Lake Oconee & Lake Sinclair are home to many generations of people. History, heritage, culture, education and the arts have all played an important role in the development of the communities around the lakes. We proudly share our heritage and history with visitors through several history museums and house museums around the lake. A thriving arts community also calls this area home featuring works from both local and international talent at various museums, galleries and exhibits in Madison, Milledgeville, Greensboro and Eatonton. Listed below are some of these sites.
- Andalusia - Flannery O'Connor's Farm, 478-454-4029
- Bartram Forest, 478-445-5164
- Central State Hospital Museum, 478-445-4878
- Eatonton Putnam Historical Society, Eatonton, 706-485-4532
- Flannery O'Connor Room, 478-445-4391
- Georgia War Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, 478-445-3363
- Georgia's Old Capital Museum, 478-453-1803
- Heritage Hall House Museum, 706-342-9627
- John Marlor Art Center, 478-452-3950
- Lockerly Hall / Arboretum, 478-452-2112
- Madison Artist’s Guild, 706-342-5200
- Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, 706-342-4743
- Morgan County African American Museum, 706-342-9191
- Museum & Archives of Georgia Education, 478-445-4391
- Old School Museum, 706-485-7701
- Old Capitol Building, 478-453-1803
- Old Governor's Mansion, 478-445-4545
- Old Rock Gaol, 706-453-7592
- Rogers House & Rose Cottage, 706-343-0190
- Scull Shoals, Greensboro, 706-453-7592
- Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, Madison, 706-342-7557
- Uncle Remus Museum, Eatonton, 706-485-6856
Lakes Oconee and Lake Sinclair
Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair cover over 36,000 acres and are an outdoorsman's paradise. They offer something for everyone in the family. Whether you're looking for fishing, camping, swimming, water sports or just dipping your toes in the water, you'll find it on the lake! And within all price ranges the area offers countless recreation activities for the whole family from hiking to biking, horseback riding, golf and tennis.
Located on the Sinclair side of the dam where Lakes Oconee and Sinclair meet, is Oconee Springs Park. Oconee Springs Park offers camping (both tent and RV), fishing, boating, and beach fun are available to the public. Call 706-485-8423 for more information.
The Georgia Power Company has built and staffs three 85-acre parks on Lake Oconee which offer boating facilities, beaches and campgrounds, and are open to the public. For more information on these parks, you may call 706-485-8704.
On Lake Oconee, you will find several lake community developments. Reynolds Plantation is a 4,800-acre wildlife preserve with unlimited recreational activities. Fuzzy Zoeller, Hubert Green, and Bob Cupp designed 18 spectacular holes, while Tom Fazio opened a course in the Fall of 1997. Great Waters, a part of Reynolds Plantation, is home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and has been ranked among the Ten Best New courses by GOLF Magazine. Also available at Great Waters are tennis facilities, boating activities, and swimming pools all surrounded by miles of beautiful shoreline. Cuscowilla, the newest lake front development, has a Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore designed golf course. Harbor Club also boasts a world-class golf course and features some of the most beautiful homes in the country.
Old Governor’s Mansion Built as the Executive Mansion, it was home to the governors of Georgia from 1839 to 1868. It was occupied by General Sherman during his March to the Sea. The Mansion is one of the most perfect examples of Greek Revival architecture in Georgia and also received the prestigious Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation award. It now serves as a historic house museum. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 4 p.m. Tours begin on the hour. 478-445-4545
Lockerly Arboretum Founded in 1965, the Arboretum includes approximately 47 acres that feature shrubs, trees, herb beds, iris, daylily beds, rhododendron garden, vineyards, bulb and perennial beds. There is also a tropical and desert greenhouse. Guided tours are available, but individuals are welcome to visit and enjoy the facility at their own pace. Lockerly Hall, a Greek Revival home, is the centerpiece of Lockerly Arboretum and presides over its surroundings with elegance and grace. The mansion is a significant example of the finest plantation architecture of the Milledgeville area, as well as the entire cotton belt of the Old South. Lockerly Hall is available for touring as part of the Monday – Wednesday CVB Trolley Tour. 478-452-2112
Old Capitol The Old Capitol is considered the first example of Gothic architecture in a public building in the United States. It served as the seat of government for the State of Georgia from 1807 to 1868, and in its legislative chambers the Secession Convention was held in 1861. The building underwent a $10 million renovation in 2000. Since 1879, Georgia Military College has occupied the historic site.
Georgia’s Old Capital Museum Georgia’s Old Capital Museum is located on the ground floor of the Old Capitol. This regional museum interprets, preserves, and communicates the historical and cultural heritage of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County area of Georgia. 478-453-1803
Andalusia This picturesque farm is where American author Flannery O’Connor found the source of many of the settings, situations and fictional characters that are the signature of her stories. The 544-acre estate consists of the Main House (Andalusia), the Hill House (home to the farm workers) several barns, a water tower and additional structures. 478-454-4029
Stetson-Sanford House: This house has a beautiful Palladian double portico and original pilasters. Fanlights have a spread eagle and dogwood blossoms ornamenting the lead dividers. A cantilevered, oval, spiral staircase dominates the central hall and hand-grained woodwork remains in the parlor. Open by request and on the CVB Trolley Tour. 478-453-1803
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church: A Gothic roof now replaces the original flat roof destroyed by the explosion of the nearby arsenal during the Civil War. Of special interest is the chancel window of Old English glass, a gift from Christ Church in Savannah. The hand carved chancel furniture was created by an early parishioner, Captain John Wilcox. Visitors welcome and also included on CVB Trolley Tour. 478-452-4687
John Marlor Art Center: This is one of four historic buildings which make up the Allied Arts Center. It houses the Allied Arts offices and the Elizabeth Marlor Bethune Art Gallery. The Art Gallery features rotating exhibits of local and regional artists. Visitors are given guided tours of current exhibitions. The Allen’s Market Building, across from the John Marlor Art Center, is a 1911 building that has been adapted into a theatre, meeting and studio space. 478-452-3950
Central State Hospital Museum: The museum is located on the hospital grounds on Broad Street in the old train depot across from the auditorium. It highlights 150 years of existence of the hospital. 478-445-4878
Memory Hill Self-Guided Tour: Originally designated as one of the four public squares of twenty acres each in the Milledgeville town plan of 1803, it later came to be known as Cemetery Square. Many people associated with Milledgeville and Georgia history, such as L.Q.C. Lamar, Congressman Carl Vinson and Flannery O’Connor, as well as early Georgia governors, legislators, college presidents, slaves and soldiers are buried here.
Bartram Forest: In 1794, the Bartram Forest was inhabited by Native Americans. Today, educational hiking trails allow visitors to see centuries of abundant wildlife, natural wetlands, and an erosion ravine with soil that is remnant of the ancient shallow seas that covered Georgia 50 to 100 million years ago. Three looping trails cover this natural wonder. 478-445-5164
Old Greene County Gaol: This 1807 rock jail is one of the oldest penal structures in Georgia. Patterned after Bastilles with castellated battlements. Open by appointment; no admission. 706-453-7592
Greene County Historical Society Museum: Collection of artifacts, photographs and manuscripts is a fascinating glimpse into the people and events that shaped our county's beginnings and growth. Opened by appointment; no admission. 706-453-7592 or 706-453-7534
Hawthorne Heights Historic Home: Built in 1848 in Union Point, it is one of the most historic and imposing houses in the city. Originally a raised cottage, it was enlarged along Greek Revival lines. Drive by tour only. 706-453-7592
Jefferson Hall: Constructed in 1830, its beautiful elliptical door lights are framed by a two-story portico supported by ionic columns. Drive by only. 706-453-7592
Historic Scull Shoals Mill Village: . Scull Shoals was home to Georgia’s First Paper Mill, Water-Powered Sawmill, Grist Mill, and Textile Mills. The site also features numerous archaeological sites, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Educational groups are welcome, but be sure to visit the web site to contact a member of the Friends of Scull Shoals at their web site www.scullshoals.org. For more information contact the Greene County Chamber of Commerce at 706-453-7592
Hard Labor Creek State Park: Office hours: 8 a.m. 5 p.m. Offers hiking and camping in picturesque rolling hills, with riding trails and stables, lake for boating and fishing, and an 18 hole golf course open to the public. 706-557-2863
Heritage Hall (c.1833 Antebellum): Greek Revival House & Museum, furnished in the period tours available as well as rental for special events. 277 South Main Street, Madison. Open Daily, Admission 706-342-9627
Madison Morgan Cultural Center: (c. 1895 First Graded School House in the Southeast) 434 South Main Street, Madison. Visit galleries, history museum and gift shop, Theater performances and special events. The Hall is available for weddings, receptions, and special events. It accommodates up to 400. Admission. Closed Mondays. Phone Number: 706-342-4743
Morgan County African-American Museum & Moore House: Preserving African-American heritage and promoting awareness of the contributions the African-American has made in the culture of the South. Located in the Horace Moore House, c. 1895. House, Museum & Galleries. 156 Academy Street, Madison. Open Occasionally 706-342-9191
North Georgia Tours: This tour group offers 1 and 2 hour narrated horse and carriage tours of Historic Madison with a knowledgeable local guide and local celebrity Charlie Horse. The tours are filled with lots of local history, civil war history, architecture and anecdotal stories into the personal lives of its historic inhabitants. Walking tours, step on tours, haunted history tours and cemetery tours are also available. Registration is required. 706.340.4357 or register at northgeorgiatours.net
Ricky D's ~ Hollywood Museum and Cinema: Situated in Historic Downtown Madison, Ricky D's is a unique entertainment venue that is a must-see for all. From the gigantic Marilyn Monroe mural to the bust of Iron Man, if you enjoy Hollywood memorabilia, a visit to Ricky D's is awe inspiring! At Ricky D's, they up serve gourmet hot dogs, Italian roast beef to premium frozen custard. Ricky D's is also home to Retro Cinema, a 50-seat movie theatre that shows independent films, documentaries, classics and foreign films. Be sure to stop by on the weekends to enjoy sports on the big screen. Enjoy a glass of wine or refreshing beer from the elegant wine bar, the Backstage. If you are looking for an experience, this is the place to see!
The Rogers House: (c. 1810 Piedmont Plains) 179 East Jefferson Street, Madison. Recently restored house & museum located adjacent to the Courthouse and on the square, Open Daily, Admission. Phone Number: 706-343-0190
The Rose Cottage: (c. 1890 Cottage) 179 East Jefferson Street, Madison. Restored in 1997. Mrs. Rose, born into slavery, purchased land and built her home prior to this century. 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m., Monday Saturday. 1:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m., Sunday. Admission Phone Number: 706-343-0190
Steffen Thomas Museum of Art: The Steffen Thomas Museum and Archives is dedicated to providing art education programs and projects for children and families in rural Northeast and Middle Georgia communities. The Museum open Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00am - 4:00pm. Open for special occasions. 4200 Bethany Church Rd., Buckhead, 30625. 706-342-7557
The Adelle Theater: (Blackwell Furniture Co.) c. 1914 was a silent movie theater which closed in 1923. The only significant alteration of the original theater was the leveling of the downstairs floors. 107 North Madison Ave. Eatonton 9:00am-5:00pm Mon-Sat, closed Wed.
Alice Walker Trail: Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, is originally from Eatonton and still visits with family. The Alice Walker self-driving tour gives the viewer some insights into the early development of her talents along with some of her family's history. Brochure is available at the Welcome Center showcasing the sites.
The Bronson House: c. 1816-1822 North Madison Avenue, Eatonton Home of the Eatonton Putnam Historical Society 706-485-6442
The Rock Eagle Effigy: With the establishment of the great Rock Eagle 4-H Club Center in Eatonton, much interest and curiosity has developed concerning the Eagle effigy itself. It is in the shape of a great prone bird with its head turned to the east and with outspread wings. Its measurements are 102 feet from wingtip to wingtip. The body rises to about ten feet above the surrounding surface. It is constructed entirely of milky quartz rocks and boulders ranging from baseball size to boulders, which would require several men to move. It can be viewed from the large granite observation tower constructed in 1937 by the government.
The Rock Hawk Effigy, Park and Trails
This is an outdoor classroom that has hundreds of educational displays along the 15 miles of trails that surround and lead to the Rock Hawk Effigy. The Rock Hawk Effigy consists of milky quartz rocks from baseball to boulder size, in the shape of a 100 foot long hawk. The trails provide visitors with many activities such as bird watching, hiking and biking. Regional and state biking and running races occur on the trails. The 15 miles of trails are divided into 5 loops showcasing the Lake Oconee shoreline, a major river, wetlands and varied forests and fields that attract a wide variety of wildlife, including over 200 species of birds. Historical displays dating from 12,000 years ago to the present as well as wildlife displays provide educational opportunities for visitors.
A new archery range at Rock Hawk Park is now available for archers, bow hunters, youth groups and others interested in perfecting their target skills. The range consists of a static range, where users shoot intolarge “bow butt” targets secured inside freestanding sheds, and a 3-D trail with realistic animal targets on 17 lanes. Users should bring their own equipment.
The effigy, park and trails are open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset.
The Uncle Remus Museum: The Uncle Remus Museum is located in Turner Park, a part of the original home place of Joseph Sidney Turner, the "Little boy" in the Tales of Uncle Remus. The museum is a log cabin made from two original Putnam County slave cabins similar to the one occupied by Uncle Remus, the lovable character made famous by Joel Chandler Harris. The focal point of the cabin is a large portrait of Uncle Remus and the little boy, presented to the museum by Walt Disney. Shadow boxes containing delicate wood carvings of "de Critters" capture the other world of Uncle Remus. First editions of many of Mr. Harris' works and numerous articles of interest fill a counter near the center of the museum. 706-485-6856