Monday, January 10, 2011

Eatonton, Georgia - Home of the Brer Rabbit Statue

Brer Rabbit Statue in Eatonton
One of the most unusual sights in the South is the full color statue of the famed mythical character Brer Rabbit on the lawn of the Putnam County Courthouse in Eatonton, Georgia.

Incorporated in 1809 and located 39 miles north of Macon and 77 miles southeast of Atlanta, Eatonton was the birthplace of beloved Southern writer Joel Chandler Harris. It was Harris who took stories he had heard from elderly slaves as he was growing up and preserved them on paper in his series of Uncle Remus books.

Many of the stories preserved by Harris actually bridge three cultures. The stories of the wily Brer Fox and the crafty Brer Rabbit actually have their foundation in the tales told long ago by Creek Indian elders who amused villagers by bringing to life the creatures of the forest around them. These tales captivated African American story tellers as settlement and slavery spread west into the lands of the Creek Nation and the stories continued to be told even after most of the Creeks were moved west on the Trail of Tears.

Uncle Remus Museum
So far as is known, Harris was the first person to put many of the old stories down on paper (while also creating some new ones of his own). He used the figure of an elderly slave named Uncle Remus to tell the stories and both Uncle Remus and the fanciful characters of the tales become beloved fixtures of American literature.

Eatonton is the perfect place to explore this unique part of Southern literary history. In addition to the Brer Rabbit Statue on the courthouse lawn, the town is home to the Uncle Remus Museum which preserves the stories and details the early life of Joel Chandler Harris.

The town is also located near the famed Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, one of only two verified stone effigy mounds east of the Mississippi River. The nearby Rock Hawk, also now open to the public, is the other.

Eatonton is on the trail of Sherman's March to the Sea and the vicinity is rich in Civil War history. To learn more, please visit

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