Athens, Georgia – The Classic City

Nearly 50 years ago I first stepped foot on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia as a freshman. Through the years I have returned to Athens too many times to count. I have so many wonderful memories of Athens – walking through campus on my way to class, meeting my husband and getting married in Athens, eight years in a row as parents of UGA students, and many Georgia Bulldogs home football games.

We recently enjoyed wandering around Athens and the University campus on a beautiful late fall afternoon.

We stopped to see two interesting sights unique to Athens.  A double barrelled cannon, the only one known of its kind, stands in front of City Hall. The Tree that Owns Itself  grows in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.

Athens has always been famous for it’s music scene. Bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M., Drive By Truckers, Pylon, Love Tractor and many others performed at the 40 Watt club in their early days. Widespread Panic played at Fraternity houses back in the early 1990’s. When the Georgia Theatre, a beautiful historic concert hall, burned in 2009 it was restored and reopened in 2011. Wuxtry Records, opened in 1976, is still selling vinyl records.

The University of Georgia is the birthplace of higher public education in America. Established on January 27, 1785, the University of Georgia is the nation’s oldest land grant university. North Campus is right across the street from downtown Athens.

Down the hill a short way from north campus is Sanford Stadium, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. We’ve seen several expansions to the stadium over the years and have spent many Saturday afternoons and nights in the stands cheering on the Dawgs.

Greek life is a big part of student life at the University of Georgia. As we drove along Milledge Avenue we passed by many of the beautiful fraternity and sorority houses. The Theta Chi house is my favorite. I’m a little biased because it’s Henry’s fraternity.

20181122-Thanksgiving-in-Athens-(48)-Theta-Chi-watermark
Theta Chi Fraternity

Through the years many restaurants have come and gone. These are three memorable places to eat in Athens.

A lot has changed in Athens over the years but a visit there will always bring back good memories for me.

The (Extra) Ordinary Iron Horse

Henry and I have traveled north on Georgia Highway 15 between Greensboro and Athens at least once a year for over 40 years. And for over 40 years, the first one to see the Iron Horse in the middle of a cornfield north of Greensboro shouts “I see the horse”!

When the corn is tall the only part of the horse that is visible is the head. The rest of the year he is easy to spot.

The Iron Horse stands tall in the middle of a cornfield
The Iron Horse stands tall in the middle of a cornfield

I love the story about how the horse came to be in that cornfield. The horse was created by Abbott Pattison and was originally placed on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens in 1954.  Students frequently vandalized the sculpture so a professor in the agricultural department agreed to set the Iron Horse up in the middle of his cornfield about 20 miles south of Athens.

The Iron Horse is so tall I had to look up to get this photo
The Iron Horse is so tall I had to look up to get this photo

The farm today has been renamed the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm and is a part of the University of Georgia’s research farmland. The previous owners of the land have retained ownership of the Iron Horse. The University of Georgia granted an easement to the sculpture so people like me could get close enough to admire the horse and take pictures.

This is my contribution to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra) Ordinary