The Hay House, a stunning historical landmark in the heart of Macon, will be hosting one of its biannual Hay Days on Sunday, which is Flag Day.
“We traditionally host a Hay Day during the holiday season,” said William Aultman, curator of education at the Hay House. “Now we are holding one in the summer as well, and this year we are throwing an Uncle Sam Party on Flag Day!”
An Uncle Sam Party, which is a patriotic party celebrating national pride, offers visitors the chance to see the Hay House decorated in red, white and blue.
“There was an Uncle Sam Party held here in the 1890s,” Aultman said. “We will be re-creating that event. The party will showcase decorations that would have been in the house in the 1890s.”
The Uncle Sam Party will last from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Hay House. Parking is available on the street in front of the house and behind the house.
In addition to offering visitors the chance to take a free tour of the premises, the Hay Day event will showcase members of Hay House who served in the armed forces.
“We will have a special display called ‘Patriots of Hay House,’ which will focus on the members of the house who have served our country,” Aultman said. “It will be a new exhibit and offers a bit more detail into the lives of those who have lived in Hay House.”
The Uncle Sam Party also features light refreshments, such as lemonade and cookies, and free kids craft activities. This event is family-friendly and is appropriate for all ages.
“We want to give Maconites the chance to come here to see their premiere National Historic Landmark for free,” Aultman said. “The house was built by William Butler Johnston in the 1850s. He was a self-made millionaire through investments in banking, railroads and public utilities. In 1851, he married Anne Clark Tracy and they took an extended honeymoon in Europe, collecting fine porcelains, sculptures and paintings as mementos of their grand tour.
“When they returned, they built an Italian Renaissance house. It is 18,000 square feet of living space and featured all the latest in technology at the time it was built, including running water, gas lighting, a central cooling system, a speaker system and a dumbwaiter. It is considered one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture in the nation.”
One of Georgia’s most distinguished structures, the Johnston-Felton-Hay House in Macon was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. The house itself contains more than 24 rooms and has become a favorite location for weddings and events. The self-guided tour teaches visitors about the significance of the home’s architecture, its technological advances and its artistic sophistication.
“It really is an amazing house,” Aultman concluded. “Many people don’t even know what they are missing and this is our chance to show them.”
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 14
Where: Hay House, 934 Georgia Ave.