Many people know Augusta was home to the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown, but you can learn about plenty of other local legends at the Augusta Museum of History.
The award-winning institution’s special display highlights the careers of Gone with the Wind actress Butterfly McQueen, baseball great Ty Cobb, astronaut Susan Still, author Erskine Caldwell and many others, including Masters champion Larry Mize and film star Laurence Fishburne.
Among the most popular of the 75-year-old museum’s exhibits is “Celebrating a Grand Tradition,” which explores how the sport of golf has evolved and highlights the area’s four oldest clubs: Palmetto Golf Club, Augusta Country Club, Forest Hills Golf Club and Augusta National Golf Club. There is even a green jacket.
The first-of-its-kind James Brown exhibition features rare memorable and personal artifacts which tell the story of Brown’s rise to worldwide fame. Highlights include some of his favorite costumes, personal artifacts dating back to the 1960s and family photos.
To mark its 75th anniversary, there is also an exhibit called “Blast from the Past,” which includes popular artifacts acquired from the 1940s to the 1980s. On display will be large collections of fossils, gems, rocks, butterflies and seashells.
The museum opened in 1937 on Telfair Street and moved to its current location in 1996.
On display in the museums’ Rotunda are life-size bronze statues of golf greats Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.