Spooky (and Not-So-Spooky) Halloween Events in Georgia

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If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween in a big way, Georgia’s cities and towns have lots to offer. Whether you’re on the hunt for a haunted trail or a kid-friendly Halloween party, the Peach State will provide!

October 17 – 25, 2014: Halloween Hayrides at Red Top Mountain State Park in Acworth

October 17 – 24, 2014: Halloween Hikes at Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell

October 23, 2014: Mother – Son Halloween Dance in Gainesville

October 24, 2014: Bremen Downtown Trick-Or-Treat

October 24, 2014: Scarecrow Stoll & Beggars Night in Hinesville

October 24 – 25, 2014: Howl-O-Ween Spook-tacular at Little Ocmulgee State Park in Helena

October 24 – 25, 2014: Spooky Mill in Johns Creek

October 24 – November 1, 2014: Haunted Hills Hayride at Victoria Bryant State Park in Royston

October 25, 2014: Not-So-Spooky Halloween Fest at The Rock Ranch in The Rock

October 25, 2014: Suwanee Trek or Treat

October 25, 2014: Statesboro’s Scare on the Square

October 25, 2014: Rutledge’s Spooky Fall Festival

October 25, 2014: Octoberfest at Florence Marina State Park in Omaha

October 25, 2014: Under the Autumn Moon Masquerade Ball at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville

October 25, 2014: Halloween Moonlight Madness at General Coffee State Park in Nicholls

October 25 – 26, 2014: Boo at the Zoo in Cleveland

October 26, 2014: Fall-O-Ween Family Fun Day at Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah

October 26, 2014: Halloween Half Marathon in Cumming

October 30, 2014: Great Pumpkin Caper in Buchanan

October 30, 2014: Hometown Harvest in Douglas

October 30, 2014: Young Professionals Vaude-Villains and Vixens in Columbus

October 30 – November 1, 2014: Fall Harvest Days at Historic Westville

October 31, 2014: Scarecrow Bash & Monster Mash in Hartwell

October 31, 2014: Munchkin Masquerade in Newnan

October 31, 2014: Jefferson Halloween Walk

October 31, 2014: Downtown Trick-Or-Treat in McDonough

October 31, 2014: Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade and Spectacle in Athens

October 31, 2014: River Street Crawl-O-Ween in Savannah

October 31, 2014: KidsFest in Woodstock

October 31, 2014: Fright Fest at Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo

October 31, 2014: Truck or Treat at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls

October 31, 2014: Halloween Night on Callanwolde Mountain in Atlanta

October 31, 2014: Scooby-Doo Mystery Hayride and Games at Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge in Dawsonville

October 31, 2014: Trick or Treat Downtown Cedartown

October 31, 2014: Trunk-O-Treat for Halloween at Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge

October 31, 2014: Festival of Treats in Rockmart

October 31, 2014: The Downtown Spooktacular in Winder

October 31, 2014: All Hallows Eve/Autumn Nights at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder

Through October 31, 2014: Scarecrow Trail at North Georgia Farm & Zoo in Cleveland

Through November 1, 2014: Pine Mountain Gold Mine Ghost Train in Villa Rica

Through November 1, 2014: Haunted Halloween Trail in Winterville

Through November 1, 2014: Zombie Farms Halloween Trail in Winterville

Through November 1, 2014: Nevermore Haunted Trail at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Submitted by Priscilla Camp‎ via Facebook.

Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Submitted by Priscilla Camp‎ via Facebook.

Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island. Photo by @danielvbaxter via Instagram.

Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island. Photo by @danielvbaxter via Instagram.

Georgia National Fair in Perry. Photo by @Sarah_M_Cook via Twitter.

Georgia National Fair in Perry. Photo by @Sarah_M_Cook via Twitter.

Rome, Georgia. Photo by Cosmonaut via Flickr.

Rome, Georgia. Photo by Cosmonaut via Flickr.

6 Picks for Oakland Cemetery’s Vintage Street Fest

On Sunday, Oct. 5, Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery turns back the clock to the Victorian era at the 35th annual Sunday In the Park festival. From noon to 6 p.m., the city’s oldest cemetery will be bustling with music, dancing and more, all with Victorian flair!

VarsityOf course, no festival is complete without delicious fare, and Sunday In the Park will feature food trucks to suit every fancy. Atlanta establishments like The Varsity and Six Feet Under will be dishing up classics alongside newcomers Pallookaville, Mighty Meatballs and W.O.W! After a hearty meal, cool down with a unique frozen treat from Al A Carte Frozen Bananas.

More than 10 bands will perform throughout the day, alongside storytellers, dancers and street performers. Here’s our roundup of the must-do activities during this one-of-a-kind Sunday funday:

Peek inside Oakland’s mausoleums

Only at Sunday In the Park are Oakland Cemetery’s intricate mausoleums unsealed and opened to the public. Visit the vaults and marvel at the craftsmanship that went into creating the final resting place for some of Atlanta’s sons and daughters.

Make a toast at the Teddy Bear Tea

Gather the kiddos for storytelling and a spot of tea with Miss Sara Dipp-A-Tea. The Teddy Bear Tea is a Sunday In the Park tradition not to be missed!

costumesHave an excuse to wear petticoats

Channel your inner Southern belle or bust out your steampunk threads and get in on the fun during the Victorian costume contest at Lion Square. All iterations of Victorian garb are welcome!

 

 

Tour like a Victorian

It’s not every day that you can visit a Victorian cemetery from atop a carriage. Get a one-of-a-kind view of Oakland’s historic grounds on a horse-drawn carriage ride that evokes days gone by.

SIP Kids Area_SIPShow off your skills

Professional and amateur shutterbugs alike can show their best shots at this exhibition. Top spots in the color and black-and-white categories win $100 gift cards to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Give the gift of green

Oakland’s plant sale will have heirloom roses, garden mums, Don Shadow’s Rose of Sharon and many more specimens ready to take home. And for those of you with two brown thumbs, remember that plants are always a lovely gift!

All Sunday In the Park proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation, which maintains Oakland Cemetery in partnership with the City of Atlanta. For more details, visit www.oaklandcemetery.com.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Savannah,  Georgia. Photo by Tasnia Tarannum Malek‎. Submitted via Facebook.

Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Tasnia Tarannum Malek‎. Submitted via Facebook.

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Debbie Blankenship. Submitted via Flickr.

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Debbie Blankenship. Submitted via Flickr.

Sunflowers in north Georgia. Photo by @pam_little. Submitted via Twitter.

Sunflowers in north Georgia. Photo by @pam_little. Submitted via Twitter.

Atlanta. Photo by @rita_josephine. Submtited via Instagram.

Atlanta. Photo by @rita_josephine. Submtited via Instagram.

Civil War Wednesday: Lemuel Grant

Captain Lemuel P. Grant, Courtesy Atlanta Preservation Center

Captain Lemuel P. Grant, Courtesy Atlanta Preservation Center

Lemuel P. Grant, a Maine native, who toiled on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad as a teenager, moved to Georgia to gain employment in the burgeoning railroad industry. He first worked as a construction engineer on the Georgia Railroad, before his promotion to chief engineer on the Atlanta & La Grange Railroad – later renamed the Atlanta & West Point. When the clouds of war began rolling across the horizon, Grant served as president of the Southern Pacific Railroad of Texas, before resigning to receive a commission as a captain in the Confederate Engineer Department.

With the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, Confederate officials increasing concern over the safety of Atlanta prompted action; Colonel Jeremy Gilmer, head of the Confederate Engineer Bureau, turned to Grant. Gilmer addressed his letter of July 16, 1863 to Grant, asking him to “…examine carefully with a view to a proper system of defense, the approaches to, and vicinity of Atlanta.” The engineer chief offered instruction for defending the city, suggesting the occupation of “…the favorable points in the circuit around the place (far enough from the town to prevent the enemy from coming within bombarding distance), by suitable detached works.”[1]

Grant map of Atlanta Defenses, Lemuel P. Grant papers, MSS 100, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Grant map of Atlanta Defenses, Lemuel P. Grant papers, MSS 100, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

After surveying the grounds around the city, Grant dispatched Gilmer in early August. “The question of defensive works around Atlanta is somewhat embarrassing. To make them effective will require a cordon of enclosed works within supporting distance of each other. The line will be between 10 and 12 miles…the points which must be occupied will be, perhaps, 12 to 15 in number, involving an expenditure second only to the defense of Richmond.”[2]

Work on the line of earthworks continued throughout the summer and fall, allowing Grant, on November 1, 1863, to enter his office in the Lynch Building at the corner of Whitehall and Alabama Streets, and update Gilmer on his progress. “The defenses of Atlanta consist of redoubts and rifle pits…generally intended for five guns each. The contour of the eminences…is such…redoubts seemed to me to be the most economical plan. Of these, we have 17…4 unfinished…length of the line… 7 ½ miles, averaging 1 ¼ miles from the center of the city.[3]

Gilmer visited Atlanta in December, inspected Grant’s work, gave his stamp of approval on the system of defenses, and authorized additional funding to augment the series of earthworks and fortifications. In March 1864, General Joseph E. Johnston left his winter headquarters in Dalton to examine Grant’s design. Informed via dispatch of Johnston’s planned visit, Gant agreed to guide the Army of Tennessee’s chieftain on a tour of the various fortifications.

Once the Atlanta Campaign began, and the armies drew closer to Atlanta, Johnston sent Lieutenant Colonel S.W. Presstman to assist Grant in extending the line of fortifications, especially in the northwestern quadrant of the city. The additional earthworks stretched the works to 12 miles in length, and enabled Johnston to assert, “We, if beaten, had a place of refuge in Atlanta too strong to be assaulted and too extensive to be invested.”[4]

Indeed, Grant executed his assignment very well! Captain Orlando Poe, Major General William T. Sherman’s engineer officer, reported on reconnaissance of the Confederate works after the July 22, 1864 Battle of Atlanta, noting, “…it was decided that no attempt at assault should be made upon that part of the enemy’s line which we could see.”[5]

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Federal troops at Fort Walker after the fall of Atlanta, Orlando Poe Collection, Special Collections, USMA Library

With the loss of his last railroad supply line after the Battle of Jonesboro, General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta. Grant continued to serve out the war, assisting in establishing defense systems in Augusta and other locales during Sherman’s March to the Sea. After the war, he returned to Atlanta, where he served in several elected positions, and as the head of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, before his death on January 11, 1893.

The Columbus Enquirer, reported on his passing in their January 12 edition, noting Grant had, “…in every way possible worked for Atlanta’s prosperity.” The marker at his grave site carries Grant’s final wish for “…Grant Park to be his monument.” However, perhaps an equally fitting tribute rests inside his beloved park. Fort Walker – named in memory of Major General W.H.T. Walker, killed during the Battle of Atlanta – represents one of the last, and best-preserved examples of Grant’s efforts to defend Atlanta.

[1] Jeremy Gilmer to L.P. Grant, July 16, 1863, Lemuel P. Grant Papers, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

[2] Allen P. Julian, “Atlanta’s Defenses,” Civil War Times Illustrated, 1964, 24.

[3] Ibid.

[4] U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, reprint 1899 ed. Series I 38, pt. 3 (Harrisburg, PA: National Historical Society, 1971), 619.

[5] O.R., 38, pt. 1, 132.

 

imageMichael K. Shaffer is a Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist, and lecturer. He can be contacted at: www.civilwarhistorian.net.