Thursday, September 29, 2011
Window at the Whistle Stop Café in Juliette
Juliette is an unincorporated community in Monroe County, Georgia, United States. Named for Juliette McCracken, daughter of a railroad engineer, the town formed with the merging of Brownsville and Iceberg. The film Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed there, and the town has been the focal point of two popular Southern humor books. After the filming of Fried Green Tomatoes, the sets used for the town's main street were renovated into a tourist district, complete with a fully operational "Whistle Stop Cafe".
The Whistle Stop Cafe
Other movie productions set in Juliette were A Killing Affair, starring Peter Weller (1986); the documentary Fried Green Tomorrows: Juliette, Ga Lives starring Danny Vinson, and The Cockfighter which was released in 1976 and starred Warren Oates. The community is part of the Macon Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Less than 10 miles outside of Juliette is the Jarrell Plantation, a US Historical Museum and Park.
The Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site is a cotton plantation and state park in Juliette, Georgia. Located in the red clay hills of the Georgia piedmont, the site stands as one of the best preserved examples of a “middle class" Southern plantation. The Jarrell Plantation's buildings and artifacts all came from one source, the Jarrell family, who farmed the land for over 140 years.
Before the Civil War, the Jarrell’s farm was one of the half-million cotton farms in the South that collectively produced two-thirds the world's cotton. Like many small planters, the Jarrell family benefited from the development of the cotton gin in 1793by Eli Whitney, which made it practical to cultivate heavily seeded, short-staple cotton even in hilly, inland areas of Georgia.
John Fitz Jarrell built the first permanent structure on the site in 1847. Typical of antebellum cotton plantations, John Jarrell ran the farm with his family and slave labor. By 1860 John Jarrell operated the 660-acre (2.7 km2) farm with the labor of 39 slaves. Although primarily a cotton plantation, the farm also provided food crops and grazing for livestock. During the turbulent decade of the 1860’s, the farm survived a typhoid fever outbreak, General Sherman, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. After the Civil War, John Jarrell continued to farm with the help of former slaves and he increased the farm to nearly 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) . The former-slave labors began leaving the farm in John Jarrell’s final years.
After John’s death in 1884 one of John’s sons, Benjamin Richard “Dick” Jarrell, gave up a teaching career to return home and build his family home in 1895. Although the farm had been processing sugarcane since 1864, Dick Jarrell expanded the industrialization of the farm by adding a mill complex that eventually included a steam-driven sawmill, cotton gin, gristmill, shingle mill, and planer. In 1920, with the labor of his five sons and two nephews, Dick Jarrell completed a second home, fit for his large family. The Jarrell 1920 House is a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2), 1850’s-style home built of heart pine.
In 1974, Dick Jarrell’s nine surviving adult children donated the plantation site to the State of Georgia for the preservation of the farm and the education of future generations about their heritage. The State of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources operates the now 8-acre (32,000 m2) historic site and opens it to the public Tuesday through Sunday. The site's buildings and structures include the farmhouse, a sawmill, cotton gin, gristmill, shingle mill, planer, sugar cane press, syrup evaporator, workshop, barn and outbuildings.
On February 14th of each year, the town of Juliette offers a special dual postmark with the city of Romeo, Michigan.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site
The Jarrell House
The Whistle Stop Cafe