Friday, April 10, 2015

Milltown Murals of Lakeland, GA

Once a year on the first Saturday in April, Lakeland,Georgia (formerly known as Milltown c. 1925) holds the Milltown Murals Motorcade. Here, vintage vehicles line up on Main Street for a dazzling two-hour parade through the streets of town. Drivers and spectators alike enjoy the old cars, refreshments, music, and games for the children.

After the crowd disperses and the last of the antique cars chug out of town, the dust settles and visitors are free to browse more than thirty murals painted on the walls of its historic downtown buildings. These images, with their life-size characters, depict the activities and actual people who lived in rural Georgia during the 1920s.

Artwork, like the gathering of folks in front of the Post Office, and the steam locomotive, cover the entire broadside of a building. Smaller ones, like the sepia-toned women, are only several feet square.
Outside of the doctor's office a man comforts a young fellow with a skinned knee.

Is that George Burns standing in front of the white chapel?

Children's facial expressions are well represented in the paintings; frowns, boredom, happy smiles.

Ralph Waldrop and Billy Love of Columbia, South Carolina began painting the murals in 1998. Each one is accompanied by a plaque describing the scene and the characters. Look for the display with a QR code so you can scan it with a QR reader to take the audio tour.

Stop by the Visitors Center located at 8 South Valdosta Road, for a map to learn more about the location of the individual paintings. Lakeland is the county seat of Lanier County in Southeast Georgia. Set your GPS and c'mon down. This community loves company, and the outdoor show never closes.

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