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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.

Coming Soon to or Country Store!


Hand Forged Orifice Hooks


These Spinning Wheel Orifice Hooks are hand forged at the William Harris Homestead Blacksmith Shop by a local Blacksmith. Each Orifice Hook is only $10! Styles may vary  (a $4 shipping and handling fee will be added at checkout)

Can’t wait for them to be added to the store? Feel free to comment below and someone will be happy to drop one in the mail for you.


ORIFICE HOOKS for Spinning Wheels ORIFICE HOOKS with ruler for sizing


Enjoying the New Pavilion


Recently, the Homestead hosted a group of ladies from Atlanta for bridge and lunch! The weather was delightful! Everyone had a great time touring the property and enjoying bridge and lunch in the new pavilion.

We also enjoyed having the ladies from the Red Hat Society for a Garlic Basket Making Workshop under the direction of Ms. Lois Foerster. Great fun was had by all! we look forward to offering many more of these workshops.


The Homestead is a perfect spot for all kinds of happenings!

 Bridge ladies dealing the cards May 2016
Bridge Ladies with Betsy for tour May 2016 Red Hat Ladies with Lois and baskets May 26

Spring Happenings


Back by Popular Demand

Saturday, April 2

10 am to 2 pm

Dulcimer Day with the Gold Country Players

The Georgia Colonial Educational Team
“Tomahawk Hank”
“Black Powder Bob”
“Colorful Mike and Ladling Lois”
“Kat the Baker” and “Scrimshaw Kathy”
“Fired-up Troy” and “Evan the Knapper”
Plus…a cast of iron pots and pans!

The smell of open fire cooking and bread-making will be in the air, while Hank makes lead bullets over a camp fire, ignited with flint and steel.  Learn the “Tomahawk Throw,” how to make arrowheads and cranberry beans.  Enjoy demonstrations of early Colonial Georgia settlers’ skills for living in the wilderness.
for the “youngins” and young at heart!

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a beautiful day at the historic Homestead.
Adults and children over 12 — $6.00
Seniors and children 5 to 12 –$5.00
Under 5 — FREE


Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion

We are proud to present the progress on the pavilion expansion project (Gerald Atha Construction Co.) at the William Harris Homestead property.  Through a very generous donation from the Harry Arnold Family, construction is underway for  handicapped-accessible restrooms, a guest services office and storage, and an expanded and improved pavilion area for meetings, workshops, heritage education and events.

Helen Harris Arnold was a great-granddaughter of William and Harriet Harris and was proud of and devoted to family history, including cousins and genealogy.  In her memory and to honor Helen, her husband, Harry, and her daughters, Susan A. Borrelli, Harriet A Rosa, and Sarah A. Goodiss generously contributed much of the funding for this building, making this construction project a reality. The Trustees of the William Harris Homestead Foundation are grateful and appreciative of this gift, which will provide activity space for heritage education and accessibility for those with disabilities.  The Helen Harris Arnold Pavilion expansion should be completed in April.

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!    770-267-5844

Back by Popular Demand


Colonial Frontier Day is back by popular demand!

Saturday, April 2, from 10 am to 2 pm
Adults—$6.00, Seniors and children 5-12—$5.00, children under 5 are free.

Dulcimer performers will entertain. Free doughnuts, while they last!

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Exciting Things are Happening!


We’ve had a busy, exciting winter at the homestead! Before you know it, we will have handicapped-accessible restrooms, a Guest Services Office and expanded pavilion space for parties, weddings, meetings… and dancing. Come and see it for yourself!

Construction is expected to be completed around the first of April.

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18th Century Frontier Day Postponed!


We are postponing the 18th Century Frontier Day event on Saturday, November 7, because of rainy weather.  We plan to host this event on Saturday, December 5, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Since the Homestead will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas, it will be a festive time!

Enjoy 18th century demonstrations of frontier life–early settlers’ skills at the William Harris Homestead


10 am to 2 pm
The Georgia Colonial Educational Team

“Tomahawk Hank”
“Kat the Baker”
“Black Powder Bob”
“Scrimshaw Kathy”

The smell of open fire cooking and bread-making will be in the air while Hank shows how to make lead bullets over a camp fire, started with flint and steel. Others will demonstrate early Colonial Georgia settlers’ skills, while living in the wilderness.

Hayride 1:00 pm

Bring a picnic lunch and be sure to stick around for the famous “Frying Pan Toss,” where Hank’s wife gets to throw a frying pan at him…at a distance, of course!

Free admission for anyone dressing in Frontier attire!

Adults and children over 12–$6.00
Seniors and children 5 to 12–$5.00
Under 5–FREE

The William Harris Homestead is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, 10 am to 2 pm, March through December.
Come, Visit, Picnic, Hike–it’s a beautiful place!

HERITAGE DAY…Visions of the Past!  Photos from June, 2015.  Help us plan the next Heritage Day.  Volunteer to be part of sharing Georgia history with others!

Copyright © 2015 William Harris Homestead, All rights reserved.

Fall School Field Trips


The Fall Field Trip Season is upon us! We are excited to begin our 2015 season in September. The William Harris Homestead offers “A Day in the 19th Century” for elementary and middle school students.  This heritage education program can also be customized for older students and adults. Learning about the 1800’s with William and Harriet Harris and their family as a backdrop is a great way to bring history alive for so many!

Our field trips are made up of four separate units. The first unit is a tour of the 1825 log house where your guide will talk about the construction of the home. She will also discuss cotton- from harvesting to spinning and weaving before moving into the dining area of the house where food production and preparation is demonstrated at the fireplace. The second unit is outside, it features visits to the Cellar, House Garden, Smoke House, and Family Cemetery, as well as a brief demonstration of candle making. The third unit features a local Civil War expert who will teach the students about the daily living of a soldier–what it would have been like to be a Confederate or Union soldier during the 1860’s. The final unit begins with a discussion about the Creek Indians who were the first people to live on the land, then visits the Spring House before finishing up with a hayride. The day ends with a sheep herding demonstration by Hank Gallups and his award winning Border Collies. Your students are welcome to bring and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds, while our Civil War interpreter demonstrates loading and firing his musket rifle.

The material taught in our “A Day in the 19th Century” field trip is aligned to the Social Studies and Georgia History curricula taught in most Georgia public and private schools. Spaces for our Fall 2015 Season are filling up quickly. Contact us at to reserve your spot today.


8th Georgia Regimental Band Coming To Heritage Day June 13th, 2015