Eatonton! Home of Joel Chandler Harris, Indian-Egyptian-Black Nationalist Tribes, Alice Walker, and a Dairy Queen

I’ve been meaning for quite sometime now to take a trip down to Eatonton, GA to visit the Uncle Remus museum. Eatonton, of course, is the hometown of Joel Chandler Harris. I’ve been there before, but I think I was like eight, so it doesn’t quite count. I do remember the Dairy Queen, however.

There are about a million (make that a dozen, tops) cool things to do and see on the way to Eatonton. Flannery O’Conner and Alice Walker are also from those parts, plus I understand there are some great antebellum homes not burned by Sherman.

Unfortunately, there is one less totally awesome place in Putnam County, and that is of course the compound of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. Oxford American has recently published an audio slideshow featuring footage from the compound. I’d hop on that latter link quick, before it changes, by the way.

Whatever I write here will not do the thing justice, but I think the photographer sums up his interest nicely when he concludes, “I love things that are falling down. I love things that are abandoned. I love things that are slightly cheesy. And when you have forty acres of falling down faux-Egyptian religious iconography …it’s just wonderful.” Amen.

Yes, the compound has been levelled by developers within the past twelve months or so. Now, I don’t have a particularly strong argument in favor of preserving a place like this. In fact, my argument would consist mainly of the following two sentences: “But it’s so weird!” and “I didn’t get to see it!” Considering some of the atrocities and bizarre activities that occured there, I can understand why folks wouldn’t want it around; however, it could have served as a totally awesome museum / memorial / carnival ground. Personally I think it would make a fine spot for the recently disbanded Lakewood Antiques Market. Unless that whole “location” thing mattered.

Of course, except for the Eatonton connection, all this has nothing to do with Joel Chandler Harris. Consider it my Christmas present to you, dear reader.

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