There's a small white church in a small Murray County community called Spring Place.
Inside that church, and around its grounds, is almost 200 years of history.
That history will be celebrated on Saturday at the 22nd annual Spring Place Community Festival at the Old Spring Place Methodist Church off Georgia Highway 225 South. The festival is sponsored by the Spring Place Ruritan Club and the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society. The festival's main goal is to raise money to continue to preserve the historic church, which lays claim as the county's oldest building built for public use.
"An official Georgia Historic Township and a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, Spring Place began as a Moravian mission to the Cherokees in 1801," according to those who have documented its history. "Home of Cherokee Chiefs James and Joseph Vann, the town was part of the Trail of Tears, became Murray County's first seat of government, was raided during the Civil War, survived the turbulent Reconstruction era and then declined after losing the courthouse to Chatsworth in 1913. The post office closed in the 1970s but Spring Place remains a special place to many folks and families."
It's been 40 years since the church was officially dedicated as a museum, and a display will highlight that milestone. There will be artifacts from the Spring Place United Methodist Church that held its last service there in April.
Festivities get underway at 8 a.m. as Ruritan Club members hold their annual bake sale with homemade goodies. Throughout the day, there are opportunities to buy a plethora of items: new/used books, collectibles and flea market items such as vintage glass and cookware, toys and Christmas decorations, pictures and frames, tapes and CDs, linens and clothes, tools and sports-related items. There will be raffles and other items for sale.
The always popular live auction begins at 10 a.m. The bidding often gets fast, furious and fun as bidders vie for coveted items.
Another festival goal, which is just as noble, is to bring the community together on a warm summer day. Festivals such as these offer a chance for old friends to reconnect, and for new friendships to be made. These small-town festivals are an important part of Americana, and we are glad to see the Spring Place Community Festival continue.
Festival organizers deemed this year's theme as "Come play in Spring Place." We hope you will take them up on their offer.
For more information, call Elizabeth Robinson at (706) 695-6021, Carlton McDaniel at (706) 695-2110, Jyana and Chuck Smith at (706) 695-8297 or Tim Howard at (706) 695-2740.