ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Plains, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Plains, Georgia
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
Plains High School, where the 39th President of
the United States attended school, is now part of
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
Plains, Georgia
President Jimmy Carter is
embraced in Plains, the town
he has called home for much
of his life.
American Flags fly in Plains
Plains is beautifully preserved
and the historic downtown
hearkens back to the small
towns that made America
Plains, Georgia - Home of President Jimmy Carter
Hometown of the 39th President
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Updated May 11, 2012
Custom Search
Historic Sites near Plains, Georgia
Plains Depot & History
The two-year campaign of
President Jimmy Carter was
launched from the little frame
depot in Plains, Georgia. It
now interprets the campaign.
Billy Carter's Gas Station
An landmark of Deep South
culture, Bill Carter's Gas
Station still stands in Plains,
Carter Boyhood Home
The childhood home of the
39th President stands at the
Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm
four miles from Plains.
(Photo by Lauren Pitone)
Ever since local son Jimmy Carter became
the 39th President of the United States,
visitors have been flocking to the charming
little town of Plains, Georgia.

Beautifully preserved, Plains stands today as
an example of the thousands of prosperous
little railroad towns that once dotted the
American landscape. It is a place where for a
day visitors can soak up nostalgia and learn
about the life of the Georgian who went from
the peanut farm to the White House.

Home to
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site,
Plains is not so much a place to learn about
politics as it is a place of inspiration: a place
where any young boy or girl can see that if
they are determined enough, anything is

James Earl Carter, Jr., known to people
around the world as Jimmy, was born in
Plains. He spent his boyhood years on a
farm four miles west of town in the little
community of Archery.

It was at the farm that the Carter family, like
so many others, weathered the stark years of
the Great Depression. They would gather
around the radio and listen to the famous
"fireside chats" of President
Franklin Delano
Roosevelt. It was Carter's humble roots that
helped to propel him to the White House in
the wake of the Watergate scandal and the
Vietnam War.

It is this legacy that is interpreted in Plains
today at the Jimmy Carter National Historic
Site. In addition to the Carter Boyhood Farm,
the national park includes historic Plains
High School.

The school, which closed during the 1970s,
has been named the official State School of
Georgia. It now houses an interpretive center
that focuses not only on Carter, but on the
teachers and others who taught in Plains
during the Depression and World War II.

These teachers taught their students to
believe that with hard work, education and
determination, they could achieve their
dreams. One of the exhibits, in fact, details
how the future President wrote at the age of
five that he wanted to graduate from the U.S.
Naval Academy. He did so in 1946, going on
to serve aboard nuclear submarines.

Visitors to the historic school can walk the
halls and visit the classrooms where
determined teachers helped introduce rural
children to the opportunities the country held
for them. Lives were changed here and while
one former student went on to be elected to
the highest office in the nation, others also
became successful in their chosen fields.

Carter's brother Billy, for example, realized
his dream of business ownership. Although
he passed away years ago, his little service
station still stands in Plains, a reminder of
the outspoken and sometimes controversial
older brother of the President.

Like many American towns of the late 19th
and early 20th centuries, Plains was built
along the railroad. In fact, the tracks form as
much of a "main street" for the town as do its
roads. Passenger and freight trains came
and went from the community, providing links
to cities and markets far and wide.

Today the SAM Shortline Excursion Train rolls
through Plains on those same tracks. The
unique train takes its passengers through
the fields and woods of Georgia aboard air-
conditioned, 1949 vintage cars.
The SAM Shortline (the initials S.A.M. stand
for Savannah, Americus & Montgomery)
leaves from its main station at Georgia
Veterans State Park in Cordele, but also
picks up passengers in Plains, Americus
and Leslie. It operates on a regular schedule
and tickets are available online.
Please click
here to Ride the Train!

The historic Plains Depot, where Jimmy
Carter planned his campaign for the White
House, stands in the downtown area and is
open to the public.

Plains is also a popular place to shop for
antiques and just soak up the nostalgia and
charm of small town America. The historic
storefronts of the downtown feature shops,
dining establishments and even a bed &
breakfast inn.

The Plains Historic Inn, in fact, interprets
styles from the 1920s through the 1980s and
was opened with assistance from Jimmy
and Rosalynn Carter. It boasts that each
room is a "lesson in history."
Please click
here to learn more.

Visitors to Plains often find themselves being
greeted by the Carters themselves. They live
in Plains and are often seen out and about
the area.  President Carter, in fact, still
teaches Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist
Church at 148 Georgia 45 North.
Please click
here for his teaching schedule.

Plains hosts several annual events. The
Plains Pig Pickin' will take place on June 30,
2012. The
Plains Peanut Festival is set for
September 15, 2012.

The annual
Plains Folk Play - "If These
Sidewalks Could Talk" - will take place at
historic Plains High School on September
15, 2012. Call 229-824-5373 for reservations.

Plains is located ten miles west of Americus
on US Highway 280. From I-75 at Cordele,
take Exit 101 and follow US 280 west for 42

Please click here to learn more about Plains,