This painting and letter have been submitted to you to honor a local woman artist, Ethelda Lee, in commemoration of Women’s History Month.
Mrs. Lee was an outstanding personality in Hinesville and Liberty County; she told me several times of going to the area where the Armory is now and watching the members of the Liberty Independent Troop exercise the horses they used in their maneuvers. She was thrilled when, from time to time, the commander of the troop would allow her to ride one of the horses.
Mrs. Lee was also an avid gardener; her yard was filled with interesting plants and she tended them faithfully as long as she was able. She also was active in garden club work, and at flower show time, her flower arrangements frequently won the major prizes.
And, most important to this letter, she was an artist. One of her paintings was hanging in the old Holiday Café restaurant. My mother saw it and wanted to buy it. Mrs. Lee said that the one hanging was not for sale but that she thought that she had a similar one that she could put some finishing touches on and she would sell mother that one.
Imagine the surprise and delight of my parents when they were presented with the pictured painting as a present for their wedding anniversary!
The painting is titled “The Liberty County Fair” and is set in the area where the fair used to be held, where the Armory is now. This is a rendition of the last of the fairs to be held — 1933.
I treasured the painting for many years after I inherited it, but then I began to realize that such an item of Liberty County history needed to be shared with the whole community, so I donated it to the city, and it now resides in the Hinesville History Room at City Hall. Visit and ask to see it so that you can truly appreciate it and remember the woman who created it, Ethelda Lee!