Friday, August 4, 2017

Traveler's Rest in Toccoa, GA

By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my week off from work proved to be really hot and uneventful, my youngest and I set off on an adventure. Not to be confused with Traveler's Rest in South Carolina, instead this is a homestead in the Northern Georgia mountains. Throughout its history, Traveler's Rest served as a post office, an inn, and even a makeshift hospital. Evidence of this is throughout the property.

Just to share with my readers, although I live in South Carolina, I actually live quite a bit closer to many points in Georgia than in my own state. Anderson is very close to the border, and this frontier home in Toccoa was only about a 45 minutes drive total.

History

Built around 1815 as a stagecoach inn for James R. Wyly. Operating as an inn until 1833, it was the equivalent of a highway through the Appalachian mountains and was a typical stop for travelers between Atlanta & upper Appalachia, hence the name. The inn was sold to his neighbor Devereux Jarrett, who immediately doubled the inn's size to relocate his family from his large plantation on the Tugaloo River. Some notable Presidents slept here including my ancestor, Andrew Jackson. Traveler's Rest was owned and maintained for the next three generations of Jarrett's until the state of Georgia purchased the site in 1955. It's now preserved by the state of Georgia partnering with local historical agencies. 

To learn more about the site, and for visitor information, go to:
http://gastateparks.org/travelersrest

Due to the heat, I put on my only pair of jean shorts in lieu of the jeans I normally wear with my top. I did enjoy looking for the closest thing I had to calico in my closet. My top reminded me of a top I wore as a girl watching Little House on the Prairie so you know I had to have it! 

Fashion

Sunny Yellow Calico Top
~Old Navy

Jean Shorts by Intro
~Dillard's

Bronze Sandals by Clarks
~Rack Room Shoes

Metallic Bronze Handbag by Simply Vera
(Vera Wang)
~Kohl's



This particular shed one could easily say, "What didn't they use it for?" It's purpose changed throughout the years. Everything from a cabin for the hired help, to a storage area, to mother-in-law quarters, and today it's where they show an informative filmstrip on the history of the house and surrounding area.



As a fashion blogger, I'm also a lover of textiles, and Traveler's Rest was full of surprises. In the main house, this quilt was handcrafted by the original mistress of the manor. I was impressed at the attention to detail, and trying my hand at quilting myself, I can appreciate the amount of handiwork that went into the quilt's construction. The tight, but not quite evenly spaced stitches give away that this was a quilt entirely made by hand.








Visitor Information

There is a knowledgeable docent at the site, and she told us about this magnificent loom. The textiles in the looms pictured at the left are original to the site. She went on to say that the further of the too, should be in the Smithsonian due to its immaculate condition. One of her fellow historians has extensive knowledge of textiles and sees to it's preservation.

For a nominal fee you can see the site, and it's open every weekend from 9 am till 5 pm excepting holidays, but it does operate year-round which isn't as common for historical sites as you would think it would be. They do also offer educational programs throughout the year, and the next one is this fall on October 14th.

So if you're headed north on I-85 going out of Atlanta towards Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC be sure to stop to see this gem for under $5 per person.

Details

I couldn't resist to show you this little detail with all of you. See the steps? They're in front of the inn for use by ladies riding side saddle while visiting the inn. They are situated facing away from the Stagecoach Circle for their privacy. (Hoop skirts could leave a lady exposed.) I love that they thought of everything.

Traveler's Rest is also situated roughly half an hour from outlet shopping in Commerce, GA or in 45 minutes you can shop at the Mall of Georgia. There are many places to stop and eat, or sit as spell, as they say down here. 









Well fashion-loves, I hope you've enjoyed this walk back into the past with me. I confess, there's something special about the hills of Georgia that just feels like home to me. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Stay fashionable and be blessed,
Laurie

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