Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Meet Our Staff: Nicole Thurston, Executive Director

Over the next few weeks, we will feature our staff members at the Cannonball House. We hope by showcasing the wonderful people who spend their days serving the home, that each of you will feel like you know us just a little bit better.

Up Next - Nicole!

Name: Nicole Thurston, aka Wonder Woman

Title: Executive Director

How long have you worked at the Cannonball House?

Since November 2014

What exactly do you do for the house?

I handle the day-to-day operations of the museum. I think the official definition is: Provides leadership in the management of the organization. Directs and participates in fundraising, marketing, development of strategic vision, collection development, general management, financial management and fostering volunteer/board/city relations of the Cannonball House.

Did you get all of that?

What do you like the most about your job?

I absolutely love the beauty of the house. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. The history, the collections, how wonderful our Board of Directors are - all of it is amazing! I absolutely love my job! If I need a break, I simply go sit on one of the rocking chairs out front over looking Mulberry Street, or perhaps stroll through our Victorian Garden. I know, I know.. I'm lucky in so many ways.

What did you do before coming to the Cannonball House?
I got my Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications (Broadcast Journalism) from Georgia College & State University. I worked in television news for a few years at 13WMAZ. Even won myself an Associated Press Award while there, for Best Public Affairs Reporting (for a documentary we did!) Later, like all good journalists, I transitioned into media relations/public relations and worked for the Girl Scouts as their Communications/Program Specialist. I eventually moved to Birmingham, there I worked as the Marketing and Communications Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for eastern Tennessee, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida. I eventually made my way back to Macon and was the Director of Sales & Marketing for the Tubman African American Museum.

Not only do I work at the Cannonball House now, but I also freelance write for the 11th Hour. (I typically cover new and upcoming restaurants/businesses and very cool people.) I also write for Macon Magazine. So yes, the journalist never left me. It's in my blood. At the end of the day - everything and everyone has a story. Just like this house.

What do you do for fun?

I am a voracious reader! I always carry at least two books with me at all times - one fiction and one non fiction. I also blog and take waaay too many photographs (yes, I am that person. You and the food you eat are not safe from my snapping away!) I also enjoy traveling. I'm a bit of a road warrior. I spend 4 nights in middle Georgia, the rest.. well who knows! I've recently gotten into cooking and gardening.

I also serve my community by sitting on several different boards: Macon Volunteer Clinic, American Cancer Society, Star Choices, Inc, Centenery Community Ministries, and the Georgia Arts Network. I'm also a member of the Downtown Macon Rotary.

What do you love most about Macon?

Where do I begin? I love, love, love the architecture. Our town is really quite beautiful. Plus, I have never been in a town that has more going on during the week! When people tell me there is nothing, I am shocked. It's there - you've got to look for it. (I recommend, Macon Magazine or the 11th Hour.) The downtown scene is really booming! I can't say I have a favorite, because they are all really good! I also love the incredible amount of talent just roaming the streets! My advice - Get out there and have some fun! From live theater, live music, gourmet food, art - you name it, we've got it!

Where were you born?

Macon, Georgia!

Any final thoughts?

Give the Cannonball House a try! If you have a kid, bring them to Millie's Story Time. Looking for a girl's afternoon out? Then come to the tea parties. Love history? Then take our 45 minute private tours. Looking for the perfect place to host a bridal shower or wedding? Then look no further! If you like to have a good time? Beards, Bourbon & Bacon is my personal baby! I promise, you won't regret it. Also, we are always looking for volunteers!

Meet The Staff: Dorothy Cook, Gift Shop Manager

Over the next few weeks, we will feature our staff members at the Cannonball House. We hope by showcasing the wonderful people who spend their days serving the home, that each of you will feel like you know us just a little bit better.

Up Next - Dorothy!

Name: Dorothy Cook

Title: Gift Shop Manager

When did you start working at the Cannonball House?
Joined the Sidney Lanier Chapter #25 United Daughters of the Confederacy over 25 years ago. President from 1998-2002.

What do you do at the House?

I organize and consult on purchasing options for the gift shop. I also work as a docent and help with accounting.    

What is your favorite part about working with the House?
Working with such fun and knowledgeable people, and meeting visitors and sharing the story of the House and of Macon with them. I've loved being part of this for over 25 years of progress!

What is your background?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Math and Education from Mercer University, and a MA in Math from Vanderbilt.

I worked as a Math Teacher at Windsor Academy for 3 years. I was the Secretary/Treasurer of Mike cook & Co, Inc. for 30 years.

At Historic Macon (Sidney Lanier Cottage,) Staff & Volunteer, 12 years. (I currently volunteer there.)

What do you do for fun?

Reading & Napping! Spoiling grandchildren at every given opportunity!

What are your favorite things about Macon?

Cannonball House, Sidney Lanier History, the people and their stories (past & present.)

Where were you born?

Washington, DC

Meet The Staff: John Robert Myers, Weekend Guest Services Coordinator

Over the next few weeks, we will feature our staff members at the Cannonball House. We hope by showcasing the wonderful people who spend their days serving the home, that each of you will feel like you know us just a little bit better.

Next up: John!

Name: John Myers

Title: Weekend Guest Services Coordinator

When did you begin at the Cannonball House?
January 29, 2016

What exactly do you do?
It is my job as the Weekend Guest Services Coordinator to work in partnership with the House employees and provide administrative support while performing customer service responsibilities. (AKA - Weekend Manager.)

What do you like most about working at the Cannonball House? 
The beauty and preservation of historic architecture.

What did you do before you came to work at the Cannonball House?
- Art instruction (painting,) Opal Lovett (1975 -1980) - Jared Slack (2010-2011)
- Autodidact - Historic House Restoration/Graining/Marbling/Stenciling/Color Consultation/Finish Carpentry

What do you do in your spare time?
I am an artist - painter/photographer. I enjoy photo restoration in my spare time, as well as restoring my historic Greek Revival house.

What do you love most about Macon?

The Macon art scene as well as our historic architecture.

Where were you born?
Amarillo, Texas

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Meet The Staff: Jessie Whitehead, Guest Services Coordinator

Over the next few weeks, we will feature our staff members at the Cannonball House. We hope by showcasing the wonderful people who spend their days serving the home, that each of you will feel like you know us just a little bit later.

First up - Jessie!

Name: Jessie Whitehead

Title: Guest Services Coordinator

When did you first start at the Cannonball House? February 2004

What do you do at the house?
 I am responsible for the day to day experience of the visitors to the Cannonball House. I am the person to talk to if you want to book a group tour or a rental for a special event (like a wedding or bridal tea!) I work with the scheduling of the home, and train volunteers and docents.

What do you like most about working at the Cannonball House?
 I love the family history of the home. There are no living descendants of the Holt- Canning- Martin families, and I know that if someone doesn’t take an interest in their family history, it will disappear.  I also LOVE meeting people from all over the world. Interesting fact- I met my future husband while working a Christmas event at the front door of the House. Less than 3 years later, we would get married in the back garden by the fountain! So I love being able to have a personal connection with the house.

What did you do before you worked at the Cannonball House?
This was my very first official job, and I started at the age of 17. I also worked at Hay House for 6 years and at the Sidney Lanier Cottage for 2 years. I worked at all 3 historic homes at one time for 2 years!

What do you do for fun?
 I LOVE serving on youth retreats as well as spending time with my husband and our 2 cats. I also love to read, and any given free time will find me hiding behind a book.

Tell us about your favorites in Macon:
The historic homes. I love walking along College Street and picturing myself in the 19th century.
Molly's is my favorite restaurant. I send everyone there!

Where were you born?
Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Celebrate Christmas at the Cannonball House!

Our team has been busy preparing for one of the most important days of the year - Our 2015 Christmas Party. And you, yes you, are invited!

Join us Saturday, December 5th at 856 Mulberry Street for a family friendly evening. Cost is $10 for anyone ages 10 and older. It is free for anyone else!

The fun starts at 6pm with crafts in the formal dining room. Guess what else is in the dining room? Our magnificent 10 foot tree! That's right. It's our biggest and brightest and a must see!

After crafts, wander outside to our beautiful 1853 brick outdoor kitchen and gobble up some delicious snickerdoodles and gingerbread men. Don't forget to taste our homemade apple cider.

At 6:30pm Father Christmas will be on hand for photos!

at 6:50pm join us in the formal parlors for caroling and holiday bingo.

Finally, at 7:30pm we will read the Christmas Story.

You don't want to miss this spectacular event!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Reasons to Love the Cannonball House

Once a year, folks from all over the world get a chance to donate to their favorite nonprofit in Georgia. 

This year, we hope you consider the Cannonball House as one of yours!

It's a really simply process. 

You go to and in the search section, type Cannonball House, then click donate. You can give as low as a $1. Of course, a $1,000 check would not hurt either. 

Still not sure?

Allow us to give you a few great reasons as to why your money makes a difference:

1. This home was built in 1853 for a prominent man by the name of Judge Asa Holt. He chose Macon as the city he wanted to retire in. He had this beautiful antebellum town home constructed and it still stands today. Shouldn't we be good stewards and keep this piece of history preserved?

2. The home itself holds generations of wedding gowns, antique furniture, and military artifacts that are all significant to Macon's history. Without your donation, how will we preserve these relics for generations to interpret?

3. We offer local artists and makers an opportunity to showcase and sell their wares in our gift shop. We pay our makers for their wares, up front, and then sell to our audience. Your donation helps us sustain a constant flow of financial support for Macon artists and makers. 

4. We offer dozens of educational and outreach opportunities for children and seniors. When you donate $10, we are able to purchase the story books used for Millie's Story Time. When you donate $20, we can provide refreshments at our events. When you  donate $50, we can buy craft supplies. When you donate $100, we can continue to hire qualified staff. When you donate $500, we are able to pay our utilities. And when you donate $1,000 we can make much needed repairs and restoration to their home. You see? Your dollar goes far. 

5. Quality entertainment is hard to come by! But at the Cannonball House, we seek to provide you with the best events. Beards, Bourbon, & Bacon or Miss Elizabeth's Tea Parties are always a big hit. With your donation, we can provide a quality experience and keep your ticket prices low!

6. We have the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff in Macon! Your donation allows us to continue to provide professional training and advancement for our employees. In other words, JOBs for residents. 

7. Our Victorian garden is a sight to see! Your donation helps us maintain it, as well as grow our teaching herb garden. 

8. We attracts thousands of visitors a year from all over the world, which in turn means a huge boost to our economy through hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. When you support us, that continues!

9. Preservation of Southern Heritage is at the core of what we do. With your donation, we are able to continue to tell the story of one family, of one community, of our Southern culture. 

10. Finally, because we love Macon and so do you!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Message from the Director

The 2014– 2015 fiscal and membership year has been one for the record books! Not only have we increased our membership, we have added new and exciting fundraisers and educational programs to our list. Thanks to two very generous grants, we were able to preserve a column that was in dire need of repair.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication to the Cannonball House. Without your membership, your volunteer hours, and without your enthusiasm for change, we would not be making the strides that we are to maintain Macon’s finest example of antebellum architecture.

I invite each of you to stop by the house this year, make an appointment to chat, or simply share the message of the Cannonball House with a friend. Your involvement makes all the difference.

I enjoyed seeing many of you at our Patrons Party on October the 8th. On behalf of the board of directors, we would like to thank Sambo & Denny Jones for hosting this much anticipated event. If you are not a patron, and would like to become one, simply give me a call at the House and I will be more than happy to share with you the benefits of membership.

~ Nicole Thurston, Executive Director