Save the Date: Westville, Ga. Offers Hands On History [video]

I love traveling back in time. At historic Westville, Ga., walking through the gates transcends guests to a simpler period in history when there were no phones, no cars, buildings were plain and functional, and most of the work was done by hand or simple machines.

Get Hands-On with History at Historic Westville, Ga.

If you enjoy Williamsburg, Va., you want to make a note to visit Historic Westville when it reopens in historic Columbus, Ga. in 2018.  Westville Village is moving to Columbus, Ga. from it’s former home in Lumpkin, Ga. Westville depicts live in the 1850’s. The new outdoor living history museum will still showcase southern history and culture, but it will now be done through four main interpretive areas that depict the different experiences of the various people that lived in the area at that time. The areas include a section on the Creek Indians, frontier life, rural farm life and a town center.

photo courtesy of Westville, Ga.

Moving from Westville Lumpkin, Ga.

My boys and I visited Westville when it was in Lumpkin, Ga. They are moving many of the buildings, so I’m assuming the new experience will be an enhanced version of what we experienced when it was Westville, Lumpkin, Ga. Once the new Westville opens in Columbus, we’ll give you an update.

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.

photo courtesy of Westville, Ga.

Westville Georgia 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.

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