150th Anniversary of the Capture of Jefferson Davis, Irwinville

Jane Tucker Gentry Who i Saving Jefferson Davis Park on the 150th Anniversary of the Capture Irwinville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Jane Tucker Gentry has made it her personal mission to keep Jefferson Davis Historic Site alive and well. She’s been able to do this despite a general lack of interest by most local politicians. I caught up with her at the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the capture of Jefferson Davis. The festivities included a Chasing Jefferson Davis Marathon, day-long re-enactments, free tours of the museum, as well as local food and craft vendors. Jane even did most of the baking herself. The event was capped off by a late afternoon showing of Gone with the Wind on the museum grounds.

Jefferson Davis Cowboys Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Capture at Irwinville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Members of the local SCV encampment were on hand, as well as other supporters from all over Georgia.

Jefferson Davis Historic Site 150th Anniversary of the Capture Irwinville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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7 Comments

Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Irwinville GA

7 responses to “150th Anniversary of the Capture of Jefferson Davis, Irwinville

  1. Doug Tatum

    It’s a shame how the state has abandoned Jeff Davis Memorial Park. Having lived there as a child it really breaks my heart that GA has abandoned it twice. I remember when the house had 2 bedrooms, the master bedroom addition being built, running hot wheel cars down the track and them getting stuck under the big gas heater. I even remember them building the group shelter. I remember the big pen with deer in it. Even remember skunks from Mr Amos Fletcher and Dr Clayton removing the scent gland. But best memories are the monkey bars and merry go round.
    Daddy wanted desperately to stay at Jeff Davis and tried everything to keep them from “closing” it the first time in 76. General Coffee in Douglas was a great park but it wasn’t “home”.

  2. Francoise Hipp Fussell

    Good for her! If I lived nearby, I would have helped with the baking. Despite what we nowadays think of the events of those times, they actually DID happen and ARE part of our history. It’s part and parcel of the history of our families and on a larger scale, our country. How many young people of today could name 5 events that took place during that period?

  3. Jane Tucker Gentry

    Hi, I am Jane Tucker Gentry and my Granddaughter, Gwen Gentry, who is now 13, is with me any time she can be at the Park. I encourage her and her friends to take part in the tours of the Park, I make them research the part they want to talk about or ask our Park Manager who is well versed in Jefferson Davis and the history of this Park. I guess the thing that keeps me going back every chance I get is to let people know not only about Jefferson Davis and the War, but to let them know R.W. Clements, my great-great Uncle bought the four acres of Land where Jefferson Davis was captured. This is where the stump was that Jefferson put his foot upon at the capture, and where the monument to him stands. This is local history and should be cherished by our Local governments. Now since this was given as a State Park by R.W, Clements wife and son after his death to the State Of Georgia this should be of special interest to the State as they own the Park but find it so easy to give back to the county at every whim of their imagination. I get very vocal about the misuse of this property. So what it really boils down to is the State did not give us back the Deed on the last giving back to the county of this place that is dear to my heart, We found it is indebted since they borrow money against it. so this means the State owns and borrows money against us, but they gave it back to our county saying they can’t afford it.
    .
    What we have done is started a Friends Of Jefferson Davis Memorial Site group. It is $20.00 dollars for a years membership. We use this money to sponsor our Easter Program, the Halloween Program and this 150th Anniversary of the Capture of Jefferson Davis. Anyone that loves and wants to help us keep the doors open this is a good way to do it. The County pays the Salary of the Park Manager and the electricity and many other things that they can afford to do.

    We are in desperate need of repairs to the museum and the Managers House. We think if we could find a Grant Writer that could help we would have our beautiful Park looking proud as it should look. I do not see a Civil War Site when I see Jefferson Davis Memorial Park I see the END OF THE CIVIL War and it ended here, sure Lee had surrendered but until Davis was Captured there was still a Confederacy, when he was captured that ended this horrible time in our History. So in my heart and mind that is an excellent reason to support this Site. We had 600 5th Graders this year to visit our site and this was stressed to them. Black, White Hispanic and Orential children all together giggling and soaking up the real ending of the War.

    Sorry this is so long, y’all can blame Brain Brown for encouraging me to keep going and fight to keep this Park alive and well, with my granddaughter and her friends learning to love this Park, and their future children, then their children. With the help of those that love this Park, WE WILL NEVER DIE
    ,

  4. I wish I had known prior to this event being held, would have made an effort to attend. I grew up in the town of Lennoxville Quebec (Canada) where Davis & family stayed after the war while he awaited trial. Attended the same boarding school that his sons attended (in my time the school had gone co-ed) The house that he & his wife called home is still standing and has a pane of glass in the parlour window where JD etched his initials. Mr Davis was recuperating from broken ribs after a fall down the stairs while staying at a local hotel “Clark House”. I’m always interested in hearing about Jefferson Davis from a historic standpoint and because now that I call Georgia home (for 35yrs now) his name also reminds me of where I grew-up.

  5. James Tomberlin

    I lived about 10 miles from the site as a kid. It was always a big deal to go there on a Sunday afternoon and see the museum artifacts. I was a Civil War nut even then, having two great grandfathers who served in the Confederate Army.

  6. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Brian,
    I agree that many politicians sadly fail to recognize the potential educational value that history offers. It does not have to be a Civil War site, but can be a site associated with other history. I once shared knowledge of an Archaic Native American Soapstone quarry with a Georgia county government. They ignored my information and approved the ancient mine for a huge housing development. This Steatite mine could have easily been incorporated into the development as a historic point of interest, but there was no money for the developers in doing so. The site, which was several thousands of years old, was simply bulldozed. Now houses and shops occupy those ancient grounds with no mention of the native Americans who toiled there mining precious stone to make many useful items. The current occupants are oblivious to the history their community destroyed. Perhaps the only mention of this is contained in the letter I wrote on the matter.
    Jesse M. Bookhardt

  7. heavenlyjane

    Fascinating that local politicians are uneasy about celebrating this anniversary. I’m not from the South and/so it makes me a bit queasy, but I hadn’t realized that locals might have felt this way also.

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