Public Contact & Tickets:
Macon Convention & Visitors Bureau
Media Contact:
Jane Sowell
Fifth Annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage:
A Window into Georgia's Past

April 18 - 21, 2013

Milledgeville, Georgia (January 17, 2013) -- Communities along Georgia's Antebellum Trail will again extend their Southern hospitality to visitors this April during the Fifth Annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage, with a wide array of heritage events and attractions that provide a window into 19th century Georgia homes and lifestyles.  The 100-mile Antebellum Trail spans seven historically significant communities including Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Gray/Old Clinton and Macon.  During the Pilgrimage weekend April 18 - 21, 2013, communities along the Trail will offer a wide array of museum tours and special events as well as entrance into private historic homes not generally open to the public. A flexible Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage Pass is just $25 and provides admission to all participating events and attractions in any or all of the communities throughout the entire weekend.

The Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage is held during a prime month of festivals and annual events in the host communities, which will allow tourists to combine the Pilgrimage with other premiere events. "With entrance to these attractions and events at a remarkable value, the Trail Association makes it easy for participants to experience all seven historic communities," said Justin Martin, President of the Antebellum Trail Association. 

The northern gateway of the Antebellum Trail is Athens, which has been named a Distinctive Destination by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Patrons can tour four house museums featuring four architectural styles from four different 19th century decades. Special events and offerings  at the Athens house museums are planned for the Pilgrimage weekend, as well as a special walking tour offered daily by the Athens Clarke Heritage Foundation. 

 Watkinsville, a former frontier town on the edge of Creek and Cherokee Indian territories, is home to the Eagle Tavern. The Eagle Tavern was built in the late 1700s and is one of the city's earliest surviving structures. It served as a stagecoach stop and tavern throughout the antebellum period. 

Madison, known as "the town Sherman refused to burn," is a national treasure of antebellum architecture. Patrons can embark on a walking or driving tour of the historic district and will have access to museums and Antebellum and Victorian homes, including private homes not generally open to the public. Excellent shopping is available as more than 160 antique vendors plus 45 specialty shops grace the beautifully restored downtown square.

Participants will also visit Eatonton, which has a beautiful, well-preserved downtown historic district plus a residential section of the historic district featuring over 100 antebellum and Victorian-era structures.  Participants will be able to take exclusive tours of private homes not usually open to the public. Eatonton is the hometown of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus Tales, and author Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple.

Milledgeville is known as Georgia's Antebellum Capital. Featured on the Pilgrimage is the restored Old Governor's Mansion, where Sherman himself slept! Completed in 1839, the Old Governor's Mansion is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the nation. Another gem not to be missed is Georgia's Old Capitol Museum, designed in the Gothic Revival style and the location where Georgia legislators voted to secede from the Union. Milledgeville also boasts a Museum District that includes preserved mansions, haunted historic sites and eclectic art galleries, while the historic district boasts 20 architectural landmarks.

In the quiet, rural village of Gray/Old Clinton, visitors can get a glimpse back in time to the former bustling town on Georgia's western frontier. Patrons can tour the Old Clinton Historical District including several early 19th century homes and visit the only infantry battle opposition of General Sherman's March to the Sea at the Griswoldville Battle site.

The southern tip of the trail is Macon, home to the Hay House. This destination was featured on A&E's America's Castles and is known as the "Palace of the South." At the Cannonball House, patrons can enjoy Greek Revival architecture while listening to the "Georgia Suitcase" program featuring found letters revealing a Macon family's life during the Antebellum era. Tour patrons can also spend time at the Sidney Lanier Cottage with a performance by a historical re-enactor of the young Sidney. Patrons can end the evening with a scenic drive or a leisurely stroll through Macon's in-town illumination tour, a unique, self-guided tour which showcases over 30 public and private mansions.

Tickets can be purchased at any of the Welcome Centers along the trail prior to and during the Pilgrimage or online at Tickets for the Pilgrimage are $25. An early bird ticket price of $20 is available through March 31, 2013. Groups of 10 or more receive discounted tickets at $20.

For more information contact the Milledgeville Convention & Visitors Bureau at 478-452-4687 or visit the website at


PSAs:  Georgia's 5th Annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage 

PSA, 15 second 

You know about General Sherman's March to the Sea, but what about the cities he didn't burn? Georgia's 5th Annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage, April 18 - 21 , takes you back in time in the deep south, visiting historical sites in seven communities from Athens to Macon. For more information visit


PSA, 30 second 


Re-live the days of white columns and front porches where time stood still. Experience the roots of southern hospitality during Georgia's 5th Annual Antebellum Trial Pilgrimage April 18 - 21. This one hundred mile trail spans seven communities from Athens to Macon and showcases historical homes, museums, events and more. View impressive architecture, authentic battle sites and private homes for only twenty-five dollars a ticket.  Tickets can be purchased online or at any of the Welcome Centers along the trail. For more information visit or call 800-768-3401.


About the Antebellum Trail:

The Antebellum Trail began as a University of Georgia project in March 1984. The Athens Chamber of Commerce called the historic communities of Athens, Watkinsville, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Old Clinton and Macon together to promote and network their history. The state of Georgia recognized Georgia's Antebellum Trail as a state designated trail in 1985. Over the past 28 years, Georgia's first tourism trail has remained its most popular, with visitors coming from around the world to experience Antebellum Georgia.