The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society has chosen to recognize the Fulton Sun with the organization's first Corporate Callaway Historic Preservation Award.
To celebrate the society's 60th anniversary, three new awards have been created — along with the recognition given to the Fulton Sun, the group has chosen to honor Dr. William Parrish and Barbara Huddleston.
Parrish received the first Individual Callaway Historic Preservation Award and Huddleston was surprised with the Barbara Dunavant Huddleston Volunteer Service Award, named in her honor.
"We wanted to do something special, so we decided awards would be appropriate," said Diane Burre Ludwig, of the historical society. "Our organization hasn't typically given awards. So we decided it was time."
The historical society had planned on handing out the awards during its annual meeting, but the October event had to be canceled due to the pandemic.
"We wanted to have this as a nice, official, big presentation," Huddleston said. "But thanks to COVID-19, our annual meeting that was scheduled in October had to be canceled, so we were not able to really make this as big a deal as we would like it to be for everybody."
Ludwig and Huddleston, who is the director of the historical society's research center, stopped by the Fulton Sun office Thursday to drop off a certificate.
The Fulton Sun was chosen for its contributions to the collection, preservation and promotion of Callaway County history. In the future, the award will be given to organizations, businesses, non-profits or places of worship whose contributions related to local history have created a lasting and positive impact.
"We really, really do appreciate all the support that the paper has given us through these years," Huddleston said.
Parrish was a founding member of the historical society when it began in 1960.
"In fact, we kind of laughed when I talked to him," Huddleston said. "He said, 'Because I'm the only living founder.' And I said, 'That's not the only reason you got the award.'"
Parish was a professor at Westminster College and has written two books about the history of the campus.
"That's very important for the Westminster community, but it's important for our community, because they're a part of our community," Huddleston said. "He has continued to be active and supportive through the years."
Huddleston was surprised by her award — the board had managed to keep the existence of the volunteer award a secret until they gave it to her.
"She is the guru and the brains of everything at the historical society and has been for years," Ludwig said. "We surprised her by giving her the award at our last board meeting the award is now named in her honor and will be forever, and will be given to a volunteer at the historical society who represents her commitment to volunteer of service to the historical society."
Huddleston's mother first signed her up to join the historical society in 1960. She became active in the organization in the 1970s when she returned to Fulton after college. She was around when society moved from the Tuttle House Museum to its current downtown location.
"It's really humbling, it really is," she said. "It's been a big part of my life."