The Thomas County Historical Society is proud to host speakers whose research topics and writings explore the history, culture, ecology, and landscape of the Red Hills region.

Upcoming Programs:

November 5th: Randy Rhea, John Houston Mifflin: Thomasville’s Plantation Portrait Painter

3pm-5pm, Thomas County Historical Society

The Thomas County Historical Society’s Fall Into History series concludes Sunday, November 5 at 3pm with a gallery talk by Randy Rhea about the artist John Houston Mifflin detailing his life, career, and Thomasville connections. In 1840, the itinerant Pennsylvania-born painter brought his skills to Thomasville where he painted portraits of several local plantation owners including Harriet and James Joseph Blackshear of Cedar Grove (Susina), Sophronia and Richard Mitchell of Fair Oaks, and Elisabeth and Thomas Bratton Winn of Winnstead. These six portraits, and what may be a portrait of the artist himself, are currently on display in the Museum.

John Houston Mifflin was a descendant of the influential Mifflin family that first arrived in the American colonies in 1676 with William Penn. Mifflin’s great-great uncle was a friend of George Washington, the first governor of Pennsylvania, and a signer of the US Constitution. Mifflin studied art in Philadelphia and traveled extensively in Europe. In 1835, long before Thomasville’s Resort Era brought vacationers south for the winter, Mifflin began wintering in South Carolina and Georgia, and painting portraits of wealthy southerners. In 1840, he traveled to Thomasville and painted portraits of at least four plantation couples. In this presentation, Rhea will share more about John Houston Mifflin, his travels, and his work.

This program is free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Recent Programs:

September 5th: Dr. Chip Bragg, Martyr of the American Revolution: The Execution of Isaac Hayne, South Carolinian

Dr. Chip Bragg leads the series on Tuesday, September 5 with a lecture based on his newest publication. Released in January 2017 by the University of South Carolina Press, Martyr of the American Revolution: The Execution of Isaac Hayne, South Carolinian examines the sequence of events that resulted in his execution and the repercussions that event had on the political and military battle for American independence. Dr. Bragg is a practicing anesthesiologist in Thomasville, and this is his fourth book. Free & open to the public, 7:30pm.

September 19: Company C, 61st Georgia Infantry Living Historians, “A Soldier’s Life”

The second program in our series on Tuesday, September 19 will explore the experiences, motivations, and hardships of the Civil War Soldier. In, “A Soldier’s Life,” Jeremy Petrella and company will inhabit a reenactment of a Civil War encampment, portraying soldiers from both the Union and Confederate forces. Participants will learn more about the experiences on either side of the conflict through first-person narratives presented by the “soldiers” themselves. Participants are encouraged to interact with the reenactors. This program is appropriate for all ages. Free & open to the public, 7:30pm.


All events will take place at the Museum of History, 725 N. Dawson Street, Thomasville, Georgia.