Cox’s Christmas ornaments are popular

Posted on 03 November 2011

Talented local artist Mary Barber Cox is the mother of four successful daughters and an art instructor who has taught many, but perhaps one of her longest-running legacies is her drawings that adorn the annual Bainbridge Christmas ornaments.

Since 1991, the Bainbridge Downtown Development Authority has commissioned Cox to do one of her detailed line-art drawings of a local landmark. The drawing is then etched onto a Christmas ornament and sold during each Christmas season. A number of people collect the ornaments each year and they are sold at several downtown businesses, Main Street Manager Dit Albritton said.

The first ornament featured the gazebo in Willis Park, which is named after Mrs. Sug Reynolds, wife of the late, long-time Bainbridge Mayor Bill Reynolds. Sales of the ornament were such a success that they decided to continue the tradition.

“In the 20 years that the DDA has sold the ornaments, we have had to order extras in some years because of the sentimental value the ornaments have to citizens,” Albritton said.

Every year in November, Bainbridge’s Main Street program organizes a Holiday Open House event to encourage downtown shopping. Cox has appeared at the event each year to sign and personalize each ornament for citizens, friends and family. This year’s Holiday Open House will be held Sunday, Nov. 20, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Many downtown businesses will be open and there will be special promotions.

“Mrs. Cox has braved the elements all these years to make everyone who attends feel welcome and sign their ornaments,” Albritton said.

The Bainbridge Main Street office next to City Hall sells ornaments from individual years. If someone wants to buy the complete set, they can do so, Albritton said.

This year’s ornament

The landmark featured in the Bainbridge Christmas ornament for 2011 is the Riverside Hospital, which was built in 1916 and closed in 1960. The hospital was located on the corner of Donalson and Water streets, on a hill overlooking the Flint River at the present site of the Decatur County Senior Center. In older days, the Flint River provided access to the hospital for people in rural areas and nearby towns.

List of ornaments

1991 — Willis Park Gazebo

1992 — City Hall

1993 — First United Methodist Church

1994 — Courthouse (clock tower)

1995 — Firehouse Center

1996 — Train Depot

1997 — Old Bainbridge Bridge

1998 — Old Bainbridge High School

1999 — Ritz Theatre

2000 — Bon Air Hotel

2001 — Cohen’s Sweet Shop

2002 — City of Oaks

2003 — St. John’s Episcopal Church

2004 — Chamber of Commerce

2005 — The Martin Theatre

2006 — E.J. Perry Building

2007 — First Baptist Church

2008 — First Presbyterian Church

2009 — Old Bainbridge Hospital

2010 — Oak City Cemetery

2011 — Riverside Hospital

Christmas season events

• Nov. 20: Holiday Open House, Willis Park, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Dec. 1: Christmas on the River, Earle May Boat Basin, 6:30 p.m.

• Dec. 8: Christmas Parade, Shotwell Street and downtown Bainbridge, 6:30 p.m.

• Dec. 15: Christmas on the Square, Willis Park, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Dec. 24: Caroling in the Square, Willis Park, time to be announced

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