We are at Oakland Baptist in Cartersville, GA, and thoroughly being treated like royalty. These are pictures from an evening we spent at Grand Oaks, a gorgeously restored/renovated mid-1800's home owned by Ray Thacker. He hosts wedding receptions, anniversary parties, Christmas luncheons and a whole host of other events in this home. He does not own a cell phone, computer, or even connect to cable TV, but through word of mouth is quite booked up! I was told even his phone is a rotary dial, but did not see it to personally confirm! Either way, Ray is a charmingly perfect host, and put on quite a delicious meal for us! There are dozens of rooms that are furnished in all sorts of periods, themes, and genres. Quite a visual feast! This is the front entrance of the home, and the beautiful columns are a story in and of themselves!
They are drainage pipes! He fitted them around the original square posts, and then topped them with capitals out of styrofoam that he hand carved and then painted! I loved the finished look. I am all about columns, and will make every effort to have them in Zambia... even if I have to make them out of mud myself! :)
Before his hosting days, Ray was a hair stylist for Rosalyn Carter! There are signed pictures from both she and Jimmy, as well as several other famous people along one portion of a hallway.
My favorite place in the home was this beautiful cove. The original stained glass windows were absolutely stunning- as is not even closely captured here by my cell phone camera! This was a place of old books, busts of presidents and military generals, as well as brass and bronze statues of various military moments. In this area there was a massive leather bible with a metal closure from the 1800's that Dan was able to open and look at the pages so brittle and aged. Amazing!
Here is a back hallway that led to a restroom. There were plates of every sort and kind on nearly every wall. I have not one whit of knowledge about things old and valuable, but I am sure many of these things are both!
Crazy me didn't even think to bring my regular camera. Many of the treasures in this home were so detailed and intricate I knew not to even bother trying. He has vases 5 feet tall and 2 feet around from Russia from the early 1800's. There were other matching vases on pillars that stood well over 9 feet in all, that the top portion spun perfectly balanced, almost like a ballet dancer in a music box. Such massive structures, yet so delicately made.
This is the porch area where we ate our meal. Huge windows all around, and old antique sideboard cupboards somehow fit just perfectly with the round tables and folding chairs! It was a wonderful evening and a perfect setting to meet a few of the people from this church.
The outdoors was just as splendid. Statues, gazing balls, archways, metal sculpture all mixed with flowers and greenery of all kinds to make a bit of an etherial wonderland. I once again apologize for not thinking to bring my camera. Perhaps we will stop back tomorrow, and I can be better prepared! Less than 24 hours, and we have already fell in love with these people. Sweet, welcoming, encouraging, and full of hospitality! We are blessed!