Gobbi helps preserve Euharlee’s ‘rich heritage’
by Marie Nesmith
Apr 28, 2014 | 2449 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Katie Odom Gobbi relaxes on the porch of the Euharlee History Museum where she serves as director. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Katie Odom Gobbi relaxes on the porch of the Euharlee History Museum where she serves as director. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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As Euharlee History Museum’s director, Katie Gobbi is delighted to interact with Euharlee’s residents and help preserve their past.

“At the Euharlee History Museum, we have exhibits interpreting the history of Euharlee and the surrounding areas, including Native American history, agricultural history, history of community institutions and organizations, and the military service of members of our community,” Gobbi said. “My favorite object is [a] quilt from 1932 that helped raise funds to rebuild Oak Grove United Methodist Church.

“The church was destroyed by a tornado in March 1932. By September of that year, the church was rebuilt and rededicated. The only way they were able to rebuild the church so quickly was through donations of materials, labor and money from the larger community. This quilt is filled with hand-stitched names of people who donated to this effort. To me, this quilt is a tangible representation of the sense of community that is still present out here.”

Located at 118 Covered Bridge Road in Euharlee, the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. There is no admission charge. More details can be obtained by visiting Euharlee History Museum’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/EuharleeHistoryMuseum.

Name: Katie Gobbi

Age: 26

Occupation: Director, Euharlee History Museum

City of residence: Cartersville

Family: Seth, my husband of just over six months, and many other family members around the Atlanta area, including our niece, Ava, 7, and nephew, Caleb, 6.

Education: After graduating from Lassiter High School in Marietta in 2004, I attended Kennesaw State University where I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science and a Certificate in Public History. I then received a master’s in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University in 2011.

When did you join the Euharlee History Museum and what led you to this line of work?

A: I started at the Euharlee History Museum in December 2012. I have always had a love of history and museums as I grew up near a Civil War battlefield in Jonesboro, but it was not until college that a history professor, Dr. David Parker, suggested that I consider a career in public history. I began volunteering at a museum in Kennesaw and fell in love with the work. Prior to coming to Euharlee, I have worked as an intern or on staff at several museums and have enjoyed the challenges presented to me in all of them.

Describe what being the director of the Euharlee History Museum entails.

A: Not only am I the director of the museum, I am also the only paid employee, so I really do a little bit of everything. My responsibilities include running the day-to-day operations of the museum, curating exhibits, management of the museum collections, planning educational programs like schools tours and special events. All of these things, I can do only with the help of dedicated volunteers from the Euharlee Historical Society, interns and the rest of the city staff.

What do you enjoy most about working at this venue?

A: As a history nerd, I could say that my favorite part of working here is getting to research and work with the objects, but truly, I enjoy interacting with members of the community and sharing their collective history with them. Euharlee is an interesting place with such a rich heritage.

What do you enjoy most about playing a key part in preserving the town's history? What is one of the most interesting stories that you have learned about the Euharlee's past?

A: When I first came to this position, I was blown away by the passion that many of our community members have for preserving their history. Their enthusiasm is definitely catching. However, there are a lot of new residents in Euharlee, especially children, who do not know a lot about the area in which they live. I really enjoy being able to preserve and, in turn, share this history with the next generation. It’s so rewarding to see children enjoy history and make the connections to how our shared history is relevant to their lives.

I get to hear and read about so many interesting stories from Euharlee’s past. One of the most entertaining and interesting involves an attempted bank robbery at the Bank of Taylorsville in the 1970s. Four individuals concocted a plot to rob the Bank of Taylorsville. They thought they would get away with it by creating a diversion by blowing up the Euharlee Presbyterian Church. If you have been to Euharlee, you will know that they Presbyterian church is still standing, so obviously their plan did not work. I do not want to give too much away because we are currently planning an evening program about the event.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the Euharlee History Museum?

A: My short-term goals for the museum are to, in collaboration with the Euharlee Historical Society, continue to develop new exhibits, both temporary and permanent, expand programming for our community, grow the museum collections and archives, and increase awareness in the region of what resources we have to offer. Long term, the goal is for the museum to continue to preserve the history and heritage of Euharlee while further engaging and enriching the lives of the residents of Euharlee.

What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?

A: Thus far, my greatest professional achievement is finishing my master's degree and getting a full-time job in my field. This is an ideal job at this point in my career. The breadth of my responsibilities gives me an opportunity to continue to grow as a professional.

If you were not in your line of work, what would you like to do?

A: At this point in my life, it's hard to imagine doing anything else that I would love quite as much, but if I were not a public historian, I would love to own and operate a food truck. Or get paid to do crafts I find on Pinterest — is that a job yet?

How would you describe yourself in three words?

A: This is a hard one. I'm known to be loquacious, so narrowing to three words is a bit difficult. I'll go with: trustworthy, intelligent and witty.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

A: I'm kind of a television junkie. I DVR and watch over 25 TV shows a week. I can also quote several shows, especially “Friends” verbatim.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

A: When I was a child, my mother always impressed upon me the importance of my education and being an independent, resourceful woman. She passed away when I was in high school, and in many ways I was forced to grow up quickly. That advice has been valuable as I have gone through college and grad school, moved to a new town and started my career.