Famed Gone with the Wind set finally able to be viewed

LOVEJOY, GA -- Many tourists who come to Atlanta want to be able to see and touch something associated with the famous movie Gone with the Wind.

Except for costumes and other movie memorabilia in a couple of museums, there is only one actual building they can touch. It's the Margaret Mitchell House Museum, where the author rented an apartment while writing her 1936 masterpiece.

That museum also houses the front door from the movie façade of Scarlett O'Hara's fictional home, Tara. But now after more than 50 years, the public can see and touch the rest of that famous movie set.

The Tara façade sat on a Hollywood movie lot as a tourist attraction for 20 years, until finally torn down in 1959. That same year it was disassembled and shipped to Atlanta, where various projects to restore it came and went over the years, but all failed.

In the early 1980's former Georgia First Lady Betty Talmadge bought the remaining pieces of Tara, but kept them hidden in a barn on her family's Lovejoy farm.

"After a while, it just faded into history," Jonesboro historian Peter Bonner told 11Alive News on Tuesday.

Thanks to an agreement with Betty Talmadge's children and grandchildren, Bonner has been given permission to add what's left of the Tara set to his Jonesboro tours.

After a half century, "Gone with the Wind" fans from all over the world will finally be able to see it in person.

"One young lady, who's a volunteer here, learned English watching Gone with the Wind in a Russian village," Bonner said.

He isn't sure if the remains of Tara will ever leave the barn or be rebuilt, but that's okay with him.

"Some folks thought it was jinxed; I guess I would think so, too," Bonner said.

Anyone wishing to take his movie set tour can get more information on his Facebook page, Saving Tara.


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