Thousands of 1800's artifacts now in Columbus

Thousands of 1800's artifacts now in Columbus

A huge move is in the works for administrators at Historic Westville, a museum of homes and buildings from the 1800's that's relocating from Lumpkin, GA to Columbus.

"Moving an entire village one truck at a time," said Executive Director Leo Goodsell.

Administrators with the living museum Historic Westville have already brought over 17, 28 and 48 foot trucks filled with artifacts as well as 14 pick-up trucks.

The thousands of artifacts are now resting quietly in a Columbus warehouse. This comes as the pricey, first step in bringing the attraction to the Fountain City.

"We are nearing our $7 million goal for phase one of this operation and we hope that by late summer, early fall we may be able to do a groundbreaking," said Goodsell.

Administrators say they made the hard decision to move after low visitor numbers caused financial hardships. The new location is set to open in a little less than two years, off South Lumpkin near the National Infantry Museum.

Westville plans to open bigger and better, offering new educational experience to future guests.

"We are going to have four interpretative areas. Our main town site, the Creek Indian area, the frontier settlement area, and the rural, plantation agricultural area," said Goodsell.

While it will be about two years until the grand-reopening, administrators will continue offering educational programs in the meantime.

Below is a call out from administrators for volunteers:

"Come and join some of the most talented and fun volunteers you will find anywhere. Westville’s volunteers play an integral role in making Westville the place where history is not learned through dusty textbooks by getting involved.

Volunteering for Westville is an experience for all ages and skills. Are you shy or gregarious? There are opportunities to work behind the scenes or directly with the public. Whether you harbor an ambition to wear a cool costume and be a Tony winning actor, have an artistic bent towards handicrafts, or enjoy rolling up your sleeves and playing in the dirt with plants and vegetables, we have something for you.


Westville is not open yet but we still are in need of dedicated volunteers. You can work with us in Columbus in our office/warehouse location beginning sometime this August (2016). We will update this page once we are ready for you to come and play with us.


TOOLS: We need volunteers to help clean and restore our teaching collection. We have tools in need of a little love and your careful attention, especially those used in our woodshop and blacksmith shop.

SPECIAL SKILLS: Do you have any experience in furniture repair and restoration? Upholstery? Fixing, repairing, or restoring farm equipment?

COLLECTIONS: IF you are an organizational guru with a great attention to detail we need your help.

Digitizing Our Collections Catalog: Special skills needed: knowledge of using a scanner, familiarity with Windows, attention to detail and patience.

Transcribing Inventories: This involves transcribing old hand written inventory records into a word processing software. Special skills needed: familiarity with Microsoft Excel, typing, attention to detail and patience.

FASHIONISTA: Eventually we need to restore our current costumes and make new ones to cover the many different interpretive areas and the entire 19th century.

REVERSE BARN RAISING: We will have several work days in Lumpkin where we carefully dismantle small structures like storage sheds and privies. We will be taking down picket fences and removing wooden steps.

TOM SAWYER DAYS: All of those picket fences we take down will need to be scraped and painted.

CRAFT DEMONSTRATIONS: On the volunteer application please let us know about your hidden talents.

DOCENTS: There will be required training with periodic updates.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS: Once we are open to the public, you will need to pass a background check and Historic Westville is a smoke free environment. DOWNLOAD the Volunteer application HERE! This will help us keep track of your contact information and coordinate skills and schedules.

The group is also working to find homes for the stray cats living on their Lumpkin property. There are currently over a dozen cats needing homes, along with two litters of kittens on the way.

The animals have since been fixed, but if you'd like to adopt any current cats you can contact Westville administrators at 706-940-0057.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.