What: Westville, an 1850’s living history museum
Where: Lumpkin, Ga.
When: Thurs. – Sat. 10 – 5 pm and Sun. 1- 5 pm
Cost: Adults $10, Seniors, College Students and Military $8, Students K-12 $5
Click here for a $1 off admission coupon
Westville is a working 1850’s town located in Lumpkin, Ga., not far from Providence Canyon . The museum is a collection of 30 historic buildings assembled from across the state, and arranged as a typical 1850’s town layout with commerce buildings in the center and residences on the outskirts. Buildings include various trades, a school, courthouse, church, store, carriage house, gardens, slave quarters, upscale residences and a farm.
We visited on a random rainy Thursday. Two costumed interpreters lead three different tours explaining various aspects of 19th century life. I found the cotton gin and press to be most interesting. Our guide demonstrated a hand crank cotton gin and showed us a more advanced model that spit the cotton out into a barn. The massive cotton press was quite impressive. Mules were used to turn a huge pole that “pressed” the cotton into 500 lb. bales which were then tied by hand.
Westville alone was interesting, but unless you plan to go more than once, I would recommend timing your trip around the various special weekends on the Westville event calendar. During special events, there are more costumed interpreters and activities making it a more enriching experience. For example, staffers told us during the Civil War Days program in October, there is a soldier encampment in addition to numerous demonstrations of life in 1850. Interpreters spend the weekend at Westville and remain “in character” from Friday evening through Sunday night.