Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

4 History Stops Your Family Needs to See

Dig deep into stories of the past at these off-the-beaten-path destinations in west Georgia.

West Georgia is most widely known for Providence Canyon and Callaway Resort & Gardens. While we adore those places, we recently took an "off the beaten path" history tour with our kids. Here are four stops we made that your family is sure to love.

Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville, Georgia

Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville

This national park in Andersonville is located on the land of Camp Sumter, one of several Civil War POW camps. Andersonville National Historic Site is infamous because the population bulged from the recommended 20,000 soldiers to more than 45,000, with exceptionally harsh conditions over 14 months.

Today, it sits as a memorial to the 13,000 who died here, as well as all American POWs throughout history.

When you bring the kids, like we did, be sure to ask about the free Junior Ranger Program. It should take about 1.5 hours to complete. And, don't forget to stamp your National Park Service passport.

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Pasaquan in Buena Vista

Today, Pasaquan is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered among the most important visionary art environments in the United States. It was home to Eddie Owens Martin (known as St. EOM), and he transformed it into a magnificent folk art installation in Buena Vista.

Through the pain-staking work of the Pasaquan Preservation Society, it was maintained after Martin's death. It closed for two years while the Kohler Foundation and Columbus State University renovated the art.

Thankfully, it opened to the public again, more amazing than ever. In fact, CNN named it one of the "16 Intriguing Things to See and Do in the U.S. in 2016." Take note that it is closed July and December.

Take a look at the video and photos we took on our adventure with the kids.

Grape presses at the Biblical History Center in LaGrange, Georgia

Biblical History Center in LaGrange

The Biblical History Center was founded by Dr. James Fleming, a Christian archeologist who lived and studied in Israel. Through financial help from the Callaway family, Dr. Fleming created a museum in LaGrange with the goal of putting the Bible into perspective via a "living history" exhibit.

We toured the grounds as well as the Archeological Replicas and the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery, which contains more than 250 biblical period artifacts from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

If you want to experience something special, schedule a Passover Meal at the Center. Our guide explained the ancient customs of the time, from the opening blessing to the incorrect depiction of da Vinici’s Last Supper painting. The meal costs extra, but it's worth the cost if you plan to visit.

SAM Shortline Railroad in Plains, Georgia

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains

The sprawling Jimmy Carter National Historic Site offers several points of interest, including the Official State School of Georgia (previously Plains High School), where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter graduated. The kids will adore arriving at the Train Depot via the SAM Shortline Railroad; it served as Jimmy Carter's Presidential Campaign Headquarters.  A little farther down the road, you can visit Carter’s Boyhood Farm where he was raised.

Published: June 2018
Written by: Lesli Peterson
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