The Georgia Museum of Agriculture, located on campus at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, is an immersive experience into the agrarian and cultural lifestyle of the 19th century American South.
Be sure to stop by the country store on your way into the museum and browse through the multitude of Southern-themed home decor, Georgia-grown, farm fresh nuts and candies. Choose your favorite flavor from the ample selection of hand dipped ice creams. (The Backstage Pass crew highly recommends the Honey cereal snack bars…taste tested and approved.).
Once you have made your way to the museum’s grand entrance, you will begin your journey throughout the vast history and evolution of agrarianism at the museum main hall, where relics including unique cultural pieces, agricultural commodities and dozens of exhibits describing in detail the life and times of Georgia’s Agricultural community, are on display.
The museum’s art gallery displays a wide array of artwork, including still life paintings and stunning photography, highlighting the impressive talent and artistic diversity of the region. Galleries are rotating and constantly changing; therefore, guests should check back frequently for updates on the latest artists and craftspeople whose art and wares are being featured.
Perhaps the most nostalgic exhibits can be found in the Agricultural Museum’s Historic Village, offering an authentic insight into what life would have been like for 19th century farmers, mill workers, doctors, and merchants, as structures and costumed guides offer insight and education into the living and working environments of people of all socio-economic backgrounds. The massive grounds of The Historic Village are made all the more impressive by the fact that the majority of these buildings are completely original, and have been masterfully preserved to retain their initial splendor, dating back to some 150 years ago.
The following are just a few of the many attractions you can look forward to experiencing during your visit:
Explore six historic buildings dating back as far as 1870 and learn how a subsistence farming community operated during the 19th century.
The progressive farmstead highlights the departure from subsistence farming and into a more streamlined and technologically advanced method, to improve both daily family lives and overall productivity of the farmstead.
Industrial Sites Complex:
The Industrial Complex on the west end of Main Street showcases businesses that played vital roles in the daily lives of those individuals in a mill town within the Wiregrass Region.
Main Street highlights independent stores like the Feed and Seed, which are owned by an individual and thus operated differently from company owned stores such as a commissary in a mill town.
Early 20th Century:
The Early 20th Century portion illustrates and celebrates advancements in technology, architecture, leisure, and medicine. The Tift House, arguably one of the most noteworthy structures in the Early 20th century exhibit, is the former home of entrepreneur (and namesake of the town of Tifton GA), Henry Harding Tift and his wife, Bessie Willingham Tift. Remarkably, the home still boasts its original furnishings, one of a kind oil paintings by Mrs. Tift, and unique interior design features, including curly pine molding, ornate fine china , and splendid, eclectic pieces of decor throughout the home.
The Museum of Agriculture is available for group tours, school field trips, and private events. Interactive activities, such as “create your own rag and corn husk doll” and “make your own grits” at the Grist Mill are available on certain days. Spend some quality time with real-life farm animals, including friendly goats and cows in the “working farm” portion of the Historic Village, and even draw your own water at the old working well, fun activities for kids both young and old.
Experience a unique and integral part of history for yourself at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture.
Address: 1392 Whiddon Mill Rd., Tifton, Ga.
Victoria Henley is the host of Backstage Pass on FCB and IHeart Radio. She also is a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”