Bell Research Center
Center for the Study of History and Migration Trail Genealogy
Located in the Historic Cumming School
Admission is free
The Bell Research Center is more then a library. It contains thousands of volumes of books, films, periodicals, reference materials, and artifacts focusing on the Southern history and genealogy.
Hours of operation:
10:00AM - 2:00PM
10:00AM - 4:00PM
Closed Sundays and Holidays
Bell Research Center Address:
Historic Cumming School
101 School Street
Cumming, GA 30040
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Men and Things
by Col. Hiram Parks Bell
"In peace and war he was a Georgian of whom the whole state may well be proud"
- The Atlanta Journal, Saturday, August 17, 1907
473 pages, cloth cover and fine quality paper.
New name and location index
New epilogue, revised and expanded table of contents.
Hardcover reprint of the Biographical and Historical book of Georgia Statesman Col. Hiram Parks Bell. Men and Things
William Lamar Cawthon, Jr. (1946-2016)
The Bell Research Center is honored to receive a collection of Southern history and genealogy books from the library of Bill Cawthon.
Bill spent his life chasing—and to a considerable extent realizing— his dream of expanding the knowledge of the true South and restoring it to a place of cultural respect. We should all envy his commitment to this personal crusade, and carry on with the work remaining to be done. It falls on each of us to do our best to do as Bill did, by recording and sharing fully and correctly the Southern past for those no longer able to defend or represent themselves.
A scholar at both Emory University and the University of Georgia, Bill became a historian and an attorney. But, more important, Bill was by birth a child of the South and by upbringing a gentleman of the old school. All things Southern fascinated Bill, including (but not limited to) history and folkways, architecture and horticulture. His knowledge of the last mentioned was unequaled, particularly where the flora of the Old South was concerned, and he cherished a lifelong passion for gardening.
Bill’s University of Georgia Master’s thesis—“Clinton: County Seat on the Georgia Frontier, 1808-1821”— represents one of the greatest examples of devotion to a historical subject that we may ever see. His exhaustive research on this microcosm of the Old South—ably organized, clearly presented, and marked by an unwavering love of place—created a vivid and detailed picture of a distinctive antebellum Georgia community. The thesis is a document that will see purpose for generations.
Mourn the loss of your friend and devoted servant. But do not let your heart be heavy. Bill showed us many things of value that we would have never seen otherwise. And he set us a lofty example by preserving and disseminating what was best of our increasingly endangered past.
“This is my body, woven from dead and living . .
This is my body and spirit,
Broken but never tamed, risen from the bloody sod, Walking suddenly
alive in a new morning.”
Bill Cawthon had a passion for the works of Southern writer and thinker William Gilmore Simms.
The Bell Research Center will be closed temporarily as we relocate to our new facility at 101 Atlanta Rd. Cumming (between the Dairy Queen and the Sinclair Station). This move is being made to accommodate the addition of several collections of books that we have received. Upon relocation, our reference library will be triple what is is today.