The Georgia Trust’s Barnesville Expedition, happening Saturday, will allow history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and connoisseurs of old Southern style the chance to tour some of the most elegant mansions in Georgia.
The Barnesville Expedition offers participants a full day to explore Barnesville’s most historic homes and sites built by the barons of the buggy industry at the turn of the 20th century during a day-long, self-guided tour.
“The people involved in the buggy manufacturing’s homes — and Barnesville was the buggy capital of the South — built some very artistic homes,” said event chair Pat Edwards. “We have some beautiful churches on the tour. Gordon State College is also on the tour, and will feature a tour of the nursing school at 1 p.m. There will also be a free organ concert at First Baptist Church at 2 p.m.”
The event kicks off at 9:30 a.m., where everyone is invited to attend an orientation session at Lamar County Schools Fine Arts Center, to learn about the area’s history and architecture. The basic tour includes access to a dozen properties, including the Gachet House, the Collier House, the Claxton House, the Old Jail Museum and Archives and the Carnegie Library.
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“We have so many places that could qualify for this tour, but the properties we’ve chosen are real jewels,” Edwards said. “The craftsmanship is amazing, and there are several properties that are also on the National Register of Historic Sites. The homeowners are so generous to allow their homes to be used. We all want to present Barnesville’s best foot forward.”
Edwards said the Georgia Trust encourages cities, counties and individuals to reuse and redevelop older structures in a modern time.
“These structures have so much value and are so well constructed, that rather than tearing them down, the Georgia Trust wants to encourage preservation. Some buildings are used for the same purpose as they were originally intended and some are completely different, but there is a reason for preservation either way,” Edwards said. “We want to showcase the work, skills and artistry of these older homes, because we want to learn from them. There are a lot of little stories and glimpses into history on this tour.”
The event also will serve as a membership drive for the Georgia Trust. The $60 expedition package option includes a voucher for a lunch downtown, as well as a reception at 4 p.m. at the Barnesville Depot.
When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. June 11
Where: Begins at Lamar County Schools Fine Arts Center, 100 Burnette Road, Barnesville