You Are Here: Home / NEWS

Rainy Days and Rainy Nights


Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with our plans for the first of our “Sarah Shows”. We made the best of it by switching gears and finishing with an intimate, acoustic performance under the pavilion.

Watch our Facebook Page for more information on upcoming shows!

“The Sara Shows 2017”


“The Sara Shows 2017,” a Country Music Songwirters Concert featuring Taylor Alexander from this season’s “The Voice” and Ray Strickland & Friends. Bring your lawn chairs and coolers! Concert date is Saturday, May 20th 6:00-10:00pm–Music starts at 7pm
Bar B Que ~~Free Parking
ONLY $10!

All proceeds go to the William Harris Homestead Foundation

BLACKSMITHING DAY with Doc Watson, resident blacksmith, at the William Harris Homestead


April 1, 2017 brings Blacksmith “Doc” Day to the William Harris Homestead. Meet our new resident blacksmith, Doc Watson from 10 am to 2 pm on April Fool’s Day…no fooling!!

Doc will relate the history of blacksmithing in the 19th century and demonstrate the lost skills required for making or repairing iron or steel items.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “the blacksmith played a vital role in his community and was generally accorded his due respect. There is hardly a facet of life his work did not touch upon. Indeed, without his skills, the prevailing lifestyle would have been extremely primitive. Most of the items a blacksmith made and repaired were either tools or other work-related items, such as harness fittings or ox yokes. In a culture where everyone, even children, had to work just to get by, it’s not hard to understand how important the blacksmith was.” (Foxfire #5, page 108)

Come and enjoy Doc, our cheerful, friendly, and brilliant Blacksmith!


TOMAHAWK HANK will be on hand to entertain and teach frontier skills and to show off Bo, the “Wonder” Horse (we always wonder where he is when we arrive at the Homestead…)
KAT will be baking bread, bring some butter and jelly!


CLAUDINE NICKENS and friends will entertain with their dulcimers, playing toe-tapping old-timey and new-timey tunes for our enjoyment!


HAYRIDES and Crafts demonstrations, and
free doughnuts, while they last!

! Celebrate Spring at the Homestead !

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a beautiful day at the historic
William Harris Homestead.
Adults and children over 5 — $6.00
Seniors (over 60) — $5.00
Under 5 — FREE

Doc Watson enjoying the skills and thrills of blacksmithing!
“An-vil” you come to meet him? We hope so on April Fool’s Day!

The William Harris Homestead received a generous grant from the Walton Foundation, Inc. to provide a handicapped-accessible bridge over the Harris creek which leads to the Harris Spring. The spring was a source of pure, clean water for the Harris’ in the early 19th century. Many thanks to the Walton Foundation and to Scott Cherry for his design and construction. We are calling the new bridge, “The Bridge Over Bubbled Waters.”

In 2016, The William Harris Homestead also received a very generous grant from the Charles M. Walker Foundation, Monroe, GA, to help with the heritage education at the Homestead. The Watson-Brown Foundation, Athens Chapter Junior Board, presented a grant for continued restoration of the front and back porches of the log house and for window glass replacement from modern glass to antique crown or crystal glass, which was used in window construction in the 19th century. Also, the Iris Garden Club, Atlanta, GA. gave a landscaping grant to the Homestead Foundation. Many thanks from all of us at the William Harris Homestead for the support and belief in our mission to serve as a cultural and educational center dedicated to the advancement of heritage, agricultural and environmental knowledge.
The Walton County Soil and Water Conservation District is a valued partner of the William Harris Homestead Foundation. Under the guidance of Catherine Reuter at Soil and Water, twelve interesting and informative outdoor signs are completed and ready to be mounted on posts and erected at various sites around the Homestead property. These signs relate much information about agriculture and environmental issues concerning farming in northeast Georgia. What a great addition to our heritage education at the Homestead! Many thanks!

A Day in the 19th Century spring field trip program begins in March. Check out the calendar on the website for schools attending. The William Harris Homestead is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Visit and Volunteer!

Georgia Gives


Happy New Year!

We have joined with Georgia Gives to assist us in monitoring and managing tax deductible donations. If you are interested in supporting the William Harris Homestead Foundation simply click the link below and follow the step by step instructions to make a single or reoccurring donation.

All of us at the William Harris Homestead thank you for your continued support!

  Click & Pledge

Christmas at the Homestead


It looks like Christmas at the Homestead 150 years ago–so festive and inviting! Many thanks to Clare Weaver and Miss C Holland from Iris Garden Club in Atlanta, who help us each year to decorate the log house for a 19th century Christmas season. Also, thanks to Tanya Parker, Melissa Basta, Judy Hardegree, Janet Avant, Lois Foerster, Jane Harrison, Donna Hulsey for helping with decorating and Christmas activities!

Tis the season to celebrate Christmas at the William Harris Homestead!


“Sheep in heavenly Peace!”…it is our William Harris Homestead tradition!  Our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

Don’t you wonder what the grandchildren of William and Harriet Harris wished for during the Christmas season of 1898?
We love to make the 1825 log house and grounds festive for the Christmas season.  We hope you and your family and friends will join us on Saturday, December 3 or December 17, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Doc Watson will be blacksmithing, clanging and banging works of art at the forge.  Susie Fouts, an 18th century historian, will regale us with tales of 18th century characters and heroines, such as Nancy Hart.

We always like to highlight groups who enjoy learning about the Homestead and having a delicious lunch on the grounds.  Cathi Jordan brought her Tri Delt Alum group in October.
Welcome, Doc Watson, to the blacksmith shop at the Homestead.  We look forward to your apprentice program at the property, passing along the intricacies  and secrets of being a great blacksmith to new learners of an old craft!
The Dedication Ceremony for the Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion took place on October 5.  There were over 100 in attendance to celebrate the construction of this wonderful Pavilion, which provides heritage educational meeting and event space and handicapped accessible restrooms.  This Dedication honored the Harry Arnold family, who very generously donated so much to make this dream for the future of the Homestead come true.
18th Century Georgia Frontier Day was held on November 5.  It was a beautiful day, and a good time was had by all enjoying and learning about skills and jobs necessary for living in the frontier wilderness in Georgia.
2017 will offer an Archaeology Day at the Homestead.  Hope you will dig it!
If you would like a Christmas ornament from the William Harris Homestead, just send us an email.  The cost per ornament is $12.00.

Our Fieldtrip Program took a Roadtrip


Miss Tanya was honored to be asked to take her portion of our field trip program on the road last week. She visited with a Homeschool group at Watkinsville First United Methodist Church, who have been studying the “American Girl” book series. I’m not sure who had more fun, Miss Tanya or the girls! (One student even came dressed in period clothing.)



Exciting News!


The William Harris Homestead welcomes new “Resident Blacksmith”, Doc Watson. He will be holding open demonstrations throughout the year, and become a new addition to our field trip program in 2017. The Homestead will be one of several sites locally where on-going apprenticeship training will be performed.

Welcome to the family, Doc!doc

Holiday Shopping in Downtown Monroe


The William Harris Homestead has joined with Buckles Hardware in Monroe for their “Christmas in the Piedmont Gift Market”. We even have a booth inside where you can purchase WHH products, just in time for the Holidays!

Stop by and visit them today!

Find out more about downtown Monroe and their candlelight shopping events by visiting


William Harris Homestead September 2016


Welcome back to the William Harris Homestead


Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion

In February, construction began to enlarge and improve the pavilion area and add handicapped-accessible restrooms, office and storeroom.  In memory and in honor of Helen Harris Arnold (a Harris descendant), the Harry M. Arnold, Jr. family contributed so much to make this amazing improvement possible.  There will be a Dedication Ceremony on October 8, 2016 of this new Pavilion.  This wonderful addition to the Homestead property will make heritage educational meetings and projects, parties, wedding receptions and events more comfortable and accessible to all.

Other funding for this project came from the Charles M. Walker Foundation, Hubert L. Harris, Jr., and other Trustees of the William Harris Homestead Foundation, and Mrs. Stephen Wakefield.

Contributions from major sponsors of Heritage Day 2015 helped with this project–Above All Tree Service, East Georgia Genealogical Society, Walton Wellness, Akins Ford Winder, Athens First Bank & Trust, Bates Carter CPA Gainesville, Connell Printing, Historical Society of Walton County, Precision Planning, Inc., Spring Street Studios, and the Walton County Farm Bureau.

Landscaping will be provided by a grant from the Iris Garden Club, Atlanta, GA.

Nestled among the hardwoods, the Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion looks as if it has been a part of the Homestead forever.
Providing space for 150, this new reception and meeting space is perfect for any event!
Close to the historic log house, the Pavilion is an integral part of the Homestead property
The William Harris Homestead received a $4200 grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Junior Board, Athens Chapter, to restore the railings on the front and back porches of the log house (circa 1825) by adding balusters.  Balusters are clearly seen in the 1898 photo of the house.  Also, adding the balusters make the front and back porches safer for children.  This grant also provided funding to replace the modern glass in the windows of the log house with antique crown or crystal glass, which was made during the 19th century.  We are very excited about these modifications to the Harris home.  Many thanks to the fine young high school students on the Junior Board of the Watson-Brown Foundation for providing this bricks and mortar grant to the William Harris Homestead.
Photo taken in 1898.  See balusters in background.  Many of the pickets are missing–the log house was around 70 years old when this photo was taken!
Front porch
Southern Heritage Preservation Organization (SHPO) is a group of graduate students at UGA in the Masters of Historic Preservation program.  These delightful young people volunteer to help non-profits in various ways.  For the William Harris Homestead, they gave a Saturday to clean and spruce up the historic cemetery.  And all of the Harris ancestors buried in the cemetery said…”Thanks and Amen!”
Mark your calendar!
Saturday, November 5, 10 am to 2 pm, we will be hosting 18th century Georgia Frontier Day.  Back by popular demand, the Georgia Colonial Educational Teamwill reenact and demonstrate early colonial  settlers’ skills for living in the Georgia wilderness.  A fun group of reenactors will entertain and teach our visitors…led by Tomahawk Hank and Black Powder Bob and Bill.  Spinning Wheel Lois and Troy the Blacksmith will amaze you with their knowledge and skill.  Of course, there will behayrides, and BBQ lunch will be provided by Heavens Bounty (or bring your own picnic).  As always, free doughnuts from “Donuts on the Run” in Monroe will be available, while they last!
Adults–$6.00 /  Seniors and kids 5 to 12–$5.00 / under 5 –free
Many thanks to those attending the Robison Reunion at the new Pavilion at the Homestead this summer.  As a generous “Thank you,” they donated a microwave to the new Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion kitchen.  We are very grateful for this useful addition from these Robison descendants, many of whom are descendants of William and Harriet Harris.  See you in June, 2017!
Get on board for the fall field trip program, A Day in the 19th Century.  Filling the day with fun and learning, the program brings Georgia history alive to elementary and middle school students.  We have already begun scheduling for the 2017 spring session.
Call 770-267-5844 or for more information.
Ladies bridge day and a workshop with the Red Hat Queens!  What did they have in common?  A great lunch provided by the Homestead!
Dale Harrison’s wedding at the Homestead on September 10–a beautiful day for a beautiful bride!
Many thanks to the Friends of the Homestead 2016.  We are grateful for your support and interest in the
William Harris Homestead.

Mr. Harry M. Arnold, Jr.                              Mr. and Mrs. Terry Luck
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Benowitz                    Mrs. Brenda Malcom
Mr. and Mrs. Ron Bobo                              Mr. and Mrs. Bo McCue
Mrs. Susan Borrelli                                     Mr. and Mrs. Rick McCue
Mr. Jim Clarke                                            Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McFerrin
Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Domescik                   Mr. and Mrs. Rich Mountain
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Downs                     Mr. and Mrs. Brent Nimmons
Mr. Gene England                                      Mr. and Mrs. John Perry
Mr. and Mrs. Gartrell Garrett                      Mr. Charles H. Perry, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Rob Goudiss                         Mr. Russell Preston
Mr. and Mrs. Bert Harrington                      Mr. and Mrs. Greg Rosa
Mr. and Mrs. Hubert L. Harris, Jr.               Mr. and Mrs. Mark Sauls
Mr. and Mrs. Chris Harris                           Dr. and Mrs. Charles P. Stewart
Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Harris III                      Mr. and Mrs. Wes Swietek
Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Harris, Jr.                    Col. and Mrs. Jodie T. Thrasher
Ms. Inger Harris                                         Mrs. Stephen Wakefield
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Hawk                       Mrs. Pat Waldrop.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hayslett                    Mr. and Mrs. John Webb
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hocutt                        Mr. and Mrs. Virgil H. Webb
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Hooper                        Mr. and Mrs. Ron Zazworsky
Mrs. Gail Huie-Smith                                  Mr. and Mrs. Ron Zazworsky, Jr.