Google+ Georgia On My Mind: February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I posted this image over at History Is Elementary for Wordless Wednesday. I posted it here as well because there is a Georgia connection.

Do you know who painted this image?

Look for an explanation later in the week over at History Is Elementary.

Just a reminder.....posts for the Georgia Carnival should be in by Thursday by 6 p.m. You can use the blog carnival submission form or email me at

This week's host will be Elisheva over at Got Bible? You can send submissions to her as well at

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Plum Orchard Mansion: Treasure or Money-Pit?

One of the things I miss about teaching the Georgia curricium for fifth grade is my unit called “The Rise of Big Business”. I enjoy talking about men such as Rockefeller, Morgan, and my favorite, Andrew Carnegie. I think what I like most about Carnegie is that he treated his wealth as he should. He lived well, but gave most of it away.

Members of the Carnegie family gave Georgia a tremendous gift in the 1970s when they deeded over a Carnegie mansion called Plum Orchard located on Cumberland Island to the National Park Service. They turned everything over in the mansion which measures 22,000 square feet and has 125 rooms including the furnishings.

Yes, it is clear the National Parks Service has had many resources to work with including original burlap wallpaper, hand-blown Edison lightbulbs, and original Tiffany lampshades, but the mansion has become a bit of a money pit as any “fixer-upper” from the turn of the century would. It seems termite damage has occurred in many of the support beams and parquet flooring, and rust is eating away at many of the support beams. Since home tours are scheduled to begin perhaps as early as this summer large groups could find themselves on quick trip to the dungeon-like maze of rooms in the basement level of the home if extra money is not expended to cure the termite and rust damage.

Give the National Parks Service their due, however. They are attempting to restore the home to its original colors including the bright yellow staircase railings that lead to the second floor. The original burlap wallpaper is being painstakingly cleaned in a job that is estimated will take a total of five months. Soon tourists will be able to view the newly cleaned wallpaper along with a handwritten note that says “Papered by Roy A.D. Pierre, August 30, 1904.”

Thomas Carnegie, the brother of Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, built a home on the island in 1884. His first choice was along Millionaire’s Row on Jekyll Island, but he was unable to do so. Later four more homes were built for his children including Plum Orchard Mansion. Some sites mention that Plum Orchard Mansion was built on the ruins of Dungeness, however, if you look at the map found here it can be determined that Dungeness and Plum Orchard are in different locations. The ruins seen here at Dungeness are the remains of the first house Carnegie built on Cumberland Island. The home burned in the 1950s, and was not rebuilt.

This site and this site give more historical data surrounding the island. An interesting timeline of the island dating back to 1513 (undocumented) can be found here

Prior to the Carnegie home at the Dungeness site there was another Dungeness there. Find out more about it over at History Is Elementary in my post titled Nathanael Greene: Adopted Southern Son.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Nancy Morgan Hart: Georgia Heroine

It’s hard for my nine year old students to grasp many of the concepts I’m employed to teach them. These kids have televisions, ipods, cell phones, and live with the notion that if you need something you buy it at the store. They have no idea what it would be like to live in the Georgia frontier prior to and during the American Revolutions. Heck, it’s hard for me to fathom it.

No running water, no electricity, no phone, no car, no food unless I hunt it or grow it…..It’s hard to imagine how early Georgians lived on the frontier but they did. It’s even harder for some to realize that most of Georgia was considered frontier during the American Revolution.

A study of Nancy Morgan Hart gives my students pause to ponder how Georgians lived during the frontier days. The website Georgia Women details Hart’s life and escapades quiet well, but I don’t belive the picture is quiet accurate. Hart had a hard life. Various accounts describe her as tall, gangly, rough-hewn, and a great shot despite being cross-eyed.

Along with her husband she lived on a 400 acre claim twenty-five miles southeast of present-day Hartwell in a small cabin. During her marriage she gave birth to eight children.

One could say that Hart was passionate about her Patriot status. Most stories are unverifiable and over the years Hart has taken on the proportions of a character shrouded in myth, legend and local folklore. Local Cherokees honored her with the title ‘Wahatche’ which meant ‘War Woman’and named a creek after her. One story states she worked with General Elijah Clark and assisted him by dressing as a gentleman. This gave her entry to Tory enclaves where she would act insane in order to overhear conversations. tells the following story that has earned Hart much of her acclaim:

The most famous story of Hart's escapades as a frontier patriot began when a group of six (some accounts say five) Tories came to her cabin and demanded information concerning the location of a certain Whig leader. Only minutes earlier, the Whig, hotly pursued by the Tories, had stopped by the Hart cabin and enlisted Hart's aid as he made his escape. Hart insisted that no one had passed through her neck of the woods for days. Convinced that she was lying, one of the Tories shot and killed Hart's prized gobbler. After ordering her to cook the turkey, the Tories entered the cabin, stacked their weapons in the corner, and demanded something to drink. Hart obliged them by opening her jugs of wine. Once the Tories began to feel the intoxicating effects of the wine, Hart sent her daughter Sukey to the spring for a bucket of water. Hart secretly instructed her to blow a conch shell, which was kept on a nearby stump, to alert the neighbors that Tories were in the cabin.

As Hart served her unwanted guests, she frequently passed between them and their stacked weapons. Inconspicuously, she began to pass the loaded muskets, one by one, through a chink in the cabin wall to Sukey, who had by this time slipped around to the rear of the building. When the Tories noticed what she was doing and sprang to their feet, Hart threatened to shoot the first man who moved a foot. Ignoring her warning, one Tory lunged forward, and Hart pulled the trigger, killing the man. Seizing another weapon, she urged her daughter to run for help. Hart shot a second Tory who made a move toward the stacked weapons and held off the remaining loyalists until her husband and several others arrived. Benjamin Hart wanted to shoot the Tories, but Hart wanted them to hang. Consequently the remaining Tories were hanged from a nearby tree.
This story gained some truth when, in 1912, five bodies were unearthed near the Hart cabin when the Elberton and Eastern Railroad was being built. Therefore, at least for now, there is some proof to the story.

The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution created a small park where the cabin stood along River Road in Elbert County. Today the site is within Bobby Brown State Park. During the Depression the Civilian Conservation Corp constructed a cabin on the property supposedly using the original chimney stones.

Patriot Hart has received several accolades since feeding the Tories their meal. Hart County, Georgia is the only county named for a woman and their country seat, Hartwell, is named for her as well. State route 77 is named Nancy Hart Highway and we mustn’t forget Lake Hartwell. During the Civil War a group of ladies from Lagrange formed a group called the Nancy Harts. Their aim was to defend their city against Union soldiers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Additions to the Blogroll

So, sometimes good ideas just hit me when I least expect it. There I was driving to school the other morning trying to run through my day quickly in my head to plan it out when Georgia On My Mind interrupted and took over my thoughts.

The blogroll was on my mind. Some folks have requested to be added while others I just simply snagged their address myself. I know I have many more to add, but I also know simply adding them doesn’t mean that other Georgia bloggers would know about them.

I decided that I will include new additions to the blogroll in a post from now on, and I will also include the code so that if you want to include it on your site any additions and/or corrections will be made automatically.

This week’s additions are:

I'm Not Hannah
What Now?
Beyond the Crossroads
Radical Georgia Moderate
Peachtree Screed
Blue Heart of Dixie
A Typical Joe
Article of Faith

If you would like the blogroll code to add to your site please email me and I will forward it to you.

I’d love to have it inside one of those neat little scrolling boxes so they don’t take up so much room. If you know a site that can help me with that email me and let me know….

Email me at if you have any questions, comments, or problems.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Georgia Carnival-Edition Four

Well, here we are at edition four….already. Time is flying by and bit by bit I’m finding and hearing from all types of Georgians who are speaking out in the blogosphere.

If you have a website and are interested in hosting an edition of The Georgia Carnival, please let me know via this email address:

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about the last edition. As always links to the carnival are much appreciated.

Next week’s edition will be hosted by Elisheva at Got Bible? Writers are invited to send contributions to: or use this handy submission form.

Submissions should be received no later than Midnight Thursday, March 1, 2007. Please include the title of your post and URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the carnival should be posted sometime Friday, March 2nd, and now, on to the carnival…

Politics and Controversy

Regarding the evolution debate….Why are we still debating? The whole thing has taken an even stranger turn this week with a memo flitting about here and there apparently with the blessing of a Georgia state legislator. Decaturguy is writing about the evolution memo making the rounds. Find out all about it here and here. Didn’t we settle the Earth, axis, revolving thing a long, long time ago?

I was able to catch a few minutes of Uncle Neal earlier today and he was in rare form. We don’t always agree, but just like my father he’s usually right in the end. Apparently I’m not the only one who is grateful for Boortz. Grayson from The Spacey Gracey Review was also listening this morning and is grateful God Sends Us Neal Boortz Some Days.

Griftdrift at Drifting Through the Grift is also writing about state legislators and hot button issues, but he thinks his guy is an Impressive Legislator. Griftdrift also passed out a few valentines this week. Check out Happy Valentine's Day, Screw You to see who made the cut.


Okay, So One Is a Twit….no, not the evolution or creation supporters. Michael over at Valtool's Box is discussing the Dixie Chicks. So is Grayson at The Spacey Gracey Review.

Georgia Facts and History

A Rome Thirteen is a post about the fair city of Rome, Georgia provided by Terrell from Alone on a Limb.

History professor David Parker over at Another History Blog gives Dade County's Secession a Debunking.

It’s not exactly Georgia history but I offer up A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Thou in my post over at American Presidents Blog where I weigh in occaisionally. I would have loved to have been invited to a Thomas Jefferson meal.

Great Losses

Adam Fogle from Peach Pundit remembers Charlie Norwood in his post Memories of a Memorable Man.

Button Gwinnett has been reading the AJC obituaries and found a remarkable woman to share with his readers. Find out what he learned about Natalie Cohen in his post A Little Inspiration From an Obituary.


Is there such a thing as “being made for each other”? Otter at Grasping for the Wind
resurrects a previous post titled Love Theory.

Bill Reichart, our upcoming host on March 14th, is thinking about Spiritual Friendships over at Provocative Church. He says they consist of trust, relationship, listen and learn, and connect.


Paige at The Avery Lane Experience thinks parents need to just settle down especially when discussing parenting styles. After having three difference parent conferences today I agree with Paige…..I Wanna Be Sedated.

Do you think boys and girls play differently? Over the years I’ve observed at least 100 children playing on the playground at one time. Check out Peachpod’s comments for Sticks over at Peaches and Pearls for my opinion.

Diversions and Interspection

Terrell at Alone on a Limb provides this link to some pictures taken in downtown Rome.

Jane at Cozy Reader posted 13 Things She Would Never Do. What would be on your list?

Notice her great layout when you visit. It’s the expert work of Bluebird Blogs, another Georgia blogger. Go on over and check out her work.

Nicki at Casadenicki wonders The Grammys: How Dead Is Rock and Roll?

Do you ever wonder about being transported back in time to experience life in another generation.? I do. Celeste over at C's Life has been making butter. Read about the experience complete with a photo slide show here.

I continually try to remember to stop and be thankful…to stop and count my blessings. Terrell from Alone on a Limb recently posted his Sunday Seven. What are you’re top seven blessings?


Richard of Shadowscope is pondering blogvertisements. He asks, How Much Is Too Much?

So there you have it…edition four. The next edition will be found at Got Bible? on Friday, March 2, 2007. Submissions will be accepted through 6 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, March 1. Submissions can be emailed to or use the handy submission form here. The prior edition of the carnival can be found here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nothing New Here, But Over At....

Don't forget to submit your post for the Georgia Carnival. I'll have it up late Thursday night if all goes well.

All Georgian's love to eat so head on over to American Presidents where I have posted about our Galloping Gourmet president....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Great Georgians: Rev. Wilkes Flagg

Rev. Wilkes Flagg began his life as a slave in Virginia where he remained until he was purchased by a physician named Tomlinson Fort from Milledgeville, Georgia. He became a blacksmith, saved his money, and finally bought his family’s freedom for the sum of $2,000.

Flagg continued in the blacksmith trade and soon bought his own farm six miles outside of town. An obituary I found online mentions he mixed freely with the movers and shakers of Milledgeville, was well respected, and sat in on discussions regarding politics. During my research I found it amazing that Rev. Flagg apparently crossed barriers between the races very easily yet he had a part-time job that placed him back in the role of servant. He served as head waiter for state dinners at the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville beginning with Governor Lumpkin’s term through the term of Governor Brown’s.

Following the Civil War, Rev. Flagg assisted newly freed slaves by creating a colony on 100 acres of his land to assist people with instruction in citizenship and to provide a place where they could sharecrop. He also established a school at Flagg Baptist Church. Eventually the Freedmen’s Bureau became involved and provided equipment and teachers for the school.

When Rev. Flagg passed away in 1878 many whites attended his funeral including clergy, merchants, lawyers, physicians, editors, and mechanics. Also in attendance was John P. Fort of Macon-----a member of the family that had once owned him per the obituary I found online in the Southern Recorder dated November 19, 1878.

There is a bit more about Rev. Wilkes Flagg here.

Submissions Are Due for the Georgia Carnival

The Georgia Carnival will be ready for your reading pleasure this Friday.

Don't make me come and find you! :)

Submit your posts now by emailing me the permalink for your submission to or use the carnival submission form here.

Submissions are due by 6 p.m. Thursday.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Horace King: Georgia's Other Bridge Builder

Dr. Martin Luther King was a masterful bridge builder using words and deeds to build bridges between the races, but years before Dr. King’s dream speech another King was building bridges in Georgia.

Horace King was born a slave in 1807 to a Mulatto father and a mother who was part Catawba Indian. Later on in life Mr. King became the property of John Godwin, a contractor, who moved close to Columbus, Georgia in 1832. Mr. Godwin had been fortunate to win the contract to construct a bridge to span the Chattahoochee River. King helped Godwin build the first bridge to connect Columbus, Georgia with Phenix City, Alabama.

King was eventually given his freedom through the efforts of Godwin and the Alabama State Legislature in 1846, but he continued to work with his former master building Town lattice truss design bridges. These bridges were vital in opening up the Chattahoochee Valley area and led to King having many of his own building contracts for numerous bridges, homes, community buildings, a state hospital in Alabama, and a three story textile mill near Columbus. King is credited with building the self-supporting staircase that is showcased in the Alabama Capital Building. In the 1850s King built Moore’s Bridge which spanned the Chattahoochee between Newnan and Carrollton.

Upon the death of Godwin, Horace King spent a total of one thousand dollars for a grave headstone for his former master, co-worker, and friend. This is an unheard of amount for the time period. The monument states, “This stone was placed here by Horace King in lasting remembrance of the love and gratitude he felt for his friend and former master.” Unfortunately King’s actions have been used to paint him as an apologist for slavery.

Following the Civil War, King served four terms in the Alabama legislature, and in 1872 King moved to LaGrange, Georgia and left the bridge building to his sons. One of the most picturesque bridges in Georgia was built by a King son at Watson Mill.

While there are many gaps in Mr. King’s lifestory one fantastic attempt at telling his story exisits in Faye Gibbons account for young adult readers called Horace King: Bridges to Freedom
If you would like to learn more about Georgia’s Covered Bridges go here. Georgia’s Covered Bridge graveyard can be found here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Great Pictures

I'm having a difficult week....lots and lots of education fluff is going on that doesn't have anything to do with teaching, so even though this site isn't on the Wordless Wednesday blogroll I'm participating anyway. I love this's very calming. It makes me think of a very hot barefoot afternoon. I can almost feel the warm wood against my feet as I make my way across the bridge. More later about this picture....I promise!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A Dade State of Mind

Did you know when the Georgia state quarter was released it was discovered that the upper northwest corner of the state was left out?

This means that Dade County was left off the quarter. Could it have been intentional?

It is understandable since a Dade politician during the 1850s threatened to seceede from Georgia if the state did not seceede from the Union, and in 1945 the county finally passed a resolution to join the Union 80 years after the end of the Civil War.

Dade County has always been a place unto itself even from its earliest times. There was absolutely no road connecting Dade County to the rest the state until 1939. Folks who lived there had to travel around through Alabama or Tennessee in order to enter Dade County. Once Cloudland Canyon was purchased the necessary road was built.

Dade’s independent streak is still evident today as they have adopted the older version of the Georgia state flag as their official county banner. There are plans to display the old flag on a second pole outside each Dade County public building in the county seat of Trenton which is about twenty-five miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Picture Credit: Cloudland Canyon from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government site.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Georgia Carnival-Edition Three

Here is the third edition of the Georgia Carnival. It’s only a few hours late. I thought I might get a little creative this time and arrange the posts by theme, however, since it is already late I’m simply posting.

As you visit some of the posts this time remember to leave a comment to let the author know you’ve visited. Feel free to link to the carnival and let your readers know about it.

So without further introduction….

Splitcat Chintzibobs recalls memories of being an outsider, making a stand, and making a truce with memories in his post Leave Him Alone, Frog!

Otter over Grasping for the Wind reccommends Condensed Knowledge for anyone who enjoys strange and unusual information. He provides the good and the bad regarding an interesting resource.
Fellow fourth grade teacher, Terrell from Alone on a Limb discusses a wonderful book that can hook any student or adult with poetry. Check out Terrell’s post A Poem to Start the Week---Love That Brother!

Professor David Parker of Another History Blog questions if UGA is our nation’s FIRST state university in his post Happy Birthday University of Georgia.

I was quite amused this week over the fuss about the Cartoon Network’s latest advertising campaign. Apparently Grayson from the one and only The Spacey Gracey Review was amused as well. Grayson warns, “Beware “cartoon” figures lurking in society that don’t make themselves obvious. They might scare the little people, and the off-the-gridders, if your’re not careful.” Check out the rest of her post Culture Gap Widened By New Media

Two Georgia bloggers are up for an award. Can you help them out? Paige tells us all about it in her post titled And the Nominees Are.... Congrats to The Avery Lane Experience and Oh The Joys

Apparently the whole Michael Vick water bottle episode has gotten a few people wrangling with the word “thug”. Is it a racial epithet? Dave over at opines here.

I agree with Harriette from South of the Gnat Line….one thing the South doesn’t need is another skeleton in the closet, but looks like there is one. Check out her post titled Y'all-Please Tell Me No!

William Reichart from Provocative Church wonders why the church can’t offer A Couch and a Listening Ear. I agree….why can’t they? Kleenex can.

Genarlow is the newest cause for many of our state lawmakers. Catch up on the newest attempts to free this young man via the Peach Pundit in his post Genarlow Wilson.

So, what’s your definition of family time? The Peach Pulpit weighs in with his post Shortening the School Calendar?

Have you ever seen 436 million dollars? If you drive through downtown Atlanta you see that much and more every day. Check out Stephen’s latest picture at Georgia Photos

So just where was the first pot of Brunswick Stew made? Philip Livingston at Georgia Life has the Georgia connection in his post titled Brunswick Stew.

Oh No! It Might Rain, Sleet, & Freeze! says ET over at Chicken Fat. He entertains us with memories of bits of ice from times gone by. I remember the huge ice storm we had in the early 70s. We missed school for several days. There were many people who were stranded and many people had to resort to taking in strangers.

Does anyone smoke marijuana for the flavor? That’s the question Drifting With the Grift's own Griftdrift asks in most recent post here.

Finally, since Georgia’s own General Beauregard Lee says spring is just around the corner many of us will begin thinking about curb appeal. Landscaping Ideas and Tips offers How to Make Compost
So there you have it…edition two. The next edition will be found at this website on Friday, February 16, 2007. Submissions will be accepted through 6 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, February 15th. Submissions can be emailed to or use the handy submission form here. The prior edition of the carnival can be found here.

The Weather Guys and Blogger Really Need to Stop Playing Around With My Affections

First of all Blogger denied me yesterday from posting to this site as well as History Is Elementary. I’m not sure what was going on….if you had problems let me know. I was really anxious because the Georgia Carnival was to be up today. I never could get on the system to get anything posted. Everytime I attempted to click in the box to enter my log on information I received a “this page is unavailable” message. I tried to log on the new blogger as well as the old.

I'm sorry if you came by for the carnival and it wasn't here. I am hoping to have it up sometime this evening.

My second denial yesterday was from the snow and ice gods.

It was a sad, sad day around my school campus as students and teachers arrived. Some Georgia counties were closed for ice and more than likely they will be closed again tomorrow. My county, however, had rain. Wet, wet, liquidy, non-ice forming RAIN!

How depressing. How utterly, utterly depressing. I really wish the weather guys would stop toying with us like that.

Well, ice season still has several more weeks. My hopes remain high.
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