Thomasville Georgia is a rather remarkable place to live & visit. One of the primary reasons Angela & I moved here was the abundant history present on every block as we are both enamored with finding the forgotten tales that lay all around us.
This story begins with the opening of the Flowers Foods Heritage Center on May 24, 2019. This small museum downtown celebrates the history of a wonderful local bakery that began here in 1919 and has grown into a national brand. During the tour inside our friend Ruthie mentioned an episode of the old game show called "I've Got a Secret" on which a baker from Flowers had appeared. If you know nothing else about me, saying something like that is an invitation to research and discovery of a new "old" story about our adopted community.
After some time I was able to discover the episode Ruthie had viewed as child back on February 17, 1960 and indeed her memory was perfect for during this episode three men from Thomasville participated in the program with their rather unusual names playing a role in the show.
It turns out at that moment in history Thomasville was home to a baker named Floyd Baker, a sheriff named Dallas Law and a fireman named W. J. Burns.
Episode 401 of "I've Got a Secret" aired on February 17, 1960
This video aired on February 17, 1960, the portion involving our Thomasville natives begins at the 8 minute and 30 second mark. You can watch this episode on YouTube via the link on the left.
Stream music and playlists with SoundCloud and wow your visitors with your tunes.
Saint Cecilia is the Catholic patron saint of music whose feast day is November 22. Maynita was a music teacher so this saint would have resonated with her and interestingly, Maynita died the day after St. Cecilia's Feast Day, dying on November 23, 1910.
The original image was painted by Gustav Naujok in 1891 and became a popular print from that point forward.
Maynita and her family obviously loved dogs. There are at least 5 dog figurines, a probable dog bed/pillow and the embalmed remains of a dog evident in the pictures from inside the mausoleum.
It is highly likely that the dog entombed here is a West Highland White Terrier for a number of reasons. The Westie as the breed is known, first came to the United States in 1908 and was a rare and expensive dog to own. This date corresponds perfectly with Maynita's year of marriage so it may have been a gift at the wedding or by her husband. This breed is known to by hypoallergenic, a benefit to someone like Maynita who likely suffered from Tuberculosis. The breed appeared a bit different in the early part of the 20th Century as can be seen in the picture above from 1915. The upright tail and overall appearance make this the most likely match to the both the figurines and mummified dog inside the mausoleum.
These items appear on what is most likely Maynita's coffin in the center could be her pet's glass watering dish and 3 framed pictures of her pet.
In operation in Pennsylvania from about 1907 to 1918 and the bowl above is very similar. This bowl is from the 1910 collection and Highbee sold this pressed glass tableware through stores in New York where we know Maynita traveled.
This frame of ten photographs I believe are photos from the 1908 wedding of Maynita & John. There appears to be a picture of Maynita and her mother in the center, bridesmaids and relatives ring them with an older woman in the lower right who may have been a grandmother or the aunt who lived in New York. Maynita was 3
Utilizing a fisheye lens we are able to finally see the front interior wall and its contents. To the right lies a simple chair, to the left there is a table with a flower vase, a probable mirror with a piece of cloth draped on its corner and a framed photo on the tabletop. Another framed object lies on the floor near the table.
Almost unseen between 2 of the caskets lies a discarded toy rabbit.
Two framed pictures that appear to have been taken of a man and woman of similar age. Since both frames and shapes are the same we can guess that these are framed images of Maynita Arnold Swan and her husband John Hamilton Swan as they were photographed in 1908-1910.
There is no pattern discernible on the large framed object on the table making it likely a mirror. The small framed photo, urn and draped cloth can be seen here.