mosey South to Deerlick Astronomy Village
Too much light pollution in your neighborhood to view Saturn’s rings or storms of Jupiter?
Now hosting stargazers from as far off as Michigan, the new 96-acre star observatory site has become a smash hit in eastern Georgia.
Situated in rural Taliaferro County (that’s: Tol’ i ver), the total darkness and wide open spaces of Deerlick Astronomy Village are worth checking out for the telescope-prone star lovers among us:
Plus there’s: http://www.deerlickgroup.com
Taliaferro County is named for early Georgia settler, Benjamin Taliaferro, who came on down with a bunch of other families, mainly of the Virginia tobacco-growing clans, after tobacco crops wore out the soil ‘up yonder.’
Some families came to Oglethorpe County prior to the American Revolution, notably the Barnetts and Crawfords, a pioneering crowd who served their nation proudly as soldiers, scouts, and spies.
After the Revolution, Gen George Matthews, also one of the intermarried Virginia bunch, moved down and became governor of Georgia–and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually, it’s all history–the Barnetts and Crawfords arrived here in the 1760s (if I remember my notes correctly…thereabouts, if I don’t.)
The only known Caucasian here when they arrived was a trapper named Kennedy (first name lost in the mists of time), and of course, many native tribes lived around what came to be known as Goose Pond; later for voting purposes: Goose Pond District.
This was a 150–200 acre lake (not far from where I type) where all the migrating ducks and geese would light each year to hatch their fuzzy chicks. Then when it was time to be moving on, it was a wonder of nature as they all flew up from Goose Pond and continued on their way. With Georgia’s current epic drought, we could use some of that water now.
But years ago the lake or ‘pond’ filled in and the area became known as the Garden District of Oglethorpe County…the richest cotton-growing soil around with its duck and goose poo fertilizer extraordinaire. In fact, a boll was kept in New York by which other cotton bolls were judged for quality. This special cotton was actually grown by a Meriwether grower–the Meriwethers were another family of the Virginia settlers of Georgia.
And in the 1800s, a Crawford scion ran for US president but passed away suddenly before the election could take place. No definitive word on the cause of death, last I heard. Makes ya wonder.
Another point of historical interest about 5 miles down the road from here, where an old Baptist Church sits upon a hill, is the place where the path from Virginia and the trail to the Mississippi River converge–Cherokee Corners. Olden ways do linger!
As a native Georgian who is proud to note having Native American heritage as well, these Virginians are some of my ancestors and forebearers–yet I hope this fact won’t dissuade you from packing up your telescope and moseying down to Deerlick Astronomy Village some dark night where you may purchase a cabin or camp out gratis–and where the twinkly stars, as of yet, shine for free.
As we sometimes still say around here: Y’all Come! Just be sure to BYOW.
image: Moss Cave Observatory by jude cowell (c) 2007 from the Gallery of http://secretmoonart.blogspot.com