Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dames Ferry

Dames Ferry Campground is on Lake Juliette just north of Macon, GA
It was cherry blossom time in Macon.
If you go there, ask for site #33.
It's the best site in the campground.
Carol joined me on her way back to NC.
Carol and Maggie.
Evening shadows
The first day was warm enough for a kayak ride.
Then the weather turned cold and windy. As I was letting the air out of the kayak to put it away, Thistle thought we were going for another ride.
How the campground got its name.
There was plenty to see and do in the area. We visited this historic plantation.
18 original buildings and furnishings, some dating from the 1840s.
Owned and operated by 3 generations of the same family all those years.

The newest of the 3 houses is still lived in by the Jarrell family, and is operated as a bed and breakfast. This poem remembers those that lived in the first house.
Murals of the plantation are painted on the foundation of the Visitor Center.
The tin cans over the fence posts protect the posts from water damage.
The "new" Dick Jerrell house is still occupied by his grandchildren. It was built in 1920 to accommodate his family of 12 children.
This house was built by Dick Jarrell in 1895.
Until the new house was built his large family slept in these two rooms.
The Jerrells were not of "Gone With the Wind" wealth. Their houses and furnishings were basic and mostly handmade, and their earnings were put back into the land and equipment.

These buildings were the industrial center of the farm and comprised of sawmill, gristmill, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, cane syrup boilers, etc.
The original syrup furnace was used in the 1850s.
One of the Jerrell children carved his name in a stone on the chimney.
This was the original homestead built by John Fitz Jerrell in 1847.
A peek inside the dining area. Note the corn husk mop.
Kitchen area was in a separate addition across a breezeway.
Family members used this boat (bateau) to transport goods down river to market, or to visit friends along the river.
This building housed a sawmill below and cotton gin and gristmill on the second floor.

It said DON'T pull out the cotton, Carol!
A boiler in the building on the right provided steam to operate machines in the other buildings.
In the 1930s, this vintage Hupmobile powered a wheat thresher.
The Hupmobile motor
The threshing machine is in the back. 
A picture of it in use.
Another day we visited the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. 
But we were too late to see the migratory waterfowl...they've already left. All we saw was this lonely pied-billed grebe. 
So we hiked one of their trails. Thistle thought sure there was something in the long grass.
But all we saw was a red-tailed hawk. 
The scenic drive through the preserve was a little challenging for my low-slung Honda. I kept having to stop and remove small branches that got caught underneath.
On the way home we stopped at the little town of Juliette. Have you ever heard of it?
I'll bet you've heard of or seen the movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes."
This town was the movie set. We ate lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Inside the cafe.
Beverages served in mason jars.
The fried green tomatoes were yummy.
If you've seen the movie, you might remember how they got rid of Bennet's body the night he was killed. I had Bennett's BBQ sandwich.
The BBQ pit out back.
In the movie, the man investigating the murder said it was the best BBQ he'd ever had. And the response was "The secret's in the sauce."
THe downtown stores are mostly antique shops and tourist draws now.
They sell things like "Moonshine Jelly."
 Artists were painting the Cafe.
Some of the other buildings...

The Hee-Haw stage.
Some of the local residents...
He's not related to the Wild Chickens in Fitzgerald, but he's pretty impressive in his own right.

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