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Archive for georgia

A Gem in Savannah

By Linda Tancs

Wormsloe Historic Site is a gem to behold in Savannah, Georgia. The site was once the colonial estate of carpenter Noble Jones, who came to Georgia with James Oglethorpe and the first group of settlers in 1733. The ruins of Jones’s tabby house (built in 1745) represent the oldest standing structure in Savannah, but even more breathtaking are the mile-long rows of oaks with sweeping branches lining the avenue to the estate, covering the driveway like a giant arch. Along with costumed interpretation on the nature trails, the locale offers a short film on the founding of Georgia and great views over the Skidaway Narrows, where the house was built to defend the strategic section of the Skidaway River from Spanish invasion.

Georgia’s Civil War Capital

By Linda Tancs

The city of Milledgeville, Georgia, takes its name from John Milledge, governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806. It’s one of five capitals in the history of the state, the others being Savannah, Augusta, Louisville and the present capital, Atlanta. Besides Washington, D.C., it’s the only city actually designed to be a capital city, a decision that was made in 1804. Beginning in 1839 and ending in 1868, the Old Governor’s Mansion served as home to 10 governors and their families, including during the tumultuous Civil War period. Other attractions include the Old Capital Museum, located in the building where Georgia legislators voted to secede from the Union, and Andalusia Farm, a former cotton plantation and the home of celebrated author Flannery O’Connor.

Garden City of the South

By Linda Tancs

Augusta, Georgia, is affectionately known as “the Garden City of the South.” It may be best known as the home of golf’s illustrious tournament, The Masters, but Georgia’s second oldest city is a recreational haven for lovers of sports, nature, art and culture. Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, the city’s Riverwalk offers pedestrian access to the river from a public plaza. That’s where you’ll find the Morris Museum of Art, the first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the American South. Its heritage as Garden City is evident in the number of large private gardens, a fact that no doubt would’ve pleased Princess Augusta of Saxe Gotha (mother of King George III of Great Britain), the city’s namesake. The Museum of History documents the evolution of—what else—golf, as well as soul singer and native son James Brown, among other things. Enjoy a nature ride through Phinizy Swamp Nature Park or explore the Augusta Canal National Heritage area during one of their daily boat tours offered year-round.

Miracle Water in Georgia

By Linda Tancs

Aptly named, Providence Spring in Andersonville, Georgia, is a matter of divine providence in Civil War lore. The story goes that thousands of Union soldiers were dying of thirst in the summer of 1864 at a prison camp in Andersonville, one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the war. The cries of thirst ended when a spring mysteriously erupted in the stockade. The site is covered with a memorial house and is accessible via a road behind the National POW Museum, part of Andersonville National Historic Site.

The Debatable Land

By Linda Tancs

In the early 18th century, Europeans called the land lying between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida the “Debatable Land,” referring to a conflict of control of colonial Georgia arising between Spain and Britain. The dispute came to a head in 1742 when the British defeated the Spanish at Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. Fort Frederica National Monument is the site of the archeological remnants of the fort built by James Oglethorpe (the colony’s founder). The island is accessible by car via the F.J. Torras Causeway and is the largest of what are now known as Georgia’s Golden Isles, a premier destination along its southern Atlantic coast.

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.

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