Wisteria Hall is located in picturesque Waynesboro, Georgia, the county seat of Burke County. Waynesboro, named after the revolutionary soldier and Civil War General Anthony “Mad Anthony” Wayne, is rich in history: including a visit from George Washington. Burke County has been the home of numerous governors’, as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lyman Hall. In 2009, Waynesboro was added to the US National Register of Historical Places and undoubtedly one of the oldest, most beautiful homes in Burke County is Wisteria Hall.
Built in 1900 by Enon Chance, this neoclassical structure stands four stories tall and is the tallest surviving residence of its era. Wisteria Hall was named after the Tiffany window depicting birds in flight and framed by wisteria vines. Wisteria Hall, truly a sight to behold both inside and out.
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January/February – Waynesboro is not called the “Bird Dog Capital of the World” for nothing. Since 1903, the Field Trials have been a staple for bird dog enthusiasts throughout the country. The Field Trials, hosted at Di-Lane Plantation, include the largest open-shooting dog competition in the world and one of only three derby championships in the nation that qualify a dog for the national championship.
September – The Burke Farm Fest is an annual festival sponsored by the Waynesboro Shrine Club in honor of Burke County’s rich agricultural history. The Burke Farm Fest hosts vendors from all around, and includes offerings such as arts and crafts, entertainment, and a parade. There is something to enjoy no matter your age. Additionally, Racks on the Tracks features delicious barbecue, ribs, brisket and much more, at a very fair price.
December –Held each December in downtown Waynesboro, Christmas on Liberty Square is an old-fashioned, down-home Christmas celebration complete with Victorian-costumed locals, familiar carols performed by local musicians, and delicious seasonal fare at street-side cafes and restaurants. Be prepared to find uniquely perfect gift ideas at an array of charming downtown shops and antique stores. Christmas on Liberty Square is a wonderful way to kick off your holiday season in a truly authentic small-town setting.
Located a short drive away in Millen, Georgia is beautiful Magnolia Springs State Park is known for its crystal clear springs through which 7 million gallons of untainted water flow per day. A boardwalk spans the cool water, allowing visitors to look for alligators, turtles and other wildlife near the springs. A 28-acre lake is available for fishing and boating. 2 group shelters and 8 picnic shelters can be reserved by the day for parties, family reunions, and get-togethers.
During the Civil War, this site was called Camp Lawton and served as “the world’s largest prison.” Today, little remains of the prison stockade; however, the earthen breastworks which guarded it may still be seen. During 2010, Georgia Southern University archaeology teams uncovered the stockade wall and numerous personal articles from soldiers. Their discovery has been heralded as one of the most significant finds in recent history. Click here to visit their website.
George L. Smith State Park
Located near Twin City and less than an hour from Waynesboro lays a jewel-in-the-rough known as George L. Smith Sate Park. With natural beauty, lakeside camping, and cozy cottages, this secluded park is the perfect South Georgia retreat. It is best known for the refurbished Parrish Mill and Pond: a combination gristmill, sawmill, covered bridge, and dam built in 1880. A group shelter near the bridge can be reserved for family reunions and parties.
The park’s mill pond beckons anglers and paddlers to explore thick stands of cypress and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss. While on the water, nature enthusiasts can look for beaver dams, blue heron, white ibis, and other wading birds. The park itself rents boats, while nearby outfitters offer guided paddle trips. Hikers can stretch their legs on seven miles of trails while searching for Georgia’s state reptile, the gopher tortoise. Click here to visit their website.