Madison, located in Morgan County Georgia, is a fine example of Southern charm, grace, and hospitality. I drive through this town often and have never had the time to stop until this weekend-and I am so glad that I did! I saw first hand why the town is recognized as the #1 small city in America.
Also known as the town Sherman refused to burn down, Madison is made up of beautiful antebellum and Victorian buildings and homes. Walking or driving through the historic district is truly like stepping back in time. If you have the time and are able, you should park your car and walk the streets of Madison to get a true feel of the old South. I suggest parking at either the Visitor Center or the Madison Drug Company. It is free to park in either place and there are no time limits on how long you can stay.
I started my visit by parking at the Madison Drug Company and going in for some amazing food! Yes, food in a drug store! When I stepped into this store, it felt like I was watching a movie from the 50’s. There was an old fashioned pharmacy where the pharmacist was talking to the customers and seemed to genuinely care. There were two sweet women helping customers and talking about the weather. And in the far left corner was the diner. There were booths and also tables. They have grilled foods as well as floats, ice cream, and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! I have to say my cheeseburger was better than any I’ve had in years. It was absolutely amazing.
After the wonderful food and quick shopping (they have some unique items in the drug store), we were off to see the rest of Madison. There were shops in old buildings lining the streets. I enjoyed all of the shops but a couple of them really stood out to me above the rest. There were two antique shops that had some fascinating treasures inside. There was also a toy store with the most unique toys and gifts I believe I’ve ever seen in a toy store. The toy store also has a bubble machine on the side of their building that my children enjoyed.
After some shopping, we kept walking and looked at the beautiful homes and churches. These homes are among the most beautiful houses I’ve had the pleasure to see. If you chose to walk or drive, venture off the main road of the historic district as well. There are many more houses to see with so much character. There are three homes available to tour the inside as well:
The Rogers House, located at 179 East Jefferson Street, was built by Reuben Rogers in 1809. It has sense been restored using photographs a city record archives as an example. The house is furnished in 19th century furniture. The house is open daily between 10 AM (1:30 PM on Sundays) and 4:30 PM.
The Rose Cottage, located next to the Rogers House, was built in 1891 by Adeline Rose. There is not much of a record of her before this time when she made her living by taking in washing and ironing for others. The city of Madison moved the cottage to its current location shortly after her death in 1959. The city felt it should save and preserve the little house built by a woman who was born in to slavery. The house is open daily between 10 AM (1:30 PM on Sundays) and 4:30 PM.
Heritage Hall (also known as the Jones-Turnell-Manley house), located at 277 South Main Street, was built in 1811 by Dr. Elijah Evans Jones. This home is unique to Madison because it is the only house with four columns flanked by two square piers. In addition to the beauty of this home, there are window etchings that add to the history and charm of this old house. The etchings were inscribed my Dr. Jones’ family. The house is open daily from 11 AM (1:30 PM on Sundays) until 4 PM (4:30 PM on Sundays).
Once we had looked at the beautiful homes, we started back toward the car. On the way to the car, a little shop I hadn’t noticed before caught my eye. It is called Antique Sweets and is located on 132 Washington Street. Being a chocoholic, we had to stop in and see what they had to offer. When you walk through the door, it is a chocolaty heaven! The smell was magnificent and there were handmade chocolate treats everywhere. We had the fudge and it was wonderful. They are open Monday-Saturday from 10 AM until 6 PM (7 PM on Fridays and Saturdays).
Madison was well worth the visit and we had a wonderful time. So the next time you’re in the area, visit Madison and step back in time.
For more information on Madison, visit http://www.madisonga.org/