Tara, Margaret Mitchell and the Flint River
After being told by the Tarleton twins that Ashley Wilkes was to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton, Scarlett O’Hara stood on the road to Tara awaiting her father, Gerald O’Hara’s, return from Twelve Oaks, the plantation across the Flint River where Ashley lived.
“Her eyes followed the winding road, blood-red now after the morning rain. In her thought she traced its course as it ran down the hill to the sluggish Flint River, through the tangled swampy bottoms and up the next hill to Twelve Oaks where Ashley lived. That was all the road meant now—a road to Ashley and the beautiful white-columned house that crowned the hill like a Greek temple.”
The Flint is only a 20-foot wide, winding stream between Fayette and Clayton counties, but this portion of it has played an integral part in literary history. Here, is where it flows along the western edge of Tara, the fictional home of Scarlett O’Hara—and perhaps the most famous home in all of American literature. In reality, these Flint River bottomlands were part of a 2,527-acre cotton plantation owned by author Margaret Mitchell’s Irish great-grandfather, Phillip Fitzgerald. Margaret roamed the land as a child, and when she sat down to write Gone With the Wind, the Flint and her grandfather’s plantation, named Rural Home, evolved into Tara.
Reprinted from The Flint River, A Recreational Guidebook to the Flint River and Environs by Fred Brown and Sherri Smith Brown
VIEW INTERACTIVE MAP Take a Do-It-Yourself Tour of Margaret Mitchell's Atlanta and environs.
Margaret Mitchell’s Tara
Margaret Mitchell may have written her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from a small, first-floor apartment at 10th and Peachtree streets in Atlanta, but the story was born from the red clay backroads that once wound mostly through Clayton and Fayette counties. Browse the photo gallery below to see some of the places in Atlanta, Jonesboro and Fayetteville that tell the story of Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind.
For more about Mitchell and Gone With the Wind, see the Brown's Guide blogs: In Search of Margaret Mitchell's Tara, Tara, Margaret Mitchell and the Flint River, and Where Was Margaret Mitchell's Tara, Really?
Few authors are as identified with a town as Margaret Mitchell is with Atlanta. Mitchell is the author of one of the best-selling novels and highest grossing movies of all time, Gone With the Wind.
Visit the small apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone With the Wind, and see exhibits about life, her book and the movie it inspired.
Take a Do-It-Yourself Tour of Margaret Mitchell's Atlanta and environs.
The Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House Museum is housed in an 1855 Greek revival home that has long been a city landmark and was an inspiration to author Margaret Mitchell.
The Georgian Terrace Hotel gained national fame as the setting of the premier gala of Gone With the Wind in 1939.
The Margaret Mitchell Research Library is a 1948 building that was the first county library and is now where the Fayette County Historical Society archives county history.
Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, golfer Bobby Jones and many other Atlanta luminaries, along with 6,900 Confederate soldiers, are buried in this historic cemetery.
Philip and Eleanor Fitzgerald, the great grandparents of Margaret Mitchell and role models for Scarlett's parents in "Gone With the Wind," are buried in this cemetery.
Music, narration, and sound effects bring to life the world’s largest oil painting as well as the Battle of Atlanta fought between Confederate and Union troops on July 22, 1864.
One of the largest history museums in the Southeast, the Atlanta History Center celebrates Atlanta's Southern culture.
See exhibits about the book and movie and learn how Margaret Mitchell used the history of the Civil War in Jonesboro as a setting in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
Discover some original memorabilia from the book and movie at the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum, Scarlett on the Square.
Experience history and Southern hospitality as you visit the authentically restored antebellum home, which may have inspired Margaret Mitchell's vision of Tara.