Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 30

Around GEORGIA

By Pamela A. Keene * Photos courtesy of Historic Westville

Living history
Westville brings the 19th century to new site
in Columbus

W

hen Lee Gilford was a youngster in Enterprise,
Ala., he helped his grandfather, Doug Paramour,
build bird boxes and hope chests. Little did he
know that it would prepare him for his first job out of college:
working as an interpretive carpenter at Historic Westville in
Columbus.
"Working side by side with my grandfather taught me a lot,
and I really enjoyed it," Gilford says. "He and I had a couple of
distinct advantages over what I do today: electricity and power
tools."
Gilford and other interpreters at the living museum
of Southern history, which opened almost a year ago in its
new location, ply their trades as people would have in the
19th century. For Gilford, it meant learning how to use handpowered tools like a brace and bit to drill holes in wood and a
10-foot crosscut saw instead of a power saw.
"Working here has given me a new appreciation for what
early Americans and Southerners used to build-everything
from furniture and pole barns [structures with vertical poles
that hold up the roof ] to kitchenware, like bowls and spoons,"
he says. "Settlers faced many of the same problems we do
today, but they had to be even more resourceful and creative to
solve them."

Westville's move to Columbus from
Lumpkin was a chance to breathe
life into the decades-old tourist
destination.
A vision of preservation
Westville began as a collection of buildings and artifacts
brought together by history professor John Word West of Jonesboro in the 1920s. West created The Fair of 1850 as an outdoor
museum to preserve Georgia architecture and culture. By 1966,
his collection was moved to Lumpkin under the name Westville
Historic Handicrafts. Other buildings from the area were added.
Westville's move to Columbus from Lumpkin was a chance
to breathe life into the decades-old tourist destination.

30

Georgia Magazine

May 2020



Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 7
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Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover4
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