Old Governor's Mansion
Educational Resource Site
Welcome, teachers and students, to the Old Governor's Mansion Educational Resource Site (OGMERS). The Mansion staff has designed a set of lesson plans based on the Georgia Performance Standards and Common Core Georgia Performance Standards for 4th, 8th, and United States History Social Studies classes. A strong focus is placed on utilizing primary documents including private letters, wills, Sanborn maps, money, and even old report cards. Images and/or transcripts of these documents are included so they can be either viewed online or downloaded and printed. Through examining these documents, students will gain firsthand knowledge of what life was like in the Old Governor's Mansion in the 19th century and they will also develop valuable critical thinking and research skills that reinforce your classroom instruction.
Useful Background Information for Teachers
The Old Governor's Mansion was home to eight Georgia governors from 1839 until 1868. Governor Joseph E. Brown was one of the most outstanding. He served as Georgia's governor during three important periods of history: the Antebellum period, the Civil War, and the beginning of Reconstruction. He also served more consecutive terms than any other Georgia governor.
In November 1864, the Mansion served as headquarters for Union General William T. Sherman. Sherman's "March to the Sea" brought 30,000 Union soldiers into Milledgeville.
After the capital moved to Atlanta in 1868, the Mansion was used as a barracks for Georgia Military College cadets. Since 1889, the Mansion has been a part of what is now Georgia College. An intensive research project has been completed on the building and its inhabitants for the ongoing historic restoration. Your students will be able to see evidence of this research by viewing the 19th century construction of the building.
The Old Governor's Mansion achieved National Historic Landmark status in 1973. This honor reflects the Mansion's high style Greek Revival architecture as well as its close association with nationally important events.
About Your Class Tour
A docent trained in working with large groups of children will guide you and your students through the Mansion. Our docents are highly knowledgeable about the Mansion, the governors who lived here, the important historic events that took place here, and its construction and restoration. Emphasis will also be placed on the importance of historic preservation in conserving our historic building. Additionally, students are encouraged to play active roles in the tour through questioning and dialog.
To arrange your school tour contact:
Matthew S. Davis, Curator
Campus Box 092
Milledgeville, GA 31061
The materials included here are for your discretionary use as pre-visit, visit, and/or post-visit activities. These activities are not required, but they include valuable information for your students that you may find useful in preparing students for their visit to the Old Governor's Mansion. Activities for grades four, eight, and eleven are included, so please feel free to adapt them to meet the individual needs of your students.
Pre-Visit Suggested Activities
Benjamin Palmer's "Thanksgiving Sermon"
*Note to teachers, these three sermons are arduous. Students may benefit from group discussion and reading. Focus is on the many ways that the church defended slavery as Biblically and divinely ordained.
Visit Suggested Activities
Post-Visit Suggested Activities
The following lesson plans should be used at the teacher's professional discretion according to the needs and capabilities of each individual class. These lesson plans are useful before or after a visit and need not be completed in order.
Lesson 1, School Days
Lesson 2, Sanborn Maps
Lesson 3, Reading Wills
Lesson 4, Sending for the Doctor
Lesson 5, Traveling to Milledgeville Using Maps
Lesson 6, Comparing Images
Lesson 7, Holidays with the Governors
Lesson 8, Money from the Past
Lesson 9, Actual Enumeration
Lesson 10, Preparing for the New Governor
*All of the original documents whose images are contained within this site are the property of either the Georgia State Archives in Atlanta, Ga., or the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. Permission has been obtained for the use of all images for this project. The lesson plans themselves are the property of the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Ga. and may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes only.