Traditional Farmstead

Explore six historic buildings dating back as far as 1870 and learn how a subsistence farming community operated during the 19th century.

Clark Cabin


The Clark Cabin represents a reconstructed traditional farmstead and depicts a simple Wiregrass Georgia subsistence farm, similar to many farms found all over the state of Georgia during this time period. The term traditional is derived from the fact that successive generations built and practiced agriculture in the tradition of their forefathers who settled the area. This farm is typical of the type of set-up found on a farm in the 1870s – before the arrival of the railroad and the rise of the turpentine and lumber industries brought changes to the area. The Clark Cabin farmstead area includes a wash shed for washing clothes, a sugarcane mill and syrup kettle for making syrup on the farm, and an outhouse.

Guest Experiences May Include

Traditional subsistence farm stories and experiences; Importance of fire ecology; Cooking demos; Gardening demos; Doll making demos/ classes; Laundry demos; Well sweep demos; Textile demos/ classes

Simon’s Cabin & James’ Kitchen

1845 / 1867

The Simon’s Cabin is the larger portion of the structure, containing two floors. This log cabin was built by Simon Royal c. 1845 in Land Lot 75, 14th Land District, Pateville Community, Crisp County, Georgia. Originally, the Simon’s Cabin appears to have been constructed as a double-pen cabin with a central hall or breezeway (also called a dogtrot). Adjoined to the Simon’s Cabin is the James Kitchen, which was built in 1867 by Elder James (Babe) Gibbs, an ordained Primitive Baptist Minister. The James Kitchen is also one-half of an original double-pen structure, only one-half of the original structure was salvageable. Though its original structure is that of a log cabin, the exterior was later covered with vertical boards and battens – perhaps to make the structure more water-tight or for aesthetic reasons.

Guest Experiences May Include

Waterways for transportation and Industry; Fish Trap demos/ classes; Net making demos/ classes; Cooking demos; Candle making demos/ classes; Grapevine wreath making demos/ classes; Cane Pole fishing demos

Sand Hill School House


The Sand Hill School House was built c. 1895 near Ty Ty, Georgia by Johnny Gibbs, who constructed it as a private school for the use of his children and his brother’s children, who lived nearby. Practically every settlement supported a school of some type in the late 1800s. Most of these schools were run during the “off” times in agriculture, when the children were not needed as much to help on the farm. By the mid-1890s, the curriculum required by the state of Georgia included spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, and English grammar. By the end of 1901, a state law had been passed that provided a method of local taxation to support county-wide rural education.

Many schools were held during the agriculture ‘off’ season, when the children were not required to help as much on the farm. Built in 1895, the Museum’s schoolhouse demonstrates how a late 1800’s-early 1900’s school was kept. Visit the schoolhouse to learn how all ages were taught within this one room and perhaps partake in a lesson as well!

Guest Experiences May Include

Reading, writing, and arithmetic; Children’s games; Spelling bee demos and competitions

Wesley Chapel


This structure is representative of a church in a small rural community but it was also referred to as a meeting house, and considered the chief structure in a rural settlement. The Wesley Chapel was constructed c. 1882 in northeast Dougherty County, Georgia, near the community of Acree. It was donated by the South Georgia Methodist Conference, Rev. C.E. Cariker, District Superintendent, and three trustees, George J. Kirksey, Mrs. A.L. Bolton, and John H. Johnson. The congregations of these churches were small and scattered, so church was often one of the few places residents saw neighbors and friends. Because of this, churches often hosted events such as dinner on the grounds and all-day church or sings. Following the preacher’s sermon, the congregation would adjourn to the lawn outside of the church for a meal. Churches in this time period did not usually have a full-time minister and were served by a circuit-rider preacher, who was at one church on one Sunday and at another church on the next. Many times the circuit rider would stay with a member of the congregation in what was often referred to as the traveler’s room. A representation of a room such as this is located at the Gibb’s House.

Guest Experiences May Include

Music demonstrations (voice and instrumental)

Sumner Clyatt Cabin


The Sumner Clyatt Cabin, originally located in northwest Tift County between the town of Chula and the Whiddon Grist Mill, was donated by Mrs. R.L. Clyatt. This home was built in c. c. 1850 by James C. Sumner. The same year, Mr. Sumner married Mary Branch on February 24. The Sumners’ had several children, of which one daughter – Mary Elizabeth – married Mr. Ben Cravey. Their home is also located at the GMA and is known as the Cravey House.