More than 40 historic homes and sites will be open for tours during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring Ramble in Thomasville, April 12-14. Co-hosted by Thomasville Landmarks, the event will offer visitors and residents a rare opportunity to explore private historic homes and buildings that are not usually open to the public.
Ramble Committee Chair Stephane Ughetto said, “We are thrilled that so many preservation minded individuals from across the state will be visiting our very special town. I am certain that they will be back many times to patronize our downtown shops and restaurants.”
“It is a privilege to be working with the Georgia Trust to bring a Ramble to Thomasville for the first time in nearly 15 years,” said Mary Lawrence Lang, executive director of Thomasville Landmarks. “This is a tremendous opportunity to show off our community to a captive audience of architecture and history enthusiasts that value the authenticity and distinct historic character that Thomasville is famous for.”
On Friday, April 12, ‘ramblers’ will have the opportunity to explore beautifully restored historic houses, including the Dawes House, an Asian-inspired Craftsman bungalow; and the Spence House, a beautifully restored turn-of-the-century house that received Thomasville Landmarks’ Award of Outstanding Achievement for rehabilitation in 2006. After Friday’s Ramble, the Georgia Trust will host the 42nd Annual Preservation Awards at Thomasville First United Methodist Church (425 North Broad Street), where the state’s top preservationists and projects will be recognized.
Guests will spend Saturday, April 13, enjoying more of Thomasville, rambling along the most prominent streets in town and discovering the many excellent examples of high style and vernacular architecture of the city’s eight National Register districts. Saturday’s tour includes Greenwood Plantation, an iconic home that served as a refuge for Jacqueline Kennedy following the death of President John F. Kennedy, the interior of which remains charred after being ravaged by fire in 1993; the Stephens-Butler House, a home that was notably owned by Baron Vicco von Stralendorff and his wife, who received the cottage as a wedding gift in the 1870s; and the Scott-Beverly House, a Georgian Revival home that was inspired by 18th century James River plantations of Virginia.
On Sunday, April 14, attendees will wrap up the Ramble weekend by exploring Pebble Hill Plantation’s 76-acre grounds including the 1936 main house designed by Abram Garfield, with its extensive art collection and priceless antiques. Guests will tour the village of Neoclassical Revival outbuildings, including the log cabin school, fire engine house and stable complex as well as beautifully restored gardens that feature a reflection pool, sundial and a hedge maze dating to 1935.
The Ramble also includes special dining experiences held at historic sites throughout the weekend. On Friday night, attendees will enjoy cocktails and dinner at Osceola, an 840-acre plantation that is owned by the family of Marguerite Williams, a founding trustee of the Georgia Trust. Saturday morning, breakfast will take place at Thomasville Center for the Arts, followed by a brief historical orientation of Thomasville and the Georgia’s Trust’s annual meeting. Lunch will be in downtown Thomasville, where ‘ramblers’ can choose from a variety of local eateries. On Saturday night, guests will dine at the exclusive Glen Arven Country Club, one of the oldest clubs in America and whose golf course was a favorite of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On Sunday, guests will enjoy brunch at the Sugar Hill Barn, located on the grounds of Pebble Hill Plantation.
A wide variety of registration options is available. Whether you plan on touring for one day or spending the weekend, there’s something for everyone as we explore historic Thomasville. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.GeorgiaTrust.org. Proceeds benefit the Georgia Trust and Thomasville Landmarks.
Rambles feature tours and social events in historic properties not usually open to the public. Tours of historic homes and buildings are self-guided. Guests provide their own transportation. These trips attract hundreds of participants per Ramble and are offered two weekends each year in the fall and spring. Recent Rambles have included Athens, Savannah and the Golden Isles.
About the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Founded in 1973, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation works for the preservation and revitalization of Georgia’s diverse historic resources and advocates their appreciation, protection and use.
As one of the country’s leading statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations, the Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust recognizes preservation projects and individuals with its annual Preservation Awards and awards students and young professionals with academic scholarships, the Neel Reid Prize and Liz Lyon Fellowship. The Trust offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children, provides technical assistance to property owners and historic communities, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts, and manages two house museums in Atlanta (Rhodes Hall) and Macon (Hay House). To learn more, visit www.georgiatrust.org.
About Thomasville Landmarks
Thomasville Landmarks’ mission is to preserve, protect, and advance the architecture, landscape, and history unique to Thomasville and Thomas County. Landmarks protects the historic character of the community for the enjoyment and economic benefit of present and future generations. Thomasville Landmarks does this by preserving significant buildings and landscapes; educating the public on the importance of our architectural and cultural history; and restoring buildings and revitalizing neighborhoods. Their three program areas are Neighborhood Revitalization, Operation C.A.R.E, and Education and Outreach. To learn more, visit www.thomasvillelandmarks.org.