Tara from Gone With The Wind Tour and Lovejoy Plantation

Lovejoy, GA – I read about the movie set of Tara being stored away in a barn, and naturally I just had to go see it.  It’s history!  Scarlett O’Hara lived here in Gone With The Wind and being a good southerner, I jumped at the chance to take a tour of it.  As a bonus, it’s located at Lovejoy Plantation…which is gated and I’d never get near it otherwise.

Lovejoy Plantation

Excited to set off on a 9AM Saturday morning tour, I followed the directions.  I felt a little funny as I pulled into the parking lot here around 8:45 in the morning.

Turn Here to Visit Tara!I may have been trying to slump down in my seat sitting outside a liquor store early on Saturday…but it was a quick walk and time to see Lovejoy Plantation – and Tara!

Friends at Lovejoy Plantation

Going to see the movie set, which is stored in a barn – I had to get past security.  These two were so friendly and I got distracted wanting to stop and pet the animals!

When you go in the barn, a dedicated group of volunteers has catalogued and preserved the remaining parts of Tara.  Just for some perspective, here are some photos from the late 1950s before it was packed up and moved to Georgia…

Tara Movie Set prior to being stored tara_mansion_1959_bison_01

Tara was stored away in North Ga in a couple of locations for around 20 years, before Betty Talmadge purchased it in 1979.  After that she had it moved and stored here at Lovejoy Plantation.

At first I was sure what all I was looking at, so many parts and pieces…but you start to connect the dots during the tour.  For example, these tall shutters were from the front of the house, and are in this scene with Scarlett and the Tarleton Twins.

Front Window of Tara Tara Front Windows in Movie

 

Several windows, as well as porch steps are preserved and laid out in the barn.

Tara Windows Tara Movie Set Door

 

So remember how I said this is inside Lovejoy Plantation?  So here’s another look as we got closer to the house.

Lovejoy Plantation

It was a “plantation plain” style house that kept getting added too, with a huge addition in 1858 (as in it may have been two houses joined together at that point).  What’s interesting here – there was a big cavalry battle here in 1864.  It’s said that the owners stored grain inside the columns of the house to hide it from the Yankees.  The house has bullet holes inside and out – that’s how fierce the fighting was.  But let’s get back to Gone With The Wind (GWTW)- I learned a couple of interesting facts.

Did you know that superfans of GWTW are called “Windies”?  I first heard it as “Wendy’s” and that made me crave a Frosty.  In fact, I want one NOW.  But no, Windies are the extreme fans.  They know every detail about the movie!  When I stop to think about what I know of the movie after seeing it 10,000 times growing up, I always think of the Carol Burnett Show skit of the dress Scarlett had made from curtains!

Carol Burnett Show Vivian Leigh and Carol Burnett

You can actually see this dress, along with a scale replica of Tara at the Road To Tara Museum, in nearby Jonesboro.  It’s a neat museum in the old train depot, and certainly worth a stop.  Here are a couple of pics from my visit there:

Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro

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See those big steps off the porch?  Here they are now:

WP_20140802_050

All in all, an interesting tour to see the real Tara from Gone With The Wind!  Hope you enjoyed taking this side trip from Atlanta with me!  Thanks so much for reading the blog, I appreciate you!

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. I love your blog. I love everything about my home state, especially its history. I even prefer Ga authors. Know that you are not alone as you make your travels!

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