Picture this Central of Georgia complex at its peak. Imagine the haze from coal-burning locomotives, the din of hammers in the Blacksmith Shop, the shrieking of metal milling, and the whining of planers and saws. Why is a garden in the middle of this industrial complex?
The railroad encouraged gardens, which gave workers a respite from their industrial surroundings. There was friendly competition between rail yards, each claiming prized vegetables or flowers. The Workers' Gardens you stand in now was recreated in 2004 with the assistance of the Trustees' Garden Club. It is based on the garden designed around 1900. Tradition credits rose enthusiast and Master Mechanic Whitehurst with creating the garden. Mr. Whitehurst had an additional interest in developing this garden, as his office window overlooked it. Below, Central of Georgia workers stand in the garden in 1923. Note the walkway and fountain curbing in the lower right corner.
(lower left) Mr. Andrew Paul, a railroad employee from 1899-1951, admires the okra in the Central of Georgia Workers' Garden. Vegetable plants supplemented the initial roses and other flowers.