It's easy to find located just off Interstate 75 in Tifton,
Georgia and is a real treasure. Yet it isn't as universally
known as many tourist hotspots. This was my second visit there
and it was never crowded. Considering all it has to offer, I
don't know why it isn't thronged with visitors.
|One of the museum's cotton
It has been a fixture in Tifton since July
4th, 1976 under the name Georgia Agrirama.
About four years ago, the museum and village was
struggling. To keep it afloat the 96 acre site was brought under
the wing of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The museum is
a living laboratory for the college. But it's so much more. For
anyone interested in where their food or any other crops come
from and how they are grown, the museum is a visual
encyclopedia. It's filled with implements and farm machinery
from Georgia's farming past. From a peanut picker –no it's not a
guy in overalls, it's an impressive machine- to an old hand
plow, you will find farming treasures. All together there are
over 2,000 artifacts housed in the museum. Naturally, there is
an old cotton gin.
This museum appeals to young and old alike. It's like stepping
back into a 19th century town and watching life as it was in
that era. Garret Boone, Museum Director, says "One of the main
things we do is providing school tours. We are on about third
and fourth generation schoolchildren. We are seeing visitor who
came as schoolchildren now bring their children and
grandchildren and some even their great-grandchildren."
|Garret Boone explains the use of
old farming machinery
After you have wandered the museum, hop aboard the only working
Vulcan Iron Works 1917 Steam Locomotive in the state and say
hello to the friendly conductor. He'll chug you around the
village as in days of yore.
|The Old Davis Gristmill
When you step off the train, you can emerge yourself in an
earlier era in their Historic Village. It is filled with 35
structures relocated here from different part of the state.
|A docent cuts a timber at the
Wandering the village streets is like taking a trip in time into
a farming community of the mid to late 19th century. Stop in and watch costumed docents
at a local sawmill.
|The old turpentine mill
You can check out the process of making turpentine or watch corn
being ground at the Old Davis gristmill. It's an authentic
watrer powered mill built in 1879 that
claims to make the best grits in the state
|The colorful Tift House
See how folks lived in that time. The Tift House, built for
Captain H. H. Tift, founder of Tifton, is a classic home of a
well-to-do family in the late 19th
century. Benjamin Cravey House was home to a less affluent
resident. The Knight Cabin was a bit farther down the social
scale of the times and the Clyatt Cabin reflected the life of a
poor sharecropper of the period. As you stroll the dirt street
of the village you will not see any cars. You are in a time when
people traveled by horseback or on a wagon. You'll see those
|Our docent displays some of the
furnishing in the Tift House
It was a time when folks gathered at the local shops such as the
Blacksmith Shop, Mercantile, or Drug Store to pass on the latest
news and catch up on local gossip. These places were the
Facebook and Twitter of the day. If you want a refreshing root
beer float or a snack the drugstore is the place to visit.
|"Are you ready for a root beer
You could spend hours or even the entire
day here enjoying the ambiance of a more peaceful era.
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