Historic homes, garden tour is Saturday


The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension volunteers are hosting a Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens today. The tour, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is unique in that it combines history and horticulture. Come and explore life as it was in the 1860s. The proceeds from the tour will be used for educational programs supported by both organizations.
Newnan was known as a “hospital town” during the Civil War era. The historic train depot in downtown Newnan was the destination for many soldiers from both the north and south. From the train depot they were taken to various homes throughout the area to receive medical care. The Reese home, built in the 1850s, was occupied by the local druggist, Dr. J. T. Reese. On tour, the home will feature medicinal plants and our very own Master Gardener extension volunteer and nurse, Bonnie Umberger, who will portray nurse Fannie Beers who was a nurse in several of the hospitals in Newnan during the Civil War.
The Bailey home which was moved from its original location a short distance up Poplar Road is now located on Bill Hart Road. The home once served as an informal hospital where Confederate soldiers returning home were nursed and fed. This site will feature many of the activities that would have occurred on a working farm of the era: a kitchen garden, herb garden, animals, candle-dipping, blacksmithing, storytelling and soap-making.
The Magnolias Plantation is a lovely Federal-style home designed by Dr. John MacFarland, a physician originally from Scotland, and Georgia architect/builder Collin Rodgers. The home was moved from LaGrange to its present location on Bill Hart Road. The gardens feature boxwoods, an extensive collection of azaleas, roses and hydrangeas. There is a lovely cutting garden, boxwood garden and parterre garden.
Come and stroll through the gardens, listen to the stories and the music of Stephen Foster. Bring the children to the working farm and dip candles, see the animals, hear the stories and see some of the toys that children of this era played with. It should be a wonderful educational experience.
There are three different ways to tour the homes and gardens:
• Complete tour that includes three homes, three gardens and an 1860s era lunch are $30 each.
• Family tickets that are for the Bailey house only are $20 and do not include lunch.
• Individual homes/gardens – $5 per home/garden/person and do not include lunch.
Tickets are available at the NCHS Male Academy Museum at 30 Temple Avenue in Newnan, the Coweta County Extension Office at 255 Pine Road in Newnan, the Coweta County Visitor’s Center, at the historic Courthouse in downtown Newnan, Let Them Eat Toffee, on the square in downtown Newnan and Andy’s Nursery on Ga. Highway 16 in Newnan.
 For more information visit www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com or call 770-251-0207.