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Cotton Gin Scheduled to Run November 18 at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture

November 14, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of donors from across the nation, the cotton gin at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village is scheduled to be back in action on November 18.

Museum Director Garrett Boone and Director of Advancement Deidre Martin said the revitalization of the gin has been a long but worthwhile process.

“The successful completion of this project allowed us to bring an integral part of the Historic Village back into operational status and further our educational and historic preservation missions,” Boone said. “The gin provides an opportunity for kindergarten through 12th grade students, our ABAC students, and the public to learn more about a vital part of the agricultural and textile heritage of this region of the South.”

“It’s more important than ever before that we educate folks, especially our young people, about the important role of the cotton industry in our daily lives,” Martin said.

Boone said the gin building was constructed at the Museum site in 1977 from blue prints of several different late 1800’s cotton gins. Lummus Industries from Columbus originally restored the gin stand. All equipment was painted in original colors including the gin stand and boiler. At its peak, a gin of this size could produce six to eight bales of ginned cotton a day.

The renovation project, helped along by gifts of $10,000 or more from Bayer and the Montgomery Family Foundation, Inc., involved the replacement of wood siding and beams throughout the structure and replacement of belts and piping for the ginning process. The cotton gin boiler was also replaced with an historically accurate representation with an engine size of 90 horsepower.

“Bayer and the Montgomery Family Foundation went a long way toward making this restoration possible, but we had some other folks who really went the extra mile for this project,” Martin said.

The Georgia Cotton Commission and Monsanto were in the Circle of Excellence giving level with gifts of $5,000 to $9,999, and the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Georgia Farm Bureau, and Staplcotn were in the Producer’s Club giving level with gifts of $2,500 to $4,999.

The Ginners Club level of giving with gifts of $1,000 to $2,499 included Clover Leaf Gin, Inc., Lummus Corporation, PhytoGen Cottonseed, Southeastern Gin and Peanut Company/Kent Fountain, and Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association, Inc./Dusty Findley.

The Friends of Cotton giving level with gifts up to $1,000 included The Cotton Gin, Inc./Fred Powell, Dixon Gin Company, Inc./Jaclyn Ford, Eidson Gin Co-op, Inc., Herzog Family in honor of Dr. Gary Herzog, the Knowlton Family, Robert McLendon Farms, Miller County Gin Company, Pineywood Farms/Louie Perry, Keith and Julie Rucker, and the South Central Georgia Gin Company/Darvin Eason.

“The Cotton Gin, like many sites within the Historic Village, is mainly volunteer run,” Boone said. “We would enjoy talking with anyone interested in assisting with Gin operations.”

The Museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18. Other special attractions during the day include a Native American Village re-enactment with Creek Indians and the Wiregrass Holiday Market located behind the Country Store. For more information, interested persons can call (229) 391-5205.
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