Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Plains, Georgia....Home of Jimmy Carter

The tiny town of Plains, Georgia is the home of Jimmy Carter our 39th President. Tiny is the operative word here with a population of less than 700 folks. On our day trip today we drove the short distance from Andersonville (see post on that) to Plains. By the time we left Andersonville, it was almost lunch time. When we got to the Plains city limits we saw the Visitor Center and pulled in there where they had a nice picnic area. We pulled out our own lawn chairs and table and sat away from the pond area. We had Annie the Schnauzer with us and we knew that she would want to chase the geese at the pond. We ate our lunch and enjoyed the quiet of the area...we were the only ones there.

After we put our lunch gear back into the car we drove into the center of Plains. First stop was 3 miles out on the other side of the town to the site of Jimmy Carter's boyhood home. This is where he lived from 1928 to the time he left for college. It is actually a small farm house as his family were farmers (you remember...the whole peanut thing). In additional to the farm house, there was the commissary and barn to see. We could have toured the home but we had Annie with us and there was also a school field trip going on. Here is a photo of the back of the home with it's screened porch.
Back to the car and we drove again to the center of Plains. This photo shows Main Street. As you look at this thriving metropolis, keep in mind that this is just about the entire shopping area for Plains. I'm thinking that without the tourism the 39th President brings to the town, it would probably dry up and blow away with the Georgia wind. Cute town, though, with souvenirs and stuff to buy if you are inclined. These brick commercial buildings were constructed in the 1890's and the street remains relatively unchanged since Carter's youth.
This is the nationally famous (and I do mean famous) Plains Depot. It was Jimmy Carter's Presidential Campaign Headquarters and was over run with national press and most likely some foreign members of the press as well during the campaign. It houses a self-guided museum today, detailing Carter's grassroots campaign.
What would a trip to Plains be without a stop to take a picture of Billy Carter's Service Station (see below)? Billy was Jimmy's younger brother and owned and operated this station from 1972 to 1981. It was a popular place for visitors and members of the news media. Remember Billy Beer???



This is all that can be seen by the public, from the street, of the home of Jimmy and Roslyn Carter. The home sits on 16 acres of property, but since he is a former president the public has no access to view or photograph the property. What you see in this photo is the guardhouse for the Secret Service detail. It was closed up today and the American flag was not flying....indications that President Carter was not in Plains at this time.


Plains is off the beaten path, west of I-75, but worth taking a look at. We are interested in all things "presidential" and even though we'd stopped in Plains on a prior trip, we decided to look again. The drive from our RV park in Unadilla to Plains took us through beautiful rural country. We passed dairy farms, peanut farms, and pecan groves. Still....it is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.