Visitor Center exhibits in former Plains High School
Since so many motorcoaches will travel the I-75 route through Georgia, it is important to know a few stops along the way that will add to your group’s experience. The charming community of Plains, birthplace of our 39th President, is about 36 miles west off I-75 Exits 112 or 109.
This small town where Jimmy Carter grew up still preserves many of the landmarks of Carter’s childhood and early political career at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. The former Plains High School, attended by both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, serves today as the park’s museum and visitor center.
Only two blocks away is the Plains Business District where one can find the Golden Peanut Company (formerly the Carter Warehouse), the Plains 1888 Railroad Depot, which has been restored to its appearance as Carter’s 1976 campaign headquarters, and brother Billy’s Phillips 66 Service Station. Nearby in town are the Plains Baptist Church, which the Carters attended, as well as Public Housing Unit 9-A, where they lived for a year when Jimmy returned from the Navy in 1953.
Groups can also visit the Lebanon Cemetery, site of the Carter family burial plot and the Maranatha Baptist Church, where Jimmy Carter (now at the age of 89) still teaches Sunday School whenever he is in town. Schedules of when the former president will be teaching the class are posted prominently around town, and all are welcome to attend.
No trip to Plains will be complete without touring the lovingly maintained Carter Boyhood Farm and Home as it provides a fascinating look into the president’s formative years.
Even though I am not a religion person myself, I find it impossible not to have the deepest respect for the Carters, who have truly lived their faith, represented the best our country can offer, and transcended politics through tireless commitments to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. I found a visit to their little town to be not only a trip back to an America that seemingly has all but disappeared, but also an uplifting and joyous experience.
I’ll wager that you and your group members will have similar reactions.
Plains business district
Plains Depot, restored to the appearance of 1976 Carter campaign headquarters
Jimmy Carter Boyhood Home and Farm