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GSU Botanical Garden celebrates area's heritage
Oak Grove School opens Saturday
Festival File for Web
In this Herald file photo from April 2007, Jan Anderson makes herself at home at the teacher's desk in the Oak Grove one-room schoolhouse. Anderson recently relocated the historic school to Georgia Southern's Botanical Garden and the public can tour the school during Saturday's annual Heritage Festival. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

Celebrating the relocation of the Oak Grove one-room schoolhouse will take center stage Saturday during the annual Heritage Festival at the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. inside the Botanical Garden at 1505 Bland Avenue in Statesboro. Admission is free.

The 2010 Heritage Festival will include live music, a plant sale, pie eating contests, games and even square dancing. But perhaps the highlight is the opening of the fully restored Oak Grove one-room schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was restored and donated by Bulloch County native Jan Anderson.

Anderson moved the schoolhouse to the Garden from her farm off Bowen-Rushing Road in September.

"The very original idea was to place it on campus, but plans sort of fell through (in 2007) and I put it out at my farm," she said in September. "But things have opened up again and now we can put it on campus at the Botanical Garden. That's where it belonged from the very beginning."

On Saturday, Anderson will teach classes in the schoolhouse, and actors from the Averitt Center for the Arts will offer performances inside the schoolhouse at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the schoolhouse is set for noon.

"The 2010 Heritage Festival is the perfect way to spend part of a terrific Saturday in Statesboro," said Carolyn Altman, director of the Garden. "Festival attendees can enjoy a relaxing family day in the Garden exploring the Oak Grove School, the Rural Life Exhibit, drawing water from a well and participating in games and activities including hoop rolling and scarecrow building."

Also, area farmers will provide a demonstration of old tractors, and car enthusiasts can admire cars from the 1920s and 30s. Traveling minstrel Jesse Cockcroft from Charleston, S.C., will perform throughout the garden, and musicians are welcome to join Cockcroft for informal performances.

Food will be available from Chef Elaine and an extensive assortment of plants chosen by Garden expert Bob Randolph will be available for sale.

Altman said the Botanical Garden promotes knowledge and appreciation of the native plants and animals of Georgia's Coastal Plain, connects people to the natural and cultural heritage of the region, and inspires environmentally responsible behavior.

Once the home of Daniel and Catharine Bland, the Garden preserves nearly 11 acres of the farm they worked together beginning in 1916, guided by Daniel Bland's passion for plants and respect for the land that sustained them.

For more information on the 2010 Heritage Festival or the Botanical Garden, visit


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