A SOUTHERN HERITAGE RAMBLE

DALE AND BEVERLY  HIT THE ROAD AGAIN AND CAN YOU BELIEVE IT - WE WENT SOUTH - STARTING OUT AT A CAMELLIA GARDEN , VISITING A GRIST MILL, AND ENDING OUR SOUTHERN HERITAGE RAMBLE AT ANDERSONVILLE. 

OUR FIRST STOP WAS AT THE MASSEE LANE CAMELLIA GARDENS WHICH ARE JUST SOUTH OF FORT VALLEY, GEORGIA.  FORT VALLEY IS THE HOME OF DOTTIE AND VERNON WRIGHT AND THE BLUEBIRD BUS COMPANY.

HISTORIC HOME OF THE SOUTHERN CAMELLIA SOCIETY.  UNFORTUNATELY WE WERE TOO EARLY FOR THE CAMELLIA SOCIETY.  THE GARDENS WERE OPEN BUT THE BUILDING WAS CLOSED.

THE PLANT WITH THE WHITE BLOOMS IS WINTER DAPHNE AND THE AROMA
 IS WONDERFUL.  LOOKS LIKE A MOVIE STAR STROLLING THROUGH THE GARDEN. 

 

WHILE WE WERE LATE IN THE SEASON FOR THE GARDEN TO BE IN FULL BLOOM - 
WE DID FIND SOME SPECIMENS THAT WERE LOVELY.

THIS LITTLE WATER GARDEN WAS BEAUTIFUL.  SEVERAL COLORFUL KOI  LIVED IN THE POND AND THE MILL STONES WERE UNIQUE STEPPING STONES.

 

STOPPING FOR A SHORT REST, WE ENJOYED THE SOLITUDE AND THE BIRDS SINGING IN THE BRANCHES.   

 

THE MORNING WAS COOL AND THE GARDEN VERY INVITING. THE OLD MILL STONES MADE THE PATH LOVELY.  THE ORIGINAL OWNER OF THE GARDENS USED MILLSTONES ALL THROUGH THE GARDEN.  WHAT A TREASURE!

THE MASSEE LANE GARDENS ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL AND WELL  KEPT AND WE ENJOYED OUR VISIT.  WE WERE ABOUT TWO WEEKS TOO LATE TO SEE  THEM IN  FULL BLOOM BUT WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED.

JIMMY MOORE WHO ONCE HAD A DAIRY IN IDEAL, GA, KNEW OF A GRIST MILL IN THIS REGION AND PUT US IN TOUCH WITH A FRIEND OF HIS, FRANK, WHO GAVE US SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS TO THE MILL.  

WE FOUND BENTLEYS MILL IN OGLETHORPE, GA.  THE MILL WAS BUILT 
IN THE 1850'S AND WAS AN OPERATING MILL UNTIL RECENTLY.

 

THE OWNER, KEN WILLIAMS, WAS NOT AT HOME BUT WHEN WE DROVE TO THE HOUSE, TWO VERY NICE GENTLEMEN MADE US WELCOME UNTIL MR. WILLIAMS RETURNED.  THIS YOUNG MAN, WHO LIVES IN ATHENS,  TOOK US ON A TOUR OF THE MILL.  HERE HE  SHOWS US WHERE THE TURBINE IS LOCATED AND EXPLAINS HOW THE WATER COMES INTO THE TURBINE AND THE  ROTATION OF THE TURBINE DRIVES THE BELTS THAT TURNS THE STONES THAT GRINDS THE CORN THAT BECOMES FLOUR OR GRITS.  HE SAID THE MILL'S WORKS ARE STILL IN GOOD CONDITION AND THE MILL COULD BE OPERATIONAL WITH JUST A LITTLE WORK. 

DALE IS HOLDING A BAG THAT WAS USED BY THE MILL FOR  WATER GROUND CORN MEAL.  THE MILL WAS SURROUNDED BY A STAND OF VERY  LARGE BAMBOO.  THE RECENT ICE STORM HAD DONE A LOT OF DAMAGE  ON THE PROPERTY.

KEN WILLIAMS CAME HOME IN TIME FOR US TO VISIT WITH HIM.  HE HAS PLANS TO RESTORE THE MILL.  WE THANKED THE GENTLEMEN FOR THEIR HOSPITALITY AND HEADED TO ANDERSONVILLE.

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