|EXPLORING GEORGIA’S ANTEBELLUM TRIAL
Day 1, September 6, 2007 Alachua Fl to Dublin Ga Traveled miles 212
We left Alachua at about 0730, great riding weather even had our jackets on. Arrived in Fargo Georgia at about 1030, had a great
breakfast at the Suwannee Café, good breakfast buffet. We will have to come back to here for breakfast and maybe lunch too.
Beautiful riding through Homerville, Douglas and then on the Dublin our first stop on the Antebellum Trail.
Dublin is a small town, but has many old homes and lots of history. We stayed at the Page House B & B. It’s a beautiful house and
sits on Bellevue Street often called millionaires row. The owners Kelly and Janice Canady are wonderful inn keepers. Our rooms
were on the second floor and were very comfortable; our room even had a balcony off of it so we had a good view of the neighbor
We visited the Dublin Historical Museum, and got our own private tour compliments of Miss Betty Page. She was born and raised
here and has lived in some of the most beautiful homes in Dublin. Also visited Collections antique shop, and then on to the local
buffet for dinner. We visited the oldest cemetery in Dublin behind the Methodist church. We spent the rest of the evening at the B
and B. Had some great wine out on the balcony, also got invited to go up to the widows walk, what a view. In the morning we
were served an excellent breakfast, and got a surprise from the inn keepers, on the marquee that announces the Page house was
our names, wishing us a blessed journey.
Day 2, September 7 2007, Dublin, Georgia to Greensboro Georgia 180 miles
We left Dublin at about 0830 leaving after a good nights rest at the Page House. Back on 441 we traveled through several small
towns. Riding into Milledgeville off of 441 and got gas. Milledgeville was founded in 1803 and set up similar to Savannah having 4
public squares, with streets laid out in checkerboard fashion. Places of interest are the Memory Hill Cemetery, and numerous old
All along this segment, I was amazed at the roads, rolling hills, and long sweeping curves. I had no idea that there were those
kinds of roads in this part of Georgia.
The small town of Gray is the next small town on Route 22. This is truly part of the Antebellum Trial. In this area you can visit the
Jarrell Plantation Historic site. Close by is the Griswoldville battlefield, this battlefield is the only major battle fought between the
Confederates and the Union armies during Sherman’s march to the sea. Also there is the site of a Confederate pistol factory. A
short ride away in the town of Juliette is the Whistle Stop Café where they filmed “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
After passing through McElhereys Crossroads we got on SR 16 which takes us to Jackson Lake Road. Jackson Lake road runs
along side Jackson Lake, it’s a beautiful lake that resembles a river. We stopped at one of the many Marinas on the lake, Martins
Marina, its small, but has an incredible view of the lake.
We were going to eat lunch at the restaurant there but it was closed. We got back on the road and rode north to SR 11. We
chose this route north so that we could follow SR 11 south into Monticello, so that we could enjoy most of the Monticello
Crossroad Scenic Byway, great roads again lots of hills and curves. We arrived in Monticello, which is the hometown of Trisha
Yearwood, and the courthouse is the site where they filmed “My Cousin Vinny”. Monticello is laid out in a circle with the court
house in the middle. Monticello was used in the movies, Greased Lighting, Murder in Coweeta County, I’ll Fly Away, TV show In
the Heat 0f the Night, The Price of a Broken Heart, and The Jesse Owens Story.
We had a good lunch at the D and D café. I have to tell you, the people in Georgia are so friendly. We left Michel out on the street
watching the bikes, while we walked into one the stores. When we came out, we saw Michel talking to one the locals, telling him
of stories of his experiences riding on motorcycles.
Just a little history of the Monticello scenic byway. The byway was used by native Americans and evangelical Methodist circuit
riders cross the state of Georgia. It was also part of the seven island stage coach road that ran from Augusta to New Orleans and
the Natchez Trace.
After lunch we headed north on SR 83 to finish up the scenic byway. At Shady Dale we turned east on 142. In Shady Dale there is
a famous hotel there “Shady Dale Hotel” which housed its most famous guest, General Sherman, in 1864, during his march to the
sea. Continuing on 142 we found SR 300 to 216 and then 16 into Eatonton.
Eatonton, is the home of authors Alice Walkers, “The Color Purple” and Joel Walker author of Uncle Remus . Leaving Eatonton
on SR 129 our next stop was the Rock Eagle Effgy Mound. What a cool place. The mound is made up of quartz rock in the shape
of a great prone bird. It is huge The mound measures 120 feet from head to toe, and 102 feet from wingtip to wingtip. The mound
itself rises some 10 feet above ground level and consists of thousands of small to medium size rocks of milky quartz. The history
of the effgy mound is that the most likely builders were the Woodland Indians, who inhabited this area from 1,000BC to 1000AD.
On to Greensboro. Again the roads are amazing, and the scenery is beautiful. Lake Oconee is huge and it too looks like a river and
we pasted over 2 or 3 bridges on SR 44 going in to Greensboro. Greensboro was named after Nathaniel Green. Historical places
include the Bethesda Baptist Church organized in 1785 and Bethany Presbyterian Church was the site of the heresy trial of Rev.
James Woodrow, President Wilson’s uncle for teaching the theory of evolution. Greensboro’s downtown area has plenty of
historical homes and buildings.
We stayed at the Hidgon House Inn. It is an elegant Victorian home that is over 160 years old. There is over 2.5 acres of beautiful
landscaped gardens including a pool area that we indulged in after a day of riding. Hidgon house is own by Jack Rallo, who is a
fantastic innkeeper and host. After a refreshing swim and some wine we headed out for downtown Greensboro. We ate at
Yesterdays café, which is excellent. Then back to the inn for a goods night rest. Lots to see and do on our next day’s journey.
Day 3, September 8 Greensboro Georgia to Stone Mountain Georgia 89 miles
We left Greensboro after having a delicious breakfast at the inn. We traveled west on SR 278 through Carey and on to Madison.
Madison is the town that Sherman refused to burn because of an agreement he had with a staunch unionist Joshua Hall. Madison
was established in 1808, and grew fast with the building of taverns and boarding houses which served the stage coach route from
Charleston to New Orleans. There are many antebellum homes in Madison and that is what we came to see. We actually rode in
on the main drag, which was a big square; we got off the bikes, and walked around the town area. There was so much to see
here, so we decided to take a sightseeing tour, so not to miss anything that we had planned to see. Olde Madison tours was our
guide, and we chose to ride in the air conditioned van. It was an informative and gave us an in-depth history of all the historic
places that we had planned to see. The Madison city cemetery was on the list and we got to drive right through it, something we
may have not been able to do on the bikes. Also we saw Heritage Hall, the Rogers House the Rose Cottage, Joshua Hill Home
and the Madison graded school built in 1895, one of the first schools in Georgia that had separated class rooms for each grade.
On of the shops we went in is called the Attic Treasures, you could spend hours here. Madison will be on our list of places to visit
Time to get moving again so we loaded up and headed out of Madison west again on 278 to Social Circle. Here we ate at the
internationally acclaimed Blue Willow Inn Restaurant. It is housed in a turn of the century Greek revival mansion, formerly known
as the Bertha Upshaw House. It was built for Mrs. Upshaw by her husband, John Upshaw. Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With
The Wind, was a frequent visitor to the home during her courtship with Redd Upshaw, he was her first husband and was the
character basis for Rhett Butler in her book.
Now for the food, MY GOODNESS. They have every southern food you could imagine, my favorites were the chicken and
dumplings, fried green tomatoes with a sweet chutney. The desserts were to die for. Visit their website at www.bluewilowinn.com
We could have used a nap after that meal, but we pushed on west again on CR 11. We were on the hunt for the Rockdale County
covered bridge, it is also known as Haralson Mill covered bridge. This bridge is not historic but is fashioned after man of the
historic covered bridges you will find in Georgia.
After getting pictures we proceeded on to Stone Mountain on SR 124, or Rockbridge road that took us right into the town of Stone
Mountain and our nights lodging the Village Inn Bed and Breakfast. The B and B was built in the 1820s and boast as the oldest
building in Stone Mountain. The inn survived Sherman’s fiery torch because it was being use as a confederate hospital. Stone
Mountain was settled in 1822, originally it was a granite quarry and then became a then became a tourist attraction. Andrew
Jackson built a hotel here in 1836, and at about that time Aaron Cloud built an observation tower on the mountain. The town was
incorporated and was first called New Gibraltar, not until 1847 was it called the Stone Mountain.
We checked in and got refreshed and headed out to visit with some of Jill and Steve’s friends for the evening. After dinner we all
loaded up and went to the Stone Mountain Park for the famous laser show. It was impressive. This is another place to re visit. We
ended the night back at the inn, had some wine on the front porch and discussed the days events.
Day 4 September 9, 2006 Stone Mountain Georgia to Watkinsville Georgia 65 miles
Next morning we headed out for Watkinsville, but not before stopping at Stone Mountain Harley Davidson. They were having a
great sale and we picked up some great buys. Outside the shop you could see a great view of the mountain.
Continuing east on Rockbridge road or SR 124 we headed towards Loganville highway or hwy 20, we bypassed the town of
Loganville and got on 81 at SR 324 and then SR 53 to Steve’s uncle’s house for an old fashion “Sunday dinner”. I have to say the
food was good as any we have had on the trip.
After our visit we followed 53 into Watkinsville. We had planned to do a little sightseeing in Athens but with time running out we
only took a short ride through Athens, oh well that’s another trip. What we missed that was of interest was the site of the battle of
Barber Creek, Oconee Hill Cemetery and the Cook and Brother Armory. Athens is the heartland of the Confederacy Civil War
Trail. Here’s a link www.civilwaringeorgia.com
In Watkinsville the Eagle Tavern is the welcome center, and is typical of frontier life in the late 1700’s and was used as hotel and
tavern for travelers. Also the Elder Mill Covered bridge is 4 miles out of Watkinsville; it was built in the 1800’s. It has been
restored and still being used as a public road.
We stayed at the Ashford Manor Inn, built in 1893 by A W Ashford. The family lived in the house for over 100 years. Our last night
on the road we decided to eat “in” so were got some things at the local Publix. We had a neat little porch outside our room, so we
had our “picnic” there. Oh…….just a note, you CAN NOT buy alcohol on Sundays in Georgia.
Day 5 September 10 Watkinsville Georgia to Alachua Florida 328 miles
This was our last day on the road and we traveled straight through on 129/441, had to get home, so we can go back to WORK,
save money and plan our next trip, hmmmm were to go?????
We were only about 12 miles from home and ran in to a terrific storm, go figure 903 miles without rain, and we run into rain in the
last few miles before home.
Well that’s all for this trip, hope you enjoyed it, and stayed tuned for more to come. Marcia
|Be sure to check out Marcia's write up
of the trip below the video
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