If you are one of those who has taken the museum tours, viewed any original items that have “some” connection to Gone with the Wind, heard a lecture from the friend of a friend of a member of the crew, and perused the dioramas and read all the text,….it might be time for you to get out in the fresh air and view the center piece of the story, in the land where the story materialized. It is time to view Tara.
Today the Tara façade sits in the barn of the Talmadge family (south of Jonesboro, Georgia) who have owned it since Betty Talmadge (wife of the late U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge) acquired it in 1980. A few years later she rescued the Fitzgerald House which was the plantation home of Margaret Mitchell’s family and her version of Tara in her book. Today both reside in the barns on the Crawford-Talmadge Plantation; the Crawford’s being the owners in the 1850’s when they and their neighbors (the Fitzgerald’s) lived the lives of the O’Hara’s at Tara and the Wilke’s at Twelve Oaks.
The Tara façade tour meets in front of the stately Crawford Plantation house as I share the stories of the area that give context to Fitzgerald, Crawford and the Battle of Atlanta and Jonesboro. You will hear how the lines connect and understand why Wilbur Kurtz was so hopeful that Tara could be displayed in the area where the stories were born, “the red earth of Clayton County”. You will then be ushered into the barn where the windows, doors and side porches of Tara have been stored for over 25 years, and yet they still retain much of the white wash and the green of the shutters. There you will behold what few have ever had the chance to,….the assorted pieces from the most iconic movie set of all time,….Tara.
The pieces are not piled high in disarray as they were when I first opened the barn door over two years ago but assembled and ordered so the different scenes can be understood and the pieces from that scene noted. The front door of Tara (restored by the Talmadges in 1986) is on temporary loan to the Margaret Mitchell House, as Talmadge still owns it, but many of the original pieces of the door can be found with the rest of the Tara façade in Lovejoy. These doors and windows and side porches are easily recognized as being in the scenes at Tara. And Tara is easily differentiated from the hand hewn beams of the Fitzgerald house (Margaret’s Tara) that is also stored there. I have recently found a few of Tara’s bricks so that you will know what the brick walls were truly made of.
So, I am announcing that there will be tours of the Tara façade on Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM. The tour cost is $20.00 per person and lasts no more than two hours. All guests will prepay through PayPal or prearrangement,… there will be NO REFUNDS and the tour will happen rain or shine. Upon completion of the Paypal purchase by selecting the desired date I will email the address and further instructions. There are only twenty spaces at each tour so reserve your dates as soon as possible.
I’ll be waiting for you up at the gate, ….on the road to Tara.
Note: PayPal WILL NOT allow you to purchase more than one tour at a time so you have to re-click the sight for each purchase. Sorry for any inconvenience.