As a youngster growing up in Richland and Stewart County, Georgia, one 
of our yearly school trips was to Ida Cason Callaway Gardens, yes, 
back in the day that is what that special destination was called.  The 
school-bus trip was energizing because you had the choice of spending 
time on the man-made beach, riding the paddle boats, watching the 
water-ski demonstration or hiking one of the nature trails.  Some 
chose to attend the Florida State University Flying High Circus, tour 
the chapel in the woods or visit the butterfly garden exhibit.  There 
was something for everyone.

According to one of the websites about the Callaway family, “Callaway 
Resort and Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, is a truly unique 
destination that families, couples, and friends have enjoyed together 
for decades. It all started in 1952 with a family and their desire to 
share their special retreat with the public. It was just too beautiful 
for only one family to enjoy. The Callaways, their generous spirit, 
and their love of nature have come together in this spectacular 
2,500-acre attraction, which keeps visitors coming back year after 

I enjoyed countless visits to Callaway Gardens over the years as a 
child and as an adult but I never gave much thought to where these 
super wealthy and generous people actually resided.  One of my 
life-long friends Jackie Chappell New called one evening telling me 
about a story in the newspaper about the Callaway home in Lagrange and 
wanted to know if I wanted to go with her and tour the mansion.  Those 
who know me best already know the answer was yes, it sounded like an 
interesting journey.

It is difficult to describe the massive size of the Callaway home in 
Lagrange, and they spared no expense in the furnishings or the 
gardens.  Sadly it rained the day we toured and we only saw the 
beautiful flowers in the huge fresh arrangements displayed the home 
but we will go back for the outside tour later since we were issued a 
rain check.

Hills and Dales estate was completed in 1916 and is thirteen thousand 
square feet of beauty and grace; the home was designed to live in 
harmony with the opulent gardens designed by Nancy Ferrell in 1832.   
The grounds cover thirty five acres near downtown Lagrange, and it was 
the home to several generations of the Callaway family before it was 
opened to the public in 2004.  There is more to see than I can 
possibly describe; make plans to visit and enjoy this beautiful museum.

Jackie and I always have a good time together and this trip was 
exactly that, more fun than I can explain in several paragraphs.  We 
enjoyed great food to include the “Taste of Lemon” restaurant which is 
situated in an old church building and exploring several interesting 
downtown shops.

I was driving when we entered a one-way street; I am thankful for the 
gentleman in the black pickup that blinked his headlights to signal to 


Brenda S. Brown 


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