JALAPA — The Old Newberry District Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 19 at Hal Kohn Memorial Library’s meeting room on Friend Street.
Guest speaker Jean Epting Blackmon of Roswell, Ga., will talk about her latest book, A History of Jalapa, S.C. She co-authored it with Katheryn Shealy of Jalapa and Ruth Amis Clark, formerly of Jalapa and now of Greenwood.
Earlier this year, each of the authors received an achievement of excellence award from the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies. This was presented by Peggie West, president of the Newberry County Historical and Museum Society. Shealy and Clark will also be at the meeting. Signed copies of the book will be for sale at the meeting for $40. Mail ordered copies are $45 each.
Blackmon grew up on a farm in the Tranwood section of Newberry County two miles from Jalapa. Her childhood interests were focused on converting animals into pets. She tried to tame cows, dogs and cats, even a fox and a skunk for brief periods. She attended Bush River School, Newberry High School, and the University of Georgia where she received a BFA degree in commercial art.
As a student she was never interested in history. However, as an adult, after reading about the restoration of her great- great-grandparents’ old farm house in Virginia, she realized how little she knew about any of her ancestors or the history of the community where she had lived in Newberry County.
Gradually, a little family research turned into a little community research, culminating in her recent history of Jalapa. Blackmon said the biggest thrill in producing this book was meeting and working with Jalapa resident Shealy who re-introduced her to Clark, who also grew up in Jalapa.
Shealy and Clark provided the life of the book, and in fact, Blackmon thinks they all were a bit surprised by the number of people who moved into, farmed and invested in Jalapa over the past 250 years and also by how interesting some residents were.
The books can be ordered from the Old Newberry District Chapter, SCGS, P.O. Box 513, Roebuck, SC 29376-0513. They are also available at Books on Main in Newberry.