Wheat House at Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm Photo: Burke Walker
Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm
agricultural museum, the Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm functions
as an educational and interpretive center in northeast Georgia.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the farm is
unique for its collection of over 20 intact historic buildings in
their original location.
Dating from ca. 1900-1920, the buildings served the
agricultural needs of the Shields-Ethridge family and surrounding
farms, functioning as a small industry in the cultivation of corn,
wheat, and other crops. With very few changes, these buildings can
be viewed today, including a schoolhouse called the "Bachelor's
Academy," teacher's residence, grist mill, hammer mill, blacksmith
shop, carpenter's shop, cottonseed warehouse, cotton gin, main
house, tenant house, and others. The grist mill and a fully stocked
commissary appear just as they did in the early 1900's. The farm's
original equipment and machinery can also be viewed, including a
restored Titan Ten engine, circa 1913, 3 Lummus gins, hydraulic
balers, generators, generator, hay rakes, and wagon scales.
The farm has remained in the same family since its
purchase ca. 1802. During the Civil War, the farm produced wheat,
corn, oats, cured fodder, cotton and feed. In 1865, at the end of
the Civil War, the freed slaves left the farm, but shortly
thereafter requested to return and live on the farm. They returned
under a signed agreement as free people. The main house was built
in 1866 with the money from the sale of two bales of cotton. By
1880, the farm tilled over 100 acres of land, making it one of the
largest farms in the area.
In 1994, Joyce Ethridge and her daughters Susan E.
Chaisson and Ann E. Lacey gave 150 acres of the farm to the
Shields-Ethridge Farm Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization
dedicated to the preservation of the farm as an agricultural
museum. The Foundation protects the farm complex and provides the
public with an educational and interpretive facility that
accurately tells of Georgia's rich agricultural history. Today the
museum hosts regular seminars and tours, annual events, educational
outings for area school children, and is open to the public.
In 1994, the Shields-Ethridge farm received a Georgia
Centennial Heritage Farm award from the Georgia Department of
Natural Resources that recognizes farms of exceptional historical
In 1996, Mrs. Ethridge received the Georgia Trust for
Historic Preservation Stewardship Award for Long Term Preservation
of Historic Properties. In 1999, the farm received a Silver Level
Recognition Environmental Award from the Jackson County Area
Chamber of Commerce and the Boy Scouts of America.
Documentation includes a text report and a brochure
with 3 photographs and map.
Originally submitted by: John Linder, Representative (11th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.