I have a small image of the setting of “Red Clay and Roses” on my blog site in a slideshow that shows a few images of Callaway Gardens, a place mentioned a couple of times in the novel. Although the novel only offers a slim glimpse of Callaway Gardens through a couple of references, I thought I would give you a virtual tour. As a side note to the book, Callaway Gardens was a “whites only” resort until the 1970’s due to segregation policies. It is now enjoyed by all. Pine Mountain has its own airport, even though it is a small town of only 700 residents in the town proper. There are many antique malls and quaint shops in Pine Mountain. I have many of my own photos but most of these are from TripAdvisor show much more than mine. If you are looking for a nice vacation spot for spring or fall, Callaway Gardens is the place to go. It is located in Pine Mountain, Georgia, about 100 miles Southwest of Atlanta, and 40 miles North of Ft. Benning, near Columbus, Georgia. I raised my family on a farm near Pine Mountain, and there was always something to do there.
CALLAWAY GARDENS HISTORY
Open since 1952, Callaway Gardens is nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Founders Cason and Virginia Callaway longed for a place where man and nature could abide together for the good of both. More than six decades later, their retreat continues to offer solace, inspiration and discovery for all who come here.
A 13,000 acre, year-round horticultural display garden that offers the Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center, Birds of Prey Show, Day Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Center, Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, Walking Trails, Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel and Pioneer Log Cabin as well as golf, tennis, fishing, fly fishing and biking. Seasonal events and educational workshops are offered throughout the year. Four lodging types, a spa, nine restaurants and two lounges are available.Golf Courses; Gardens; Nature/ Wildlife Areas.
Golfers seeking a real test of their abilities look forward to playing 7,057 yard, par 72 Mountain View, designed by world-famous golf architect Dick Wilson. Tight, tree-lined fairways are characteristic of this true championship course. Mountain View was home to the PGA Tour’s Buick Challenge for more than a dozen years. One of Mountain View’s most intriguing holes is the par 5, number 15 where the threat of water looms over both tee and approach shots. This hole was ranked as the fourth most difficult par 5 on the Tour by USA Today.
All but a few Photos are courtesy of TripAdvisor. The Chapel photos and some others of flowers and the bike trails are my own.
Fall season in stained glass along the chapel wall.
Summer season in stained glass along the wall of the chapel.
Spring season in stained glass along the wall of the chapel.
Winter season in stained glass along the chapel wall.
We recently went on a short vacation to North Carolina from our Florida home, which gave us the time and chance to go back through my hometown of LaGrange, Georgia, the setting of my first novel, “Red Clay and Roses”. That first novel being factional; that is a fictional account of a true story, we were want for a little sightseeing. We stayed in that Small Town, USA setting a couple of days and I took some photographs. We also chanced to visit Callaway Gardens, also mentioned in the novel, and it’s lovely little chapel. I have put together a little slideshow which the reader of my novel might compare to their imagination. I always liked doing that; visiting a place that I have chanced to become acquainted with through a novel. These are a few shots of the town proper and the gardens. The azaleas and dogwood had already passed their peak when we visited, but it was a delightful journey home just the same. When my next novel comes ready for publication, I have some shots of the orphanage that I spent time at in my youth. I had the wonderful opportunity to go back and speak with some of the young ladies who reside there now. I wish I could have stayed longer and gotten more photos of the places mentioned in the book, but this is what I have put together in a little slideshow:
Whether you have read the novel or not, this gives but a glimpse into the setting. Unfortunately, the town train depot stands no more, and there are but two tracks where there were once near a dozen. I would have liked to have included Sybil’s apartments and the home of The Good Doctor as well as The Heart Of LaGrange Hotel, but as there are people living there now, I did not feel it appropriate. I hope this may aid your imagination and apologize if it has hindered it. It was a travel back in time for me. I wrote the story on remembrances and found most of them to be accurate, though somewhat changed with time.