Thursday, December 16, 2010

Turn of the Year

Hello everyone! I've been busy with some interesting finds here in the Archives that I'll be sure to share with you in January. Until then, the Archives will be closed for the holidays 17 December - 3 January. Then, finally, I think things have settled down enough to be consistent.

4 & 6 January

11 & 13 January

18 & 20 January

25 & 27 January

Congratulations to all those that graduated and were commissioned today. Best of luck to you!

Have a safe and memorable holiday season.

Erin Jones

MMI Archivist

334 302 1038

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1924 Barracks Fire

This morning a Cadet asked for information on the 1924 Barracks Fire. I thought I would share the answer with everyone.

Courtesy, Perry County Herald, Travis Vaughn. Originally published, 15 Oct, 2009.

"The deadly MMI fire occurred in 1924 in a white frame structure called South College Barracks and claimed two victims, Jefferson Bryant Meharg of Pensacola, Fla., and Lawrence Christopher Olsen of Waukegan, Ill. The monument on the honor ground recalls this event:

'Erected By The Cadet Corps 1923-24

Cadets Jefferson Bryant Meharg And Lawrence Christopher Olsen Who Lost Their Lives In the Burning of College Barracks March 17, 1924...'"

Courtesy of Travis Vaughn,

From “History of Marion Institute” Speech in Chapel by Cadet J. W. Matthews; Fall, 1959

“The two cadets shared a room in South College Barracks, a two-story white fame building a short distance south of the present campus area. About 5:30 on the morning of March 17th, 1924, South College Barracks caught fire. Fire call was sounded, the entire battalion formed in front of the chapel and everyone was reported preset. The tragedy occurred after dismissal from this formation. One of the boys (it’s not known which) had left his watch in the building and decided to return for it. Smoke was pouring from the building at this time, but there was no sign of flames. He apparently could see no danger. His roommate discovered that he was missing and guessing that he went back into the building, went to find him. The building suddenly exploded and burned swiftly. Meherg was killed instantly. Olsen somehow managed to get out, but he was fatally burned and died six hours later in Selma Hospital.

The following year, the Cadet Corps erected a monument to their memory. This monument is the cannon overlooking the drill field and the plaque on the monument bears the inscription:

“Greater love hath no man than this,

That he lay down his life for his friends”

Courtesy of MMI Foundation Archives.

Courtesy of MMI Foundation Archives, Page 5, 1925 MMI Yearbook

Courtesy of MMI Foundation Archives, Jefferson Bryant Meherg’s Attendance Card [Address removed for privacy].
Courtesy of MMI Foundation Archives, Lawrence Christopher Olsen’s Attendance Card

Until Next Time,
Erin Jones
MMI Archivist
334 302 1038

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Images of America: Perry County

Wonderful news! Eleanor Drake's _Images of America: Perry County_ has hit the shelves and it's filled with amazing photos and information about MMI and Marion; with supporting aide by previous MMI Archivist, Terry Barkley. A kind donor presented a copy to the Archives today; and I have thoroughly enjoyed it, cover to cover.
Take the opportunity to grab your own copy from Arcadia Publishing or stop in the Archives to have a gander at those photos held here and the artifacts with which they live.

December Archive Schedule

Thursday, 2 December

Tuesday, 7 December
Thursday, 9 December

Tuesday, 14 December
Thursday, 16 December

The Archives will be closed for the Holiday season 17 December until 4 January, 2011. I will be checking my email.

Have a safe and memorable holidays,
Erin Jones
MMI Archivist
334 302 1038

Friday, October 29, 2010

It is an Honor

The annual Hall of Honor induction was today; and I enjoyed seeing the ceremony. The respect flows here like wine - and for good reason. This year's induction honors Col. Robert L. Howard and BG James R. Owen.

Photos taken by Kelly Griffiths, Library Director

I collected the program from the ceremony for future generations of MMI Cadets and Alumni to remember this important day. Anyone who has pictures they would like to share with the Archives, please feel free:

If you'd rather stop in, the November schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov 2nd
Thursday, Nov 4th

Tuesday, Nov 9th
Wednesday, Nov 10th

Tuesday, Nov 16th
Thursday, Nov 18th

Monday, Nov 22nd
Tuesday, Nov 23rd

Tuesday, Nov 30th
Thursday, Dec 2nd

I'm working diligently on new displays and exhibits. Stop in and see what's new. Also, keep an eye out for tidbits 'From the Archive' the next edition of the Pass in Review.

Looking forward to the next parade,
Erin Jones
MMI Archivist
334 302 1038

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2 Weeks

Hello! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me as I grow more and more familiar with the MMI collections. I've found many interesting things in my exploring.

This scrapbook, along with several others, make up a set of articles on MMI that range from 1968 to the early 80's. Unfortunately, I can't be more specific than that. Until my supplies arrive in early November, I'm holding off on opening some of the more damaged pages. Those I have been able to open speak of community service performers by MMI Cadets and Faculty and some of the amazing awards won by individual and Company, alike. They are displayed in the Archives. I'll turn the pace once a week until we see them all.

Relief Template

I also found the Bas Relief templates for the Lynn M. and Sherwood C. Middlebrooks, Jr. Hall of Fine Arts external walls. I'm currently in the process of writing a description for them.

We received a wonderful package that contained a pair of corduroy pants with S. McCollum written inside the waistband. They're being preserved and combined with the Shivers McCollum collection.

Kelly Griffiths, Library Director, found this photo leaned against a book truck last week - apparently left by someone. It seems as though it was pressed in a book. The edges are worn and frayed. Identity to be confirmed. Speculation gives me James T. Murfee...location? I'm on the hunt for that answer, too.

Many of the Cadets are taking the opportunity to stop into the Archives and take a peek. They have many questions about MMI history and the many Alumni that have come before them.

There are exciting things afoot as I will soon welcome new efficient shelving that will offer more storage and display space. I am beginning to organize the artifacts into relevant collections to allow maximum display with maximum protection. Please feel welcome to stop in and see me when you're on campus.

This weekend is Parents' Weekend at MMI. The Archives will not be open. There is still much work to do. I am here on Tuesdays and Thursdays to be of service. Please, stop in and see what's on display!

I'll share the ongoing progress as it happens.

Erin Jones
MMI Archivist
334 302 1038