It's not yet Labor Day, but the Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for Christmas. The fifth plate in the Chamber's series of historical collectors plates has been ordered. The fifth plate, made by Wood and Sons, LTD, bears the image of The Rock House. Carolyn Gilbert, chamber director, said the plates will be available the beginning of December.
"How excited and thankful we are to the Wrightsboro (Quaker) Foundation for letting us use this image of the Rock House," Mrs. Gilbert said. "...When (the plates) come in, I'm going to Plains to present one to Jimmy Carter."
The Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the house is said to be the home of ancestors of former President Carter.
Previous plates in the Chamber's series of Staffordshire wares featured the Thomas E. Watson House, the Depot, the McDuffie County Courthouse, and Hickory Hill. According to John Roth, importer, the plates are made with the same cutting copper engraving techniques used in the 1830's.
Mr. Roth, who owns a home in Thomson, came up with the idea of the plates as a means to preserve Thomson's history. Mr. Roth said they plan one more plate in the series, but may do two more.
"It was never a money maker for the Chamber," Mrs. Gilbert said. "It's just something we wanted to do for the community."
The Chamber still has each of the previous plates in stock, for persons who would like the entire collection. The plates are designed especially for Thomson, with a border of camellias. Mr. Roth said Thomson is one of the few communities in America that has made so many plates.
"With the 18th century origins, and the exclusive design, a person who owns the entire set will be highly regarded one day," Mr. Roth said.
The Chamber will order 144 blue on white, and 72 pink on white plates which will cost $35 each. New this year, the Chamber will take special orders for coffee pots, tea pots, and jugs with the same image, ranging from $40-$90. Special orders can be made by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 597-1000 by Oct. 15.