Google+ Georgia On My Mind: 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Patch......A New News Source

If you look up the definition of the word “patch” you discover a patch is something that covers or mends a small area. Synonyms for the word patch include cover or reinforcement.

The definition and synonyms can also apply to the Patch website found here.

Patch is the new online new source that covers a specific area and serves as a reinforcement regarding the news you need to know.

The Patch website is a link to various Patch sites quickly covering towns and cities all across the United States as evidenced by the map found at the Patch webpage.

Click on the state of Georgia and you can quickly see Patch is on the move across the Atlanta metro area and beyond covering cities and town such as Buckhead, Kennesaw, Holly Springs-Hickory Flat, and even my town of Douglasville.
The Patch page advises, “Simply put, Patch is a new way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you.”

The information is community-specific,  and the platform provided is news and information including events, photos, videos, and information about local businesses and schools. You can participate in discussions and even submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews. The site for your town is completely interactive.

Recently CBS News presented a short video package regarding Patch.  You can see it here.

Check out your local Patch page today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Non Sibi Sed Aliss.....Not For Themselves But For Others

The image seen here is the official seal of Georgia.

Seriously…..it is.

Really.

Would I kid you?

I’m sure you have questions.

Questions such as…where is the arch with three pillars representing the three branches of government draped with the words “wisdom”, “justice” and “moderation”? Where is the soldier standing with his sword drawn? Where are the words “State of Georgia” and the year “1776”?

The image seen here is NOT the seal of the state of Georgia but it IS the seal of the Georgia colony and was used by the Trustees of the colony.

The Georgia Historical Society states, “The seal used by the Trustees represented the colony's role within the British Empire, as well as its emphasis on the production of silk. The seal, seen in the above sketch, incorporated a black mulberry leaf with a silkworm and cocoon (mulberry leaves were used to feed the silkworms in sericulture, the cultivation of silk). The motto inscribed was "Non sibi sed aliis," Latin for "Not for themselves but for others." The seal and motto are a symbol of Georgia's role as a mercantile colony established to be the source of silk, not for their own benefit, but for England's. “

Most Georgia history students are taught that due to the colony’s warm climate and southern location many felt it was the perfect location for the cultivation of silk. They are also taught that eventually the manufacturing of silk failed and other crops became more important like cotton. Usually, the silk industry in early Georgia is just a blip on the history map…..a mention lasting about ten minutes at the most.

That’s it…..a short little paragraph for students to grasp.

Well…..there’s more to the story.

The silk industry in Georgia began in 1734 with some experimental plantings of mulberry trees in the Trustee’s Garden in Savannah. The trees were planted because silk worms live off of the mulberry leaves. In fact, the cultivation of silk was so important all Georgia colonists were required to plant mulberry trees once they took possession of their plot of land.

After a few months the colonist had to admit there were significant issues regarding the silk worms themselves. The whole process was labor intensive. The Trustees decided the colonist who had been hired to manufacture the silk needed some expert advised so they invited an Italian contingent to the colony to teach them the ins and outs of manufacturing silk, but there were constant issues between the Italians and the “Georgians.”

In fact, an Italian skilled in the production of silk named Paul Amatis accompanied Oglethorpe to Georgia in 1732, and another Italian named Joseph Ottolenghe was responsible for erecting a filature at Reynolds Square, located on Abercorn between Bryan and Congress Streets. A filature is a structure used to house cocoons and where silk is reeled. The filature at Reynolds Square held a record number of 15,212 pounds of cocoons.

John Milledge was assigned a grant of land located on Skidaway Island sometime between 1754 and 1771 where he named his plantation Modena, supposedly after an Italian town that was the center of the silk culture. Milledge’s son, John, Jr., became the founder of Franklin College which eventually morphed into the University of Georgia.

Apparently, it didn’t take long for the Georgians to have some success with actual fabric being produced as James Oglethorpe was able to supply the wife of King George II, Caroline, enough silk for a gown she wore to the King’s birthday celebration in 1735.


I would love to write I was able to locate a painting of Queen Caroline wearing Georgia silk, but at this point I can only speculate. I did find a painting she commissioned by Jacopo Amigoni (Giacomo Amiconi) in1735….the same year she reportedly wore the dress created from Georgia silk. The cape the Queen is wearing in the painting is actually a state robe trimmed in ermine, however, the dress she is wearing could very well be the dress she wore for the King’s celebration and was made entirely of Georgia silk.

By 1742 enough silk was being produced for it to be a commodity and records show by 1767, a ton of silk was being exported each year.

The Salzburger colonists outside of Savannah were also experimenting with silk and had even more success than those in Savannah. One woman in the community was quite successful creating silk for fishing lines.

Eventually the industry could not overcome the ups and downs in the Georgia climate, and cotton proved to be a far easier and more economical crop to produce.

Even so silk didn’t just go by the wayside. It was still around in the 1830s as far inland as Cherokee County. In fact, the state of Georgia historical marker at the square in front of the courthouse states, “Early settlers tried to start silk production, but were not successful, and today there remains no trace of this except Canton, hopefully named for the Chinese silk center.

At that point silk then just became a chapter in the Georgia history books.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Benet House

Stephen Vincent Benet, author, Pulitzer Prize winner, poet, short story writer and novelist writing such things as the book length narrative poem, John Brown’s Body and the short story, The Devil and Daniel Webster also has a Georgia connection.

A building that now houses the admissions office for Augusta State University is known as the Benet House, and the reason is simple enough.

Benet lived there.

Though Benet hailed from Pennsylvania he ended up in Augusta, Georgia from 1911-1915 and wrote his first book, Five Men and Pompey while living in the home in 1915 to much acclaim.

Benet’s arrived in Augusta in 1911 when his father, Colonel J. Walker Benet took command of the United States arsenal located there, and Stephen was promptly enrolled in Summerville Academy. The Benet family took up residence in the Commandant’s House where Stephen Vincent Benet remained during his formative years until he went to Yale University in 1915.

The home was placed on the National Historic Register in 1971.

You can find out more here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Appalachia Grill

A few weeks ago we headed off to the North Georgia mountains with Sunday brunch on our minds.

The husband wanted to try a spot new to us……Appalachia Grill. I’m always game for a restaurant adventure so off we went.



It was fantastic!


 
Appalachia Grill is located on Steve Tate Road in Marble Hill, Georgia….right outside the gate for Big Canoe.   It would be easy to miss as you speed along the road as it sits back from the road in a nice stand of hardwood trees.




I ended up having the Sausage Omelet with peppers and goat cheese. My husband had the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. We had sides of fried potatoes and grits.



These items aren’t on the regular menu but were available that day for brunch. You can find the menu at the main website here.


One important thing….if you go on Sunday and you want a glass of wine with your meal take your own bottle. Appalachia Grill is located in a dry county.


Join their Facebook page here…..I have!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Henry's Louisiana Grill Fits the Bill

In order to be a great any night of the week type restaurant there are certain things I look for…..

*a really great area for waiting on those busy nights that includes a bar big enough to eat at if you so desire…..the bar at Rays on the River comes to mind or Stoney River Steaks at Cumberland.

*something magically appears on the table for me to munch on the minute I’m seated…….Ted’s Montana Grill has marinated cucumber slices……Mexican restaurants provide chips and salsa……even Carrabbas has the sinful bread and olive oil with spices for dipping.

*the salad course includes honest to goodness homemade croutons…..NO commercial chunks of goodness from a cardboard box, please, or I will promptly tell my waitperson their croutons suck. Most of the higher-end places understand this…..sadly, after George McKerrow, Jr. sold his Longhorn’s chain they changed their croutons, and the salads have just been ho-hum ever since.

*this one is a given but of course the place has to deliver on the food. It has to be prepared to perfection or close to it.

and the most important must-have……..

*ambiance, ambiance, ambiance……some sort of gimmick like great d├ęcor, a location along an old main street or inside an old storefront. Perhaps there is fantastic patio to sit at outdoors or the grounds surrounding the restaurant are attractive. Papadeaux in Marietta has a wonderful brick entry way and the views from the windows at the far end of the dining room are attractive. The Chart House along River Street in Savannah has the tugs and the cargo freighters moving up the river and even the dining room at the Resort at Brasstown Bald can only be described as rustic elegance with open beams and stacked stone fireplaces. The windows and wide porches provide a view of the setting sun over lovely grounds that just calm the soul.

Now a great restaurant in my book doesn’t have to achieve all of my benchmarks, but I sure do hope for one or two. This past Saturday night I visited a spot north of Atlanta that met ALL of my benchmarks.

Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth, Georgia.

Recently Chef Henry won the People’s Platelist Contest by ABC’s Nightline, and now I understand why.

There is only one thing I can say…..Ooh La La!

Henry’s has a wonderful bar where my husband and I waited for a table. Even though the place was packed the wait didn’t take long and we soon had our table, however, I would have been just as happy to enjoy my meal sitting at the bar. While we waited Chef Henry Chandler, the owner and head chef, made his round talking to people. He’s known to refer to first-timers to his establishment as virgins.

No sooner had we reached our table a basket of sourdough bread and the best cornbread I’ve ever tasted magically appeared on our table.

From that point on our various courses were perfectly timed. We didn’t feel hurried, but we were never left without food for very long, and of course, Chef Henry made a second appearance at our table to bestow beads around my neck….a gift of welcome he provides all female customers with.

I instantly eyed the hushpuppies that were included in the appetizer section of the menu and was intrigued enough to order them. I’m glad I did, however, I have had delicious dreams of those wonderful bits of love flowing through my mind ever since. They were the most unbelievable bits of moistness I’ve ever tasted served up with remoulade sauce on the side.

Our ceasar salads were just enough for a salad course and yes…..the croutons were tasty.

Mr. Elementaryhistoryteacher ordered the Louisiana Ohh La La……..one of Chef Henry’s signature dishes that includes oysters, shrimp and crawfish flash fried and tossed with tasso, spinach, roasted garlic and Henry’s Cajun Cream Sauce. You can order the dish with just the shrimp, etc. but my husband opted for the whole thing. The dish is served over angel hair pasta or grits. The AJC has named this dish as one of the top 50 dishes to drive for, and they aren’t off the mark at all.



Though there were other items that caught my eye I decided upon the Shrimp and Grits. They were lovely with just the right spice topped with Parmesan cheese, red pepper and scallions


….and then for desert……cream brulee, of course. The twist here was a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a few white chocolate morsels on top …..


Finally, Henry’s Louisiana Grill does have the ambiance. It’s friendly, it’s loud, it’s comfortable, and it’s worth the drive.


Laissez les bon temps roulex……Let the good times roll!!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sundown on a Bald Mountain

Over a week ago my husband and I were out riding in the North Georgia mountains. He suddenly got a wild hair to visit Brasstown Bald and climb from the visitor’s center up to the summit tower…..a distance of six tenths of a mile. The summit tower is seen in the picture to the left.

Two things need to be noted with a chuckle at this point……

First, that the husband got a wild hair since that patch on top of his head is mainly skin these days, and the fact that I was attempting to climb a trail virtually straight up in the air. My idea of a good walk is through Lenox Mall or through the streets of Atlantic Station, not communing with a steep trail and the possibility of a close encounter with a big old bear.

But….the husband wanted to see the sunset from the summit of Georgia’s highest peak……a mere 4,784 feet, and I have been in a cooperative mood of late, so off we went.

There were lots of stops along the way for me to gain control of my heaving chest and to contain the heart attack that felt so imminent. It’s a great trail, but I did wish we had gotten there before 5:30 in the evening so we could ride the shuttle to the summit…..oh well.

The name Brasstown Bald arrives in our current vernacular from the Cherokee Indians who used to inhabit the area prior to their rather rude removal at the hands of the United States government. They referred to the mountain as Enotah and it was named for a former Cherokee village…..Brasstown. White settlers actually misinterpreted a Cherokee word as they were prone to do and the name stuck.

So as I huffed and puffed to the summit I had to wonder……where in the heck does the Bald come into play? All I could see on both sides of the trail were rocks and trees, more trees, and even more trees. There is nothing bald about Brasstown Bald, at all.



Cherokee legend though tells of a story involving a flood….a great flood. This supports the facts every anthropology teacher and professor I’ve ever had who drummed it into me that every major civilization has a flood story to support their ancient history, and the Cherokees are no different. The legend goes that a great flood came to the area and the Cherokees who managed to get to their canoes survived and ran aground on the summit of a bald mountain where they remained farming the cleared land until such time the water receded. That mountain was Georgia’s Brasstown Bald.

Geographers use the term “bald” today to refer to any mountain where you can see the surrounding countryside in a 360 degree panorama. Here are some of the views:







I survived the climb and the husband did get his sunset picture at the summit……:) It was lovely and worth the huffing and puffing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Fall.....Head to the Fair!

The Georgia Mountain Fall Festival is currently underway through October 16th at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, Georgia. You can access their website here.


The festival includes musical performances, educational demonstrations, a flower show, and Georgia’s official state Fiddlers’ Convention.

We stopped by on Sunday and took a walk through the exhibits……and of course, we had a funnel cake.

Here are a few of the images from the festival:


The pottery booth.......I love to watch the wheel demonstration.


Ummm....this guy was kinda interesting.   Look at his feet.....:)



Interesting crafts......I guess that's a good use of the old jugs found on any Georgia farm.


Lovely painted windows to hang on a porch or in a sunroom


The train was cute....complete with a real train whistle....


Hmmmm.......


I've never had a fair burger at the fair.   I've always thought they were pretty good.


Authentic outbuildings dot the fairgrounds.....



Yes, that's a tree trunk table.  They wanted $250 for it.


Wood splitting demonstration.


A bonafide country cabin....


The blacksmith demonstration


The old schoolhouse....


Of course, we had the ever predictable Elvis sighting.....


Yummy!  

Elvis singing for the crowd....


Lovely views of the mountains from the fairgrounds.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless


Georgia’s Stone Mountain……website.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wow! There's a Damn Dam!

I was headed to the post office the other day down a very curvy and hilly road, and suddenly I noticed it……..a dam. Didn’t even know it existed. I had to stop and snap some pictures.

Now….in my defense I haven’t exactly been living in Canton over the last few months until just recently, but I was a little shocked to this

These are images of Hickory Log Creek dam in Canton, Georgia. It is one of the largest dams in the state at 950 feet wide and 180 feet high. The reservoir it creates covers 4 acres and holds six billion gallons of water…..The purpose of the dam is to provide an additional source of drinking water for citizens.

Hickory Log Creek is a tributary of Etowah River




Follow this link for additional pictures at the Atlanta Journal site.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A City too Busy to Hate???

I spent some time on Monday with my daughter and a very talented photographer. Dear Daughter was busy getting a few of her Senior pictures taken against the backdrop of the vibrant art and culture of the Little Five Points area of Atlanta.

However, if we had suddenly been transported back to September, 1906 our Little Five Points experience would have been very different……downright scary and dangerous.

You see….Dear Daughter and I are white and our expert photographer friend is black, and if the year had been 1906 we would have been caught up with the Atlanta Race Riot of that year since many of the scenes of violence were centered in the Little Five Points area.

It began on September 22, 1906 and by the time the event ended it has been reported twelve blacks and two whites were killed though some historians argue many, many more were killed. Some advise that some families took the bodies of their loved ones and quietly buried them not wanting to have the stigma of having taken part or having been a victim of a race riot. Others were quiet about the death of a family member because they understood the effect the riot could have on the economy of the city.


Things like that just didn’t happen in Atlanta.

After all……Atlanta is the city that is too busy to hate, right? It seems to me though the city was actually too busy to remember as the details regarding the riot have been mostly forgotten and not taught in schools.

The cause of the riot is actually very convoluted basically ranging from paternalism – a feeling blacks had to be taken care of to negrophobia – where whites believed blacks were always prone to crime and violence. The 1906 governor’s race has been held up as a major cause as the two men running for office both brought race relations to the forefront stating they would do what they could to keep black men from voting. Some historians blame the changing Atlanta economy – from an agrarian society to a highly industrialized transportation hub, and others state changes in black society also contributed. By 1906, there was a definite middle class that existed in Atlanta’s black neighborhoods and there were even a few wealthy families. Another cause had to do with several saloons or “dives”, as whites referred to them, on Decatur Street where black men frequented. Whites were worried about a rise in crime that could spill over into white areas. Add in competition between the races for jobs, a tug-of-war over civil rights, and other issues left over from Reconstruction...... a powder keg was most certainly brewing.


In the days leading up to the riots there had been some unproven reports black men had been attacking white women. Mob psychology took over. At the height of the riot reports state there were as many as 10,000 whites and hundreds of blacks involved. The violence occurred for a few days before the state militia was called out.

New Georgia Encyclopedia states the after effects of the riot include retrenchment of Atlanta’s black community, statewide prohibition and black suffrage, a turning away from the leadership of Booker T. Washington to W.E.B. DuBois who wrote a poem regarding the event titled The Litany of Atlanta.

Mainly……the event was minimalized and forgotten.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Lone Grave

We’ve become very accustomed to seeing macabre crosses and wreaths on the side of the road marking some terrible tragedy, but an actual lone grave on the side of the road begs some explanation even though hundreds of people pass it each day with nary a notice.

At one time someone did take notice and surrounded the grave with a fence and actually enclosed the grave with bricks and a marker. A bench was added, a decorative sundial and the remnants of a few plantings still exist.


The grave is at the intersection of Burris and Land Roads in the Clayton Community of Cherokee County, and is at the outer edge of the property belonging to Clayton Elementary School.


The grave is marked Aaron Burris…..1796-1864. The year of death leads one to think perhaps Mr. Burris was a soldier in the Civil War, and was slain by an enemy bullet, but look at the birth and death dates again. Do some elementary subtraction and we discover Mr. Burris was 68 at the time of his death – a little old to be traipsing off to whoop some Yankee butt.


The story goes Mr. Burris was one of a few handful of men who were left behind with the ladies while their men folk marched gallantly off to defend the ill-fated Confederate cause. Some ailment took hold of Mr. Burris and he passed away.

Suddenly the women living in the Clayton Community had a neighbor to bury and no men were around to do the necessaries.

Now…….I consider myself to be a very strong Southern woman. In fact, if you knew half of what I’ve experienced over the last four to five years you would beg me to let you off my crazy roller coaster ride, BUT….prepare my neighbor’s body for burial and dig the grave????

I’m not THAT woman, but – perhaps I need to rethink here – my quickness in doubting my abilities betray the memories of those women and one in particular Sarah Emmaline Land (Cline), wife of James Johnson Land, my great-great grandmother.

The Civil War/Atlanta page at The Examiner has more information regarding women on the home front.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wordless

This is the boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson and is located in Augusta, Georgia.
          You can visit their website here

Other bloggers post wordless images on Wednesday , too. Visit the main page HERE to find them.


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