Weekend in the Country

We recently spent a weekend at a super secret hideaway we go to several times a year. I can’t tell you exactly where it is because then it wouldn’t be a secret!

During my quiet morning walks I wandered along the edge of the woods and beside a creek I felt like I was miles away from civilization. I was constantly on the lookout for bunnies, white tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. There were a few deer and wild turkey sightings but sadly I didn’t have my camera handy when I spotted them.

One of the things we we like to do when we are there is to go four wheeling through the woods. One afternoon a friend came by on his four wheeler to take us on some new to us trails. Our adventure was all on beautiful, undeveloped private property. Our friend started off the tour by crossing a creek into land we had never seen before. For most of the ride we were surrounded by a dense pine and hardwood forest with many old trees.

We came out of the woods and passed by fields of corn before stopping for an up close look at a sunflower field.

On our return trip we parked the Ranger in the middle of the creek, turned off the engine, and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the water running over the rocks.

Another day we took a drive to Milledgeville to explore the abandoned buildings of Central State Hospital. Founded in 1842, the hospital was originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. At one time there were over 12,000 patients in the facility making it the largest mental institution in the United States and possibly in the world. They were housed in numerous buildings spread out over about 2,000 acres. Today, most of the buildings are abandoned and neglected.

We took a self guided driving tour around the grounds. Our first stop was the Powell Building which once housed some of the patients and later was an administrative building. The buildings are all closed to the public but visitors can walk around for a closer look. A security guard was patrolling the property and advised us to stay away from dangerous areas which are in need of repairs.

Vines creep up the front of the building. I could just imagine the patients in those rooms, peering out their windows at the outside world. I noticed that some windows had curtains while some had blinds. I wondered if the patients were allowed to decorate their own rooms.

We followed behind the security guard’s car to the Cedar Grove Cemetery where there are over 25,000 graves.

Today part of the hospital is a maximum secure Forensics facility which provides care for around 300 people who are referred by Georgia State Corrections.

We explored on our own on a Sunday afternoon. On certain days trolley tours of the hospital campus are offered.

28 thoughts on “Weekend in the Country

  1. I so enjoyed this post. Exploring the new, seeing mostly undisturbed habitat, anticipating wildlife here there and nearly everywhere, and that time spent at that abandoned facility, which if I recall is mentioned in those tomes I read, of Macon and such during the time of the Civil War (as we learned of it, for those 15 minutes or so that we learned of it, in those public schools in a place called Brooklyn). You’re the model for the rest of us to emulate, that’s for sure.

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  2. What a nice get away, Beth.
    Such a large building to be abandoned. And you say there are several more… wow!
    There was a Mental Institution near Cleveland Ohio which they said was haunted. Many people broke into it often so… they ended up tearing it down as it became a liability for the town.
    Great pictures… Beth! Happy Tuesday!

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    1. Thanks Nancy! It was a fun weekend. We saw many large red brick buildings sitting empty as we drove around the old hospital grounds. From what I understand some of them are in the process of being renovated. I’d like to go back and take the Trolley Tour one day so I can learn more about it.

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  3. What a lovely get away! What fun for you to take a 4 wheeling forest drive!
    posted a comment a few minutes ago and it disappeared.
    I can’t believe such a large building this beautiful is vacant. But how cool for you both to see it.
    Happy Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t know what happened on your end but your other comment showed up here and I replied to it. I’ve heard about that hospital my entire life. I’m really glad we finally went to see it! I have to say it was pretty creepy to think about what it was like when there were patients there.

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  4. Love the personal photos especially the one of you in the sunflower field. Beautiful. 🙂 Wouldn’t the politically correct folks have a hey day with the original name of that hospital. Oh my goodness. I remember going to a regional mental hospital when I was a child with a good friend to visit her mother. I would sit in the car by myself while she and her father went in to visit. I can’t remember the name of that hospital but it was probably something not appropriate either, and I just shake my head thinking about leaving a child under ten sitting in a car alone for an hour or so. Times sure have changed.

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    1. Judy, you are right about the politically correct folks and the original name of the hospital. I read an article from a newspaper about the hospital and they had a disclaimer that said some of the language may be disturbing! That’s the way it was back then.

      Yes, times sure have changed. I remember hearing about that hospital all my life.

      Seeing the sunflowers up close was so fun! The owner of the field cut me off a few of the flowers to take with me. I am drying them so I can harvest some seeds to plant next year. Hopefully they’ll grow here!

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  5. What a lovely secret secret! Thank you for letting us peek in.
    My favourites are the field of sunflowers (so stunning) and you in the field (I forget sunflowers grow tall!!!!).

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