Sunday, February 9, 2014

Georgia Day

On February 12, 2014, the state of Georgia will reach the ripe old age of 231! On that day in 1733, James Oglethorpe founded the province of Georgia to serve two purposes for King George II of England.  One was to give debtors who were thrown into prison a chance at a new beginning and, more importantly, to become a barrier to the Spanish troops in Florida.

So that I could celebrate the grand occasion in style, Susie who is one of my very best friends loaned me her set of Georgia Historical Plates to use for my tablescape.  These wonderful plates are made in pink and blue and were created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Georgia and the 25th anniversary of  the Transylvania Club of Sandersville, Georgia. Susie grew up in the Sandersville area, so these plates are near and dear to her heart.

Miss Louise Irwin conceived and executed the design for the plates. After falling in love with these plates many years ago (I own only one blue one), I discovered that Miss Irwin was a relative of one of my close childhood friends.  The world is small and getting smaller every day! The Transylvania Club approached the Wedgwood Company to create the plates. When Wedgwood agreed to the project, the club sent a $1500.00 deposit to get the process started.

There are twelve plates in the collection, but for this table, I used only eight.  I chose the ones that meant the most to me personally.  Of course, I had to use the James Oglethorpe one, since he is one who started it all.  In the second photo, I used the plate which depicts Wesleyan College.  Wesleyan was the first college in the country to grant degrees exclusively to women and is located in the town in which I live, although this original building burned down many years ago.

Another meaningful plate was the one above that presents John Wesley preaching to the native Americans.  I was raised in the Methodist Church, which John and his brother started.

This plate is probably my favorite.  Nancy Hart is capturing Tories, during the Revolutionary War. My only Georgia Plate shows this same scene in blue. On another occasion, Nancy captured a single Tory and hanged him. I am a member of the Nancy Hart Chapter, N.S.D.A.R and our chapter still owns a wooden gavel made from the tree on which Nancy hanged the Tory!

I lived in Milledgeville, Georgia for many years and this plate is a representation of the Old Capitol building there. Milledgeville was the last capital of Georgia, before Atlanta. Like Wesleyan's original building, a fire destroyed this structure many years ago, but a replica was built in its place and now is part of Georgia Military College and Prep School.  This place is dear to me, because my daughter works at the college and two of my grandchildren attend the Prep school.

The Georgia Plates have many references to education.  This plate design is of the University of Georgia in its early days.  The state of Georgia was the first state in the country to charter a state-supported university.  This school is important to me, even though I cheer for another school in football (Roll Tide!), because one of my ancestors, Augustine Blackburn, sold part of his land in Clarke County, Georgia, so that the school could be built.

The last educational institution shown on the plates is Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia. While I do not have any real connection with this school, I am very proud that it is the oldest existing high school in the United States having been established in 1793.

The last plate that I used on the table pictures a building that makes my heart skip a beat each time that it comes into view, when I approach Atlanta.  It is our state capitol building with a gorgeous golden dome.  The gold covering the dome was mined in Dahlonega, Georgia, where the first major gold rush in the United States occurred  in 1819.

If  you are interested in acquiring any of the pink or blue plates or you want learn more about them, you can find the website HERE.

Not only are these plates a walk through Georgia history, they are beautiful!! Thank you Susie for helping me celebrate Georgia Day in such a stunning way!!!



Sharing at:

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays

A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

We Call it Junkin for the Home and History Party

Between Naps on Porch for Tablescape Thursday


  1. Happy Birthday Georgia indeed! These plates are gorgeous! I just love red and white did a spendid job of putting together this table to celebrate our wonderful state.... Beautiful!
    Love, Mona your fellow Georgian..

  2. Happy birthday Georgia! And lucky you Diane to have a friend who has these fabulous collection of plates!!!! They are not only pretty, sentimental, but also perfect for Valentines day!

  3. Happy birthday Giorgia and many blessings! I can't add more than what sweet Vel says...not only are your friend's dishes gorgeous, but perfect for Valentine's! I adore red transferware...and blue too, lol! Beautiful table!

  4. Diane, I really enjoyed your post! We moved to Georgia for grad school, and when I taught fourth grade I had to quickly learn Georgia history! Your table is beautiful, and a lovely tribute to a wonderful state.

  5. Your red transferware plates are beautiful and make a gorgeous table setting.

  6. Hi Neighbor, I'm next door, in South Carolina. It is a small world, isn't it? Lovely plates, I love the history behind them, and you made a beautiful table with them and those fabulous red goblets. I'd love it if you'd join my History & Home link party, starts each Tuesday at 5am Eastern, runs through Friday. Take care! -Dawn @ We Call It

    1. Thank you for sharing this at my History & Home link party this week, I hope you make it a weekly stop! take care - Dawn @ We Call It

  7. Dawn, the red gobets are Vietri "Dot". I love them, too!

  8. Happy Birthday Georgia!! The red transferware is lovely. Love the plates that depict Georgia's distinguished history.

  9. Happy Georgia day! Diane! What a wonderful post! Thanks for giving us the history of eac of these pretty plates....Christine

  10. Great post. So interesting. Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  11. What a great lesson on Georgia history for this Ohio gal! The plates are just beautiful and what a wonderful way to share the stories of your state. I really found this interesting (and your table is beautiful, too)

  12. Such a pretty table. Beautiful plates. I adore your crystal bowl. Happy Valentines Day!

  13. Wow! What an exquisite tablescape. You've done your state proud. Those plates are museum worthy, and you have highlighted them perfectly with your chargers, goblets, choice of linens and flower arrangement. Well Done! Rosie @ the Magic Hutch

  14. A Georgia Valentine table is a wonderful way to celebrate. The red and white plates are so beautiufl and your friend was so kind to share. I always love Wedgwood and the artist picked great scenes to create the set. Your tablescape is gorgeous with the lovely white place mats. Hope will take a peek at my Valentine's red and white table for you might enjoy it.
    Have a great 14th!


  15. Yes, Happy Birthday, Georgia! What a wonderful set of plates. Thank you for sharing this unique table setting.

  16. I'm catching up tonight on posts I had no time to read before and I must confess I'm in love with those plates (a good thing I don't know where your friend lives or I'd come steal them) and I think you create the perfect tablescape for them.