The Union Recorder

April 18, 2013

Fifth annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage

Felicia Cummings
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Historic stops of Milledgeville will be highlighted this week as communities along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail extend their Southern hospitatlity to visitors during the fifth annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimmage.

The tour begins today and runs through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The 100-mile Antebellum Trail spans seven historically significant communities including Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Gray/Old Clinton and Macon. It features events and tours along the trail as well as entrance into private, historic homes not open to the general public.  

The Milledgeville Convention & Visitors Bureau has been anticipating this event for weeks. 

“We’ve enjoyed being part of this tour every year and consider it a privilege to share with others the interesting southern history that exists in our town,” said Milledgeville Convention & Visitors Bureau tour coordinator Linda Bailey.  

The tour begins in Athens, the northern gateway of the Antebellum Trail. Patrons can tour four house museums featuring four architectural styles from four different 19th century decades. Special events and offerings at the Athens house museums are planned for the weekend, including the Athens Welcome Center’s 40th birthday celebration. 

Next stop, which is mere minutes away, tourists will find Watkinsville and Oconee County. Visitors will tour Eagle Tavern, one of many historic sites in the area. According a press release on the event, the circa 1801 Eagle Tavern remains on its original site in Watkinsville and its museum reveals daily life in frontier Georgia. Madison also offers a wide collection of antebellum buildings that help preserve the southern architecture of the area. Patrons can embark on a walking or driving tour of the historic district and will have access to sites such as the Greek Revival-style Heritage Hall.

After Madison, visitors will make their way to Eatonton and Milledgeville, both areas rich in literary history. 

“Milledgeville is rich in history, and not a lot of people take the time to really appreciate it or learn more about it,” said Bailey. “The great thing about the tour is that it points out interesting facts about our community that some until this day may not know about.” 

Among the local stops is the Old Governor’s Mansion.

The final two stops on the Trail brings visitors to Gray and Old Clinton and ending in Macon. Visitors can experience life on an 1850s cotton plantation as they walk the grounds of the Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site then travel to Macon to view the Hay House and the Cannonball House, majestic palaces of the south. 

For more information on the tour call 1 (800) 768-3401. Travel along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail is self-guided. Tickets are $25. Groups of 10 or more receive discounted tickets at $20. The tickets can be purchased online at www.antebellumtrail.org or at any of the six Welcome Centers along the trail immediately prior to and during the Pilgrimage. 

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