At the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton, visitors get more than just an introduction to rural history. They get a feel for it.
That’s because the museum is more than artifacts. It’s also an historic village, where rural life in the 19th century is recreated. Costumed interpreters share the history of their building, from the blacksmith’s shop to the print shop to the barn, in a way that makes the time come alive.
Visitors can sit in the schoolhouse and write on the chalkboard. They can shuck corn in the feed and seed, grind it in the mill, and then take it to feed the chickens. They can participate in the domestic chores of washing laundry by hand and raking the yard with a branch broom.
“The goal is to get the guest active in the interpretation,” says Garrett Boone, assistant director of the museum. “The hands-on activity gives people an appreciation for the rural lifestyle and makes something that is educational also something that is entertaining and memorable.”
More than 35 structures have been relocated to the 95-acre site and restored, creating an authentic experience for visitors. The original Victorian home of Tifton’s founder is also open for tours, and the museum’s steam-powered train, the only one still in operation in the state, is a popular attraction.
Boone encourages Georgians to visit the museum during different seasons as well.
“Throughout the year, we host special events, like our October Fall Frolic and our Spring Folk Life Festival. It’s a special time at the museum where we bring in additional attractions, like craftsmen, artists and fiddle players, for instance. It’s another way for us to combine entertainment and education to give visitors a unique experience.”
If You Go
The Georgia Museum of Agriculture is located at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. Hours, attractions and admission rates vary throughout the year, so visit www.abac.edu/museum for more information.