While the Saving Tara Project is still moving forward (and working on a new building) I can’t help wondering if there is really that much interest in displaying the movie set from Gone with the Wind. I mean it has been 75 years since the movie premiered and there appears to be more interest in the digital world of make believe than an old celluloid story taken from our nation’s past. Look around amongst the museums that claim a love for Gone with the Wind and see if there is much (if any) information about the Saving Tara Project,…and if not,….ask yourself why? …and then ask the museum?
Today the Tara façade rests in the dairy barn on the Talmadge property ready to be visited by those who claim a love for it and all things Gone with the Wind. No, there are no fancy galleries, restaurants or even restrooms. The barn is as it was in 1980 when Mrs. Betty Talmadge rescued it from an open air shed and brought to her Lovejoy Plantation in hopes of finding it a permanent home. Her dream never materialized because those who claimed big ideas and backing were charlatans who hoped to play on Tara’s notoriety to gain the funds that they never had, and each time Mrs. Betty would retrieve the doors, windows and side porches of the O’Hara’s manse and begin again her hunt for a proper suitor.
Mrs. Betty has long since become “one with the ages” as have Margaret Mitchell, John Marsh, David O. Selznick and Wilbur Kurtz who all supported the idea of a museum to display both the movie set and the Fitzgerald House that was Margaret’s inspiration. But the artifacts that made up the bulk of the Tara façade used in Gone with the Wind still survive and still cast its spell on those who care to visit. Visitors moved by the story, “of cavaliers and cotton fields” a story of the land and family and crisis….and (as Margaret stated regularly)…of gumption…the will to fight on amid hardship. It’s a story just as poignant today as when it was penned in 1936 and bought to film in 1939.
On Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 at 10:00 AM, I will meet any and all who care to come to the gate to share a few hours with the ghosts,….the imprints of a legendary storyteller, producer and actors who brought to life this story. I will be giving a two hour Tara façade tour that will include more stories from the battle of Jonesboro and the true stories from the book along with time to view the Tara façade in the old dairy barn at Lovejoy Plantation. This will not be your standard ghost tour,…there is nothing to fear here, for the people of the past are not angry with the telling of their tale but glad to be remembered.
If you would like to be a part of the tour you will need to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions regarding reserving your spot. The cost for the tour will be $20.00 per person and will need to be prepaid prior to your confirmation. These tours are for adults only (no one under 16) and no audio or video taping will be allowed. Still photographs will be allowed at certain times during the presentation with the Tara façade and grounds.
I look forward to seeing you up at the gate.