Bandy Heritage Center

About the Bandy Center

The Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia is a research archives, heritage preservation resource, and community outreach initiative of Dalton State College.

Our Mission

The Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia collects, preserves, and interprets the material and cultural histories of Northwest Georgia’s many communities.

Our Vision

Through archival collection, artifact preservation, museum exhibition, scholarly research, and heritage programming, the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia strives to ignite curiosity about the past, spark conversation in the present, and inspire the future by articulating and making accessible a compelling, equitable, and inclusive vision for community identity and memory.

Land Acknowledgment

The Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia acknowledges the Cherokee people whose lives, lifeways, knowledge, and culture thrived in the ridges and valleys of our region. Between May 1838 and March 1839, more than 15,000 Cherokee inhabitants of Georgia were forcibly removed from and dispossessed of this land, and we mourn the deaths of the approximately 6,000 men, women, and children who died on the 1,200-mile march westward now called the Trail of Tears. The Bandy Heritage Center seeks to honor the Cherokee Nation and earlier indigenous caretakers of this land, and to honor Dicksie Bandy’s own efforts to raise awareness of the means by which Northwest Georgia’s current inhabitants came to call this place home.

Staff Biographies

Brian S. Hilliard is the Project Director of the Bandy Heritage Center. After a thirty year career in sales, marketing, and advertising in the floor covering industry, Hilliard returned to Dalton State College and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2013. In April 2011, he received the Dalton State award for Academic Excellence in American History. Beginning as a student volunteer at the Bandy Center in the summer of 2010, he worked as a Program Assistant until becoming Project Director in May 2013. While acting in these capacities, he contributed to articles in the Center’s newsletter, website, and Facebook page as well coordinating the logistical requirements of the Center’s traveling exhibits and archives. Among the projects with which he has been involved are the Artwork of Gene Mealor, driving tours of the Civil War’s Atlanta and Chickamauga campaigns, “Over Here and Over There: Georgia and Georgians in World War II,” the 2012 and 2013 Civil War in the Western Theater Colloquiums, “The Sweet South: A Celebration of Southern Desserts,” and the identification and cataloging of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s extensive historical photograph collection.

Hilliard serves as the Bandy Center’s liaison with the local business community to facilitate closer contacts and increased cooperation in organizing and building projects of mutual benefit. He also represents the Center’s interests with affiliated historical organizations such as the Friends of New Echota, the Dalton 150th Committee, and the University of West Georgia’s Textile Trail Association.