The Call of the Land Agricultural Bus Tour arrives Sept. 22

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Returning Sept. 22, Bartow History Museum's bus tour will spotlight numerous agricultural sites across the county.

"For the past several years, we have offered a bus tour to visit and to highlight many of the historic sites around Bartow County," BHM Director Trey Gaines said. "We have offered tours on the Civil War, Great Locomotive Chase and historic cemeteries. These tours have been well received and have been a great way to experience history outside of the museum.

"This year, in conjunction with our current temporary exhibit on the history of agriculture, we will highlight Bartow County’s agricultural past and present. Our agricultural past extends back hundreds of years and still plays a crucial role in our lives today. The purpose of this tour will be to appreciate some of the many ways individuals, families and corporations have contributed to our past, present and future through farming and other agricultural endeavors."

To be presented from 9 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m., The Call of the Land Agricultural Bus Tour will start and end at the BHM, 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville.

"We will visit a cattle farm, the former Georgia Institute of Genetics, the Tri-County Gin, Summerland Farm and more, as well as pass by a former dairy farm, a thriving nursery and poultry farms," Gaines said. "Local Extension agent Paul Pugliese will serve as our tour guide and will offer history and insights and answer questions on the bus while traveling between our stops. We’ll also meet and hear from farmers and business owners at each of our stops.

"This tour will give participants a unique opportunity to visit agricultural sites that are not ordinarily available to tour. For example, we’ll visit the site of the Georgia Institute of Genetics on the Cartersville campus of Georgia Highlands College. The remnants of the institute are a reminder of the important scientific and genetic work started by local individuals and farmers, such as Alphabet Collins, in the mid-20th century. The discoveries made at the institute led to, among other things, better grown cotton, higher yields and more efficient farming techniques."

He continued, "We’ll also visit Summerland Farm, the ancestral property of the W.H. Stiles family, an early prominent family in the county, and the current home of chefs Anne Stiles Quatrano and Clifford R. Harrison. In addition to seeing their historic property and their working gardens, Quatrano and Harrison are preparing a special treat to conclude our day, including minted iced tea, lemonade, cheese straws and French macarons."

With Pugliese serving as the tour's guide, the event also will be an extension of an agriculture-related presentation he delivered last month at the BHM.

"Tour participants will get to view some of the historic farming locations in Bartow County that were highlighted during my presentation," Pugliese said. "This will be a great opportunity for folks to see both historic and modern farming operations in Bartow County and learn more about the changing landscape in our agricultural communities. This is a great opportunity for me to increase the public’s agricultural awareness and literacy, which is an important part of the mission of UGA Extension.

"I hope attendees will gain an appreciation for the advancements of modern agriculture, how important this industry is to our economy and today’s standard of living. Although agriculture has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, it continues to be the largest industry in the state of Georgia and we are part of the larger U.S. breadbasket that provides food, clothes and shelter for the entire world. We are very fortunate to live in a country that has the safest, most abundant food supply in the world."

Currently in limited supply, tickets for The Call of the Land Agricultural Bus Tour are $40 for BHM members and $45 for nonmembers. Tickets will cover lunch, charter bus transportation, tour guide and dessert.

For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.BartowHistoryMuseum.org or call 770-387-2774.