Grady County family receives royal mail for Pope's Museum memorial

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 23, 2019

GRADY CO., Ga. (WCTV) — Two years ago, in search of a home, Michelle Dean's family ended up at the former museum of American folk artist, Laura Pope Forrester.

"It is mind-boggling that her artwork is featured all over the world," said Dean. "It's crazy that this is such a place that we live in."

A national treasure with roots in Grady County.

Each day, the Dean family continues learning Pope's work that covers their home from the inside-out.

One in particular is sculpted into their WWII memorial wall.

"A memorial to the Queen and her family's fidelity to America and to the cause of freedom."

Soon, the family decided to share with her majesty, the Queen of England.

"We should write the letter, like my brother said, because the statue wall ain't getting any younger," said the daughter, Talisa Dean.

They wrote that letter to the Queen back in May, never expecting they'd receive a letter in their it mailbox months later.

"Oh my golly, the queen wrote our family a letter," said Dean, recalling her initial response.

The family was shocked by the air mail sent from Buckingham Palace.

"I was mind blown because it was a lot of months, about three months, and I wanted to give up, but then all of a sudden boom it came back," said the son, Ben Dean.

A royal treat for the Dean family, and an honor to Pope's legacy.

"We restored it and the community supported it. The best is yet to come," said Dean.

They say restoring the property has been a lengthy process.

They're planning to host an escape room fundraising event at their museum in October.

To learn more about Pope's Museum, click here.

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 23, 2019

GRADY CO., Ga. (WCTV) — Pope's Museum said on Facebook it got a letter from Buckingham Palace recognizing its World War II memorial, since Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is featured in it.

The museum said Laura Pope Forester, the original owner, wanted Americans to never forget Great Britain's "fidelity and partnership" during a time of world crisis. The museum first sent a letter to Buckingham Palace in May 2019, informing Queen Elizabeth II about the memorial honoring her mother in south Georgia.

The museum finally received a response from across the pond Thursday afternoon.

You can read the full text of the letter below:

"Dear Mrs. Dean, The Queen has asked me to thank you for your letter and I am sorry that it has not been possible to reply to you before now.

Her Majesty was interested to know about the art work of Mrs. Laura Pope Forester, the previous owner of your home, and of the story behind some of the figures she chose to depict in her sculptures.

It was thoughtful of you to wish to make The Queen aware of how, after discovering that it was known as Pope's Museum during Mrs. Forester's lifetime you are intending to re-open the house to the public.

Thank you again for taking the time and trouble to write as you did, and for your kind message of support for Her Majesty, which was most appreciated.

May I take this opportunity to send my good wishes to you and your family at this time.

Your's Sincerely, Miss Jennie Vine, MVO, Deputy Correspondence Coordinator"

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