[caption id="attachment_15082" align="aligncenter" width="553"] Marguerite and Georg at Bidstrup Acres[/caption]
Our May 31st Gala & Benefit Auction, last Saturday 11, 2016, was a success! We are still waiting on the official grand total, but we are happy that all proceeds raised will help improve the school’s sixteen on-campus studios and further our mission. We thank the artists who donated fine work, our many dedicated volunteers, our Folk School staff members, and our generous Auction guests.
[caption id="attachment_13397" align="alignleft" width="254"] Olive Dame Campbell[/caption]
Olive Dame was born the daughter of a middle class New England family of Mayflower descent. Her father was a talented botany teacher and school principal. A gifted mother taught her early the love of art and music. She enjoyed an active, rich youth that developed an inquiring mind and strong, determined will. These attributes would serve her well in the coming years of adventure with future husband, John C. Campbell, and later as the founder and director of the Folk School she named in his honor. Though less well known, she became one of the leading social reformers of her time.
After graduating from Tufts College in 1903, she taught literature several years before planning a vacation voyage to Scotland in 1906. On the voyage, she met John Campbell who was traveling to his ancestral homeland to recuperate from the loss of a wife and the stress of being President of Piedmont College. Olive was a smart, talented and dedicated Christian woman with a great sense of humor. She had indeed been called to serve humanity through education. In these ways, she was a lot like John. By trip’s end, they were engaged. Olive and John married in 1907 in her home town in Medford, Massachusetts.
[caption id="attachment_13351" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Olive Dame family gather for a quick photo in front of Keith House. Kids, standing left to right: Calder LaFollette Huck, Otis Cary, Maxwell LaFollette Huck. Second row, left to right Toby Sackton (married to Marcia), Elisabeth Sackton (married to Liz Coolidge), Liz Coolidge, Tavia LaFollette, Donick Cary, Amadi Cary, Richard Cary. Back row, left to right: Jan Davidson, Marcia Butman, Kim Huffman Cary, Kim Huffman, Josh Wipf (behind Kim), Jeanne Huffman, Lorin Cary.[/caption]
Members of Folk School founder Olive Dame Campbell's family gathered here during a recent weekend in June (12-14) for a mini-family reunion and a chance to experience the Folk School. While some members took classes in Photography, Spinning, and Gardening, others spent time on campus, browsing the school’s archives, visiting and meeting with Folk School staff and community members. I recently caught up with Marcia Butman (Olive was Marcia's Great Aunt) and Tavia LaFollette Zabriske (Olive was her Great Great Aunt) to ask them about their thoughts about the Folk School and to learn more about their family’s connection to Olive.
KG:Tell us why you decided to gather your family here for a mini-reunion at the Folk School.MB: I had been reading Olive’s diary and sending it out on a daily basis to a large group of extended family, calling it “Dame A Day.” I sent out the year of Olive’s baby Jane’s life, from April 1912 through January 1913. I think this really involved our family in Olive’s life, and we began talking about holding a reunion at the school. Toby and I visited the school twice in the past ten years and I also visited with my daughter for the day when we were at The Great Smokies. We also hosted Jan and Nanette in Nantucket when they came to do a talk and concert. Our relationship to them made me feel it would be possible to arrange a family visit. Jan and Nanette are such special and wonderful welcoming people, they were very positive and enthusiastic about the idea of a reunion and I knew they would help us arrange a reunion. And they did so much to make the weekend great.
However, it seemed very difficult to come up with a date. Then Lorin Cary, whose brother, Richard lives in Asheville, said he was planning to visit on Richard June 12, after his grandson’s graduation from High School in Toledo, and both of them were going to go visit the school. Once one person said they were definitely coming, it all fell into place. (Olive was also Great Aunt to both Lorin and Richard. They are the sons of Olive's niece June and Harry Cary, who lived and worked at the Folk School from 1938-41).
TLZ: I have grown up with stories and artifacts. This was an opportunity to learn and share with family, first hand, in a place that has captured and treasures cultural heritage. What a unique opportunity!