Meeting – 2022 April

The Anderson County Historical Society will hold its April 2022 monthly meeting on Thursday, April 28th at 6:30p.m. in the community room of the Clinton Public Library at 118 South Hicks Street, Clinton. This month’s speaker will be DruAnna Overbay, Melungeon historian, author and former teacher, who will speak about Melungeon DNA studies as well as the history of the Vardy community in Hancock County.


Anderson County Historical Society will be hosting a special presentation about the Melungeons on April 28 at 6:30 in the Clinton Public Library.  Former Lake City High School and Clinton High School teacher DruAnna Overbay will be sharing stories about her life in Vardy, a Melungeon Community.

Overbay’s discussion will feature some of the large photos of the community taken in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.  These photographs were transferred from over 37 glass lantern slides that were made during that time.  She will also discuss contradictory DNA studies and the popularity of being a Melungeon in today’s culture.

A direct descendant of the patriarch Vardemon Collins, Overbay and her husband Fred were instrumental in the formation of the Vardy Community Historical Society in 1998.  Their efforts have led to the restoration of the 1899 Vardy Presbyterian Church which now serves as a museum and the relocation and restoration of the Mahala Collins Mullins Cabin which is now located across the street from the church.

In 2005 Mercer University Press published her book  “Windows on the Past” which focuses on excerpts from oral history tapes of  over 37 former Vardy School students who lived in the valley and were educated at the Vardy Home Mission School.  The start up book as well as other books by Melungeon authors will be available to purchase at the event.

Overbay’s teaching career spans a total of 46 years having been hired by both famous school superintendents in the area, Mildred Doyle in Knox County and John Rice Irwin in Anderson County, and she will share special anecdotes about them.  She sends a special invitation to all of her former students and friends in the Clinton area to come.  She would love seeing each of you.