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Westville - Georgia's Working 1850 Town


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A visit to Westville is a walk back into the time as you experience life as it was in a Southern town of 1850. Westville is a living history museum which has been authentically rebuilt with over 30 pre-Civil War buildings complete with furnishings. There are also costumed interpreters who will show and explain what life was like in a typical 1850 west Georgia village.

A Walk Through Westville
Directions to Westville
Hours of Operation
Admission
Handicap Accessibility
Contact Information

Calendar of Events

Hours
Summer Hours
Westville is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Westville is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. Westville will be closed January 1 through January 7.

Winter Hours
Westville is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Westville will be closed January 1 through January 7.

Admission
Admission prices are very reasonable, as you can see by the chart below. And, if you live within easy driving distance, why not get a Family Membership so you can visit whenever you want and take advantage of all of the special events held in Westville throughout the year.

General Admission Adults
$10.00
Seniors, College Students
$8.00
Military Personnel
$8.00
Students K-12
$4.00
Family Membership
$35.00

Group rates available upon request.

Contact Information
Call Toll Free: (888) 733-1850
Locally: (229) 838-6310
Address: Westville PO Box 1850 Lumpkin, GA 31815
E-mail
director@westville.org
Website www.westville.org

Directions to Westville
Westville is located one mile south of Lumpkin, Georgia on US27. If you need further assistance on how to get to Westville, you can contact Westville toll-free at 1-(888) SEE-1850. 

Handicap Accessibility
Although the footing in Westville would be difficult for some people, a portion of Westville's structures are wheelchair accessible. These would include the gift store, rest rooms, blacksmith shop, pottery shop, courthouse, Climax church. Some of the seasonal outdoor events, such as candle making and period baseball are accessible. They also have two electric carriers that can be reserved by phoning ahead.

Each year they also feature a handicapped drive-through day. See " Events."

A Walk Through Westville

Walk with me as we meander through the dusty streets of Westville.

As you drive through the gates of Westville, which is located just a short ways south of the town square of Lumpkin, you leave the world of today far behind you. Drive down the hill to the parking lot, find a shady place for the car, and begin your walk through this outdoor museum of life as it was in 1850.

 

From your car it is just a short walk down the path to the general store, the Randle-Morton Store,  where you purchase your entrance ticket and some "Westville Script," the only money that is good in the town. Be sure to exchange some of your American dollars for the script so you will be able to buy some homemade gingerbread or lemonade in the town. There are also other snack items available in the town that can only be purchased with the script.

 

As you walk the path to the general store you will want to take a few minutes to see the inside of the church on your left. Damascus Methodist Church was moved here from the city of Damascus. You will especially enjoy the wonderfully painted ceilings of the church.

After walking down the wooden steps of the general store, you will walk through the small garden area then through the Singer Gates into the town.

The Singer Gates is a replica of the gates that were located on the old State Capitol grounds in Milledgeville, Georgia.

As you walk through the gate you will be on Troup Street. Directly ahead of you, on the left, is the Stewart County Academy. This structure has been furnished as a typical school may have been in 1850.

 

After visiting the academy, as you leave through the front door, walk to the right on Lamar street, cross Troup Street, and continue up the gentle hill to the Grimes-Feagin House. This dwelling was built in 1842 and comes from Stewart County.

Just across Lamar Street from the Grimes-Feagin House is the McDonald House. If you look to the back of the house you will find where you can purchase some delicious home-made gingerbread. However, I would suggest you walk to the left back to Troop Street, take a right, and enter the McDonald House through the front.

After touring the McDonald house, be sure to walk to the rear of the house where you can purchase that homemade gingerbread and have a glass of lemonade. The day I was there, Leslie Thomas was baking the gingerbread on the old iron stove and doing a great job of it as the gingerbread was delicious.

Leaving the McDonald house, continue up Troup Street to your right to the next corner where you will walk to your left along Forsyth Street. The Three buildings on your right are the Cabinet Shop, the Shoemaker's Shop and the Singer House. Across the street from the Singer House is the Chattahoochee Country Courthouse, one of the last surviving structures of its kind in the state of Georgia.

When you leave the Singer House, walk to your left to the next street, Gilmer Street. Walking to your right you will pass Adams Store (which was originally located at a stagecoach stop), the Carriage Shelter and the Blacksmith Shop. Just behind Adams Store is the Lawson House.

Continue down Gilmer Street to Cuthbert Street. Here you will turn left to Clark Street. The house on your left on Cuthbert Street is the Wells House. It was built near Buena Vista by a Yuchi Indian family around 1827. Walk to your right on Clark Street to the Patterson-Marrett Farmhouse. Just to the right of the house is the pantry, and to the right rear are typical outhouses of the day that could have been used for livestock or storage.

When you leave the Patterson-Marrett Farmhouse, walk to your left up to Berrien Street and turn to the right. Immediately on your right are two small log buildings. These would be characteristic of the type of structures that were built by early settlers, and were normally used as temporary shelter until their main house was built. They would then become outbuildings for storage or animals.

A right on Gilmer street will take you up the hill to the Bagley Gin House and the Cotton Screw Press. Every community would have a gin building and a press. Some of the larger farms might have their own press or gin, but normally the cotton would be taken from the farm into town. The cotton would be run through the machinery in the gin to remove the seeds and clean the cotton. It would then be put into the cotton screw press for bailing.

From the Cotton Screw Press, cross over Cuthbert Street and walk up to the corner of Cuthbert and Troup. On your right is the Bryan-Worthington House. This house was built in Stewart County in 1831.

Just across the street from the Bryan-Worthington House is the Rawson House, which is not open to the public, and Climax Presbyterian Church.

The church is from Climax, Georgia. Climax is in south Georgia, almost to the state line. It was moved to Westville in 1973.

Climax church was used for over 120 years before being moved to Westville and represents a typical church building of 1850.

Continue walking down Troup Street until you come to the corner of Troup and Forsyth. Walk to the right on Forsyth back to Gilmer Street, turn left, and the Moye White House will be on your right. This house was built around 1840 and moved to Westville from Cuthbert.

When you leave the Moye house, continue to your right down Gilmer Street. Just past Lamar Street you will see several buildings on your right.

The first area is the Pottery Pug Mill. A potter usually had tow pus mills, one for mixing clay for pottery and another for clay for bricks. Behind the mill is the Kiln and a small Pottery Shop.

Just past the Pottery Shop is West House. This was the home of the grandparents of Colonel John Word West, the man for whom Westville was named.

The West House is on the corner of Gilmer and Irwin. If you walk to your left down Irwin Street, it will lead you back to the Singer Gates and the Randle-Morton Store.

Be sure to stop by the store and exchange any of the Westville Script back into American dollars. They won't do you a lot of good at your local Wal-Mart.

If you have a bit of time left, you may want to tour the grounds again by wagon. If so, Lonnie Bennett (pictured here), or one of the other drivers will be happy to take you around.

Below is a calendar of events for 2005 (just to give you an idea of all of the special events that take place here). I would suggest calling ahead to see the dates for this year's events. Call Toll Free: (888) 733-1850. Locally: (229) 838-6310. Address: Westville PO Box 1850 Lumpkin, GA 31815. E-mail director@westville.org.
Website www.westville.org.

2005 Calendar
January 3-7
Village Closed
January 31
Handicapped Drive-Through
Drive and Park in Village - View outside craftsmen and shop in the store. Food will be available.
February
African American History Month
Exhibits
March 19 & 20
Dulcimer Festival
"Jamming to a Different Tune" for two days. Music, Sweet Melodies, and Master Players
April 2
Fudge, Farce, and Fiddle-De-Dee
Fairy Tales, True Tales, and Tall Tales will delight you with morning and afternoon sessions.
April 9
Double Ring Ceremony
"The Bells are Ringing" just in time for two ceremonies. A large formal wedding and small simple farmhouse ceremony both 1850 style. Period recipes and wedding cake will be served.
April 16 - May 1
Spring Festival
When " Spring Fever" hits come and enjoy our 1850 gardens all decked out in a symphony of colors. Chat with local citizens and learn about traditional crafts.
April 30
Quilt Show
Quilt lovers and quilt makers make your beautiful treasure a part of the unique collection of quilts on display. Patterns of the past and patterns of today join together for a "Rainbow of Patchwork".
May 6
May Day
A day to celebrate the planting season with traditional May Day activities and the May Pole Dance.
May 28 & 29
1836 Creek Indian War
Re-enactors in period clothing will demonstrate an encampment of soldiers who have been dispatched to protect local citizens against Indian attacks. An Indian Camp will be demonstrated.
May 30
Memorial Day
This is one of the Mondays Westville will be open. Family Crafts Day - families join the craftsmen for a day of hands-on activities from woodworking to cooking.
July 4
Independence Day
Early American Patriotism is re-created with period games, vintage base ball, barbecue and the "blowing of the anvil".
September 5
Fiddlers Contest Labor Day
This is one of the Mondays Westville will be open. " The Devil Came Down to Georgia" is the way some see a Fiddlin' contest. Come and enjoy a day of good music and competition.
October 29 - November 13
1850 Harvest Festival
Plenty of old-fashioned fun with special demonstrations of harvest-time activities. Cane grinding and syrup making will take place. The last remaining animal powered cotton gin and cotton press will in operation at various times.
October 15
Yellow Fever Epidemic
A day of programs exploring 19th century medical care, as villagers struggle with an outbreak of yellow fever.
October 22
Family Crafts Day
Family Craft Day - families join the craftsmen for a day of hands-on activities from woodworking to cooking.
December 5
Roscoe's Christmas Workshop
Learn to prepare natural 1850 Christmas Decorations. We supply all greenery and instruction. FREE WORKSHOP
December 10, 17, 31
Yuletide Season
A time of spirited Christmas Cheer with period decorations and festivities. Special activities will take place on the 10, 17, and 31. Activities include a Yule Log Ceremony, a Christmas Tree Lighting, and the Burning of the Greens.
December 24,25 Westville closed

Date this page was last edited: Saturday, August 02, 2008 17:10:43

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