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Archive for georgia

A Master Builder in Savannah

By Linda Tancs

Isaiah Davenport was a self-made man from New England who settled in Savannah, Georgia. A master builder, he built for himself a stately, Federal-style home (circa 1820) and is credited with the building of other surviving homes in the city. Now the Davenport House Museum, his historic home initiated Savannah’s preservation movement when disrepair threatened its demolition in 1955. That movement is credited with preserving the historical identity of the city that visitors enjoy today. The house is one of the oldest brick structures in the city, with wood being more commonly used during the town’s earliest history. Located on Columbia Square in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, the home is stop #9 on the Old Town Trolley route.

Palace of the South

By Linda Tancs

Hay House (Johnston-Felton-Hay) in Macon, Georgia, is designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, unusual for residential architecture, particularly considering the conventions of the antebellum South. Lived in by two families over three generations, it earned the moniker “Palace of the South” during the tenure of the Feltons (extended family of the Johnstons). A private house museum and National Historic Landmark, it spans four levels and is crowned by a three-story cupola. A model of wealth and good taste, most of the furnishings date from the Hay family’s occupancy, highlighted by the 1857 marble statue “Ruth Gleaning” by American expatriate sculptor Randolph Rogers.

The Castle on Peachtree

By Linda Tancs

An Atlanta landmark for decades, Georgia’s Rhodes Hall is affectionately known as “the castle on Peachtree.” The Romanesque Revival-style mansion was designed for one of the city’s wealthiest men, Rhodes Furniture founder Amos Rhodes. Thought to be inspired by his travels through the castles of the German Rhineland, it’s one of the few remaining mansions on Peachtree Street, the city’s most celebrated thoroughfare. Now a house museum and event venue, its massive exterior masonry is equally matched with superb interior appointments like its hallmark mahogany staircase and painted glass windows.

Shalom Y’all

By Linda Tancs

This Sunday marks the annual Shalom Y’all Food Festival in Savannah, Georgia, an event of Congregation Mickve Israel (one of the oldest synagogues in the United States).  Held in Forsyth Park from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Jewish delicacies include homemade blintzes and challah, noodle kugel and potato latkes.  Food tickets can be purchased for a nominal fee, but admission to the festival grounds and entertainment is free.

Georgia’s Antebellum Trail

By Linda Tancs

What comes to mind when you think of an antebellum home?  Perhaps it’s something stately, with massive white columns introducing the frame.  That type of architecture is quite characteristic of the antebellum period–that is, the period predating America’s Civil War.   It’s a view of the Old South etched into a traveler’s mind.  Fortunately for Georgia, enough of it remains, despite Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s destructive march through the state during the war.  He managed to spare a 100-mile trek from Macon to Athens.  Including the towns of Old Clinton, Gray, Milledgeville, Eatonton, Madison and Watkinsville, the Antebellum Trail offers stately mansions, a glimpse of frontier living, romantic covered bridges and so much more.  Seven welcome centers along the way will guide you through this part of the Old South’s rich history and charms.

Gone With the Wind

By Linda Tancs

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gone With the Wind spawned one of the highest-grossing motion pictures of all time, not to mention classic quotes.  Fans may love to talk the talk, but now they can walk the walk via the Gone With the Wind Trail.  Winding its way in and around Atlanta, the journey takes in sites such as Margaret Mitchell’s house (an apartment in the 1930s, which she famously referred to as “the dump”), her grave at Oakland Cemetery and the Gone With the Wind Museum, where Scarlett’s honeymoon gown (one of only eight originals known to exist) is a popular attraction.  Springtime is a great time for a visit, when the state is awash in color thanks to plentiful azaleas, wisteria and magnolias.  Don’t expect to complete the entire circuit (taking in Atlanta, Marietta and Jonesboro) in a single day.  Why should you?  As Scarlett so aptly put it, “Tomorrow is another day.”

America’s Wilderness Beach

By Linda Tancs

Cumberland Island in Georgia proudly identifies itself as “America’s Most Beautiful Wilderness Beach.”  Operated by the National Park Service, this national seashore is home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated wilderness.  No wonder, then, that the area is so richly populated by wild horses, sea turtles and wild turkeys among the dunes, salt marshes and mud flats.  This is a wonderful camping destination, accessible via the Cumberland Queen ferry from historic St. Mary’s.

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