Who doesn’t love a scenic bike ride in the summer? This 2.6 mile bike tour will take you through fascinating historic sites of Eatonton, GA. You’ll get to see Antebellum and Victorian style homes and gardens, as well as museums, war memorials, and city landmarks. If you wish to rent a bike rather than taking your own, there are some available at The Chamber of Commerce. For a half day (4 hours), rent is $10 and for a full day (8 hours), rent is $15. Rentals are available Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm.
1. The Plaza Arts Center
The Plaza Arts Center, located at 305 N. Madison Ave., was once the Old Eatonton Elementary/High School and was used as an education facility up until 2001. It was then transformed into the Plaza Arts Center, using the theater for plays and other events. Currently in the same building, you will also find the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce / Welcome Center and the Old School History Museum.
2. Panola Hall (Sylvia’s House)
Panola Hall was built in 1854 and is located at 400 Madison Avenue. Although it was originally built as a town home for a plantation owner named Henry Trippe, this historic home has been owned by many families over the years. One of these many owners was Dr. Benjamin Hunt, who was famous for bringing the dairy industry to Eatonton. An old tale says that a ghost named Sylvia with brunette hair can be seen every once in a while inside the home, wearing a white skirt and creating an aroma of roses. Her story has been told many different ways, but the most well-known is that she jumped off a balcony after learning of her fiancé’s death in the Civil War. The home is still in top shape; its exterior architecture is beautiful and the inside structure has been renovated since its original design. Visit this link to see a virtual tour of the home and read more about its history! https://www.raineyandco.com/2016/08/20/new-listing-400-n-madison-ave/
3. Pine Grove Cemetery
Pine Grove Cemetery is the second oldest cemetery owned and maintained by the city. Some of the tombstones at Pine Grove date back to before the Civil War. One section in the back West part of the cemetery is called “Strangers Row” in city records, and is believed to be the burial grounds of many slaves. Another section is dedicated to the Civil War, containing both Confederate and Union soldiers. This cemetery is located on the corner of Grove St. and Church St.
4. The Reid-Greene-Lawrence-Sichveland House
The Reid-Greene-Lawrence-Sichveland House is an 8,000 square foot Greek revival home that took seven years to build, getting completed in 1855. It is located at 205 N. Lafayette St. This home is a favorite among visitors and locals because it is noted for its excellent state of preservation. Its plaster medallions, wood graining, marbleizing, and hand-carved Corinthian capitols are just some of the most fascinating preservations. The landscape is also beautiful, as it has ponds, fountains, and a rose arbor.
5. Old County Jail/ Veterans Wall of Honor
The Old County Jail, located at 300 Marion St., was built in 1939 and used until 1987. The sheriff and his family lived downstairs, while prisoners were kept on the second floor. Just next door to the West, you can find the Veterans Wall of Honor, which was built in 2014 and dedicated to those who have served in the Armed Forces.
6. The Haband House
The Haband House, also known as the Reid-Griffith-Manley House, is located at 200 S. Washington St. It’s about 7,713 square feet, with a smaller guest house in the back at about 1,956 square feet. It is one of four homes built by the Reid brothers, like the house in number 4. The first owner of the home was Stephen W. Harris. Evidence shows that an earlier house was incorporated into the present house. The Haband House boasts Eatonton’s first “white columns,” which are stucco over brick. After a fire in the 1990’s, the house was purchased and restored by the Haband Company, hence the name. Visit the link below to see pictures of the inside! https://www.raineyandco.com/2017/03/28/200-s-washington-eatonton-ga-reid-griffith-manley-haband/
7. The Uncle Remus Museum
The Uncle Remus Museum opened in 1963 and is a composite of two old Putnam County slave cabins similar to the one Uncle Remus lived in himself. Originally, it was located on the courthouse square. The museum is now located on the corner of S. Jefferson and Washington St. in Turner Park, which is part of the original home place of Joseph Sidney Turner, the “Little Boy” in Uncle Remus’ tales. Inside the museum, there are wooden carvings of all “de critters” in shadow boxes, as well as displays of artifacts, articles of interest, and first edition books from the 1800’s. It’s also now incorporated the wing of an old plantation and contains an old-fashioned chicken coop and blacksmith shop. For hours of operation and more information, go to www.uncleremusmuseum.org.
8. Georgia Writers Museum
The Georgia Writers Museum, currently located at 109 S. Jefferson Avenue (but expecting to move to the court house), honors iconic Eatonton native authors such as Alice Walker, Joel Chandler Harris, and Flannery O’Connor. The museum creates a modern-day experience using leading-edge virtual and augmented reality, as well as 3D technology, to attract visitors. In the museum, you’ll also find the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame exhibit. Check out their website for more information! http://www.georgiawritersmuseum.com/
9. Putnam County Courthouse
The Putnam County Courthouse is located at 100 S. Jefferson Avenue. It was constructed in 1905 by J.W. Golucke at a cost of $30,000 and got renovated in 1995 at a cost of $1.5 million. In 2005, an East and West wing were also added.
10. Blackwell Furniture Company
Blackwell Furniture Company began operation in a single three-story building in 1945, but has expanded to an eight-building complex, located at 107 N. Madison Avenue. The eight buildings Blackwell Furniture now accommodates were once The Adelle Theater, Fuller’s General Store, Old City Hall, Rising Star Lodge, the Hunt Rainey building, and the Express Office. Fun fact: The first non-electric elevator in Eatonton is still located in one of the buildings, as are many other original features. See what furniture they have to offer! https://www.blackwellfurnitureco.com/
11. The Bronson House
The Bronson House, built from 1816-1822, is located at 114 N. Madison Avenue. It is also known as the Napier-Reid-Rainey-Stubbs-Eagle Tavern based on its owners. The home was originally a Piedmont Plain house and served as a tavern, but was given a Greek revival renovation between 1846 and 1852.The second owner, Mr. Andrew Reid, was the first patron of Joel Chandler Harris, local author of the Uncle Remus stories. Harris and his mother lived in a small cottage behind the house. Click this link to read the text on the historic marker in front of the home: http://lat34north.com/HistoricMarkers/MarkerDetail.cfm?KeyID=117-A5&MarkerTitle=The%20Bronson%20House&CountyNameKey=Putnam
12. City Hall
City Hall, located at 201 N. Jefferson Ave., was built in 1931 by the federal government, originally as a post office. In 1922, the city purchased it for city hall purposes and filled it with city employees. Here is the city’s website link! http://www.eatontonga.us/
13. The Williams House
The Williams House, located at 306 N. Jefferson Avenue, was built by the Williams family in 1840 and expanded to be two stories with Victorian attributes in 1890. It has a beautiful wrap around porch and is now being used as a funeral home.
14. The Adams-Hearne-Hume-Mangum House
The Adams-Hearne-Hume-Mangum House, located at 414 N. Jefferson Ave., is an outstanding example of a Greek revival cottage, with the exterior detailing of the cornice and portico being unequaled in Eatonton. The home originally belonged to Jefferson Adams, and then the Hearn family occupied it for 75 years. In the early 2000’s, a full interior and exterior renovation, including the carriage house, was completed.
Kylie is the summer intern at the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. She recently graduated from Georgia College & State University with a degree in Mass Communication, with which she hopes to pursue a career in Public Relations.