Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Genealogy library adopts new hours

Lately we've been reading about the transition of one family moving out
of the White House and another moving in. A couple of weeks ago in my
column I mentioned that the John Adams family was the first First
Family to inhabit the White House.

The site of the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Ave.) was chosen by
Gen. Washington, but the Washingtons never got to live there. The house
was under construction during the Washingtons' tenure as First Family
of the land. So the first First Lady of our land, Martha, who was noted
for her charm and graciousness, never got to be a hostess there. Martha
Custis Washington dutifully held receptions and presided at state
dinners at the executive mansion, which was then at Philadelphia.

John Adams, who was Washington's vice president, and Mrs. Adams lived
in Philadelphia, also, during that eight-year period. However, soon
after John Adams was elected president, the Adams family moved to
Washington, D.C. They were the first official residents of the White
House. The house was said to have been cold and damp, so great fires had
to be built in all the fireplaces to dry out the newly-plastered walls
of the new mansion. The great reception room was not finished, so
Abigail Adams used to hang her laundry lines in there.

The name "The White House" didn't come into usage until the tenure of
Theodore Roosevelt. Before that time, the building was referred to as
the Executive Mansion or the Presidential Palace.


Starting Feb. 6, the Genealogy Library will be open five days a week
(Tuesday through Saturday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Added to our own
collection is the Mary Smith Fay collection of over 1,500 books and
bound journals. Also, we plan to add new books to this collection as we
are able to determine what is needed. Pat Davis will be the librarian
there each day, with Betty Chapman, Sue Wallace, Verla Savage, Norma
Brehm, Janet Armstrong and Charlene Shields alternating days as
volunteers. Lecta Hortin remains the director of library operations. We
hope the expanded hours will make the library more accessible to


Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2001 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.