Out & About

Jarrell Plantation continues a life unplugged

Life on the farm in the 1800s meant hauling your own water and making nearly everything from scratch.

Family Farm Day at Jarrell Plantation offers a taste of what that kind of life might have been like.

“It’s a little different point of view from today when we buy almost everything ready made,” said Bretta Perkins, the interpretative ranger for the state historic site. “People then had to rely on themselves. It will really make you appreciate being able to turn on a faucet and an electric light.”

The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and will include demonstrations of cooking on a wood stove, blacksmithing, quilting, weaving, whittling, getting water from the well and washing clothes on a wringer.

“Someone is going to bring some chickens and maybe some other farm critters,” Perkins said.

There will be some demonstrations inside the visitors center and others will be set up outside the buildings. Visitors also will be able to try their hand at some of the chores and demonstrations, such as running the washer wringer.

“As much as possible, it will be interactive,” Perkins said. “We want people to ask questions.”

The will be in addition to the standing features at Jarrell Plantation, which was a working farm until its donation to the state in 1974.

“It’s neat because it’s still in its natural setting,” Perkins said. “You’re still out in the country.”

There will be house tours of the original 1847 structure and visitors can also go inside the home built in 1895.

The newest Jarrell home was built in 1920 and it sits adjacent to the historic site.

“It’s the one that is still owned by members of the Jarrell family and they run it as bed and breakfast,” Perkins said.

In addition to the homes, the half-mile loop around the property includes stops at a large shed of pre-mechanized farm equipment, a blacksmith shop and a carpenter shop.

“One of the neat things is the second-generation guy, Dick Jarrell, he knew about machinery and mathematics and milling,” Perkins said. “He actually bought two steam engines and set up his own sawmill.”

Later, he added his own cotton gin and grist mill and both are still operated for some special events.

“It’s a real good experience to learn a little bit more about day to day life,” Perkins said. “It’s a living history program -- all sorts of everyday things people did on the farm.”

When: 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., May 23

Where: Jarrell Plantation, 711 Jarrell Plantation Road, Juliette, Georgia

Cost: $4 for kids age 6-18, $6.50 for adults and $6 for seniors. Kids 5 and under are free.

Information: http://gastateparks.org/JarrellPlantation or 478-986-5172