Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Agrirama - a Tifton Treasure

Sit too close to the front and you’ll get soaked. An old steam engine tugs 2 open-air wood cars lined with bench seats around a 95-acre park. Each time the engineer blows the whistle, a cloud of steam belches from the stack. It cools quickly sending a splash of water onto the dozen or so passengers riding behind it. That’s just one of the fascinating attractions of Georgia’s Living History Museum in Tifton, Georgia.

Agrirama is the story of life in rural Georgia—sharecropping, collecting and distilling turpentine and so much more. If you spend the day exploring the living outdoor museum, you may catch sight of a mule harnessed to a plow; a blacksmith hammering out a horseshoe, or children dripping freshly made ice cream down their arms in front of the old time drug store.

Wander through six areas: the National Peanut Museum to see actual machinery used in cultivating and harvesting crops; a rural town, the Museum of Agriculture; an 1870s farm complete with butchering shed, barn, cabin and well; an 1890s progressive farmstead and see a cotton gin, syrup shed and sugar cane grinding area, or visit the industrial sites complex.

Agrirama also offers educational workshops for schools, churches or scouts giving visitors the opportunity to dress in the costumes of the 1890s. Want to learn how to corn is ground into meal? Visit the 1879 water-powered gristmill. You can purchase a bag of cornmeal at the country store to take home. See how turpentine is made at the Turpentine Still. Learn how to sew and quilt, set a 1880s farm table. Or seed and card cotton, all under the helpful eye of friendly guides and staff.

For more information about Agrirama, visit their website at www.agrirama.com.