Georgians Newsletter

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Did you know?

in 1874, Georgia set up the first state department of agriculture in the nation.

Historic Saint Mary’s Georgia is the second oldest city in the nation.

Happy holidays to our fellow Georgians! We appreciate your comments, and article ideas. And please visit us at Together, we can accomplish amazing things!

Atlanta Metro


Cannons boom and smoke drifts across the open field as steely eyed soldiers charge into battle. Take a trip back in Georgia History from Friday-Sunday, November 4-6, 2005. Celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta Civil War Re-enactment at the Georgia International Horse Park (GIHP) in Conyers, Georgia.

The event begins on Friday, November 4th beginning with the School Program (for school students) featuring a short 30 to 40 minute battle starting at noon. Over 1,300 are registered to attend the School Program this year.

The battles begin on Saturday morning, November 5th with a cavalry charge at 10:30 and then again at 2:30. Each battle will last about an hour. Another battle takes place the following day on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:30.

There will be musket loading and firing demonstrations. Artillerymen fire cannons every half-hour. They will discuss the cannons and how they are loaded and fired before each firing. There is also a small mortar firing every half-hour which shoots a small lead ball high into the air landing about 60 to 80 yards away. The ball is visible to the naked eye during its trajectory. The area is cordoned off so visitors are close enough to hear and ask questions but kept at a safe distance from the actual firing.

Visit the living history area where re-enactors demonstrate various Civil War medical demonstrations and other subjects. There are two military camps where the soldiers will sleep all weekend, a civilian refugee camp and a sutler's row - where sutlers sell the clothing, uniforms and equipment from the re-enactment era.

Under the big tent, you’ll find authors of Civil War books eager to sign their books for you and re-enactors speaking on various aspects of a soldier’s life during the Civil War. A visit to the site will put you in the midst of a living history of the era. The event is sponsored by the Georgia nonprofit organization ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, INC. Food and drinks will be available on site.

Visitors are welcome from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The re-enactment site is about ¼ mile from the main Horse Park. Parking is located at the Horse Park entrance and there is a shuttle that runs all day to get spectators to and from the site. There is no charge for parking and tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the site.

The admission price is $10 per adult (18 and up), $5 for children (7 through 17). Military, law enforcement, firemen and EMS personnel receive a special admission price of $5. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce at 770-483-7049 or the Conyers Welcome Center 770-602-2606.

For more information, please visit Or call 1-877-206-4044. Article submitted by Walter Compton.

Georgia Coast


On the evening of Nov. 26, Jekyll Island will start this season off with its Community Christmas Tree Lighting Festival in the National Historic Landmark District. Activities include hayrides, children’s activities, food, and headline musical entertainment provided by Christian recording artist Darlene McCoy.

The evening’s activities culminate with the lighting of the Jekyll Island Christmas tree by Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by a fireworks display. The family-friendly evening of events and activities has become a Georgia Coast tradition, drawing guests and participants from throughout the region.

Other events throughout the coming weeks include Christmas Light tours, craft workshops, holiday storytelling, chef’s demonstrations and even bingo with Santa. Period-themed activities include “A French Colonial Christmas Fete,” featuring music, cuisine and conversation dating back to the 1790 French colonization of Jekyll Island; and the Dickens Feast, complete with dinner-theatre entertainment based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

For the athletically inclined, Jekyll Island also hosts a “Run Off the Turkey” holiday soccer tournament, Jingle Bell Bicycle Ride, and Festival of Tees holiday golf tournament. Cultural holiday celebrations include Las Posada, the traditional Mexican festival which reenacts Joseph and Mary’s search for a room at the inn.

“Jekyll Island has strived to create unique, family-friendly island events throughout the year, and our holiday season is no exception,” said Director of Marketing Eric Garvey. “All areas of the island come alive with lights and decorations, making it a truly magical place to bring the family throughout the holiday season.”

To make it easier for visitors to take advantage of all that Holiday Island has to offer, Jekyll Island and participating hotel partners are offering island getaway packages throughout the holiday season. Offers may include discounted room rates, complimentary meals and amenities, as well as event tickets with purchase of room nights. Please visit for more details.

“The package deals available through our participating hotel partners give guests a great opportunity to explore the island during one of the most beautiful times of year,” added Garvey. “

Jekyll Island is not only famous for it’s breathtaking beaches during the summer season, but also for its many unique Southern, coastal traditions and a rich history that we are eager to share with visitors of all ages in hopes that they will make a visit to ‘Holiday Island’ a new holiday tradition.”

Article submitted by Eric Garvey of Jekyll Island Authority and Allison Howard of Cohn, Overstreet & Parrish.

Historic South


The Million Pines Festival is known as South Georgia’s largest and finest arts and Crafts festival. On November 5-6, come to Iva Park in Soperton, Georgia and enjoy the 33rd annual Million Pines Arts and Crafts Festival.

With over 250 booths, you’ll find hundreds of quality items at affordable prices. Browse under the shady pines and enjoy arts and crafts of every kind. There are crafts of days gone by as well as today’s newer crafts. This is a great place to start your Holiday Shopping so bring your list or maybe treat yourself to a hand woven basket or rug woven on an antique loom. This is a perfect place to find a special one-of-a-kind gift for the person that has everything!

Not only are there arts and crafts to buy, but you can relax and watch the crafters as they work. There will be iron workers, potters, leather crafters, cane furniture makers and much more. And the kids will really enjoy the Sandman and Santa's Workshop.

There’s more than just shopping at this festival. There’s music too! On Saturday, November 5th, catch Sassy Rhythm and the Sassafras Cloggers, and the great sounds of Rubye Moon, Mitchell Oglesby, and the Deepstep Band. Then on Sunday, November 6th, enjoy the sounds of Karen Peck and New River and the Florida Boys.

How about some great southern food? You’ll find everything from hotdogs, hamburgers, barbeque and turkey legs to chicken and dumplings, boiled peanuts, pork rinds, funnel cakes and homemade ice cream. So come join the fun. The festival hours will be from 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Noon-5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $4.00 per person, children under 6 admitted free. Sorry, but no pets allowed. For more information contact Lisa Byrd at 912-529-6611or by email at

Article written by Pam Clark

Georgia Mountains


Make your plans now to attend the 2005 Etowah Valley Historical Society Tour of Homes, November 5-6, 2005, Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday Noon-4 p.m.

The tour includes such beautiful homes such as Valley View, Malbone and Nelson-Carden, the Euharlee Presbyterian Church, the original 1800s-era Granary, Courthouse and Calaboose. Tours begin at the Euharlee Commissary on Covered Bridge Road in Historic Euharlee, where shuttle buses will take visitors to each of the three homes and the Euharlee Presbyterian Church and return visitors to Euharlee, to continue their tour of the original 1800s-era. Historical points of interest and information about each home and the church will be made available by our attending hostesses.

Each home on the tour is unique. One of the homes is “Valley View” originally a 2000-acre plantation, built in 1840s made of handmade brick is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. The Malbone Home is a beautiful large brick house which took three years to complete faces a broad sweep of lawn with Stiles Mountain rising in the distance. One of its former owners founded an organization he called the United Georgia Farmers in 1938; which grew to what is known today as the Georgia Farm Bureau.

The Nelson-Carden home has been transformed into a modern showplace, while keeping the historic integrity of the original structure. One of the owners Mr. Speer was well known in the Euharlee community for his homemade “Brunswick Stew”, which he made for the annual Euharlee Farmer’s Club barbecue.

Tour goers should pay special attention to the tin ceilings throughout, soapstone sinks custom handmade in Brazil, a 75-year old refinished pot rack in the kitchen, a 100-year old English mantle in the master bedroom, and a 70-plus-year old butcher block tops on the kitchen island and desk. “The home is said to be “haunted with the ghosts of several past occupants”, all friendly, I’m sure,” says Mrs. Carden, one of the current residents. Strange noises, footsteps and sightings have been reported by the Cardens and numerous visitors.

The Euharlee Presbyterian Church was built in 1854. This church became unique in that it was a strong Presbyterian church in an area which consisted mostly of Baptists and Methodists. The original hand-fitted pews are still in use. They are said to have been used by the Union Army to feed and water their horses. The church and the Cherokee Presbytery began The Euharlee Institute, which existed from 1896-1910. Over the past six years, the church has been renovated and restored to enhance its historical significance.

Tickets may be purchased at $15 each and $12 each for groups of 10 or more. Tickets will be available at the Euharlee Commissary on tour dates, in advance from the EVHS office at the Bartow County Courthouse, or the Cartersville-Bartow County Visitors Information Center in the depot in downtown Cartersville.

For more information regarding this tour, contact the CVB Deputy Director Regina Wheeler at 770-387-1357 or email Article submitted by Regina Wheeler.

Georgia Southern Rivers


It happens every year just about this time. The charming area known as Silvertown, specifically “R Street”, in Thomaston, Georgia, is transformed for the month of December into “Christmas Lane”. This is a holiday tradition that has grown over the last 35 years from one decorated yard to an entire street.

The highlight of “Christmas Lane”, which officially opens the first Saturday in December each year with the arrival of Santa Claus at 6 p.m., has been and remains “Candy Land”. A delightful display of elves, candy canes, gumdrops, and the life-size Santa that has been part of Candy Land since its inception in the 1960s by the late George Wilson. Mr. Wilson was a long-time “R Street” resident who worked with children to create something that would bring the magic of Christmas to them and the community.

Today, the mile-long “Christmas Lane” is lined with Christmas trees and innovative displays that range from a “Snoopy Christmas” and “Bugs Bunny” to a host of more modern cartoon characters. This family-oriented activity is best enjoyed by parking at the Church of God and strolling down the lane.

For a more “electric” Christmas exhibition, take a short drive over to “Christmas Village”, a dramatic blaze of holiday lights that is absolutely breathtaking. Better known as “Triune Village”, this neighborhood started small in the late 1970s, with just one or two houses featuring a few strings of lights.

Brenda Hendricks, who retired as director of the Thomaston Housing Authority in 2001, worked with the residents of Triune Village throughout her years with the Authority. She remembers how it all began. “A few of our residents began hanging some lights and then their neighbors began making it a competition,” she says. “To encourage participation, the Housing Authority gave lights to the elderly residents to make them feel a part of it.” In 1991, the neighborhood was officially named “Christmas Village”; a special sign goes up right after Thanksgiving.

Because it takes weeks to get this area ready, residents begin right around Halloween stringing lights, often completely covering entire roofs and fronts of houses. In fact, Brenda says, “anything that can be decorated with lights is”.

A trip to both of these neighborhoods is sure to brighten your holiday spirits!

Directions: Thomaston is located on US 19, 27 miles south of Griffin, 45 miles west of Macon on SR 74 west and 50 miles east of Columbus on SR 36. For directions to “Christmas Lane” and “Christmas Village” and a list of area restaurants, please visit the website of the Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce,, or call (706) 647-9686. Article submitted by Betsy Hueber.

Georgia Charity Profile


Celebrate the season by enjoying the talents of the young artists in our community. The 15th Annual Heritage Sandy Springs Student Art Show will take place December 5-31, 2005.

This Student Art Show showcases the works of K-12 artists from public, private, and home schools throughout the North Metro Atlanta communities. Works displayed will include: drawing, painting, collages, photography, printmaking, and other mixed media. Judging for student artists in grades 9-12 will be conducted by local gallery owners, artists, and arts patrons/supporters.

All artwork will be displayed at local sponsoring business locations in close proximity to the Sandy Springs Historic Site (home of the Williams-Payne House). This year the exhibit will be sponsored by the Brooklyn Café and Slope’s BBQ.

On Monday, December 5, there will be an “Opening Reception Benefit Night” at Slopes BBQ. The lower elementary and middle school will be spotlighted during this reception. So come enjoy the delicious BBQ and know that ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to support the art show.

On Tuesday, December 6, there will be an “Opening Reception Benefit Night” at the Brooklyn Café. The upper grades and high school will be spotlighted during this reception. So come enjoy the delicious food and know that ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to support the art show.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Heritage Sandy Springs, their mission is to preserve and promote the historical and cultural identity of Sandy Springs. This non-profit organization presents programs and events on behalf of the community throughout the year. The organization also runs the Sandy Springs Historic Site, home of the Williams-Payne House.

These activities are accomplished by a small staff in collaboration with many, many dedicated volunteers. For more information on the 15th Annual Art Show, please contact Heritage Sandy Springs at 404-851-9111 or by email: To learn more about Heritage Sandy Springs, please visit Article submitted by Pam Clark

Making a Difference


The Holiday Season is upon us. During the holiday season, I think of all the great food and wonderful times with family around the fireplace laughing and talking about fun memories and our plans for the future.

Many of us are blessed with so much, it would be easy to take for granted all the warm comforts we enjoy each holiday season.

Growing up in a large farming family, we didn’t have a lot of extra money around the Holiday Season, but we were happy with what we had. My Mom always seemed to be helping others “take-up” a collection at work (she worked in a shirt factory) to help those in the factory that were going through tough times.

I remember one day, asking her why she took up the collection. She looked at me and said “Because we’re supposed to help each other.” I think of that often.

I have a friend, Carol Bieler, (most of you probably have a friend like this); who during the Holiday Season, works with her five children to make presents for and to serve others.

As a family, the Bielers help serve holiday meals to the homeless, make presents for their children’s teachers like small bundles of “smiley” pencils with a special note attached or jars of “tangy tea” for those cold nights when teachers are up grading papers.

Each child also gives up one of their personal gifts to a “needy angel” child from the “Christmas Tree” at church. For them, the holidays are more about what they can do for others, instead of focusing on a list of “things I want”.

This holiday Season, if we know of someone who is having a tough time, let’s take a moment and try to do what we can to help them out. It doesn’t matter how large or small, I’m certain it will be appreciated.

Our children watch everything we do. And whether we like it or not, we are leading by example. In the years to come, they will stop to think about the Holiday Seasons and what it means to them. What will they learn by watching us? Wouldn’t it be great, if our children grew up thinking “it’s not about how much I can get, but how much I can help?"

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from all of us at BuyGeorgia