Tag Archives: Joel Chandler Harris

Uncle Remus Museum, 1963, Eatonton

Constructed from derelict slave cabins, the Uncle Remus Museum opened in Eatonton in 1963. Its location, Turner Park, was the boyhood homeplace of Joseph Sidney Turner, the inspiration for the “little boy” to whom “Uncle Remus” relayed all his critter stories in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1880) and later works. Turner’s father, Joseph Addison Turner, owned Turnwold Plantation where Harris apprenticed as a teenager during the Civil War. A reconstructed blacksmith shop is also located in the park.

Carvings of many of the animal characters populate the grounds, which are a delight to walk around. I’m not sure who did all of these wonderful wood sculptures, but they’re a wonderful addition to the property. And forgive me if I confuse Bre’r Fox and Bre’r Wolf!

Bre’r Fox

Bre’r Wolf

Bre’r Bear

Bre’r Tarrypin

And last, but certainly not least, Bre’r Rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Turnwold, Early 1800s , Putnam County

Turnwold Plantation Putnam County GA Joel Chandler Harris Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Located on private property and inaccessible, Turnwold is among the most historic plantations in Georgia. Likely dating to the 1810s-1820s, the present house, known as the Alexander-Turner House, has undergone many modifications over the years. [There is some question as to the actual date of the house today]. In 1805, brothers William and Joseph Turner received property here in the 1805 land lottery and immediately began improving the property. Little is known of William, but Joseph was well-known for publishing The Countryman. It is thought to be the only such periodical published on a plantation during the course of the war. It was as a printer’s devil for Mr. Turner during the Civil War that Joel Chandler Harris heard stories in Turnwold’s slave quarters that would become the basis for his Uncle Remus stories.

Turnwold Plantation Putnam County GA Joel Chandler Harris Antebellum Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

An outbuilding at the entrance gate is quite interesting in its own right, likely an early tenant house.

Turnwold Plantation Putnam County GA Historic Tenant Cabin Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Just to emphasize again, this is private property and can only be viewed or photographed from the right of way.

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Brer Rabbit Statue, Eatonton

Eatonton GA Putnam County Courthouse Lawn Brer Rabbit Statue Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Brer Rabbit – Born and Bred in the Briar Patch

He Survives Forever by His Wit, His Courage and His Cunning

This is one of two statues of Brer Rabbit it Eatonton, the other one being located at the nearby Uncle Remus Museum. That statue was stolen in 2011, but was recovered, minus its pipe and an ear, soon after it disappeared.

Brer Rabbit Statue Putnam County Courthouse Eatonton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Bronson House (1816 & 1852), Eatonton

Eatonton GA Historic Bronson House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

From the historical marker: Andrew & Mary Ann Clopton Reid’s 1852 National Register Greek Revival Mansion’s origins reach back to the 1816 “Eagle Tavern Inn.” Rising Star Masonic Lodge F & AM Lodge #39 minutes record its first Feast of St. John the Evangelist Festival Day here on December 28, 1818. Thomas T. Napier owned and occupied it by 1820 & by 1822 its tax digest value was $3,500 ~ while most other buildings in town valued at $500 – $600. Eatonton’s famous tavern operator, William Wilkins, Sr., bought it in 1830 and lost it at sheriff’s sale November 3, 1835, to wealthy planter brothers Andrew & Alexander Sydney Reid, who operated it as Reid’s Hotel. By 1846 Andrew Reid (1806-1865) owned it alone and by 1848 began the conversion to his private residence. James M. Broadfield (1815-1899) was the carpenter-architect who turned the earlier Inn into the Greek house. Twelve massive wooden fluted Doric columns, the massive entrance, interior Egyptian-style door, window & mantel molding & the hallway floor’s marbleized squares added sophistication. In 1874, Reid’s administrators sold to Francis Asberry Leverette, CSA (1845-1895), appointed U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia by President Cleveland. Leverette moved to Macon and died there after selling on February 5, 1894 to James M. Rainey, who began renting rooms for $2.00 a day and even housed by 1901 Dr. Hopkins’ dental office. Mr. & Mrs. Emerson Foote Bronson rented it from Rainey in 1911 and bought from him in 1914. Bronson relocated from Tennille, GA, in 1908 as the new Central of GA Railroad Depot Agent. In 1931, his widow Nena Norwood Bronson (1868-1961), converted to a boarding house and then into 7 apartments, including her own. She preserved the property, careful not to remove architectural features. Her daughter Eunice Bronson (Frank P.) Stubbs (1896-1985) inherited, moved in and continued the family preservation tradition. Her six children, in tribute to their grandmother, mother and their preservation interest, sold it on Oct. 10, 1985, to the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, Inc. for its headquarters. The Society opened the house on Dec. 14, 1985, for a lavish donors’ reception.

It’s also believed that Joel Chandler Harris and his mother lived in a small cottage on the property for a time.

Eatonton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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