The first public viewing of vintage film footage of ‘Old Forsyth’ at the White River Valley Historical Society brought a record number of attendees to the Society’s quarterly presentation on Sunday, March 9. The footage, part of the “Jerry and Opal Gideon Family Collection,” had originally been filmed by members of Carl Moore’s family in the late 1940s and included scenes of the town, as well as stories told by Esther Hall and Garland Wolf. Following the footage, Ann Adams Cleary read “Old Forsyth: In Memoriam,” an original poem of the impact of the town’s move to its’ current location from a child’s viewpoint. Members of the audience also related some of their memories of Old Forsyth and the changes to other towns along the White River (now Bull Shoals Lake) during that time.

Barbara Wehrman announces donation

Barbara Wehrman, left, announces donation of a large collection of local history books to the WRVHS.

During the business meeting prior to the program, Barbara Wehrman announced that the Wehrman-Pendleton book collection will be donated to the Society this year. The collection, begun by Ozarks Mountaineer editor Clay Anderson, and added to by both Wehrman and Ben Pendleton, includes a large number of books of local history and interest, many now out-of-print. Also received during the meeting was an announcement by Beth Wyman that she and husband Rocky are donating two collections pertaining to the late Alice Cardwell Wyman—the Cardwell Family collection, and items pertaining to Alice’s years as a student in the Ironside School and as a teacher in three different one-room schools.

Ann Adams Cleary

Ann Adams Cleary, right, enthralled the crowd with her heartfelt poem, “Old Forsyth: In Memoriam.”

“We’re so excited to be chosen to receive the extensive Wehrman-Pendleton book collection,” enthused WRVHS Managing Director Leslie Wyman. “Our research library is used by many researchers, both local and those visiting the area, and the addition of these books will make their visits even more productive. We’re also honored to receive the items from the Alice Cardwell Wyman collection—many people knew her throughout her years as a teacher and newspaper correspondent, and will be interested to learn more about the schools and her professional life. The Cardwell items will provide additional information on that family line, and be a great complement to the pictures and newspaper clippings we have available that were lent to us last year by Delmis and Helen Cardwell Brown!”

According to Wyman, the Society has already received many requests to see the ‘Old Forsyth’ film footage by those who were unable to attend, and a second viewing will be offered later this spring.