GEORGIA AGRIRAMA


| March/April 1981



Frick engine

The Frick engine at the 1896 cotton gin.

P.O. Box Q, Tifton, Georgia 31794

Dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the vanishing agricultural heritage of south Georgia's 19th century settlers, Georgia Agrirama offers a unique fascination for lovers of steam engines and the history they represent. Officially designated the State Museum of Agriculture, Georgia Agrirama pays special attention to those early industries which were so important in clearing the region's pine forests and harvesting its crops. The museum is a living history center, re-creating 19th century life through the day-to-day activities of costumed museum staff at the various exhibits on the seventy acre historical site.

Especially notable exhibits are the Lummus pneumatic-feed cotton gin, powered by a 110-horsepower Frick steam engine, and the sawmill, powered by a 25-horsepower Atlas steam engine operating a 1 DeLoach mill. The cotton gin, reportedly the only steam-powered gin in regular operation in the United States, runs on a regular schedule each October and November, while the sawmill operates on a regular weekly schedule for the other ten months of the year.

Scheduled to begin operations in early 1981 is a 1917 Vulcan saddle tank locomotive. Built for 36' (narrow-gauge) track, the locomotive is representative of the many logging trams used in the harvesting of Georgia's immense tracts of pine forests around the beginning of this century.

Currently the only operating single-pole handcrank magneto telephone system and switchboard in the United States is at Georgia Agrirama, in daily use and demonstrations for many of the visitors to the museum's rural town area.

Cecil Branch, himself an avid collector and restorer of historic machinery, shows off the museum's 1914 Rumely steam traction engine. This engine was recently in the movie The Long Riders, which was filmed in Georgia and California and told the story of the Jesse James gang.