Updated date:

Jimmy Carter National Historic Compound: A Picture Tour of President Jimmy Carter’s Home in Plains, Georgia

Author:

Driving up and down I 75 the sign for the home of President Carter always says "visit mel" So, we did. My wife and I took highway 27 and visited perhaps the sleepiest little town in the United States, Plains, Georgia.

Driving in, it almost looked like a movie set, right out of the depression-laded 1930s.

jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia

There was not a McDonalds or Starbucks to be found. Actually, there wasn't even a Wal-Mart! What is there is a charming little community that shouts the nostalgic values and lifestyle of days long gone by, the home of President Jimmy Carter.

The town is built on one set of crossroads-one road leading in; a second leading to the Maranatha Baptist Church where Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School and the high school where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter went to school; a third leading to the "other" Baptist Church; and a fourth leading to the Billy Carter filling station, the President's compound, and the boyhood home of President Carter.

We began our visit by going down Highway 45 to the Maranatha Baptist Church.

President Carter's Church

President Carter's Church

I understand that President Carter teaches Sunday School there a couple of times a month. (See http://www.mbcplains.org/?page_id=212.)

Turning back toward town we come to Plains High School. The building is being renovated into a museum for the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site by the National Park Service and houses some Carter memorabilia, and a few rooms have been restored to 1930s and 40s furnishings.

Teachers had pretty clean desks back then.

Teachers had pretty clean desks back then.

Can you imagine the future president of the United States sitting in row two seat three.

Can you imagine the future president of the United States sitting in row two seat three.

I was impressed with the authenticity as I remember much of those furnishings in my schools as a child. I easily remember having to sit on that front seat right in the face of the teacher for some infraction of which I don't remember. I doubt if our President Carter ever had to sit on a hotseat.

Turning up Church Street we come to the real life of Plains, Georgia. On the corner is the old Billy Carter (President Carter's colorful brother) filling station.

Billy Carter's Filling Station

Billy Carter's Filling Station

They are renovating the station too, and it looks pretty good compared to the pictures I remember when Billy was running it.

On down the road is the home of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, called the Carter Compound. It is well guarded with a fence around it. Pictures are not welcome, but you can't see anything from the road except the Secret Service buildings.

I got a real surprise when I tried to take a picture. I pulled in to the gate area beside a plain-looking wooden building with mirrored windows, got out of the car, and started to walk over to the fence.

A booming voice suddenly said, "What do you want?"

I stopped just as suddenly and meekly said, "I was just going to take a picture."

"You can't park in the drive!"

I made it back to the car without an embarrassing accident or getting shot and then boldly drove on down Church Street. Just remember if you visit Plains, it's probably better if you don't try to take pictures of the Compound.

On to the sights. We continued on to the Carter childhood home. It sits outside of town a couple of miles and is completely unremarkable.

Pres. Carter's Home

Pres. Carter's Home

The home has been renovated and furnished as it was in the 30s/40s.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

Established beside the house is a seemingly out-of-place tennis court. Beside that is the store where they sold just about any staple a person could want--food, clothing, medicines, tobacco, petroleum products, and cotton mule collars.

jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia
jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia
jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia

Behind the store is a large windmill that must have been the envy of all the farmers around.

jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia

Back in town, we stopped to eat a Mom's Restaurant, one of the few places to eat and the only place open on this Sunday afternoon. Good food; you might want to eat there when you visit, but don't wait too late as it closes early in the afternoon. I don't think much goes on after dark in Plains Georgia.

Writings by President Jimmy Carter

President Carter has been a prolific writer. The following is a list of his books from Wikipedia. If you are interested in previewing any of them, please click on the ad following the list.

jimmy-carter-national-historic-site-a-picture-tour-of-president-jimmy-carters-home-in-plains--georgia

Comments

daviddwarren22 on May 23, 2011:

Great pic and place.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on July 20, 2009:

I enjoyed your hub small beginnings can produce great people

MrMarmalade from Sydney on December 14, 2007:

You are very knowledgeable and informative

thank you

Related Articles