The Martha Berry Museum
County:Floyd
City:Rome
Type:Museum
Only a small portion of the 170-acre Oak Hill estate is dedicated to the Martha Berry Museum, but the large building holds a wealth of information on the life of a woman who dedicated herself to improving the lives of others.

The Martha Berry MuseumTucked in the northwest corner of Martha Berry's Oak Hill Estate the grey-brick building was designed by noted Atlanta architect Samuel Inman Cooper and opened in October, 1972. In keeping with the architecture of the other buildings on the site, the museum building is Greek Revival with Doric columns.

The museum was completely redone in 1998 and the presentation was greatly refined. Now in chronological order, the tour begins with a brief film on the life of Ms. Berry and Berry College. The first exhibit is a look into Ms. Berry's early family life. Director Scott Breithaupt, who guided us through the museum, took us to the Berry family bible at the start of the tour. "Believe it or not, this is my favorite exhibit," Breithaupt tells us. "Many people don't realize the importance of the bible to families in Georgia. It is still a legally recognized document."

As we continued through the museum the exhibits told us of Martha's life while Scott told of his struggle deciding which items to include in the museum. "We just had so much in the old display cases that it was impossible to incorporate it all!"

Exhibit on Berry's lifelong companion, Aunt Martha FreemanFrom the former slave who was Berry's governess, and later her constant companion, to the handicapped student who would become an influencial member of the Georgia judiciary, the museum covers the impact that Berry had on those around her and that her students had upon the world in which they lived.

Kiosks allow visitors to interactively view some material that is not on the museum floor.

The second floor houses the art collection of Miss Berry's sister Eugenia. Wife of Prince Enrico of Italy, the collection includes paintings by both Italian and American artists and spans nearly 1000 years of art. A 12th century oak chest is the center of the collection. This beautiful piece features seven deep-relief carved panels and a standing figure of Saint Paul with a frieze of oval scrolls.

Tickets for the Martha Berry Museum and Oak Hill are sold as a combination package. The museum and estate are a starred AAA attraction and are considered a "must see" by Georgia's Historic High Country Travel Association (web site)

Other links of interest:
Biography of Martha Berry
Ten most influential people in north Georgia

In 1998 the editors of About North Georgia selected Martha Berry as one of the most influential people in north Georgia.


Location: Veteran's Memorial Highway at US 27 North on Berry College Campus
Directions: I-75, Exit 290 (GA Hwy 20). Turn left (west) on GA. 20 and travel 2.4 miles. Turn left on GA. 20, then make an immediate right onto the ramp to U. S. 41. Follow GA. 20/411 to Rome at the split. At the Rome Bypass, turn right and continue to U. S. 27. The entrance is on the left (Caution advised on this turn).
Additional information:
Hours and cost:10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. We are closed Sundays and major holidays. Fee.
Phone:706.291.1883
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 5, 2003

Other Attractions in Rome
Rome Depot
Clock Tower
Chieftains Musuem / Major Ridge Home
Rome Area History Museum
Oak Hill
Fort Norton
Noble Brothers Foundry
Myrtle Hill

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