Inman Farm Heritage Days, an annual September celebration of an important and often forgotten Fayette County and rural Georgia lifestyle, will return this weekend for the 23rd year.
The events will take place on Minter’s Farm, approximately five miles south of Fayetteville on Hills Bridge Rd. just off Highway 92 South. Admission is free.
“It really says something for the show and the people participating in it, whether as volunteer helpers or as interested guests, that the mission is unchanged after over two decades,” said Rick Minter, who founded the festival on his family farm in 1997. “That mission,” he points out, “is simply to recognize the farm heritage of the Inman community and Fayette County.”
Minter says he is especially pleased that the three-day event has been able to maintain a free admission policy throughout its history. This has always been possible because of volunteer workers, advertisers and by sales of souvenir T-shirts and programs as well as by donations.
“We’ve got some great supporters who work really hard getting ready for the show,” he said. “They even spend their own money to help defray expenses. To me, that goes back to the ways people helped each other in the old farming days when neighbors pitched in to help neighbors. It says to me that old-time values are still alive and well and being passed on to later generations in Inman and Fayette County.”
Minter said the heritage of old farm equipment is evident in the cover photo of this year’s souvenir program. The Moss family alongside a small portion of their collection of Allis-Chalmers are honored this year for their love of old farming equipment and their dedication to volunteering at the Heritage Days. This is a family affair with all involved in the process from purchasing to restoration, and the best part of all, to proudly parading around their collections.
“That’s why these three days are about more than just looking at old tractors and engines and watching grain being threshed and syrup being made,” Minter said. “Heritage Days are a teaching experience, and where values are concerned, they are a preserving experience.”
The show opens at 9 a.m. Friday (Sept. 20) and continues through Sunday (Sept. 22).
Aside from the antique tractors and engines on display, other attractions to see are broom making, a 1930s era hand-fed threshing machine, a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, syrup making, a 100-year old print shop, a sawmill, a planing mill, and a pea thresher.
In recent years, antique cars and trucks have been added to the hundreds of tractors and various kinds of engines on display. Guests can visit a one-room schoolhouse, known as the Butler School in the early 1900s when it was located north of Fayetteville. There also is a small building that once housed a country store on Tyrone Rd. west of Fayetteville.
One of the more popular exhibits is a liquor still, demonstrated by the family of the late Clarence Betsill. Whiskey making is also a part of Fayette County rural history, especially in hard Depression times when small farmers were desperate to feed and clothe their families with what they could produce with a mule and a hoe.
Another highlight of the weekend is the Sunday morning worship service; at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Inman United Methodist Church holds a worship service in a wooded area on the site where brush arbor services were held nearly 200 years ago. Rev. Tommy Ross, pastor of Inman United Methodist Church, will preach. The public is invited.
The show features a number of food and snack vendors. “We have pedal tractor races for kids and crafts on sale for adults,” Minter says. “We try to have something for the entire family.”
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Handicap parking is available as well as wagon shuttles from parking lots. Parking is free.
Directions from Fayetteville:
Take Highway 92 South toward Griffin. Proceed 4 miles to Hills Bridge Rd. (Watch for Methodist Church sign and U.S. flag on left, vacant Country Store on right). Take a left on Hills Bridge. Follow signs and instructions from parking attendants.
From left, Caleb, Kevin, Donna, and Daniel Moss, along with a few of their Allis-Chalmers collection, will be featured on the souvenir program this year. Come out and see their display on September 20-22.