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Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about vacation rentals in Thomasville

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Historic Thomasville Georgia ~ A step back in time

Linda S. Manning, Author and Photographer

Thomasville, Georgia takes pride in the good life by way of clean air, thousands of Pine, Oak and Dogwood trees and hundred’s of varieties of Rose bushes. With low crime and an affordable cost of living, Thomasville is a draw for the newly retired or trend setters of today.

A population in the region of 20,000 and a four season climate with an average high of 78° and an average low of 55°, Thomasville is located less than 3 hours from Jacksonville, Florida, 45 miles W of I-75 at Valdosta, Georgia, 35 miles NE of Tallahassee, Florida and in the center of what is referred to as the Red Hills.

Downtown Thomasville

The drive from Jacksonville, Florida in January 2005 along Highway 10 for 132 miles was uneventful with little to see along the way. As my husband and I drove out of the rain to blue skies with few clouds and a temperature of 68°, our route took us to US19 through the small town of Monticello. As we progressed on US19, the picture was constantly changing. Since the land is known to have very fertile soil and is surrounded by tall long-leaf pines you can smell the crispness of the surroundings. We viewed the infamous red clay lining the perimeter of the highway as we passed Meadow Lake Farms (catering to small horses), Tree Farms, Orchards, and Wild Ridge Plantation.

As we passed the Thomasville Rose Garden we couldn’t help but think how spectacular the gardens would look while in bloom. Old stately Victorians stood tall and majestic as we traveled to our overnight destination, The Dawson Street Inn, beautifully appointed with period antiques and that special attention to detail.

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The history of Thomasville is a captivating chronicle. It was said that Major General Jet Thomas, a member of the State Militia during the War of 1812 named the area Thomasville. At that time, it became the center of educational, socio/economic, political and religious activities.

The rich land permitted the formation of plantations which had a rigid and static society based on cotton. Although never totally dependent on cotton, during the Civil War it supplied men and goods for the cause.

When the railroad evolved, Thomasville was then accessible from the north. During the late 1800’s as a winter resort the area offered such sports as hunting, fishing and an active social life. Visitors came for health reasons and to inhale the pine scented air. In addition, the area offered some of the most luxuriously appointed hotels of America’s Gilded Age. Thomasville was noted as the ‘Original Winter Resort of the South.’

Winter cottages such as The Lapham-Patterson House, a State Historic Site built in 1885 is a true example of Victorian engineering and craftsmanship with its fish scale shingles and visible engineering and craftsmanship throughout.

Visit www.gastateparks.org

Many who came to Thomasville during that time built magnificent mansions and plantations many of which are still owned today by the families who built them.

Lapham-Patterson House

Of course you can’t depart Thomasville without a tour of Pebble Hill Plantation just 5 miles from the center of town and located on over 3,000 acres of land.

Pebble Hill Plantation

A romantic, historic and artistic plantation, www.pebblehill.com was the winter home to the Hanna family from Cleveland.

It is a testimony to the sporting life in the beginning of the 20th century boasting hundreds of horse paintings, prints and Audubon prints.

The main house has over 40 rooms, some majestic and alluring.

The Visitors Center located on the grounds hosts a 15 minute video as an overview of the history of the plantation. The plantation has several buildings including The Cow Barn, Stables, Carriage House, Carpenter’s Shop, Gardens, a Fire Engine House and many more.

Today, Thomasville is home to the famous Main Street which is actually a collection of streets in the center of town. Visit www.downtownthomasville.com  as the town was chosen by the National Main Street Center as one of the ‘Great American Main Street,’ as one of 5 towns in the nation. Stroll the brick paved streets to visit an abundance of specialty shops, antiques stores and restaurants.

Located on US84 and billed as the second largest Farmer’s Market, also offering The Market Diner on the same grounds is a true testament of southern cooking.

A hearty buffet of okra, collard greens, turnips, butter beans, black eyed peas, fried chicken, BBQ pork, cornbread and the luscious Red Velvet cake are few of the items that will tantalize your pallet.

Farmer’s Market

George and Louie’s, a fresh seafood restaurant on Remington offer a casual atmosphere full to capacity with art deco metal chairs and wood tables accented with white walls, ceiling fans and 30 pair of floor to ceiling windows with 15 panes each topped with an ornamental transom. Ordering from the counter comes with the fresh aroma of the seafood plates whether fried or grilled, paired with the Original Louie’s Greek salad. Although the food was served on paper plates and plastic ware, it was not a sacrifice for taste. The grilled combination seafood platter should not be overlooked.


Our final culinary tour ends with Saturday evening dinner at ‘The Best New Dining Discovery 2003’ recipient of Georgia Trend Magazine for Liam’s Restaurant on E. Jackson. A petite sized restaurant with eclectic flair, an ever changing menu and service with a plus is open for lunch and diner with Chef Scott Foster and Manager Rhonda Foster. Decorated with local artists paintings Liam’s offers an atmosphere with attention to detail.

I ordered the World Cheese Board as one of its collections of cheeses from around the world. Tonight’s offering, Farmstead Garroxta, a combination of goat and sheep's milk from Catalonia, Spain had a creamy texture that went well with (BYOB) a glass of Black Swan from Australia. An entrée of New Zealand Rack of Lamb was perfectly prepared and served with Ratatouille, lavender gastrique. My husband ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin which melted in your mouth and was served with fresh asparagus and a red wine sauce. It was a pleasant experience with the best service and personality, we highly recommend Liam’s.

The following day we visited Thomasville’s majestic ‘The Big Oak’ said have started from a tiny acorn, born in 1685. The limb span spreads to 162’ and has a trunk circumference of 24’, massive and intriguing.

Our visit to Thomasville although only a few days were crowned with highlights of charm, character and history neatly packed into a small town.

The Big Oak


Information and photos submitted by:

Linda S. Manning
Author and Photographer

The Kitt Shepley House
23 Division Street
Newport, Rhode Island 02840

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about vacation rentals in Thomasville

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Thomasville

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