I have recently had the pleasure of placing a more than 100-year-old scrapbook in the hands of a lady who did not know it existed! The scrapbook was written by a high school student named Hazel D. Brummitt and was placed in the hands of her granddaughter who viewed it for the first time recently at the Genealogical and Historical Society office in the Archives Building in Wartburg.
The book was brought to me by a gentleman from the Meister Hills Community about twenty years ago. He had found it in the walls of a house he was renovating and wanted to give it to a relative. I tried to locate anyone by the name of Brummitt but had no luck. Then through my working with Mike Nance, who is now Morgan County Historian, and he is also very knowledgeable with computer work, he found a relative of Hazel, a granddaughter, Susan Davis.
All credit for locating a relative of Hazel is given to Mike and an appointment was made almost two years ago to meet her in Crossville and present her the book. Due to the Covid virus and illness the meeting was cancelled. Then recently Susan called and we agreed to meet which resulted in my having the pleasure to place the book in her hands.
If I tried to describe the book to you time and space would not allow it. This book’s cover was like a blue velvet material and there was some destruction by silverfish, but not enough to hurt. It was a scrapbook and journal of the four years of Hazel’s attending Chattanooga High School from 1916-1919. Hazel recorded events, projects, classes, classmates, her activities, etc. for all four years in high school. Some of her thoughts are as follows from her sophomore grade:
“Chattanooga High School Motto “Honor Brings Responsibility”. After Christmas we entertained the ‘new freshman’. How glad we were to have someone younger than us! Then did we really feel our importance and resume a dignified sight by sliding down banisters and playing tag in the corridor and at last we had someone to look up to us! In the spring we won our fame by the presentation of “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream”.
Later notes were: Sept 18, 1918 marked the beginning of the end of her senior year. “Yes, we were really seniors! We settled down to work immediately. Everyone enjoyed the reception given us by the freshmen. It was enjoyable. Our senior rings and pens were well selected and we were happy.
Our Christmas with the orphans went well. They could not possibly have enjoyed it as much as we did for doing it. They were the happiest ‘kiddies’ in the world when Santa Claus (Sam Goldstone) gave them all dolls, skates, and all sorts of toys. We could hardly leave.”
Pages and pages in the book told how she enjoyed the sports program at the school and of attending movies and events.
A very commendable record was of her teaching Sunday School children at the Chattanooga Baptist Church. She reported that she had 20 students in her class and how she loved it.
Pages were also filled with pieces of all kinds of material that her clothing was made from and descriptions of how her clothing was trimmed! There were samples of yarn that her sweaters and cape were knitted from.
In the back portion of the book there were two invitation cards showing that a representative from District 3 in Chattanooga had selected her to attend the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson and another card was welcoming her to be seated in the gallery for the event.
Presenting this book to Susan was so exciting and I must say it was so rewarding for me to have been involved in protecting this old book for so many years and then, through the efforts of Mike Nance and his knowledge of researching, it all came to a wonderful end. I will also give credit to the gentleman who realized that finding the old book could result in making someone happy to receive it.