Civil War History and Top Performing Arts Venues in Jonesboro, Georgia
While Jonesboro and Clayton County are close to myriad cultural opportunities in Atlanta, the city and county has a rich heritage and arts offerings of their own, with several Civil War historical sites and destinations to experience visual and performing arts exhibitions.
Gone With the Wind Attractions
Clayton County is the "Official Home of Gone With the Wind," as designated by the Mitchell Trust and the Georgia state legislature. The Mitchell trust was established to honor Margaret Mitchell, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War-era novel made into the classic 1939 film. Mitchell modeled the book's mythical Tara plantation after homes she saw in Clayton County. She researched much of the history for the book at the old Clayton County Courthouse in Jonesboro. Today, the Road to Tara Museum, in an 1867 train depot in Jonesboro, draws thousands each year. To learn more about these attractions, visit the Clayton County Convention & Visitors Bureau website.
Other Civil War and Historic Attractions
Given the Gone With the Wind connection, Clayton County is rich in Civil War history. Confederate troops had occupied the area for many months, but were forced to evacuate following the battles of Rough and Ready and Jonesboro. In fact, Confederate defeat at the Battle of Jonesboro was significant to the fall of Atlanta, helping Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman begin his March to the Sea in late 1864. People may visit the battlefield areas in Jonesboro, as well as the Confederate Cemetery, which is adjacent to the railroad that Southern soldiers defended.
In addition, Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County Inc. hosts tours each week, showcasing several interesting sites, such as an 1839 Greek Revival antebellum home known as Stately Oaks, as well as the log kitchen used on the property, a well house and tenant house. Other points of interest in Clayton County include Juddy's Country Store and the region's last one-room schoolhouse.
Visual and Performing Arts
The Arts Clayton Gallery on South Main Street in historic downtown Jonesboro showcases and sells visual art created by Georgia artists. The gallery is nonprofit community arts gallery, which is a program of Arts Clayton, Inc. The organization strives to unite the community through children's art programs, operation of the gallery and educational opportunities.
Musical and dance performances may be experienced at the state-of-the-art Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center. Another popular place for musical performances is Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. The 400-seat facility's superb acoustics have earned it the name "Carnegie Hall of the South." Thousands of people from throughout the metro Atlanta area have attended jazz and classical musical performances at the hall since it opened in 1991.