Jarrell Plantation is located in the gently rolling hills just north of Macon. One of Georgia’s historic sites, this antebellum homestead was owned by the same family for more than 140 years before being donated to the State.
Ok, that’s all I know about the history. If you visit, there is much more that you can learn if you choose. I opted to skip the informative video and not be bothered with toting around the notebook full of facts and figures… I was there to take photos!
With a beautiful natural setting, historic buildings, and early industrial machinery, there are lots of things of interest to look at (and photograph). The plantation is beautifully maintained and staged. It’s like the inhabitants and workers have just stepped away and you are the nosy neighbor who gets to poke around and see what’s what.
I love that! The freedom to wander and spend as much or as little time as you’d like, and since I often “see” with my hands, I enjoy that there are plenty of things there that I was able to get up close and personal with.
It’s the kind of place where history takes on physical form providing the opportunity to see, touch, feel and experience things that may have only been seen before as an image in a book or in the mind’s eye. There are lots of teaching/learning opportunities, especially if you have kids.
I love to see how things work, so for me, it was fun to be able to get close to some of the machinery and get a good look at the gears and levers and chains and various accouterments, visualizing how they must have functioned back in the day.
I also love architecture and it was quite fascinating to look at how these buildings were put together and to marvel at the fact that they are structurally sound and still standing after more than a century.
Things to know before you go: this is what I would refer to as an “outdoor museum” so the weather will greatly influence your experience, there is a small admission fee, picnic tables are available on site but there are no restaurants or stores once you turn off the main highway so go prepared, bathroom facilities are available, and there is a calendar of events on the website.
Accessibility is somewhat limited. There are pathways that make all of the buildings relatively accessible from the outside for most. However, those with mobility issues requiring a wheelchair or other type of mobility device will not have access to the inside of the buildings which all require the use of stairs.