There is more to Dothan than meets the Eye

Day 1748

     Back in the 1800’s what we call water towers were called standpipes. The Dothan Dixie Standpipe stands one hundred feet tall and sixteen feet in diameter. The city’s early growth is a result of pure and plentiful water. The Standpipe sits atop a 625 foot deep artesian well which began supplying fresh water to the city of Dothan on April 5th, 1897. The Dothan Dixie Standpipe is the oldest continuously operating water tower in the State of Alabama.

     Hand me my wrench, please. 

     This Atlantic Coastline passenger station was constructed by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad in 1907 during Dothan’s rapid growth as a commercial center. This station served Dothan until 1979. 

     The station is guarded by the Gargoyle.

     As stated yesterday, the current prominent industry of Dothan is peanuts. A closer look at this industry and how it effected Dothan is located in the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum. Unfortunately, the building was locked.

     I called the museum, no one answered. I left a message and did not receive a return call. I don’t know if it was locked because of the china virus or, like a greater part of downtown, is abandoned.

     The old downtown commercial center of Dothan appears to be mostly vacant and run down. The buildings span the period of Dothan’s early growth from 1885 to 1930.

     During this time Dothan grew from a small rural town into the trade and transportation nucleus of the area, the last area of Alabama to be settled and developed.

     This section of the city began losing its importance as a commercial hub in the late 1960’s when retail businesses began moving to outlying shopping centers and malls, abandoning many buildings. 

     By 1992, most of the shops and business had left in favor of Ross Clark Circle’s busy traffic, shopping center, and malls. This is what we have all come to expect as a downtown modern center. 

     A small group of citizens began the process of bringing downtown back as an attraction, commissioning murals to be painted on the historic buildings left vacant. There are currently 19 murals, including a hidden mural inside the Dothan Opera House. 

     We tried to enter the Opera House, but like most of the other buildings it was locked, with no notice or explanation. The Opera House was built as a municipal auditorium by the growing town. Seating 800, it opened October 8, 1915, with a performance by a local orchestra. The 3 story masonry structure remains basically unaltered from its original plan. A new civic center was built across the street in 1971. 

     On February 9, 1903 delegates from this area formed a new County from three existing counties and named it Houston after former Governor George S. Houston. In March of that year an election was held and Dothan was named the new county seat. In 1905 the Houston County courthouse was dedicated. In 1960 that building was torn down and this building was constructed, which opened in April 1962 in the same spot as the original:

     A few blocks away is the Federal Courthouse, all in the new section of Dothan.

 

 

 

 

Old Governor’s Mansion, Milledgeville, Georgia

Day 1741

     Only 8 governors lived in the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia. Mainly because the mansion was only in use from 1839 when it was built until 1868 when the Capital of Georgia was moved to Atlanta.

     We were fortunate to receive a private tour of the mansion.

     The building of the mansion was started in 1835 with the first Governor residing here in 1839.

     Prior to 1839, the governors lived in private or rented homes.

     General William T Sherman and his 30,000 troops marched into Milledgeville on Wednesday, November 23, 1864. He made this building his headquarters.

     (He was going to come in on Tuesday, November 22, 1864, but the building is closed on Tuesdays.)

     Governor Brown was governor at this time and shortly before Sherman’s arrival fled to Macon, Georgia. He returned to the mansion the following year, but was arrested by federal troops. He was taken to Washington, D.C. and briefly imprisoned.

     Andrew Johnson pardoned him on the condition he resign the governorship. By the summer of 1868, Georgia’s capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta.

Scenic Mountain Campground, Milledgeville, Georgia

Day 1740

     Because we are in the Deep South, with 90 degree weather, we decided just to hike around the campground. 

     Scenic Mountain RV Park and Campground has 83 camping sites on 112 acres. Amenities include a bathhouse, coin laundry, three pavilions, a playground, and a salt water swimming-pool with a pool temperature whirlpool. Although the park claims free wifi, the signal is pretty poor. Each site has cable TV with 33 channels

     It advertises paved roads with gravel sites. Our site was level, and it looked like most other sites were as well. A grassy area is located next to each gravel site with a picnic table and fire pit.

     We are 5 miles from downtown Milledgeville.

     The park has six fishing ponds and seven nature trails that are almost 5 miles long.

     Although the park boasts numerous activities, like painting, bingo, jewelry making, glass etching and live music; none were going on the week we were here. I was unsure if that was a result of the china virus, or the park not keeping up with its prior high standards. 

     It appears this was a very nice park at one time. Now looking unkept and run down. Grass not attended to,

streets in disrepair

with numerous pot holes. 

     Nevertheless, there were still many amenities, but because of the heat, they were not in use.

swimming pool,

playground,

pavilions, 

stage,

not today.

     The air conditioned club house was empty.

     Even the dog washes were not in use.

     The only exciting thing going on in this heat, was the tractor falling into one of the ponds.

Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum

Day 1738

     In the first decades of the 1800s there was a movement in several states to reform prisons, create public schools, and establish state-run hospitals for the mentally ill. In 1837, the Georgia State Legislature responded to a call from Governor Wilson Lumpkin, by passing a bill calling for the creation of a “State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum.” Located in Milledgeville, then the state capital, the facility opened in 1842.

     Of course, I couldn’t resist seeking it out.

     The facilities was once the largest mental hospital on Earth. Today, it is slowly rotting away.

     In December 1842, the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum opened its doors to patients afflicted with all manner of mental ailments. It was considered a state-of-the-art facility at the time, eschewing ropes and chains in favor of holistic care and work programs designed to help rehabilitate the patients. This model met with great success, particularly under the leadership of Dr. Thomas A. Green, who served at the hospital from 1845 to 1879. 

     However, as frequently happened in such 19th-century mental institutions, things took a dark turn as the years went on. The population of the hospital had ballooned while the capacity of the buildings had stayed the same.

      The site gained national recognition during the 1950s as the largest mental institution in the world, with over 12,000 patients, 6,000 employees, and more than 8,000 acres of land.    

     The gentle practices that the hospital had once pioneered fell by the wayside as staff struggled to cope with the massive population. The patient population grew steadily throughout the twentieth century. The increase in numbers meant a concurrent decrease in the quality of care. By the 1960s, there were over 12,000 patients living at Central State Hospital, with only one medical staffer per 100 individuals. 

    As conditions deteriorated, patients began dying. A 1959 exposé revealed that none of the 48 doctors patrolling the wards were actually psychiatrists. Mothers across the South threatened to send misbehaving children to Milledgeville. It was soon discovered that more than 25,000 patients were buried in unmarked graves throughout the hospital grounds. This was a result of families not being able to afford to bring their loved ones bodies home. 

     The main hospital eventually shut down in 2010. The property is closed to the public and constant security patrols ensure that no one goes close to the buildings. In fact, I was stopped 3 times by security while taking these photographs, saying either I or my parked truck were on private property.

      Today, Central State Hospital serves only 200 patients and has downsized to roughly 2,000 acres of land, adjacent to these abandoned buildings. .

 

 

 

Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, Georgia

Day 1736

     Today we trudged up Memory Hill to the Cemetery there.

     Milledgeville, founded in 1803, was Georgia’s 4th capital. As part of the planning of Milledgeville in December, 1804, four public squares of 20 acres each were established, with one square (the South square) set aside for public use. In 1809, the Methodist church, with approximately 100 members, was built in the South square, and a church cemetery was established in 1810. Other churches began building in Statehouse square, rather than the South square.

     Eventually the Methodist church moved to Statehouse square also, and the South square became the Milledgeville City Cemetery. In 1945, the Milledgeville City Cemetery obtained the additional name of Memory Hill. The cemetery contains over 7700 identifiable graves with at least 1200 graves with no markers or names.     

     You can be a great man while you walk this earth, but this is all that is left 40 years after your death:

     This is Carl Vinson who died at 98 years old on June 1, 1981. He served in Congress for 50 years as Georgia’s representative. He is credited with being the father of the “two ocean navy” because he urged the creation of the Pacific fleet and developed a 10 year plan to build a strong navy. It is his foresight that help prepare the U.S. for World War II.

     James A. Gibson, born 1880, died 1945, was a Buffalo Soldier who fought in the Indian Wars of 1880 and in the Spanish American War, charging with Teddy Roosevelt on July 2, 1898 up San Juan Hill (it was really San Juan Heights, but that is another story).

      Edwin F. Jemison (the young Confederate soldier whose photograph is among the best-known images associated with the War Between the States):

     Edwin Francis Jemison, a member of the 2d Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, fell in the battle of Malvern Hill, on July 1, 1862, aged seventeen years and seven months.

     He was brave and honorable. In the first call for volunteers to defend our rights his noble and enthusiastic spirit was one of the first to respond; and nobly did he, although but a child in years, he sustained himself in the front rank of the soldier and gentleman until the moment of his death. Bounding forward at the order “Charge!” he was stricken down in the front rank, and without a struggle yielded up his young life.

     These children didn’t die (no date of birth or death), their parents just got frustrated with them. It is said that every night from dusk til dawn they rise up looking for their parents.

     Thomas Haynes Bonner, Died at The Battle of Vicksburg August, 1863.

     It is a shame to think that the remaining 8,895 graves here have their own story to tell, but does anyone remember, or care?

     Look at the time, time to go.

Milledgeville, Georgia

Day 1735

     We are camping this week in Midgetville, Georgia. Sorry, it’s not Midgetville, but Milledgeville, named for John Milledge. Born in 1757 in Savannah, Georgia, he fought in the Revolutionary War and was very active in Georgia politics, including being Governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806. 

    The first European to set foot here was Hernando de Soto on April 3, 1540, searching, on behalf of Spain, for gold. We know this because it was covered by CNN news. 

     Milledgeville is situated on the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. The river’s name derives from the Oconee, a Muskogean people of central Georgia. Milledgeville was a planned city (like Washington, D.C.) established in 1803 and was the capital of Georgia for 60 years, from 1807 to 1868. However, after the war the Capital of Georgia was moved from here to Atlanta, a city emerging as the symbol of the New South.

     On January 19, 1861, Georgia convention delegates passed the Ordinance of Secession, and on February 4, 1861, the “Republic of Georgia” joined the Confederate States of America. On November 22, 1864 Union general William T. Sherman and 30,000 Union troops marched into Milledgeville during his March to the Sea. Surprisingly, he did not destroy the city. 

     This allowed us to view houses, like the Sanford-MdComb House, built in 1823.

     The city also had these relics:

     Milledgeville boasts two colleges, Georgia College, not to be confused with Georgia University, and Georgia Military College. 

     Georgia College was chartered in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College. Obviously the College was not Normal as it had 6 different names over the years:

Georgia Normal and Industrial College (1889–1922)
Georgia State College for Women (1922–1961)
Woman’s College of Georgia (1961–1967)
Georgia College at Milledgeville (1967–1971)
Georgia College (1971–1996) and its current name                         Georgia College and State University.

     The campus comprises 43.2 acres in the center of Milledgeville. The campus contains buildings of red brick and white Corinthian columns, representative of those constructed during the Antebellum period.

     TIDBIT OF INFORMATION: The Antebellum Period was a period in the history of the Southern United States from the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War (1783) until the start of the American Civil War in 1861. The Antebellum South was characterized by large plantations and the rampant use of slavery.

     Georgia Military College (GMC) was established in 1879 “…to educate young men and women from the Middle Georgia area in an environment which fosters the qualities of good citizenship.”

     GMC’s main campus is located in downtown Milledgeville, a couple of blocks from Georgia College. This makes the city pretty crowded with college students. 

     The school was originally called Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College and was ceded state government lands surrounding the Old Capitol Building, which was the seat of government for the State of Georgia from 1807-1868. The Old Capitol Building is a central feature of the Milledgeville campus and sits on the city’s highest point.

     I tried to tour the The Old Capitol Building for the history of Milledgeville, but it was closed to the public as a result of the china virus. 

     The name of the school changed to Georgia Military College (GMC) in 1900. GMC is one of five military junior colleges that participates in the U.S. Army’s Early Commissioning Program. Students who graduate from GMC’s two-year, military science-oriented curriculum receive an officer’s commission in the U.S. Army. 

   

TECHNICAL STUFF:

Rock Hill, South Carolina to Milledgeville, Georgia: 247.7 miles

6.0 hours

9.6 MPG

Diesel: $2.95

Woodbine, Georgia

Day 839

     Woodbine is located in one of Georgia’s original counties, created when the state constitution was adopted in February 1777 and located in the very southeastern corner of the State, just 7 miles from the current Florida border. Records of the site where Woodbine is now located date back to 1765, when 4 men petitioned for and received fourteen hundred acres on the south side of the Great Satilla River.

     We are staying at a campground called Walk-A-Bout Camp & RV Park. We walked about, but nothing really to see.

     RV’ers stop here on their way to Florida and that warm sun. So, this sign seems out of place:

Technical Stuff:

Summerton, South Carolina to Woodbine, Georgia: 207.2 miles

3 hours 55 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.96

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 829

     Heading home for my father’s 98th birthday. Visiting Barbara’s cousin here in Atlanta. Caught here in heaving rain, and blocked from moving on by heavy snow between us and home. We were scheduled to meet with friends in South Carolina from our Alaska trip, but they got snow, and now have freezing rain. We will wait it out. 

Technical Stuff: Columbus, Georgia to Atlanta, Georgia: 146.0 miles

3 hours 19 minutes 

9.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

Columbus, Georgia

Day 826

     Columbus, Georgia, once the site of a Creek Indian Village, is one of the few cities in the United States to be planned in advance of its founding. Established on December 20, 1827 as a trading post, Columbus is situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River from the Gulf of Mexico. The city became a center of shipping and military manufacturing.

     East of Columbus is Fort Benning Military Reservation. On October 19, 1918, the Infantry School of Arms was established on 80 acres of land here. Camp Benning, later Fort Benning, was named in honor of Confederate Infantry General Henry Lewis Benning, born April 2, 1814, a Columbus Resident, and lawyer. 

     Today, we saw graduation on Inouye Field. Named for Daniel Ken Inouye (井上 建), born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. (If you get a chance, you should read this man’s history. It is an inspiration of what it means to be an American and a soldier.)

     Located on the Fort is the The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. A fascinating museum covering the infantryman from the Revolutionary War through Afghanistan. 

     Not only depicting the soldier, but also equipment used in each conflict. 

     Transition from calvary to mechanized. Send in the cavalry!

     Barbara tried driving an armored vehicle, but got the gas and brake mixed up, destroyed the exhibit, and almost going from the second floor to the first. 

     Part of the museum was devoted to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients (remember Audie Murphy?).

 

Technical Stuff:  Tallahassee  FL to Columbus, Georgia: 195.8 miles

4 hours 1 minute

9.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.77

Kingsland, Georgia

Day 558

     Almost made it to Florida, but we ended up in Kingsland, Georgia. We will spend only 1 night here and move on to Mims, Florida tomorrow, where we will spend 4 days, hopefully in warm weather as it suppose to be above freezing and a high of 50.

Technical Stuff: Walterboro, SC to Kingsland, GA: 165.4 miles

3 hours 40 minutes

10.0 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

We have slept in 26 States

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 539

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8252_Fotor

     We are back in Atlanta, Georgia (see day 259) to visit with relatives. They wanted to view the Christmas displays at Callanwolde.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8249_Fotor

     The estate was built in 1920 by Charles Howard Chandler, the son of Asa Chandler, who established the Coca-Cola company, after buying the patent from John C. Pemberton, the inventor. Charles succeeded his father as president of Coca-Cola from 1916 to 1923. He died in 1957, and the estate went through many owners. 

     In 1971 the dilapidated house and estate was taken over by The Callanwolde Foundation. Rather preserve and restore the house to the way it looked in the 20’s, they used the house to promote the cultural arts. Each room was dedicated to a different genre. They did have the invisible man playing the piano as you walked into the foyer.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8262_Fotor

     It was ok, if you are into that sort of thing, but I don’t think it was worth the price of admission. And Mr. Chandler doesn’t look happy as how his house turned out.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8265_Fotor

     The Chandler ancestry goes back to the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The name “Callanwolde” is based on this family connection to the Irish town of Callan and the Old English word for “woods” (“wolde”)

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8273_Fotor

Technical Stuff: Montgomery, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia: 203.7 miles

4 hours and 4 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.49

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Day 263

day-263-stone-mountain-ga-9523_fotor

     Stone Mountain is a granite rock, 9 miles long and 1,686 feet high formed at the time of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is most noted for it’s carving on it’s north face. 

     The carving was conceived by Mrs. C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). She wanted to have a lasting tribute to the Confederacy. She got a lease from the owners of the Mountain in 1916 and commissioned Gutzon Borglum to do the carving. He wanted to do  a sizable Civil War monument showing General Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson leading a group of soldiers. However, because of various disputes Borglum abandoned the project in 1925 (and later went on to begin Mount Rushmore). He had completed a good part of the carving. Nevertheless, the supsequent carver actually blew off the mountain Borglum’s work.

     Numerous disputes and carvers followed. The project, consisting only of Lee, Davis, and Jackson, was not completed until March 3, 1972. (No wonder they lost the war. And, why didn’t they put it on the South face?)

day-263-stone-mountain-ga-9538_fotor

     We stopped at the grist mill that had been moved from somewhere else to the base of Stone Mountain. 

 

Roswell, Georgia

Day 261

     Finally, far enough south to see flowers.

day-261-roswell-ga-9510_fotor

     In 1830, while on a trip to northern Georgia, Roswell King passed through the area of what is now Roswell and observed the great potential for building a cotton mill along Vickery Creek. Since the land nearby was also good for plantations, his idea was to put cotton processing near cotton production.

     We visited Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie Bulloch, which has been preserved and restored. 

day-261-roswell-ga-9495_fotor

     The Bulloch family moved to Roswell at the invitation of founder Roswell King, a family friend. Major James Stephen Bulloch, who served in the Revolutionary War, built this house in 1839. Mittie Bulloch lived with her family here until she married Theodore Roosevelt in 1853. They then moved to New York City. Their son, Teddy, became the 26th President of the United States. 

     The family tree goes like this: Major Stephen Bulloch married his second wife,  Martha Elliott, in 1832. Their second daughter, Martha (Mittie) Bulloch, married Theodore Roosevelt in 1853. Their son, Theodore Roosevelt, was the 26th President of the United States. Elliott Roosevelt, another son of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Bulloch, was the father of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt who married her fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who became the 31st President of the United States. Got that?

day-261-roswell-ga-9497_fotor

Swan House, Atlanta, Georgia

Day 260

day-260-swan-house-atlanta-ga-9450_fotor

     Completed in 1928, Swan House was the home of Edward and Emily Inman, heirs to a post Civil War cotton brokerage fortune. Edward Inman died in 1931, but Emily collected her family into the house and lived there until 1965. The house and grounds were acquired by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966. The house is maintained as a 1920s and 1930s historic house museum, with many of the Inmans’ original furnishings.

day-260-swan-house-atlanta-ga-9430_fotor

     It got it’s name from the decorations of swans throughout the house and property.

 day-260-swan-house-atlanta-ga-9438_fotor

     They also had other unusual animals. 

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 259

     Atlanta is built on the territory stolen from the Indians in 1821. James McConnell was one of the first white settlers to establish a homestead after the Indian removal. Originally called Terminus, the name Atlanta was adopted December 26, 1845. It is the capital of the State of Georgia.

     Confederate Colonel John C. Pemberton, who was wounded in the Civil War and became addicted to morphine, began a quest to find a substitute for the problematic drug. The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia.  The first sales were at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health. Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches, and impotence.  The drink’s name refers to two of its original ingredients, which were kola nuts (a source of caffeine) and coca leaves. Coke’s headquarters are here in Atlanta. 

 

Big Shanty, Georgia

Day 258

day-258-big-shanty-ga-9386_fotor_fotor

     The Western and Atlantic Railroad led to the establishment of several towns along it’s route, including Big Shanty, which eventually became known as Kennesaw, Georgia. The settlement was the highest point between the Etowah and the Chattahoochee rivers. The high ground and water supply encouraged the railroad workers to build houses, or shanties, basically a house built with slaps of wood. In 1850, the railroad acquired land around this area to establish a depot and hotel for travelers along the rail line, in which a farming community eventually sprang.

     Big Shanty became famous as the scene of the Great Locomotive Chase during the Civil War. On April 12, 1862  James J. Andrews and a band of Yankee spies boarded the northbound train at Marietta. This train was powered by the locomotive, The General. At Big Shanty, the crew and passengers left the train to eat breakfast at the Lacy Hotel. In plain view of the soldiers at Camp McDonald, Andrews and his men stole The General and headed north to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad. But they did not count on the persistence of William A. Fuller, the conductor of The General, who chased The General first on foot and then on the locomotive Texas (which ran in reverse) before running it down north of Ringgold, Georgia, 80 miles away. This incident forever placed Big Shanty on the map. 

     James Andrews and his men became the first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

 

Kennesaw, Georgia

Day 257

day-257-kennesaw-ga-9376_fotor

     After leaving Chattanooga, General Sherman headed toward Atlanta, Georgia. At that time Atlanta was the major industrial city of the Confederacy. Taking Atlanta would cripple the South. The Confederate Army came to stop him. Heading that army was 57 year old Joseph E. Johnson, the highest ranking officer of the US Army to resign his commission to fight for his home State of Virginia, and the South. Of course, I already told you the end of this story in Day 249.

     The two armies clashed at  Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill and Dallas. Each time Sherman was able to outflank Johnson. 

     Finally, Sherman reach Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864. Although the mountain was only two miles long, Sherman was spread thin and could not outflank Johnson. Johnson at the top of the mountain, Sherman at the bottom. The battle raged on for 3 days. Then all of a sudden, Johnson left. Was it a tactical error? Who knows. Johnson thought he could better defend Atlanta by the river. 

     Johnson lost 800 men, Sherman 1,800. A senseless battle, as nothing was really gained (but weren’t most of the battles senseless?)

     From the top of the mountain, you can see Atlanta. 

day-257-kennesaw-ga-9374_fotor

Cumming, Georgia

Day 256

day-256-cumming-ga-9362_fotor

     James Edward Oglethorpe, born December 22, 1696, was a British soldier, Member of Parliament, and philanthropist, as well as the founder of the colony of Georgia, (February 12, 1733), the last of the original 13 colonies.

     The area now called Cumming Georgia, where we are camping, was first inhabited by Cherokee tribes. The Cherokee and Creek people developed disputes over hunting land. After two years of fighting, the Cherokee won the land in the Battle of Taliwa. The Creek people were forced to move south of the Chattahoochee River.

     The Cherokee coexisted with white settlers until the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1828 (bet you didn’t know Georgia was the first gold rush). Settlers that moved to the area to mine for gold pushed for the removal of the Cherokee. In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed. The treaty stated that the Cherokee Nation must move to the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi River. This resulted in the “Trail of Tears” which led to the death of over 4,000 indians. 

Technical Stuff:

Blacksburg, VA to Cumming, GA 219.9 miles

4 hours 26 minutes

10.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.20

Savannah, Georgia

Day 66

     Although we have been to Savannah in the past, Barbara wanted to tour some of the homes, this is the Davenport House:

Day 66 (13)

     We also toured Andrew Low’s house, whose nephew married Juliette Gordon Low, who was the founder of the girl scout movement.  All these house look alike to me.

     She also wanted to see the flowers in the squares:

Day 66 (22)

    We took the trolley tour of Old Savannah:

Day 66 (16)

Then back to our campsite to relax Day 66 (1)And contend with our neighbor

Day 66 (2)

 

Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

Day 64

Walked through the Okefenokee Swamp. Day 64 (46) Day 64 (132)

 

Then took a boat Day 64 (119)ride through the Swamp.

 

 

 

 And, this is what we saw:Day 64 (115) Day 64 (43) Day 64 (6) Day 64 (26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every 20 years or so the swamp has a drought and dries up allowing lightning to start a fire that will burn through the swamp. The last such fire was in 2011:Day 64 (128) Day 64 (92) Day 64 (134)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidently this is needed to rebuild the swamp as these tree seeds need the fire heat to germinate.

Lots of lily pads, not one frog on them. However, they were flowering today.Day 64 (65) Day 64 (64) Day 64 (72)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did see a frog as we walked through the swamp.Day 64 (148)

     Also went to Chesser Island, which is a home of a swamp family. The dossier was also a swamp person, but since the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge, all the Swamp people have been booted out.

     We had our own wildlife at the campsite as there were free roaming guinea birds. Day 64 (3)

 

St. Marys, Georgia

Day 63

     We followed the rabbit down the holeDay 63 (2)

    St. Marys, Georgia, was established in 1787.  We went to the grave yard, we love graveyards, but the oldest we could find was 1815. All other older ones had their markings eroded.Day 63 (16)

     We walked the town, which had the usual old homes of the South. This was before the Church denied it was making money:Day 63 (3) Day 63 (4)

     Went to their radio museum. Saw peg leg, again.Day 63 (1)

     Their submarine museum was underwhelming. 

     I really did not know a missile was loaded when I pushed the periscope fire button.Day 63 (6)

Is that a rat in our drawer?Day 63 (5)

 

 

 

Just kidding.

Country Oaks RV Park, Ga

Day 62

     We are taking a day of rest today, after all we are retired. I will take this opportunity to answer some of your questions on the RV lifestyle.

How do you find driving a 40 ft RV?

     Actually, it is 39′ 10 inches. I do not find it as difficult as I thought. Remember, I have driven fire engines for 28 years. The thing to remember is that when I make turns, the 5th wheel will cut into the turn. To compensate for that, I make a wider turn than I would make with my car, sort of like the tractor trailers. Our main learning curve is backing up the Sphinx into a campsite. Although we are getting better, we have not got it down just yet.

In one of your posts you indicated you had to be self sufficient. What does that entail, and how long can you do it?

     It means that we do not have to be hooked up to water, sewer, or electricity to maintain ourselves. For electricity, we have four 6 volt batteries.  Supposedly that will provide our electricity for a week or so, not using the air conditioners.  We have a 69 gallon fresh water tank, and three 40 gallon waste tanks, one for the toilet, one for the bathroom shower and sink, and the final one for the kitchen. We testing living without hookups for 3 days with no problem. At one campsite their water supply was contaminated and we used ours for 4 days with no problem. We did supplement that with bottled water. We also have a 5 KW generator to run the air conditioner and recharge our batteries. The generator runs off our propane tanks, which are two 30 pound tanks.

When you are traveling down the road, how do you keep the food in your refrigerator cold?

     For the first few weeks of our adventure the weather was so cold we had no problem, so long as the doors remain closed. Unfortunately, we did not realize that the refrigerator was not level and the doors came open during transit. The lettuce rolled around the RV. After leveling it, we also had to put tension bars to prevent items from rolling around inside the fridge. Even leveled, we have to secure the doors to prevent opening while jostling The Sphinx down the road. Now that we are in the South, and the temperatures are in the 90’s, we have an inverter that converts our battery 12 volt DC power to AC 110 volt power. This is for the fridge only, and works great.Camper (9)

The red box is the inverter, below that you can see 3 of the 4 golf cart 6 volt batteries.

How do you get your mail while traveling?

     We don’t. Prior to leaving I convert all bills and notices to electronic form. All my banking is electronic, and all my bills are paid through the bill pay of my bank. We even got our absentee ballots from Harford County electronically. We did have to mail the actual ballot in, but since they are in PDF format, I printed them out at the campsite office. All our taxes are done electronically, as well as keeping all my records. I have the laptop that I use to publish this blog, plus I have a scanner to convert all receipts that I get on the road. I then discard the paper receipts. With the exception of my credit card, all value cards, like food discount cards, have been converted on my I Phone to be electronic. The cashier can scan that electronic bar code as if I actually had the card.

What do you miss most now that you are no longer living in your house?

     Nothing. We had to make adjustments in our lifestyle, but we anticipated that. We keep in touch with my father and other relatives by phone and messaging. We keep in touch with Chip and our granddaughters through face-time. Barbara wants to look at them on her tablet. Works great. My granddaughter just had her braces taken off, and Barbara can see her new smiling face. They also have an app on their smart phone that tells them exactly where we are. The purpose of this blog is to keep our friends and family informed of our whereabouts. We have adapted well to full time RVing.

     Oh! I see by the great electronic clock on the microwave, it is time for my nap.

     Feel free to send me any other questions, I will be happy to answer them.