Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Botanical Garden Announces Opening of Rural Life Museum

Georgia Southern University to Present Get Out in the Garden FestivalVisitors will get a glimpse of what living and working in rural Georgia was like during the early 20th century when the Rural Life Museum opens at the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 28.

The Rural Life Museum is housed in a restored mule barn and includes photographs and stories along with farm and household tools commonly used in rural Georgia during the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the pieces belonged to Dan and Catharine Bland, who worked the farm that once stood on the site that is now the Botanical Garden. Items on display include baskets, harnesses, a wringer washing machine and even whirligigs constructed by Mr. Bland.

‘The Rural Life Museum provides a look into the hard work, determination and ingenuity required to survive and be successful in the challenging conditions of the rural south,” said Georgia Southern Botanical Garden Director Carolyn Altman. ‘The Rural Life Museum represents the collective history and spirit of this area’s people and their relationship to the land.”

The late Dr. Frank Saunders, who was a history professor at the University, and many in the community, contributed the stories and many of the unique objects included in the exhibit. Planters Telephone Foundation also provided funds for the project.

Visitors will also have hands-on experiences at the museum that include weighing cotton. They will also see a ‘catface” tree that bears the marks of the turpentining industry in the area as well as view tools used to manufacture turpentine.

The opening of the Rural Life Museum coincides with the Whirligig Spring Festival and Plant Sale on March 28, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Botanical Garden.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 116 degree programs serving nearly 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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