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Lakeland News

Posted on: March 31, 2018

Spotlight on Lakeland! Past, Present and Future

Spotlight on Lakeland!

The City of Lakeland will feature its past, present, and future, during a historical exhibit in the lobby of the Vasco A. Smith, Jr., County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

Do you have any memorabilia that you’d be willing to loan us for the exhibit?

Anyone out there with admission tickets into the Lakeland Amusement Park, or trophies from Lakeland Dragstrip and Raceway? There are three enclosed display cases located in the lobby which we will fill with historic pictures, replicas, memorabilia, maps, articles, etc. If you think you might have something we’d be interested in, for the display cases, we would love to hear from you.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center Manager at 901-746-8195. She is collecting items for all three displays (past, present, and future).

Background Information on the Exhibit:

The exhibit is a project assigned by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, and organized by Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle, and the Shelby County Historical Commission. Mayor Luttrell implemented the project upon the renovations of the Shelby County Government Building (Vasco A. Smith, Jr., County Administration Building). Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, Memphis and Millington, have all been featured in the exhibit. Arlington’s exhibit is currently on display. Lakeland’s display will replace Arlington’s in mid-May.

Lakeland Currents post:

Lakeland is to be featured in a Shelby County historical display in downtown Memphis this spring and staff members are gathering memorabilia for the exhibition.

Kim Odom, special events coordinator and Senior Center manager for Lakeland, said the display in three large glass cases will be in the lobby of the Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St. May through August.

The rotating historical displays from the County area began in 2015 under Mayor Mark Luttrell, said Jimmy Ogle, Shelby County historian and coordinator of the project.  After the County Building was renovated five years ago, Mayor Luttrell asked Mr. Ogle and the Shelby County Historical Commission to put Shelby County communities on display in the lobby.

“There were portraits of the four mayors – Roy Nixon, Bill Morris, Jim Rout and A C Wharton – in the lobby as well as seals of Shelby County and the seven municipalities (Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, Memphis and Millington) above the elevators,” he said.

Mayor Luttrell asked Mr. Ogle to coordinate the displays and the historic area of Rosemark was the first. “H.A.R.E. (Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs) was the first exhibit,” said Mr. Ogle.   “This area in northeast Shelby County was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a very active historic preservation group of citizens.”

The second display, he said, was Collierville because they had just received an award for having the best Main Street.

“These displays bring the community to downtown,” said Mr. Ogle.  “It means a lot and the displays have garnered a lot of interest.” The office building is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Mrs. Odom along with Jim Atkinson, city manager, and Nancy Koch, chair of the Parks and Recreation/Natural Resources Board, visited the lobby yesterday (3.28.18) with Mr. Ogle.  “There are three enclosed display cases located in the lobby which we will fill with historic pictures, replicas, memorabilia, maps, articles, etc. We are planning to feature the City’s past, present, and future,” said Mrs. Odom.

“We will begin soliciting historical memorabilia Monday (4.2.18). I will be the main point of contact for anyone who has something they’d like to donate or loan us for the exhibit. They can call me at the Lakeland Senior Center at 746-8195.”

Mr. Ogle said the Lakeland display should be ready to view about May 15 and will run to August.  Even though Mayor Luttrell will no longer be the Shelby County Mayor (he has served two terms), Mr. Ogle said he hopes the project will continue.  “We are planning for the next exhibit: Tennessee Historical Society of Davies Manor.”

Mrs. Odom said here will be a dedication of the exhibit with Mayor Luttrell present, as well as Lakeland Commissioners, City Manager and a limited number of invited guests.

From Mr. Atkinson:

“This is exciting.  We are honored to be able to feature the past, present, and future of our City. Although we are a younger community, there’s a lot to be proud of. Looking into the future, we are very excited about the possibilities.”

Link to Mr. Ogle’s webpage with information about previous displays as well as his historical tours of the area.

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