An Adventure to the St. George Island Lighthouse

St. George Island Lighthouse, St. George Island, Florida

The St. George Island Lighthouse is nestled along the quiet coastal shores of the Florida Panhandle. Located upon an island it sees many visitors each year who come to learn about its unique history.

History

When the first lighthouse was built on St. George Island in 1833, it was used as a signal to passing ships across this part of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This first lighthouse stood on the western part of the island and a severe storm damaged it in 1846. Two years later a new lighthouse was built on the southern tip of the island. This one was 75 feet tall and salvaged parts of the old lighthouse. A hurricane destroyed the second lighthouse in 1852.

That same year the third lighthouse was built and hoped to be strong enough to endure any other struggles it may face. During the entire duration of the Civil War the lighthouse was not used. This measure was instilled to prevent Union boats from navigating their position along of the coastal waters.

For over a hundred years the lighthouse stood in service. It served as a guiding light for thousands of ships who made their way along the Florida seashore. When Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, the lighthouse was damaged and closed in 1994 from subsequent deterioration.

Local preservation efforts hoped that by closing off the lighthouse they would have time to restore the light. Many yards of sand were brought in to surround the base of the lighthouse in hopes to save the tower. Unfortunately in 1995, Hurricane Opal brought forceful waves to the shores of St. George Island. These waves removed the lighthouse from its base, causing a lean in its position.

From the mid-1990s to early 2000s, various fundraisers and volunteers worked together to restore the old lighthouse. When it was officially reopened in 2002. Only three years later, erosion took place once again. The lighthouse tower collapsed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.

Any remaining pieces were salvaged and in 2008 the current tower was opened to the public for tours.

Violet Sky’s Visit

The lighthouse was a unique find on the adventure out to St. George Island. This coastal community still bears a small seaside town charm. It is interesting to visit lighthouses and this is probably one of the newest ones I have been to.

I found it remarkable that the lighthouse had seen so much damage and rebuilding over the years. Still the St. George Island Lighthouse is an iconic landmark for the community.

How to Visit

Be sure to wear closed toed shoes when you are visit the lighthouse. Also there are over 90 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Be sure to check for current hours and admission to the lighthouse and museum before visiting.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Replacing Alabama’s Floorboards

Replacing the Floorboards, Alabama’s Road to Restoration

The floorboards of Alabama were very rusty from the years of residing in the north. She had been stuck in a barn in rural Rochelle, Illinois. The dirt barn floor, salt roads and cold climate led to the deterioration of the floor.

To begin the first major step in restoring Alabama, we had to remove the old floorboards. They were very rusty and unsafe for passengers. In fact the cab needed a new set of floorboards to stabilize the structure of it.

Replacing the Floorboards, Alabama’s Road to Restoration

Very few places still sell the aftermarket floorboards for replacement. It seems to be a very common problem with these types of trucks because they used rubber floor mats to line the bottom of the cab. Although the rust needs to be removed to prevent it from recurring in the future. When you order the floorboard replacement you get an entire panel that will need to be welded to the bottom of the cab.

My father has been working very hard to grind and weld the new panels into place. He has a lot of skills and talents when it comes to restoring classic cars and trucks.

Replacing the Floorboards, Alabama’s Road to Restoration

We have been working to restore the truck to keep making steps towards the completion of this project. Restoring a vehicle is a big project but the reward will be worth it in the end.

Someday I hope to take Alabama on a Violet Sky kind of adventure! Until then, we will have to keep working hard to get her back on the road.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

A Stop at the Muscogee Nation of Florida

Violet Sky at the Muscogee Nation of Florida, Bruce, Florida

This land serves as the location for the Muscogee Nation of Florida. It lies just off country roads in the rural community of Bruce in the Florida Panhandle. Their motto states that they are “A People of One Fire”. This statement represents the Muscogee people’s unity as a nation.

History

The Muscogee people had been living in the lands of Northwest Florida and the Wiregrass regions for centuries. This tribe is part of the Eastern Creek Indians. As the tribe was forced to sign treaties and move to designated lands in the 1700s and 1800s they eventually came to settle here in what is now Walton County.

While this tribe has seen struggles over land and native rights, they have come to create this location that serves as a base to honor Muscogee history and culture.

Violet Sky’s Visit

While driving north on Highway 81, I’ve passed this sign several times on my trips through the area. It has caught my attention and made me curious as to what it was. I stopped by to check it out. There is plenty of history at this site which makes it interesting to learn about. It is a neat place to stop if you are passing by.

How to Visit

This site is located at 278 Church Street in Bruce, Florida. Just off the intersection of Highway 20 and Highway 81.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

A Stop at Blackwater River State Forest

Violet Sky at the Blackwater River State Forest, Milton, Florida

The scenic drive through the Blackwater River State Forest is beautiful! With plenty of places to stop and enjoy recreation areas, this park is worth the visit.

History

Once owned by the federal government, the land that now creates the Blackwater River State Forest has been governed by the state of Florida for decades. In the 1950s when the state took control of the land it was opened for recreation. The land has also been used for harvesting timber. Timber is a popular crop in northern Florida.

For years people have came to the lands of the Blackwater River State Forest to explore its natural beauty. Miles of pretty scenery line these rural highways. The forest is named after the Blackwater River that flows through the landscape.

Camping and hiking is available at various locations allowing visitors to find adventure in rural Northwest Florida. There is also opportunities for fishing, swimming and kayaking.

Violet Sky’s Visit

Passing though the Blackwater River State Forest was a great drive for an early morning. There was a gentle mist in the air that allowed for sprits of rain. The fog was sort of dense at first but then increased over time.

The roads that wind through the forest follow along some very scenic stretches of forestland. I really enjoyed traveling along Sandy Forest Road as it traveled over small bridges and curved to the bends in the rivers and creeks.

How to Visit

To drive through the state forest is free but select camping and recreation areas may have admission prices.

The Blackwater River State Forest is located less than 20 minutes north of Milton and I-10.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Trying My Luck at Wind Creek Casino Atmore

Wind Creek Casino, Atmore, Alabama

If you are traveling through southern Alabama and looking for a fun activity, be sure to try your luck at Wind Creek Casino in Atmore! Conveniently located just off from I-65 there is plenty to do at this all-in-one attraction. This location is not only just a casino but also offers dining, a spa and even a hotel.

Violet Sky at Wind Creek Casino, Atmore, Alabama

About

Wind Creek Casino in Atmore is proud to offer guests over 1,700 games. They boast the claim that they offer some of the highest payouts for gambling in the southeast United States. There is a large selection of slots with bets starting at penny machines.

Other activities at the casino include occasional live music, bowling and an arcade. Wind Creek in Atmore also offers RV camping and discounts to a local golf course.

The casino also has several options for dining ranging from walk up to sit down seating. The menu items feature a variety of cuisines intended to fit almost anyone’s preferences.

Violet Sky at Wind Creek Casino, Atmore, Alabama

Violet Sky’s Visit

“It’s Electric!” Every time someone wins a jackpot the song starts playing to celebrate the win. The upbeat atmosphere at this casino makes it a fun getaway. I was surprised by how large the casino floor really is.

During my visit due to COVID-19 the machines had been all spaced out to accommodate social distancing. However there is still plenty of slots and amenities to explore.

As a new player with my game card I received a $10 free food voucher. Eating at Taste of the Grill was absolutely delicious. I ordered the blackened shrimp which was served with accompanying fries and coleslaw.

Dinner at Wind Creek Casino, Atmore, Alabama

How to Visit

The casino is located right off from I-65 at exit 57. It is about an hour drive from either Mobile, Alabama or Pensacola, Florida. If you are coming from the Montgomery area it is just under two hours.

The casino floor is open to those over the age of 21 and ID must be present in order to get your gaming card to play.

Be sure to check out all the promotions and events during your visit!

*Please practice responsible gambling*

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Kayaking to the Manatees at Crystal River

Violet Sky at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

One of the most popular places to see manatees in the wild is in Crystal River, Florida. Watching these majestic creatures is an amazing experience. Not only are they so cute but they also are so graceful to watch them swim.

History

Manatees have been flocking to the inland springs of the Florida coasts for centuries. Especially in the winter time they seek refuge in the warmer waters for the chilly months. The area is home to the second largest springs in the state following behind Wakulla Springs near Tallahassee.

For decades tourists have been coming to the area to see if they can catch of glimpse of the sea cows. The city of Crystal River and various preservation groups have sought to dedicate certain areas to manatee sanctuaries. Over 400 manatees are estimated to pilgrimage to these springs each winter.

Three Sisters Springs were opened to the public in 2010 and are usually open during the late fall and winter months.

Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

Violet Sky’s Visit

I visited the springs in late December and was able to catch a glimpse of several manatees. The kayak ride was nice and provided for an outdoor afternoon adventure. To access Three Sisters Springs by water I launched my kayak at Hunter Springs Park. There are so many springs that you could spend an entire day kayaking and snorkeling.

My favorite spot was once we got to Three Sisters Springs. There is a rope you cannot cross since the spring is a dedicate manatee sanctuary but you can watch from the edge. I would definitely recommend visiting during the day when the sun is shining. The sun helps to brighten up the water so you have a better chance of seeing the manatees underneath.

How to Visit

There are several places that you can launch your boat from when visiting Crystal River. If you do not have a kayak, there are boat rentals and tours that will take you around the springs as well. Watch for boats and other kayakers as the water ways can get very busy especially around the holidays.

To access the springs by land or to have the best chance of seeing manatees you should visit during late November to March. This time frame will give you the best opportunity to see a manatee in the wild.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Exploring Florida’s Caverns

Violet Sky at Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna, Florida

Hidden down a quiet country road in rural Marianna, Florida lies a beautiful cave system with an interesting history. In fact it is the only publicly accessible air-filled cave in the entire state. The caverns are quite extensive and display many unique formations. The park extends 1,300 acres into the woods of Northwest Florida.

History

After the cave was discovered it first remained on private property. In 1935, the state of Florida obtain possession of the land. For nearly a decade, workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) spent long days preparing the property. They not only worked on the cave but also constructed several buildings. Some of these buildings still stand today. The workers remained at the caverns until funding was decreased due to the war efforts of WWII.

In 1942, Florida Caverns opened to the public as a state park. The park opened with a golf course, gift shop and tours of the cave. It was one of the first state parks in the entire state. Every year thousands of visitors still explore the cave and surrounding park each year.

Violet Sky’s Visit

I have visited the cave twice and have enjoyed the tour both times. I was amazed to find such gorgeous views inside the cave. The cave is surrounded by marshland and the entrance to the cave is surrounded by stone. The entrance into the cave feels out of place for the typical scenery of Florida.

The tour of the cave is led by a guide from the state park system. The guides tell all the history behind the caves. It is really cool to see all the lights cast upon the stalactites and stalagmites. One really fun part of the tour is when the guide turns off the light. When the light is turned off you get the chance to experience total darkness. The cave has a lot of chambers and one of the tours we even saw a bat hanging from the ceiling!

How to Visit

There is a park entrance fee that is separate from the tour cost. The cave tours are available and camping is offered on occasion. Photography is allowed inside the cave for taking photos of the beautiful formations. The museum above the gift shop is interesting as it details all the history behind the cave, Native Americans, local wildlife and conservation efforts.

If you are planning on doing the cave tour be sure to wear closed toed shoes. There is water puddles inside the cave so your shoes may get muddy or wet. Also to access some parts of the cave you will need to be able to duck into low clearance spaces.

There is the opportunity to get married in the cave. The state park hosts several weddings a year at the site.

Tours are first come, first serve and are limited in capacity. Tours of the cave last around 45 minutes. Be sure to contact the park for current hours and admission rates.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Home of President Carter

Violet Sky at the Home of President Carter, Plains, GA

Just a short walk from downtown Plains, Georgia leads to the home of the 39th President. Still in residence at the place, Jimmy Carter has made this average ranch home in rural America his home for decades.

History

James and Rosalynn Carter purchased and built this home just on the city limits of Plains in 1961. It has been the only house they have every owned. Married over 70 years, the Carters have raised their children, ran elections and political events from their Plains home. This modest house is valued at around $200,000 based on the local area.

The architecture and design of the residence gives a glimpse to the Carter’s past. It resembles his time of presidency and political significance.

Violet Sky at the Home of President Carter, Plains, GA

Violet Sky’s Visit

First driving past the home I noticed all the black cars. Very official and secure for a retired president. The signs in front of the home state there is no stopping in front of the home and traffic to keep moving.

The only place that you can view the home is from a distance at the park that offers a small platform overlooking the yard.

How to Visit

The site is free to visit and is located on U.S. Highway 280 just west of Plains, Georgia. The home is on the west bound left side of the road.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Dinner at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe

Violet Sky at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, Tampa, Florida

About

Enjoying a meal at a Hard Rock Cafe is a fun experience! Not only do music lovers get to be immersed in awesome tunes, but also dine while being surrounded with lots of memrobilia from decades gone by!

Located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, this restaurant is filled with musical history and delicious food! It’s atmosphere is soothing as you can sit back and listen to live music. There is also a full bar and gaming options inside the restaurant.

Violet Sky’s Visit

During my first casino visit I stopped into the Hard Rock Café for a quick bite to eat. I immediately noticed the live music and the fun atmosphere.

If you are a seafood lover I would highly recommend the One Night in Bangkok Spicy Shrimp. It was an amazing appetizer to start the meal off right. Also the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is scrumptious for a dinner option. One thing that I really love about their menu is the fact that it is diverse with options.

How to Visit

Step right off the casino floor and into this rockin’ restaurant. The hours for the restaurant are 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Also be sure to explore the nearby Rock Shop to catch up on merchandise from this unique eatery!

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Elvis was Here! Follow That Dream Film Site

Violet Sky at the Follow that Dream Film Site, Yankeetown, Florida

Back in 1961 Elvis Presley came to the quaint community of Yankeetown, Florida. It was during that summer that he spent filming his 9th movie, “Follow that Dream”. Visitors come from all over to explore this small town that hosted one of the most popular celebrities of the 20th century to the area.

Violet Sky at the Follow that Dream Film Site, Yankeetown, Florida

History

Elvis Presley was casted for the role as “Toby” in the 1962 film “Follow that Dream”. The movie was based on a 1959 novel called, “Pioneer, Go Home!” by Richard Powell. After careful consideration “Follow that Dream” was scheduled to be filmed in the quiet coastal areas of Levy County, Florida.

During the filming, young girls made the trek from miles around to see if they could catch a glimpse of Elvis. During the filming he stayed in nearby Crystal River at the Port Hotel.

While filming lasted the two months of July and August of 1961, Elvis spent most of his time in the Yankeetown area. Now known as Follow that Dream Parkway, State Road 40 was used in the filming as Elvis cruised through the countryside towards the Gulf of Mexico.

On the southwest shore of Pumpkin Island is the site where the Kwimper homestead was located. In fact the Bird Creek Bridge still stands today.

Violet Sky on the Bird Creek Bridge, Follow that Dream Film Site, Yankeetown, Florida

Violet Sky’s Visit

Being an Elvis fan myself I found it exciting to see a film location from one of his most popular movies. It surprised me to see that the film was shot in a quite area and that much of it still looks the same. The bridge, the view out to the Gulf and the scattered palm trees of what is left of the Kwimper homestead is interesting.

So much history and film action must have took place in what is now a desolate fishing bridge and woods. The quietness of the calm waters and rustling palm trees makes way for your imagination to run wild on what it must have been like here during the summer of 1961.

Kwimper Homestead, Follow that Dream Film Site, Yankeetown, Florida

How to Visit

The tourist signs for the “Follow that Dream” film site are located in front of the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce. This building is located at 167 Highway 40 in Inglis.

The Kwimper Homestead and the Bird Creek Bridge are located on Highway 40 (Follow that Dream Parkway). The last bridge before reaching the Bird Creek Boat Launch is the site of the filming location. It is the south end of Pumpkin Island.

Both sites are free to visit and definitely worth a stop if you are in the area!

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

An Adventure on the TECO Line Streetcar

Violet Sky at the TECO Line Streetcar, Tampa, Florida

A fun way to explore the sights and scenery of Tampa, Florida is to hop on the historic rail line. This rail line takes visitors through various parts of the city at no cost to the rider!

History

When the streetcar line opened in 1885, it ran its route from Tampa downtown area to Ybor City. The first cars were pulled by steam engines. In 1893 the streetcars were converted to all electric power.

Over the next several decades the line grew. By 1913 there was 50 miles of rail line running through the area operated by Tampa Electric Company. Over 20 million people a year used the benefits of this rail line until its closure after World War II. As cars were becoming a more popular transportation route, people opted to not hop on the rail cars. The last streetcar ended its route in 1949.

It was not until 2002 that the streetcars reemerged into existence. The Heritage Line was opened with 2.4 miles of track. Today, the line runs daily taking locals and visitors from downtown Tampa to Ybor City.

Violet Sky at the TECO Line Streetcar, Tampa, Florida

Violet Sky’s Visit

Every time I visit a city that has trolley or streetcar, I can’t wait to hop on! What better was to explore a new place than by an old-fashioned railcar. The best part about the trolley is that you can park anywhere and hop on.

While staying at a hotel downtown, I was able to get on the trolley and get off on various stops all the way to historic Ybor City. The streetcars have their own part of the roadway and visitors can get the feel of nostalgia while exploring this urban landscape.

How to Visit

The TECO Line Streetcar is free to ride and has various stops through the downtown area. Be sure to look for their stops while in Tampa to hop for a ride around the city.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Birthplace of President Jimmy Carter

Violet Sky at Jimmy Carter’s Birthplace

While the Wise Sanitarium may seem like a small local hospital, it actually has a lot of historical significance. In its day it was the birthplace of an American President and the place of work of his mother.

History

The Wise Sanitarium was built in 1921 by the Wise brothers. These brothers were all doctors and the children of local farmers. Together they opened the 60 bed hospital that would serve the residents of Plains, Georgia. It was at this hospital that many nurses for miles around would come to be trained in the sciences of human health and care.

In 1924, Lillian Carter was employed at Wise Sanitorium as a nurse when she gave birth to her son, James Carter on October 1. James “Jimmy” Carter grew up to be the 39th President of the United States. The significance of his birth is in the fact that he was the first president to be born in a hospital.

After years of caring for citizens of the local community, Wise Sanitorium was renamed in 1976. It reopened as the Lillian G. Carter Health and Rehabilitation Center, in honor of President Carter’s mother. The facility is still in business and continues to care for people of the area.

Violet Sky at Jimmy Carter’s Birthplace, Plains, Georgia

Violet Sky’s Visit

I found the stop at Jimmy Carter’s birthplace to be a fun excursion! After all it isn’t every day you get to see the birthplace of a president! Discovering that he was the first president to be born in a hospital was a neat fact that I learned during the visit.

Even though tours of the facility are not available it is still interesting to see the historic building.

How to Visit

While the Lillian G. Carter Health and Rehabilitation Center is not open for tours, there is a memorial plaque out front that makes for a fun photo. The sign is free to visit and is located in front of the center on Hospital Street.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Lost Community of Archery, Georgia

Violet Sky in Archery, Georgia

The lost community of Archery, Georgia seems to have faded away to a ghost town. The buildings are still standing that were once abundantly filled with members of the area. Left to bear the tests of time, passerby wonder what happened to the once thriving little community.

History

Established in 1913, Archery was designed to be a farming community in rural southwest Georgia. It was only a short drive to what is now known as Plains. The community was extremely close to the railroad. The residents of Archery were predominantly African American. Most of these residents were farmers who sustained themselves on the business of sharecropping.

The Archery area also was bordered by the farm of the Carter’s. The Carter family was most commonly known for their son, James Carter who would grow up to be the 39th President of the United States. In fact, he spent the time from age 4 to 17 at the farm just down the road.

As the railroad became less in demand and larger farms took over, the community of Archery faded into the past. The families of these farms moved on and left their homes behind.

Violet Sky’s Visit

Driving down the rural roads of Georgia I stumbled across this small community. Having just toured the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm, I found it fascinating that this community was abandoned just down the road.

It feels as though this community is lost in time. All the buildings are still standing as though they were just left a short time ago. Seeing places such as this really give a vision of how changing times lead to the abandonment of communities such as Archery.

Archery, Georgia

How to Visit

Archery is free to visit and located just down the road from Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Farm. The community lies on Old Plains Highway at the corner of 61.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Cajun Corner

Violet Sky at the Cajun Corner, Eufaula, Alabama

The Cajun Corner Restaurant is a cute dining spot in the historic city of Eufaula, Alabama. After all, when in the deep south, why not try some local cuisine? With a variety of menu options this place has an excellent blend of seafood, Creole and Cajun cuisines.

History

This restaurant is very historic in style and is located inside an old hotel. The brick walls and corner location make it nearby the center of all the downtown action. The architecture gives visitors the feeling of stepping back in time in the South.

Violet Sky’s Visit

My visit to the site was in the evening during dinner time. I was really surprised by the variety of menu options. The atmosphere was also intriguing as it shed light on a New Orleans style restaurant.

Violet Sky at the Cajun Corner, Eufaula, Alabama

How to Visit

The restaurant is located at the corner of Eufaula Avenue and Broad Street. The restaurant has dining options both indoors and outside for those beautiful summer nights.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Tree That Owns Itself in Eufaula, Alabama

Defined by its location at an intersection in Eufaula, Alabama, the “Tree that Owns Itself” has stood at the site since April 19, 1961. Originally there was a historic oak tree that was at the same spot. The initial tree had stood over over 200 years and it fell during a wind storm just days before this tree was planted at the site.

The plaque in front of the tree reads, “Only God can make a Tree”. The city of Eufaula granted the tree the spot of land and named it the Post Oak Tree, after the death of the Walker Oak Tree.

The tree stands at 512 Cotton Avenue, Eufaula, Alabama. It is free to visit but watch for traffic as it is located on the corner.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Shorter Mansion

Violet Sky at the Shorter Mansion, Eufaula, Alabama

This beautiful Classic-Revival mansion was built in 1906, after the previous home at the site had burnt in a devastating fire. Known as the Shorter Mansion, the Eufaula Heritage Association has preserved this landmark for visitors to explore and even reserve for events.

Violet Sky at the Shorter Mansion, Eufaula, Alabama

The home was built by Eli Sims Shorter II along with his wife Wileyna Lamar. Eli was a lawyer and had graduated from the Howard College in 1874. In 1884 he married Wileyna and raised three children. It cost over $100,000 at the turn of the century to build the elegant mansion. It sprawls nearly 9,000 square feet. The house was completed and the Shorter family made their residence at the home in downtown Eufaula. When Eli died in 1908, his wife took over the home where she continued to live until her death in 1927. The home was then past to the next few generations of granddaughters until the final transfer was made in a 1965 auction. The Eufaula Heritage Association purchased the mansion for $33,000. In 1972

The museum is occasionally open for tours led by volunteers of the Eufaula Heritage Association.

Violet Sky at the Shorter Mansion, Eufaula, Alabama

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Billy Carter’s Service Station

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

Most popularly known as the younger brother of Jimmy Carter, Billy Carter ran this service station in downtown Plains. He is thought to be the only sibling of a president to have his own museum. Billy always hung out at the service station and eventually ended up buying the place to have it for his very own.

Billy opened the service station under his management in 1972. It was not used for its gasoline as much as it was for the bar inside and the barbeque out in the backyard. People assumed that Billy was using his popularity after his brother but locals told visitors that he had always been like that. In fact, reporters would drive out to Plains just to talk to Billy about his brother and the small town.

When Billy died in 1988, his service station was left empty. With money from local charities and Jimmy Carter, the service station was reopened as a museum to preserve the legacy of his late brother. The gas pumps are the only items left in the original spot and the prices on them show prices from 1979.

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

The museum is free to visit and is open most days.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Jimmy Carter’s Campaign Headquarters

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

This historic train depot lies in downtown Plains, Georgia, an area known to be the birthplace and lifelong residence of Jimmy Carter. The depot has been standing at this site since 1888. It’s main purpose was initially for passengers and the transportation of agricultural harvests.

In 1975, Jimmy Carter took over this small depot as his campaign headquarters for the presidency of the United States. This establishment saw one of the first surges of major interest in the Plains area and tourists began searching to visit the city that Carter came from.

While Carter’s campaign was managed mostly by local friends and family, his national attention grew quickly. Today you can explore the train depot to explore the years of memorabilia from Carter’s campaign. Visitors even have to option to listen to the tale of his rise to presidency.

The museum is free to visit and is open to guests from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except for major holidays.

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Plains, Georgia: Home of the 39th President

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

Tucked away in rural farming community in Southern Georgia lies the city of Plains. Known most famously to be the birthplace and lifelong home of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. Less than 1,000 people call Plains, Georgia their home yet thousands of people each year make the journey to the small city to explore.

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

The area upon which the city of Plains lies was once home to a village for Muscogee people. It was here that the Native Americans hunted, gathered and raised their families. It was not until the 1840s when settlers began moving into the region. They found the soil to be excellent for farming and raising crops. Originally the city was called Plains of Dura, but the name simply changed to Plains in 1896.

Violet Sky in Plains, Georgia

As the train was introduced into the city a station was built which now serves as a museum in legacy to the previous president. During the height of Jimmy Carter’s campaign and presidency, thousands of people would flock to the city almost every day just to see what the hometown of a major figure looked like.

In response to this surge in tourism, Plains and the surrounding area have worked to preserve the legacy of Jimmy Carter while monetizing on his name to generate interest in the quaint community.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Birthplace of John Wellborn Root

Violet Sky at the John Wellborn Root Birthplace, Lumpkin, Georgia

John Wellborn Root was born at this site in Lumpkin, Georgia in 1850 to Sidney and Mary Root. His parents were local planters and soon moved to Atlanta. In the city is where John learned a love for large buildings.

Coming into his teen years, the Root’s faced the struggles of the Civil War. Living in Atlanta they witnessed the takeover of the city by Union forces. Worrying about the safety of his children, Root sent his son John and two other young men on a steamer to England. It was in England that John’s father ran a shipping business.

While living in Liverpool, John attended school and watched the construction of elegant buildings being erected. Soon after the war he moved back to the United States, staying in New York City where he attended a university.

It was after his graduation in 1869, the John Root began working with one of the greatest architects in America, James Renwick Jr as an unpaid intern. Later he worked for several other firms eventually helping with construction on Grand Central Depot, which was the original Grand Central Terminal that stands today.

In 1871, Root moved to Chicago where he formed an architectural firm with Daniel Burnham. While designing buildings he played as an organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Throughout his work in invented the floating raft system which helped to allow construction of tall buildings without sinking into the ground. He also worked on buildings used in the 1893 Columbian Exposition and Fine Arts Building which now houses the Chicago Museum of Fine Art.

After Root married Mary Walker in 1879, he lost her just six weeks later to tuberculosis. In 1882, he married Dora Louise Monroe with whom he had his son John Wellborn Root Jr. His son grew up to also be an architect.

While working on the plans for the Columbian Exchange to take place in 1893, John Wellborn Root died from a case of pneumonia in 1891.

He left behind years of architectural work some buildings still standing in Chicago and another in Cleveland.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky