Milledgeville, thankfully, has had little trouble in its history of attracting people to it. Many of these, of course, did not come willingly, as Central State Hospital very literally has its own ZIP code and was instrumental in keeping this town employed once the business of the capitol moved to Atlanta. Further, the square which now holds the lion’s share of Georgia College was, prior to our visit from General Sherman and the accompanying fire, the state penitentiary. We, then, have historically had little trouble attracting the sick, criminal, and political classes, not that I am in any way equating them or anything. Flannery’s own reunion with Milledgeville was not a volitional one, either; she returned to the farm as a lupus patient but was thankfully able to put out her best works while here.
Thanks to higher education and the efforts of the local historical preservationists, new residents and visitors are a constant here in Milledgeville, many of whom come on their own free will and harbor little to no criminal tendencies. Each day that Andalusia is open is a look into not only the life of who is likely our most famous resident, but also how a place like Milledgeville keeps its head above water. From the handy types who come out to work on the equipment shed to the artistic set who hang their works in the house, it truly does “take all kinds,” as Ruby Turpin puts it. I personally am lucky enough to spend significant amounts of time at Andalusia and at a pair of other Milledgeville museums: the Old Capital Museum and the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House. With continued support from both locals and tourists, sites like these will keep our town from the ranks of the walking dead.
|Daniel emcees Andalusia's 10th Annual Bluegrass Festival|