Thursday, June 25, 2009

Restoring the Milk-Processing Shed

A grant from the Milledgeville chapter of the Watson-Brown Junior Board made it possible for the Foundation to begin work last week on restoring the milk-processing shed at Andalusia. Funding for the project also came from gifts given in memory of Robert W. Mann (former Chair of the Board) and his sister-in-law, Catherine Florencourt Firth. The general contractor for the project is Allen Contruction Company of Milledgeville, the same firm that completed the restoration of the pump house in 2008. The milk-processing shed is located in front of the main cow barn a few hundred feet behind the main house. It is a one-story structure with two small interior rooms and is constructed of structural clay tile and covered with a wood-frame hipped roof and tin roofing. The north room is accessible by doors from the west and north and houses an existing pump along with cooling and storage equipment. The south room has a built-in "basin" constructed of concrete on the east wall. There is a small addition on the south side of the building with its own entrance, and this room houses an electric water heater. The old chimney above this addition is still in place, implying that the heat source at one time was wood or coal. As was the case with the restoration of the water tower and pump house, we hope to recreate the semblance of an operational farm for the purposes of education and historic preservation. Although these structures are no longer functional on the property, they are predominant pieces of the agricultural landscape at Andalusia and represent significant artifacts of twentieth-century farm life in central Georgia. They are also integral elements of the setting which provided inspiration for so many of Flannery O'Connor's stories. An interesting sidenote about the milk-processing shed: it was slightly modified during the summer of 1976 for the filming at Andalusia of O'Connor's short story, "The Displaced Person." Wood siding was placed over the tile of the shed to make it look like the tenant shack for the Polish immigrant family in the story. The siding was removed after filming was complete. The PBS production of "The Displaced Person" is now on DVD and available in the gift shop at Andalusia.

Craig

2 comments:

Cory said...

Craig, thanks again for your hospitality during my recent visit. The progress you and the foundation are making at Andalusia is remarkable. Keep up the good work.

Andalusia, Home of Flannery O'Connor said...

Thank you, Cory, for your kind words and your support of our efforts here at Andalusia. We hope yo see you again.