Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 26, 2013

Peer into antebellum homes and lifestyles in Georgia


Ten acres, four terraces, sumptuous breakfast in your room, on the porch or lawns, in the dining room, whatever time you say.

Artland Watkinsville is called and one antebellum way to enter that reality is the 1827 Haygood House, home and gallery for Jerry and Kathy Chappelle.

As if their pottery weren’t reason enough, 125 artists have works here.

1801 is the antebellum frontier year the Eagle Tavern was built in Watkinsville, a business on land given to a Revolutionary War veteran.

The 1811 Heritage Hall in Madison provides family stories, exquisite furnishings and lifestyle insight in a two-story Greek Revival home. Allow time for detailed docent-led tours.

The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center stretches antebellum a bit since it was built in 1895 but enjoy the architecture, performing arts theater, Arts and Crafts furniture gallery and history museum anyway.

Balance the years perhaps staying in the James Madison boutique hotel. His presidential years were antebellum: 1809-1817.

Milledgeville was home to Georgia’s governors from 1839 – 1868 and their house is grandly interpreted as the Old Governor’s Mansion. Antebellum, Civil War and early reconstruction history abounds.

Those governors received salaries but not entertainment budgets so don’t look for a grand dining room.

Do look for details because Curator Matthew Davis has the complete inventory of household goods from 1851.

Note the difference as you follow the Antebellum Trail because Macon’s Hay House of the same era was private, and it’s lavish.

Another Milledgeville option is the Old Capital Museum, an 1807 Gothic building.

Peer into specific lives in tableaux of eight antebellum women, researched from diaries and written records, most with a book you and I could read too.

Then go upstairs to muse about the mood where Georgia’s four-day secession convention was held in 1861 with 297 delegates.

Seems the good folks in the Methodist Church next door complained about the disturbance. Wonder if they influenced the vote?

That’s the kind of musing possible on this Pilgrimage.


Christine Tibbetts is a travel writer for The Tifton (Ga.) Gazette. Follow her at



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