“I was deeply honored to have received this recognition,” Johnson said. “My passion is history, and I have spent a lifetime promoting and attempting to preserve our local history.”
Johnson was nominated for the award by one of the 24 commissioners who serve by gubernatorial appointment on the Historical Commission’s governing board. In presenting the award, THC Executive Director Patrick McIntyre specifically recognized Johnson’s leadership in helping save the historic Alvin York Institute building in Jamestown during her tenure as Executive Director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation.
Johnson’s other preservation-related activities have included work on National Register of Historic Places nominations in Giles County; grant applications for preservation funds, heritage tourism development projects, archival photography and preservation planning.
She is a former president of the Giles County Historical Society, a former board member of the Elkton Historical Society, a member of the William Branch Giles Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a member of the Auburntown Historical Society and the current publicity chairman for the Campbellsville Area Association. Johnson continues to be a popular speaker on history-related topics, having spoken to dozens of groups in Tennessee and Alabama.
She is author of A Page from the Past, a 2005 book covering the 150-year influence of the Pulaski Citizen on the community. This book is available for purchase at Holley’s Printing. Additionally, she has edited or co-authored numerous other history books and publications, and as editor-in-chief of the Cumberland Business Journal in Cookeville worked with regional historians in publishing monthly articles about the influence of history on business and economic development.
An avid local historian and genealogist, Johnson maintains a number of history-related blogs, including www.claudiajohnson.blogspot.com, which showcases a special history project completed while at the Pulaski Citizen in which she was invited to the Smithsonian Institution for the opening of a Civil-War era coffin.
Presently she is Director of Grants for Columbia State Community College and resides in Giles County with her husband, Danny Nichols. She is the mother of two children, Sasha Dunavant, of Pulaski, and Benjamin Johnson of Nashville.