Joe Kitchens’ family of Scotch- Irish settled in Washington County Georgia before 1791. Thirteen members of his family enlisted in the same company of confederate infantry when the War of the Confederacy began, perhaps explaining his lifelong interest in history. He holds the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Kitchens served as Professor of History at Georgia Southwestern State University before beginning a career in cultural resource management in 1983, and is currently Executive Director of the Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt University. The center is “Georgia’s Official Frontier and Southeastern Indian Museum” and was recently named an “official interpretive site” for the National Parks Service “Trail of Tears.”
In 2005, Dr. Kitchens was chosen “Museum Professional of the Year” by the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries and in 2010 the Funk was presented the “Governor’s Award in the Humanities” for its outstanding programming.
Dr. Kitchens is the author of scores of magazine and newspaper articles as well as two books about Georgia history and life.
Joe and his wife Karen live in Tate, Georgia with their Labrador retriever “Peachie.”