The state of Georgia has a long history spanning from Pre-Colombian settlements, and it’s placed as the 13th of the original United States colonies, to the more recent 1996 Summer Olympics.
So when you’re looking to include some history field trips in your homeschool, you need to look no farther than Georgia to give you a broad view of life in Southeast.
Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site
Before English settlers began arriving in Georgia in the 1730s, Georgia was home to indigenous tribes of the Southeast Woodlands people. To learn more about their way of life, you can visit the beautiful Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site in Carterville, Georgia.
This site, just 40 miles northwest of Atlanta, was home to several thousand Native Americans from 1000 AD to 1550 AD. The Etowah Indian Mounds are the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast with 54-acre grounds that includes six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, borrow pits, and a defensive ditch.
You can climb to the top of the mounds for a view of the surrounding landscape which includes the Appalachian foothills and the Etowah River.
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center has ever-changing exhibits about the history of Atlanta and the South, from folk art to golf. Perhaps, the most exciting addition to their collection is the relocation and reopening of the Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama. Both a historical piece depicting a monumental Civil War battle and an artifact in its own right.
Cycloramas were similar to the Imax theaters of today and gave a larger than life view of events. The Battle of Atlanta is one of only two cyclorama’s existing in the United States, the other being the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
At 49 feet tall and longer than a football field, this 10,000-pound piece of history is sure to impress.
The Southern Museum
If you have a train lover in the family, you won’t want to miss The Southern Museum in downtown Kennesaw just 25 miles north of Atlanta.
As a Smithsonian Affiliate member museum, it has an impressive collection of Civil War memorabilia as well being the home to The General, which was made famous by The Great Locomotive Chase of 1862.
They also have a fascinating exhibit of the Glover Machine Works, which is the only fully restored belt-driven locomotive assembly line in the country.
The Southern Museum provides a welcoming destination for your next homeschool field trip.
New Echota State Historic Site
For a more modern look at Native American history, you can visit the New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun. New Echota is one of the earliest examples of tribal self-government and was also the origination point of the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee people.
Today, you can visit 12 original and reconstructed buildings including the Council House and Print Shop, which is the location of the first Indian language newspaper published.
This site was abandoned for over 100 years and only reopened to tell its story in 1962.
Andersonville National Historic Site
Camp Sumter, commonly know as Andersonville, was the largest, and most infamous, of 150 military prisons used during the Civil War. During its existence, over 45,000 Union soldiers were held prisoner within its walls.
The site later became a National Cemetary for the almost 13,000 who died as prisoners at Andersonville. It is also the location of the National Prisoner of War Museum remembering all American prisoners of war.
Georgia Throughout History
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the fantastic historical sites in Georgia. Others you may want to consider for your next field trips include:
- Martin Luther King National Park
- Fort Pulaski National Monument
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
- Fort Frederica National Monument
- Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park
No matter where you are in Georgia, you are sure to find an excellent, historical site for your next homeschool field trip within reach.
Author Bio: Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she’d lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between. While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills. She lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her family and one crazy dog.