Heritage Site Events
The African American Heritage Site features festivals, living history demonstrations, seasonal events, re-enactments, and 19th century interpretation.
“This is the only known antebellum cabin in the region, and it has a compelling story to tell about the African-American experience in Northeast Georgia,” explains curator Chris Brooks. “This historic preservation project provides a unique opportunity to bring an important component of mountain heritage to life by celebrating the folk traditions of the Native, African and European Americans who created the fabric of community in the Sautee Nacoochee Valley area.”
Christmas at the Cabin is a unique yuletide celebration at the Heritage Site. Garlands of greenery and the aromas of hot mulled cider, gingerbread, and cinnamon infuse the cabin with scents of the season. Flickering fires warm hearts and hands. Hand-crafted decorations adorn table top trees. The ambiance of this simple Appalachian evening transports visitors to an earlier time when rural communities shared simple gifts with nearby neighbors, family and friends. Living history demonstrations, traditional music, and interpreters of 19th century life enhance this rustic experience.
One notable event sponsored by the African American Heritage Site was the regional premiere of Scott Kaiser's Splittin' the Raft, a unique retelling of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as interpreted by the great orator, ex-slave, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
On another memorable evening, visitors were awed by Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, re-enactor, and program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Piedmont Film Project
At the Heritage Site, Piedmont College students filmed sequences during 2013 for Courage!, an adaptation of The Red Badge of Courage.
In Scott Kaiser's Splittin the Raft play four dynamic actor/singers and one musician from the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre, Performance Studies & Dance perform 31 characters emphasizing the themes of personal and social transformation.
At its core the play is a coming-of-age story. Despite all the social forces conspiring against him, Huck learns to trust his heart and discover what it means to live with integrity. The escaped slave Jim is his primary teacher.
“Of course, like any good teacher Jim learns a lot from his student. It's moving as well as fascinating to watch these two come together over the course of their journey down the Mississippi. Of course the play is hilarious as well as deeply meaningful. There's some beautiful music too,” said KSU professor and director Harrison Long.
Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, this production was presented free of charge at Kennesaw State University, Serenbe Playhouse, New County High School, Maynard Jackson High School, The Earl Smith Strand Theatre, New Manchester High School, Lumpkin County High School and the Sautee Nacoochee Center.×