Thursday, November 12, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Madison on the Historic Tour

This weekend, you'll have the opportunity to watch Georgia Traveler's "Historic Tour of Georgia". That program will be broadcast Friday, November 13 at 9 PM, Saturday, November 14 at 7 PM and Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 PM. In the show, we feature The Smith House in Dahlonega as our Food Find, Family Fun can be found at Westville in Lumpkin, Our Local Legend is The Prison Museum & Last Meal Cafe in Ashburn and our Getaway is the lovely, historic Madison, Georgia! Just to the left is a picture of the Morgan County Courthouse which sits on the downtown square. As you may know, Madison is often called the "town too pretty to burn" because it escaped the torches of Sherman's army during the March to the Sea. The reality is that Madison was home to Joshua Hill, a pro-Union Senator, who resigned his seat in the US Senate at the beginning of the War Between the States despite his opposition to succession. He returned home to Madison and so was able to intervene on the towns behalf with General Slocum when Sherman's Army was razing the countryside. Here's a picture of co-host David Zelski in front of the Joshua Hill Home, which has been preserved, like many of the town's antebellum homes. You can find out more about Joshua Hill by visiting the Madison Morgan Cultural Center's exhibit about the history of Madison. As a matter of fact, the MMCC is a great place to begin any visit to Madison. Our new friend Patricia DuBose is the Marketing Manager there and helped our production team in so many ways!
The Traveler crew actually visited Madison on two occasions- once on May 1 for the "Madison in May" tour of homes and again on June 24 during the Madison Morgan Cultural Center's Chamber Music Festival. Here is a picture of co-host David Zelski with Christine Lambert, the gracious hostess of Hilltop. The home was built in 1832 and has been in the Lambert family since 1922. Hilltop was originally an L shaped house with three rooms down stairs and three rooms above. There are three chimneys which makes the home have six fireplaces. There's a fireplace in all of the original rooms. Chris told us that the rooms more or less are 20 by 20 square and the ceilings are 12 feet high. Definitely a sight to see- we hope Hilltop is on future Tours of Homes. Another beautiful home, which is just outside of Madison city proper, has been in the Ainslie family since 1870. Ardenlea is the farm of Andrew Ainslie's Scottish-born great-grandfather, who actually fought for the Union Army and camped on the property when Slocum's troops came through the area. After the War, Ainslie left Sandusky, Ohio and came South to Madison. There have been six generations of Andrew Ainslies to live on the property... and four generations of Ainslies still live in the Madison area. The current Andrew Ainslie that resides at Ardenlea is an accomplished gardener. Just look at these beautiful flowers! We had such a lovely time in Madison. Hope you might have the time to visit there soon!

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