Out of storage, into place of honor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

After a brief disapearance in 1981, &8220;Shelby County Historic Sites&8221; oil painting by Miriam Fowler has found a home in the Shelby County Historical Society Museum and Archives.

Shelby Baptist Medical Center and the Shelby Baptist Medical Center Auxiliary presented the painting to the museum

on Jan. 30. Previously, it had been displayed in the extended care unit day room. It was removed in 2005 and placed in storage during renovation.

Bobby Joe Seales, president of the Shelby County Historical Society, never forgot about the painting once it was taken down. &8220;I knew they had taken it off the wall and put it in storage,&8221; he said.

In November, members of the hospital&8217;s auxiliary unearthed the painting and voted to donate it to the museum. Seales had never mentioned his interest in finding the painting, however. &8220;I thought it was unusual for them to find the paiting after I had been searching,&8221; he said.

The painting depicts an old map of Shelby County, and shows where many

buildings, now torn down, used to stand.

&8220;It&8217;s a painting that tells the history of Shelby County. It&8217;s just a neat piece of artwork to have,&8221; Seales said.

By looking at the piece, one can see what sections of the county might have been laid out like before growth and changes were made to infrastructure.

&8220;We are very appreciative to get it,&8221; Seales said. &8220;They thought of us not even knowing I was looking for the painting.&8221;

The artist, Miriam Fowler, attended the presentation. Fowler served as president of the Shelby County Historical Society from 1978-1979 and was instrumental in the beginning of the Museum and Archives. Shirley Harrison, president of the Shelby Baptist Medical Center Auxiliary, presented the painting.

Present in addition to the Shelby Baptist Medical Center Auxiliary Volunteers, were former Shelby County Probate Judge Tommy Snowden and Donna Smelcer, executive assistant to Shelby Baptist Medical Center&8217;s president, David Wilson