Joe Thompson

Joe Thompson’s interest in history started at an early age on Sunday evenings with Walt Disney.  He lived in Grantville, a small town in Coweta County, where Georgia History was taught in the seventh grade by a dynamic teacher who took members of the class on field trips to Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, Fort Hawkins, and the McIntosh Inn where the Treaty of Indian Springs was signed in 1825. The following year his family moved to Troup County where Georgia History was taught in the 8th grade by a teacher that made you want to learn more.  Two consecutive years of Georgia History made a lasting impression on young Thompson.  In 1976, during the nation’s bicentennial, he graduated with a BA degree in History from LaGrange College and began a 35-year career with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Parks & Historic Sites Division as the Historic Site Manager of Fort Morris, and Wormsloe Historic Site.  While developing the exhibit plan for Wormsloe Joe had the opportunity to work with William Kelso, Archaeologist for the Georgia Historical Commission, and the archaeologist at Wormsloe.   Later while attending an Archaeological Conference in Savannah, GA, Joe met Ivor Noel Hume, Colonial Williamsburg Archaeologist, who said that he had been Kelso’s advisor during the Wormsloe Archaeological project but that he had never seen Wormsloe.  This led to an afternoon with Hume and his wife viewing the 18th century tabby fortified house ruins.  That afternoon was one of the highlights of Joe’s life.  Joe retired in June of 2008 and moved back to Troup Co where he serves on the boards of Troop County Historical Society, Lafayette Alliance of LaGrange, Fort Tyler Association, and Friends of Horseshoe Bend, and as a Commissioner of the West Point Historic Preservation Commission. Living History is a tool Joe utilized throughout his career and now as a volunteer representing the War of 1812, and 1825 civilians at various Parks and Historic Sites, and Lafayette events.  His interest in the anniversary of Lafayette’s return to the United States, 50 years after the beginning of the Revolution, was further ignited by the enthusiasm of Richard Ingrahm and the mission of the Lafayette Alliance of LaGrange.