We all know the famous line uttered by Rhett Butler “Frankly Scarlett…, but you will certainly give more than a darn when embarking on this journey through the fascinating south. So much to see and do and when in Atlanta and the surrounding county you will be bombarded with information, architecture, history and food. When in the heart of downtown Atlanta you will visit the “city beneath the streets” – Underground Atlanta is one of the city’s favorite attractions and a true cultural hub. Opened in 1969 as a “city beneath the streets,” Underground Atlanta still exhibits many of the significant architectural features from its original structure. You can pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the information booth and discover the history firsthand.
I loved “Gone With the Wind” and like many, savor the fascinating story of Margaret Mitchell. Margaret was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 8, 1900. As a child, she was fascinated by the Civil War stories she heard from Confederate veterans. Being a true Southern Belle, she made her debut, and then scandalized Atlanta society by performing a provocative dance at a debutante ball. Financial pressures led her to begin writing for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine where she earned $25 per week. Soon after marrying John Marsh, Mitchell left her job to convalesce from a series of injuries. It was during this period she began writing the book that would make her famous. Published in 1936, “Gone With the Wind” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. It was made into an equally famous motion picture starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. The movie had its world premiere at the Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta December 15, 1939.
On this Interlude, you will learn a great deal about Margaret Mitchell and visit the places that inspired her epic novel. On August 11, 1949, while crossing the intersection of Peachtree and 13th Streets, Mitchell was struck by an off-duty cab driver. She died five days later and was buried in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery.
Stately Oaks is an 1839 antebellum house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its plain Greek Revival architecture is representative of the era in which it was built. It is located in Jonesboro, GA., the very city where Scarlett had to pay the taxes on Tara. Even though Tara only existed in Mitchell’s imagination, she placed Tara in Clayton County where she had visited relatives who lived on a large plantation south of Jonesboro. Many of the stories she heard as a child are in the movie. Clayton County is truly the home of Gone With the Wind. Touring the house you will see practically ALL of it! The downstairs portion of the tour will be led by the “woman of the house,” and keeper of the keys. Then you get to tour the upstairs led by lovely young Southern Belles. Be on the lookout for quite a few original artifacts, some donated by local families and others by local history enthusiasts. Other furnishings are period and reflective of the day’s traditions. The artifact records are quite thorough and insightful, so go prepared to absorb, experience and enjoy!
Do try to find one of the most fun artifacts in the Museum, the pantalettes that Vivien Leigh wore in the movie. Arguably one of the most memorable scenes of the film, Mammy, rather forcefully, pulls taught the pantalettes on Scarlett O’Hara, who is holding on to a bedpost for dear life. So glad we women don’t have to go through that nonsense anymore! Be sure to take note of the Road to Tara mural, the original oil by Atlanta artist Del Nichols. In the upper corners are portraits of Margaret Mitchell and David O. Selznick and somewhere in the painting is also rendering of Elvis Presley – Nichols is known to be something of a joker and the painting is very impressive.
This escorted vacation is a trip back to memories of a simpler time when hospitality, grace and manners were the ethics of the day and tradition and family values were paramount. Please read the entire itinerary and plan to join us on this memorable Interlude.
Charlotte, Biltmore & Atlanta: Call for 2016 dates
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
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