Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Office Cat" coverage of the 2009 Washington Fall Ramble

Lots of rain but not like Atlanta

The Office Cat

From all reports, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Fall Ramble in Wilkes County last weekend was a tremendous success. There were more than 275 people registered for the event and it seemed that they were "all over everywhere." I'm sure they spent some money in Washington- Wilkes in addition to their lodging and food. In spite of all the rain, I've heard nothing but very good compliments on every aspect of the Ramble. After touring several homes and churches in the Danburg area Friday afternoon, they enjoyed dinner at Peacewood Plantation on the Tignall Road and no complaints were heard about the rain or mud. After an early-morning breakfast at the First Baptist Church, catered by Jean Davis-Blair and her efficient crew from Alfred's On The Square, the ramblers adjourned to the church sanctuary where our

Mark Waters told them all about Washington-Wilkes, and "The Lost Gold of the Confederacy." I wasn't there, but I've heard that his presentation was very well received. . . . From about 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., they toured Washington homes, museums, churches, and the Mary Willis Library, stopping long enough to have lunch at the First United Methodist Church. . . . I was privileged to tour the newly-restored

Gilbert-Alexander-Wright Home which has been the pride and joy of Robert Aiken and his fine crew of workers. Kurt Wolfe graciously showed me some of the "behind the scenes" problems and solutions of the restoration. One of the rooms which "has not been touched yet" was as I remember having seen it in the 1960s when it was the home of Alexander and Lotte Wright. . . . I hope that it can be open to the public soon.

Something that I especially enjoyed at Fairfield Plantation (The Gilbert-Alexander-Wright home) was the grounds which are beautiful and immaculate. Just outside the back door is a very large Buckeye tree. As children, we searched the woods for buckeyes so that we could keep one in our pocket for "good luck," but the trees that we saw were so tall we never actually saw how the fruit was produced. This tree at Fairfield was loaded with buckeyes and they had not yet opened to discharge the buckeyes. . . . Another interesting planting was a pomegranate tree or bush. We had one in the yard at our home (the Rider house) when I was a child and I had forgotten what interesting plants they are.

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