In a recent post I was asked if there was anything left of Tara other than a few piles of sticks, maybe a window sash or a door knob or two. At first I found myself on the defensive, but quickly realized that the question was not meant as a cut but a request for an honest description of what, if anything of Tara is still recognizable. They wanted to know if there was anything resembling the home of the O’Hara’s, the big white manse that stood overlooking the Flint River on, “the red earth of Clayton County”.
So, given that our numbers on these sites are constantly rising and thus new folks are appearing here with little knowledge of The Saving Tara Project and what is there to save, I thought it best to take a short inventory of what is there to see in our dairy barn/museum in Lovejoy, Georgia (south of Atlanta, Georgia, USA). And maybe after more folks see that Tara DOES STILL EXIST AND IS WAITING FOR THEIR VISIT it will be easier to find the time to come to Georgia to see this, the most iconic movie set of all time!
After the initial moving of old go carts and four wheelers, I found that the items listed in Tommy Jones inventory in 1983 (http://tomitronics.com) was still very much intact and mostly just covered with dirt. Sure the windows were no longer attached to the white washed brick walls but the walls (made of 2×4 framing covered with thin veneer and brick tiles called “staff”) were left behind to be burned on the lot. But all windows were there and still complete, as were the side porch steps, the side porch window and door and even the cathedral window that stood behind Scarlett as she faced the Yankee on Tara’s stairs.
But to once again answer the question on everyone’s mind, NO,….I do not plan on rebuilding Tara using these historic pieces. At present I still plan to continue the preservation and presentation of Tara’s doors, windows and side porches as artifacts posted next to large posters depicting each piece in its iconic scenes. Do I want to build a replica of Tara the way it looked on the lot during filming, YES! … but the first order it to preserve the original as well as the Fitzgerald House (Margaret’s family home that she said was her Tara) that is also on the same property. Today, one can view the Tara façade in the same barn with the yet to be reassembled Fitzgerald Plantation House on the property known as the 1835 Crawford-Talmadge Plantation
(referred to as Twelve Oaks in Margaret Mitchells day).
So, today Tara is still being preserved in a barn south of Atlanta. I am the only person (by contract) allowed to work on the project (along with my helpers) and I am the only source for the tour. If you want to help in the restoration the first step is to purchase a copy (or three) of the Official Guide to the Saving Tara Project which is available (autographed) on this site. And you can come and view Tara for yourself (next tour dates, Friday and Saturday, Feb 26,27).
I’ll be looking for you up at the gate.