'Windows on the Past' Exhibit at East Tennessee Historical Society

The Vardy School and Mission

'Windows on the Past: The Cultural Heritage of Vardy, Hancock County, Tennessee,' will be on display at the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville between February 13 and March 19. The exhibit features photographs of Melungeon daily life during the early to middle twentieth century. The Presbyterian mission school at Vardy played an important role in easing the social exclusion of the Melungeons by emphasizing the importance of spiritual and community pride.

DruAnna Overbay, the exhibit's creator, is the current secretary of the Vardy Community Historical Society, a group formed to restore Vardy landmarks and preserve the community pride. Ms. Overbay is a direct descendant of Vardeman Collins, who is recognized as a patriarch of the Newman's Ridge Melungeons and for whom Vardy is named.

The East Tennessee Historical Society is at 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901-1629. The phone number is 865-215-8824, and their website is "


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