Friday, March 1: Wormsloe Plantation Tour

Advance registration is required for the Wormsloe tour and space is limited. The fee for the tour is $20 and includes a boxed lunch.

Wormsloe State Historic Site holds the remains of Georgia’s oldest Tidewater plantation. This half-day field trip combines a box lunch, roundtable discussion, guided tour, plus the chance for individual explorations of a place with unsettling beauty. [http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2870]

The first shuttle bus departs at 12:30 from the Hyatt Regency. (The shuttle will run to and from the site until 4:00.) After an informal lunch, participants can join the first (of two) walking tours. Sarah Ross, Director of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History [www.wormsloeinstitute.org] will guide the tours. At 1:30, the De Renne Library will host a roundtable on “Early American Environmentalisms”; Timothy Sweet, Gordon Sayre, Susan Scott Parrish and Thomas Hallock will offer talking points, then a lively conversation should follow. A second tour will follow the roundtable, for those who missed the first!

Participants are free to participate in the session, join either of the walking tours, or explore the site on their own.

Wormsloe is a complicated place, a productive landscape with a layered history best understood through a guide. Visitors are likely to see dolphins breaching in the tidal river, a red-shouldered hawk by the parking lot or deer grazing in the palmetto underbrush — maybe all three, on any given day.

Nourished by the ebb and flow of brackish water, the low-lying areas were used by Native Americans on a seasonal basis. Noble Jones (1702-1775), a carpenter who arrived in Georgia with James Oglethorpe, settled a lease for the property in 1736. John and William Bartram visited in 1765, and while the original buildings had fallen in disrepair by the Revolution, Wormsloe would continue as a working plantation into the nineteenth century.

This trip allows participants to experience, reflect upon, and critically examine the powerful economy of nature in early Georgia.

Co-sponsored by the Bartram Trail Conference [www.bartramtrail.org]

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