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A Visit to the Georgia Agrirama

Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village

Known as the Georgia Agrirama for years, the name has been changed to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. From what I've gathered, the facility is now under the management of ABAC, a local junior college. Whatever you call it, it's a great place to spend a few hours, and it offers something for every age group. The Georgia Agrirama provides an enjoyable way to learn about farming practices and Southern culture of the late 1900s. Go for a morning or an afternon, or spend an entire day. This is a fun, fascinating place to visit any time of year, especially when special events are taking place. If you make trips to Florida down Interstate 75, you pass right by this place. Why not stop and explore on your next trip to the Sunshine State via the Peach State?

Georgia Agrirama grist mill

Georgia Agrirama grist mill

Cotton gin

Cotton gin

Doctor's office

Doctor's office

Saw mill

Saw mill

Georgia Agrirama train

Georgia Agrirama train

Tift House

Tift House

Watch spring plowing and planting.

Watch spring plowing and planting.

Gibbs House, 1896.

Gibbs House, 1896.

Dining in the Miller House.

Dining in the Miller House.

On the front porch of a traditional farmhouse.

On the front porch of a traditional farmhouse.

Inside the Sand Hill school house.

Inside the Sand Hill school house.

The commissary at the Georgia Agrirama.

The commissary at the Georgia Agrirama.

Train depot

Train depot

Welome Center

Welome Center

Opry Shelter

Opry Shelter

Kids love the giant peanut just outside the Agrirama's gate!

Kids love the giant peanut just outside the Agrirama's gate!

Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall

Enjoy great live entertainment at the Fiddlers' Jamboree!

Enjoy great live entertainment at the Fiddlers' Jamboree!

The Georgia Agrirama is a living museum dedicated to life in a small farming community of the late 19th century. It’s located just off Interstate 75, in Tifton, so you’ve probably passed right by it on your way to Florida. My house is just a couple of blocks away from the Agrirama, so I’ve visited it many times. The 95-acre facility has 35 permanent structures, plots for crops, a lake, and enclosures for farm animals. Workers are dressed in period costume and readily interact with visitors.

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Stepping through the gate at the Agrirama gives visitors a real "feel" for what life must have been like at the turn of the century. It's like being trasported back in time - a kaleidescope of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. The experience is much better than just reading about it in the dry words of some history book.

Touring the Agrirama is a great way to spend a few hours, for both kids and adults. There’s plenty to do and see, and visitors will learn a lot in the process. I think you'll be amazed at the authenticity in even the smallest details. The planners searched all over the state for authentic barns, houses, and other structures. Then they were disassembled, moved, and re-assembled on their present sites. The new buildings that were constructed have strictly adhered to buidling methods that were used in the 19th century.

Agrirama Lake

The grounds includes a nice lake for fishing. Visitors have the opportunity to catch largemouth bass, bream, and catfish. You’ll need a current GA fishing license to fish. Fishing is included in the admission fee.

Drug store

See antique bottles, jars, and display cabinets typical of an 1890’s pharmacy. Enjoy a Coca-cola from the vintage fountain, or try one of the shakes, sundaes, floats, or hand-dipped ice creams.

Country Store

This is one of my favorite parts of the Agrirama! This store has all kinds of neat stuff for sale, including old-fashioned candies, jams and jellies, books, vintage replica toys, quilts, and meal and grits produced on the grounds. I especially enjoy Christmas shopping here!

Wiregrass Feed & Seed

This store is typical of a turn-of-the-century feed store, with storage bins, tools, and antique farm equipment.

Train

The Agrirama has the only steam-powered train in regular operation in the state of Georgia, and it’s a big hit with kids! The tracks encircle the grounds of the facility, and the train has open-air cars for passengers. Tickets to ride the train are $2.

Historic Tift House

This upper class Victorian home was built in 1887 and was the residence of Henry Harding Tift. The house is furnished with antiques and is adorned with period paintings.

Sawmill

This is an interesting place that allows visitors to see the process that turns trees into boards. The saw mill uses an 1890 DeLoach circular saw capable of producing 10,000 board feet a day.

Grist mill

The Agrirama’s grist mill was built in 1879 and is powered by water. See how corn is ground into cornmeal here. The meal produced is available for purchase in the Country Store.

Print Shop

The print shop at the Agrirama uses an 1888 Whitlock Flatbed Press. Visitors get to see how type is set, and you can have your own vintage flyers and posters printed. We’ve had several “wanted” posters printed here.

Blacksmith

At the smithy’s shop, you can see how metal is forged into horseshoes, plowshares, hooks, and other useful objects.

Turpentine still

Turpentining was once an important industry in the South. The gum was collected from pine trees and then turned into turpentine and rosin. You’ll see how it was done here.

Cooper’s Shed

Barrels were needed to hold the rosin from the turpentine still, and they were made by a cooper. A constant supply of barrels was needed because each barrel was used only once. See the cooper’s furnace, winch, and tools used by coopers.

Woodworking Shop

These shops were usually referred to as “variety shops.” In this one, you can see antique woodworking machinery, including planers, lathes, band saws, table saws, jointers, and mortisers.

Wesley Chapel

This church was built in 1882 and features original pews, railings, pulpit, walls, and hand-poured glass. The walls and pews were all planed by hand.

Sand HillSchool

This one-room schoolhouse features antique desks, recitation benches, and a pot-bellied stove for heat in the colder months.

Doctor’s Office

The community doctor’s office at the Agrirama appears much as it would in the nineteenth century. It contains antique furniture, hand-carved crutches and walking sticks, and medical implements of the time.

Farm animals

This has always been a favorite with my kids and grandkids! The progressive farmstead area has mules, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, and chickens.

Sandwich Shop

Sit down in this cozy café and enjoy a hamburger, hotdog, sandwich, or a full meal. A hot meal with a meat, two vegetables, and a roll is under $5. You can also purchase a whole homemade sour cream pound cake to take home for just $8.50. And believe me, these cakes are awesome!

Museum of Agriculture

This 28,000-square-foot building houses some fascinating antique machinery and implements. Included are wagons, carts, road graders, and other tools used during the period. The horse-drawn implements in the museum are paired with life-size replicas of horses, which my granddaughter finds fascinating!

More

There’s lots more to see at this living history museum, too – a Masonic Lodge, a cotton gin, a peanut museum, cabins, farm homes, crop plots, a welcome center, a commissary, and the Eisenhower Monument. There’s also the Opry Shelter, complete with picnic tables, where live performances and speeches are held.

Special events

Throughout the year, the Agrirama hosts some great festivals. In the spring is the Folklife Festival and Fiddlers’ Jamboree, with live demonstrations of broom making, quilt making, spinning, and wool dying. There are also lots of games for kids and adults, along with artisans and arts and crafts. Fiddlers from all over perform at the Opry Shelter.

For an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration, check out the Agrirama’s Independence Day event. This year’s celebration will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2010. There’ll be all kinds of activities for kids and adults, including traditional games and contests, exhibits, live entertainment, and historic demonstrations.

For Halloween, the Agrirama opens its gates for free. This is a safe, fun place to take the kids to enjoy an old-fashioned Halloween, with games, hay rides, train rides, a pumpkin walk, and a costume contest. This year’s Halloween Carnival will be held on October 30th, 2010, from 5:30 – 9 pm.

The Victorian Christmas and cane-grinding party is my favorite of all the celebrations at the Agrirama. Everything is decked out in Victorian Christmas decorations, and there are lots of traditional Victorian desserts. There are also hay rides, concession stands, syrup cooking, live demonstrations, and an auction for Christmas trees and wreaths. Santa will be there, too. With all the vendors and their wares, this is a great time to do some Christmas shopping for unique gifts. This year’s Christmas party will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010.

School programs

The Agrirama offers several programs for students and teachers. Several years ago, I took one of my classes there. The students spent the day much as someone their age would have done in the 19th century. They dressed in authentic costume and did chores like washing dishes, gathering eggs, cooking, plowing, hauling water, caring for livestock, planting, and sewing. The kids had a ball and learned a lot in the process!

Agrirama RV Park

The Agrirama has 42 RV sites with sewage, water, and electricity. The sites are on level ground, and the fee is $20 per night. Security and wifi are also provided.

Come for a visit!

Next time you’re motoring down I-75 on your way to Disney World or some Florida beach, take the time to stop at the Agrirama for a couple of hours. It’s a truly unique experience. Be sure to throw me a wave when you’re in my neck of the woods!

If you'd like more information about the Georgia Agrirama, visit their website.

Comments

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 19, 2013:

Great hub, Habee...I visited here many times with my young students from Albany, Georgia. This was so interesting and the kids really enjoyed the whole experience.

Voted up +++

Sending Angels your way ps

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 25, 2010:

Oh, I'd probably kick you out of the guestroom after a couple of weeks, HH! lol

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 25, 2010:

I wish I could. You would never get me away from there.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 22, 2010:

HH, come on across the pond, and I'll take you to the Agrirama!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 21, 2010:

Oh, habee, I don't what happened but this hub fell in between the wires. Especially, such a hub. I love every bit of it. You are to be envied. I just love it. To me it is the best hub I ever saw. Don't tell anybody but you know what I mean -- old fashioned me. This is fantastic. Thank you so much for the joy of reading and seeing these pictures. I will never be the same.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 13, 2010:

Sandy, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on May 13, 2010:

All those wonderful photos. I believed I was there.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 10, 2010:

Thanks, Mick! Are ya gonna ride your bike to GA?? lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 10, 2010:

Good, Angela - you'll enjoy it!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 10, 2010:

I didn't know that., Irish, but since you do, you'd love the Agrirama!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 10, 2010:

Audrey, come down for a visit, and I'll take you there!

Micky Dee on May 10, 2010:

Very nice hub and info. If I'm ever near Tifton I'll check this out. I do love the pics!.

Angela Harris from Around the USA on May 10, 2010:

Never heard of this place- looks like a fun way to spend the day! Next time I'm in that region, I'll look it up! Thanks heaps!

theirishobserver. from Ireland on May 10, 2010:

Great Hub....love the pictures....as you may know I love old mills and towers etc.....thanks.....Irish

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on May 09, 2010:

That looks like a marvelous place to visit - oh my oh my, why is there a snake right above me while I'm typing this....I am SOOOOO not LOOKING...I am going to have a nightmare again. All kidding aside (I'm typing with my eyes closed or at least pointed downward), I love the Tift House - I could see myself living in another time to be honest and that is just my kinda house. Okay - gotta go - seriously that snake is looking at me....I can feel its beady little eyes on me. Great hub, Holle!

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on May 09, 2010:

Cool, I'll ask mom what time period she was there.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

Thanks, Randy! My mom worked there for a while, too! Wonder if they were there at the same time??

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on May 09, 2010:

Didn't know there were that many RV sites there. I haven't been there for a while but am going back just for photos. Wonderful old buildings too! Mom was one of the ladies in period dress working on the site for a while. She loved it!

Good piece!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

Veronica, your kids would love the Agrirama!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

U neek, I wrote a hub about the Expo!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

Hi, Maita! How was your Mother's Day?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

It's a great place, Polly!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

you're welcome, Peggy!

Veronica Allen from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

This is so cool! I've never heard of this place until now. Thank you for the information.

U Neek on May 09, 2010:

Great hub, habee! My husband and I stayed in the RV park last year when we attended the SE Farm Expo in Moultrie. We didn't get to do much at the Agrirama but it is definitely a place we will return to.

prettydarkhorse from US on May 08, 2010:

it is beautiful and I love woodworks habee, Maita

Polly C from UK on May 08, 2010:

This looks like a really interesting place!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2010:

Sounds like a wonderful place to spend some time. And for RV owners...what a site! Thanks for the information.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Yes, HP, and we really should go more often!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Nancy, I'm surprised you haven't visited!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Gpage, the Agrirama would be great for black and white pics!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

De Greek, if you ever get this way, stop and say hello!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Herbi, I think you'd love the Agrirama!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Xcubist, my husband always enjoys visiting the saw mill!

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on May 08, 2010:

You are luck to live near such a lively museum and visited it several times.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Bpop, it really is a neat place!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Always good to see you, Ethel!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Why, thank you, John!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Sam, come on down for a visit!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Stop and say hi when you do, chris!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Lady Jane, it does look kinda like the Psycho house!

nancy_30 from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

I really loved this one Habee. I've never heard of the Georgia Agrirama before. After seeing all the pictures and your description of it I so want to go. I love places like this.

GPAGE from California on May 08, 2010:

habee! I love finding out about places like this! One of my fave things to do is shoot black n white photo's of everything there....especially the grains of the wood....Thank you so much for sharing this! I hope you are well! G

De Greek from UK on May 08, 2010:

You are so lucky to live near by. Following your write up, I would sooooo love to visit this place :-)

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on May 08, 2010:

Oh my gosh....this looks such an adorable place!

xcubist on May 08, 2010:

That saw mill is outstanding, love the shot!

breakfastpop on May 08, 2010:

Sounds like a great place to visit.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on May 08, 2010:

The first image is just how I imgaine the place in the past. From American films I guess. An interesting Hub Habee

Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on May 08, 2010:

You do all us Georgians proud Habee!!

samboiam from Texas on May 08, 2010:

I have to make it to Georgia some day. There seems to be some really cool places.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Woody, why are you up so late????

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on May 08, 2010:

It sounds cool... the next time I'm on I-75, I'll stop in and check it out!!!!

Woody on May 08, 2010:

you say it's located off I-75, in Ga. What town???

ladyjane1 from Texas on May 07, 2010:

Wow looks like an interesting place Habee I especially like the Victorian house it reminds me of the house in the movie Psycho! I was noticing how many hubs you have and have to ask how you managed so many hubs in so little time? I have 65 and I have writers block already Ha. Nice hub and great job. Cheers.

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