The Town Behind the Georgia Peach

Even though Georgia is nicknamed The Peach State, there are probably still people, even in Georgia, who have never tasted a deliciously fresh Georgia peach. Fortunately for me, I live in the small rural town where the peach industry in Georgia started.

Marshallville Depot by Mark Tisdale

Marshallville Depot by Mark Tisdale

Marshallville was settled around 1820 in what is now Macon County (not to be confused with the city of Macon in Bibb County).  The town itself has a population of approximately 1,400 and is located about 13 miles from Perry across Interstate 75, at the intersection of Highways 127 and 49.  About 100 miles south of Atlanta, it is a gateway from the east into the middle of the beautiful Presidential Pathways region of our state.

Samuel H. & Elberta Rumph

In the latter half of the 19th century, Samuel H. Rumph, whose family was one of several that settled in Marshallville from Orangeburg, S.C., planted some peach seeds that had been unwittingly cross-pollinated from a Chinese Clingstone variety by his grandfather years earlier.

Photo by In a Southern Kitchen

Photo: Elberta peach tree, In a Southern Kitchen blog

He planted them around 1870, and in about five years they produced a peach so delectable that he decided to name it after his wife, Elberta.  It was flavorsome and juicy, yet firm enough to ship to eastern markets in special refrigerated (ice) railcars of his own design. The rest is history.

A commercial peach boom started that supplied up to 18 peach packing houses in and around Marshallville.  You can read more about the story in the book White Columns in Georgia by Medora Field Perkerson.

Today, you can still find the home Mr. Rumph built in Marshallville noted by the historical plaque in front of the home. And, there are still many, many peach orchards around Macon County and surrounding counties such as Peach, Taylor, Crawford and Houston County.

pech

To get your own Georgia peaches, stop by William L. Brown Farms north of Montezuma on Highway 49, Pearson Farm north of Fort Valley just off Highway 341, Taylor Orchards in Reynolds and Lane Southern Orchards on Highway 96 south of Fort Valley.  You won’t regret it!

PicMonkey Collage

CLICK HERE for a complete list of Georgia Grown peach orchards, farms and farmers markets.

 

 


20150728_105357[1]
Tim Gerard
, born and raised in Iowa, currently retired from a career of many chapters, moved to Marshallville in 2013.

 

6 Historical Adventures in Georgia That Kids Will Love

Everyone I know is in “Back to School” mode right now. Classes have started, but don’t let that hinder your explorations around the state. History comes alive when you experience it with all senses. Here are six of our family’s favorite ways to learn about the past while we travel the Peach State.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Tour the Visitor’s Center and Civil Rights Walk of Fame, see Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King Center and Dr. King’s birth home. See more photos of our tour here: 365atlantafamily.com/MLKNationalHistoricSite

Andersonville. During the Civil War, Andersonville was home to Camp Sumter, which housed Union POW troops during the Civil War. Tour the museums, farm and more. Magnolia Springs is also another, lesser known but equally as important POW site in Georgia.

Tunnel Hill Heritage Center. Tour the Western & Atlantic Railroad tunnel, the Clisby House, which was a hospital during the Battle of Chickamauga and the old General Store. See more about our railroad adventure here: 365atlantafamily.com/TunnelHillTunnel Hill

Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center. Students used anthologies from the Foxfire Magazine to replicate a Southern Appalachia town. See more photos of our adventure here: 365atlantafamily.com/FoxfireMuseum

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Tour the Discovery Center, then take a Heritage Boat Tour along the canal to learn about the mills along the banks and how the water source came to be. Learn more about our adventure here: 365atlantafamily.com/AugustaCanal

Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site. The bricks of the courthouse-turned-museum contain specks of gold! Learn how to determine fool’s gold from real gold, and more. It’s the perfect place to start your Dahlonega gold adventure. See more Georgia-gold history ideas here: 365atlantafamily.com/DahlonegaGold

LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.

Georgia’s Unique Museums

From Antebellum Southern tradition to Gullah Geechee culture; from presidential houses to prestigious golf tournaments – Georgia has something to meet everyone’s interest. And Georgia’s museums reflect that diversity. Here are five of Georgia’s most unique museums to explore while seeking out all that is interesting and offbeat:

Road to Tara Museum: In Jonesboro you can discover all you’d ever want to know about Gone With the Wind. Margaret Mitchell’s book was based in no small part off of her grandparents’ tales from a plantation just outside the city. The museum offers a glimpse into the story, combining the real history of the Civil War’s Atlanta Campaign and Battle of Jonesboro with Margaret Mitchell’s fictional tale and Hollywood’s Gone With the Wind. From tribute dolls of every character to Scarlett O’Hara’s underpants, this museum is the perfect stop for any fan of this timeless story of the South.Road to Tara Museum

Georgia Rural Telephone Museum: Housed in a renovated 1920s cotton warehouse in Leslie, this museum houses the world’s largest collection of telephones and telephone memorabilia. Here you’ll find the rarest examples of telecommunication stretching back to 1876, including presidential candidate Jimmy Carter’s two 1970s switchboards used during his campaign, the phone used to announce President McKinely had been shot in 1897 and even a jukebox phone!

Crawford W. Long Museum: Did you know the first use of ether as an anesthetic was by a Georgia surgeon? This Jefferson-located museum commemorates Dr. Long’s role in the development of one of the most important advances in medical procedures. Head to Jackson County to experience how this country doctor-turned-surgeon for the Confederacy became the ‘father of painless surgery.Crawford W. Long Museum

The Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis: Why travel to Graceland or spend outrageous amounts of money seeing impersonators in Vegas when you can have everything Elvis here in Georgia!? Located on the third floor of the Loudermouth Boarding House (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) in Cornelia, this experience celebrates Elvis’s successes and well as his flaws. If you love The King, you have to check out Everything Elvis – it is, after all, the only museum to house a body part of his: the Elvis Wart.

Billy Carter Gas Station Museum: While Jimmy Carter was busy running the country, younger brother Billy was busy running a local gas station. The Plains establishment features some of the First Brother’s unique wardrobe choices, as well as many empty cans of the short-lived beer named for him: Billy Beer. The next time you’re visiting the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, take a quick detour to experience the life of one of the best known presidential siblings.Billy Carter's Service Station Museum

Civil War Wednesday: Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski, Library of Congress HABS GA, 26-SAV.V, 2-50

“From the position the enemy has taken in the Savannah River, it becomes necessary that you look to your defense in that direction.”[1] On February 17, 1862, General Robert E. Lee wrote these words to Colonel Charles Olmstead, the officer responsible for the garrison of 385 soldiers holding Fort Pulaski. For Lee, this occasion did not mark his first visit to Georgia, or to Fort Pulaski. As a young lieutenant in the late 1820s, Lee, after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, took his engineering training to Georgia’s coast.

During the aftermath of the War of 1812, the United States began building a series of coastal fortifications – The Third System. On Cockspur Island in the Savannah River, construction had started on a fortification named in honor of Casimir Pulaski, a native of Poland, who led cavalry troopers during the American Revolution.[2] While Lee influenced the early design of Fort Pulaski, advancements in artillery in the years leading up to the Civil War would prove the death knell of masonry fortifications.

Captain Quincy Gillmore

Captain Quincy Gillmore, Library of Congress LC-DIG-cwpb-06490

Seeking to seal the port of Savannah, and cut the number of blockade-runners making safe passage into the city, the Federals began preparations for taking Fort Pulaski in January 1862. Captain Quincy Gillmore received the task of landing troops and artillery on nearby Tybee Island, and positioning his artillery to launch a bombardment of the fort. Gillmore’s soldiers stepped onto the sandy shores on February 21, but several days passed as the men worked in the marshy areas, busily constructing roads and gun placements. Finally, with all preparations complete, the Federal guns opened fire on the morning of April 10. The artillery – many of the guns rifled – soon found their mark, and the shells started reducing the walls of the fort to rubble. Olmstead realized he held a position no longer tenable; the following day, he surrendered Fort Pulaski.[3]

Colonel Charles Olmstead

Colonel Charles Olmstead, Fort Pulaski National Monument—Georgia, gutenberg.org

Reporting on the mission’s success, Gillmore wrote to department commander, Major General David Hunter. “I have the honor to transmit herewith the terms of capitulation for the surrender to the United States of Fort Pulaski, Ga…the fort hoisted the white flag at a quarter before 2 o’clock this afternoon…a practicable breach in the walls was made in eighteen and a half hours’ firing by daylight.”[4] The fort would remain in Federal possession during the balance of the war, and later served as a prison, which held captured Confederates.

Today, the National Park Service manages the Fort Pulaski National Monument. Please visit http://www.nps.gov/fopu/index.htm for details in planning your next visit to historic Savannah, and Fort Pulaski!

 

[1] U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, reprint 1899 ed., Series I, vol. 6 (Harrisburg, PA: National Historical Society, 1971), 389. (Hereafter listed as O.R.)

[2] Casimir Pulaski, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/fopu/learn/historyculture/casimir-pulaski.htm (accessed May 28, 2015).

[3] J.E. Kaufmann and H.W. Kaufmann, Fortress America: The Forts That Defended America, 1600 to the Present (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2004), 254–57.

[4] O.R., 139.

 

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

 

Civil War Wednesday: The 11th Georgia Infantry at Gettysburg

Brigadier General George “Tige” Anderson; Courtesy Digital Library of Georgia

July 2, 1863, day two of the fighting at Gettysburg, found the corps of Lieutenant General James Longstreet launching an attack against the left of the Federal position. The resultant hard fighting produced many casualties among the roughly 94,000 Federal troops of Major General George Meade, and the Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of General Robert E. Lee – a force of almost 72,000 soldiers. The various battles of the day introduced new place names into the American lexicon – Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, The Peach Orchard, and The Wheatfield. The action in the Wheatfield involved several of more than 40 Georgia units engaged at Gettysburg; however, none would suffer as greatly as the 11th Georgia Infantry Regiment, part of Brigadier General George “Tige” Anderson’s brigade in Major General John Bell Hood’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps.

Major Henry McDaniel; Courtesy Vanishing Georgia Collection, Georgia Archives

As the late afternoon of brutal fighting unfolded, the brave men of the 11th Georgia, along with other Georgians, South Carolinians, Texans, and Arkansans struggled to drive the Federal troops from the Wheatfield. Anderson’s brigade became the first Southern element to reach the Wheatfield. Once there, they confronted Colonel Regis de Trobriand’s brigade, specifically the soldiers of the 17th Maine positioned on their left. A stonewall dividing the Wheatfield from the surrounding countryside marked a coveted position on the field, and the Georgians twice crossed the barrier only to face a withering fire, which forced them to withdraw. Sometime after 5:30 p.m., Anderson fell wounded, and command of the brigade transferred to the 11th Georgia’s Colonel Francis Little. Lieutenant Colonel William Luffman took charge of the 11th until he too received a wound, leaving the Georgians to continue the fight under yet another new officer – twenty-six-year-old Major Henry McDaniel. McDaniel would survive the carnage of Gettysburg and the balance of the war’s engagements to become Georgia’s governor in 1883. Many of McDaniel’s men did not escape the arena of death in the Wheatfield. A Georgia officer participating in the attack noted, “We rallied the men and charged the third time almost into the mouths of their cannons…I could hear bones crash like glass in a hailstorm.”[1] Three hundred nine soldiers of the 11th entered the battle of July 2; at the day’s end, the number of dead, wounded, or missing totaled 201, for a 65 percent casualty rate – among the highest in Lee’s entire army during the three days of fighting at Gettysburg.[2]


[1] J. Keith Jones, Georgia Remembers Gettysburg: A Collection of First-Hand Accounts Written by Georgia Soldiers (Gettysburg, PA: Ten Roads Publishing, 2013), 21.

[2] J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley, The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses: Synopses, Orders of Battle, Strengths, Casualties, and Maps, June 9-July 14, 1863 (El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2012), 124.

mikeMichael K. Shaffer is the Assistant Director and Lecturer for Kennesaw State University’s Civil War Center. He is a Civil War historian, author, and newspaper columnist, and a member of the Society of Civil War Historians. He serves on the boards of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County and the River Line Historic Area, and assists the Friends of Camp McDonald as a Civil War consultant.

The Civil War Center