The Union Recorder

February 5, 2013

Mansion gives historic insight to lives of African-Americans

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Old Governor’s Mansion is providing a special tour to give visitors an in-depth look at the life of African-Americans enslaved and free who worked at the mansion during the historic period.

“The purpose of creating a slave tour about the Old Governor’s Mansion is to interpret antebellum life through the perspective of slaves and the free persons who worked here,” said Matt Davis, mansion curator. “The standard tour at the Old Governor’s Mansion already acknowledges aspects of the lives of the slaves; however this presentation is the typical ‘top down’ history which focuses on the lives of the governors, their families and their prominent guests. This tour will present a ‘bottom up’ view of the Old Governor’s Mansion.”

The “Labor Behind the Veil: The History of Slaves and Free Persons at Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion 1839-1868” tour will open areas of the mansion that are not normally available to tour.

“Visitors will get to see the attic of the house and go down on the back of the staircase of the building,” Davis said. “Visitors will learn about the rich history giving different and unique insights to what life was like at that time period through the eyes of the support staff, get insight to the stories of the cooks, the flow of events and behind the scenes, and interactions with governors and first lady’s.”

The tour is available Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. by appointment only. Reservations are due the day before each program. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for adult groups, $8 for seniors and $4 for students.

“This is a long-standing program and is offered year-round, including Black History Month,” Davis said. “Visitors will get to see the rooms and stand in the places they once stood, and touch and see things they did. This is a unique opportunity that you do not want to miss.”

Completed in 1839, the Old Governor’s Mansion served as the residence for Georgia’s chief executives for more than 30 years. The mansion’s history encompasses the antebellum, Civil War and early Reconstruction phases of the state’s history.

The Old Governor's Mansion now serves as an historic house museum whose mission is to care for, collect, interpret and exhibit items that illustrate the history of the site and its inhabitants during the years the mansion was the official residence of Georgia’s governors from 1839 to1868 in order to make these objects available to the public for educational benefit. 

For more information about the mansion, or to make a reservation for a tour, call 478-445-4545, or visit www.gcsu.edu/mansion.

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