Monday, November 13, 2006

Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House

I've lived in Fayette County for umpteen years and somehow have not ever managed to find time to visit the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House! I corrected that huge oversight this past Thursday.

What a treat! I took two young home-schooled friends thinking it would be something that might make history a bit more interesting. I was right. My only mistake is I looked at it as something for them --- it turned out I enjoyed the visit at least as much, if not more, than they did!

We were lucky to visit at a time when we were the only visitors. We had a one-on-one tour led by John Lynch, official historian. Lynch is a walking encyclopedia of historical knowledge and community lore.

We started in the front "parlor" known as "The Family Room." We learned about the Holliday family and Doc Holliday's ties to Fayette County. Not only did we find out about who they were, but Lynch painted a picture of times gone by, giving us a glimpse of how it was way back when.

As it was just past Halloween, some of the costumes and articles show-cased were still hanging around. Mourning attire, photos and other bits from the past helped us to visualize how difficult life was not too long ago - and how our ideas about death and the value of life have continued to evolve.

The Dorsey and Fife history is almost as interesting as the Hollywood Holliday history! I imagine that not many know that a past Governor lived in Fayetteville! It was amazing to see the many crossties there were among the various famous families and to get a small snapshot of how Fayette Countians have played a part in the making of history in the area and in Georgia.

I had heard that Fayette County boasted some connection to Margaret Mitchell of Gone With the Wind fame. Turns out Fayette County plays a much larger part in that book than I knew. I would bet that not many in Fayette County know how Gone With the Wind, Doc Holliday and Fayetteville are connected! You'll have to go visit the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House if you want to find out more.

There is one room in the House devoted to Gone With the Wind. Costumes, photos, artifacts and history make the book come alive and give it a place in our past.

We learned about the much photographed Starrs Mill, the War Between the States, how our great county came to be and so much more than I could ever begin to capture in a short blog.

This week we're traveling over to the Historic Society. We're going to hopefully look at some of the old newspapers and try to get a different perspective on the past.

If you'd like to find out more about the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House visit their website at, call 770-716-5332 or send an email to We planned to spend an hour and ended up having to cut the visit short after a two-hour stay! Plan to relax, learn and have fun.

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