A ride around Tabletop in Butler, GA

After Thanksgiving, I loaded the girls up and embarked on an adventure to visit my dad and stepmom in rural Butler, Georgia. Butler is located in Taylor County, a few hours south of Atlanta. If you are familiar with Taylor County or the surrounding area, you might inquire as to what we did for an entire week in the middle of nowhere. Well, I am learning more and more since having children that you can always conjure up things to see/do and people to meet no matter where you are. You just have to be willing to look. We found lots of great places to play: an old train caboose parked along side a track, a severely outdated but nonetheless imagination-provoking town park, and a creek to throw sticks in. And we had loads of fun visiting with my dad’s family. We also drove to Pine Mountain to see the famous Callaway Garden Fantasy in the Lights Show. Thanks Dad and Gail! Haven’t quite learned the skills to photograph Christmas lights…maybe next year 🙂

While Taylor County is mostly rural farm land, now being taken over by solar farms, my dad and his siblings all have houses “in town.” Butler’s downtown consists of a courthouse with a functioning clock tower, two restaurants, the post office, a farm store and not much else. It’s your typical rural Southern town that hasn’t changed much in the 28 years I’ve been visiting, which is one of the reasons why I love it!

The most unique and unexpected sight to see in Butler, aside from the miles and miles of solar farms, is the hidden hippie-feeling Tabletop area. The “neighborhood,” nicknamed Big Gully, consists of three houses. On home is owned by Mr. Ward and Mrs. Billie Edwards, one belongs to Mr. Ward’s brother, Sonny, and the other home belongs to my aunt and uncle. It’s in a huge, beautiful, wooded area that has only carved out space for the few houses and a road to access them. The Edwards family uses the land as their own personal canvas with all sorts of folk art, gorgeous intricate bird houses, statues and antique political signs scattered throughout the premises, some done by their daughter of Big Gully Folk Art.

There is so much storytelling and creativity in these woods through their artwork – it’s unbelievable! Some leave you in awe, some leave you laughing or scratching your head wondering, “What was the thought process??” Whenever driving over to visit my aunt and uncle, I love pulling into the woodsy neighborhood to see what birdhouses or statues I’ll notice each trip. When I was a child, I relished driving an old John Deere gator around, soaking it all in, and now Grace is old enough to somewhat participate and appreciate this little Butler “tourist stop.”  I’m hoping next time I’m in town, I can ping the Edwards family and hear about their inspiration and history behind this neighborhood and all that encompasses it. Until then, I thought you’d enjoy the photos of what the heck I’m talking about. Grace particularly loved counting all the bird houses and the funky farm animal art around the painted pick up truck. So fun!  Enjoy, and happy holidays everyone!img_4825-2img_4828-2img_4830-2img_4841-2img_4849-2img_4852-2img_4859-2img_4869-2img_4872-2img_4879-2img_4884-2img_4895-2img_4898-2img_4903-2img_4914-2

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Hope you enjoyed the photos! This last one is my dad’s favorite stop in the neighborhood…cracks me up!

 

-Addie

 

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