Historic Westville in Lumpkin

If you want to walk down memory lane, drive about five hours southwest to Westville, Ga.


The memories might not be yours until you leave, but you will see artifacts your great-great-grandparents might remember.

The 83-acre living history town is laid out in 1850s fashion. It boasts more than 30 buildings that have been brought from around Georgia and restored to their original appearances.

The town was begun by John West in 1928 to preserve "Georgiana," the buildings, arts and crafts and tools of Georgia's settlement. According to the Historic Westville Web site, it is the third oldest living history project in the United States.

Visitors enter the town through replica stucco gates like the gates of the Old Georgia State Capitol Building in Milledgeville.

One of the town's two general stores, The Adams Store, serves as an interpretation of a typical mercantile store. The store is filled with the typical necessities and frivolities of early American life. You could buy everything from cologne to flour and cloth to farming equipment.

Next, you can see how these items were implemented into daily life. Several types of homes representing a variety of income levels and social statuses are represented. A replica of a slave cabin is set up behind The Bryan House, a typical plantation-style, two-story home that once sat on a cotton plantation.

The home of wealthy cotton warehouse owner John McDonald features two kitchen exhibits on the rear of the house; one demonstrating the use of a cookstove, and one demonstrating cooking over an open hearth.

In the "business district" in the center of town, visitors can learn about of a variety of trades, from blacksmithing to printing. The pottery area features 1850s pottery-making in a kiln built into the side of a hill.

For worship, there is a camp meeting area, a Methodist church and a Presbyterian church. A 19th century Masonic lodge is represented at the Stewart County Academy.

Through it all are interpreters in period dress, telling stories and going about the business of life in Georgia in the mid-1800s, so that others will not forget the way it used to be.

HOURS: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday

COST : $10 adults; $8 seniors, military and college students with ID; $5 grades K-12; Children Pre-K age are free

GETTING THERE: Take U.S. Highway 1 south to Wrens. Turn right on Ga. Highway 88 and follow it until it becomes Ga. Highway 24 West. Turn left on Ga. Highway 22 and follow it until it becomes Ga. Highway 49. Turn left on U.S. Highway 129. Turn right on Emory Highway and take the ramp onto Interstate 16 West. Take the Valdosta Exit to Interstate 75 South. Take Exit 127 onto Ga. Highway 26. Turn left on Ga. Highway 49 and go about 18 miles. Turn right on U.S. Highway 280 W, then continue on Ga. Highway 27 into Lumpkin, Ga.

LEARN MORE: www.westville.org