Saturday, April 11, 2009
Callaway Gardens - Pine Mountain, Georgia
One of the most beautiful, historic and popular spring destinations in the South can be found at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
The spectacular gardens were conceived more than 70 years ago when Cason J. Callaway, the son of a hard-working and successful Georgia merchant and industrialist, discovered rare native azaleas growing at the site. He and his wife, Virginia, decided to convert the over-worked cotton fields to a beautiful playground and soon began acquiring property at the site. Callaway Gardens have been open to the public for more than 50 years and now encompass 14,000 acres of some of the most beautiful land in the United States.
The gardens themselves are a major historic landmark and are the centerpiece of a recreational complex that features 13 lakes, biking and walking trails, a golf course, restaurants, accommodations and a wide array of other amenities. Several unique historic landmarks can also be found scattered across the grounds. A charming pioneer log cabin dating from 1830 is beautifully preserved and in Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden can be found benches made from stone slabs that were once part of a cotton mill that escaped destruction during the Civil War because of the Masonic symbols found on them.
The azaleas and other spring plants are in full bloom at Callaway Gardens, although this week's freeze did impact the blooming season a bit. To learn more about Callaway Gardens, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/callawaygardens1.