Fred Crane, who is a focal point of this article, has passed away and Terry Lynn Crane has sold Tarleton Oaks to a new owner. The bed and breakfast has closed, at least for the time being.
Synopsis: Tarleton Oaks and the Gone With The Wind Hall of Stars Museum is a themed bed and breakfast in Barnesville, Georgia, centrally located between Atlanta and Macon. It is owned and operated by Terry Lynn and Fred Crane. Mr. Crane is best known for his portrayal of Brent Tarleton, a suitor of Scarlett O'Hara, who had the opening lines in the classic movie Gone With the Wind.
History of the property
During the War Between the States, the estate was headquarters for a Confederate militia group, The Barnesville Blues, of which Lambdin was a member. Men under the command of John Bell Hood camped here after withdrawing from Atlanta (history of Atlanta, Georgia) in September, 1864, a scene vividly recreated in Gone With The Wind. Toward the end of the war there was a head-on collision train wreck which killed 150 soldiers. The wounded were taken to homes along the railroad track in Griffin, Milner and Barnesville, including the Lambdin estate.
About the home
"Rhett Butler" greets guests warmly from his paddock that connects to Tarleton Oaks parking lot ("Rhett Butler" is the Cranes' Missouri Fox Trotter horse). After a few "good boys" to Rhett, our attention turns to the white-columned portico of the southern plantation mansion, reminiscent of Scarlett O'Hara's estate "Tara." Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tarleton Oaks is an architectural gem of southern elegance.
A traditional Greek Revival, "four-on-four" design, the Holmes estate was the perfect choice for a Gone With The Wind themed bed and breakfast in more ways than one. Greek Revival architecture dominated Southern antebellum plantation homes, and was almost the exclusive architectural style used for plantation homes in Georgia. In fact, it was so popular that it was also called the National Style.
Inside Tarleton Oaks rich jewel-toned colors add to the opulence of this antebellum mansion. On the entry level, in addition to the Tara Dining room, are a traditional sitting parlor, open and well-lit, as well as a library which is inviting and comfortable, and furnished in leather. Terry has added many period antiques to set the ambience including a number of antebellum pieces. Original pine flooring with its deep, dark hue of aged wood throughout the home compliments the beauty of these antiques. Upstairs, each of the four spacious guest rooms (approximately 22' x 22' in size) has a private bath, sitting area, a working gas fireplace, extended cable television and period antiques. Two of the rooms can accommodate families of four.
The Gone With the Wind Hall of Stars Museum
Complimentary to guests, the tour is given after the 3pm check-in. (Group tours of ten or more are also available by advanced reservation and tour buses are welcome.) A fee to tour the Gone With the Wind Hall of Stars Museum is charged for visitors who are not spending the night. True fans of Gone With the Wind, however, will want to make a reservation for an overnight or extended stay at Tarleton Oaks, for only guests are invited to the evening presentation.
After seeing the Gone With The Wind Hall of Stars Museum, guests get a chance to enjoy the small town atmosphere of Barnesville, Georgia, once known as the Buggy Capital of the South. The downtown area has undergone a recent revitalization, so visiting quaint area gift shops, antique shops and dining establishments will add to your enjoyment. The third weekend in September is Barnesville's Buggy Days celebration, which climaxes into an award-winning arts and craft show and Buggy Days Parade.
And the winner is...you
When the sun sets on the bright, red Georgia clay, the lights dim at Tarleton Oaks in preparation for an astounding slide show presentation based on the original photographs of Fred Parrish, David O. Selznick's still photographer for Gone With The Wind. Guests have the opportunity to view rare photography from the movie, scenes which have been cut from this classic American romance, as well as photographs from behind the scenes. This amazing production is personally narrated by actor Fred Crane.
Guests delight in his first-hand recollections of Gone With the Wind, as well as stories about Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, George Reeves and other cast members he had the opportunity to work with and know. Mr. Crane's wealth of knowledge easily exceeds his role as Brent Tarleton; Crane spent over 60 years acting in both movies and television, and was a highly acclaimed disc jockey in radio for a classical station in Los Angeles for many years. The evening activities normally last between two and a half to three hours.
The next morning, about nine o'clock, breakfast is served in the Tara Dining Room, an elegant formal dining area with Royal Blue and 24 carat gold walls. Regal gold brocade draperies, a large Greek Revival fireplace, Empire and Victorian furniture all add to the Gone With the Wind feel. Guests are served a bountiful gourmet breakfast on the same pattern of china as was used in the New Orleans honeymoon scene of Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind.
Tarleton Oaks Gift Shoppe
Gone With the Wind collectors may purchase rare GWTW memorabilia from the Tarleton Oaks Gift Shoppe, located inside the inn. Items available for purchase are rare autographs, photographs, collector plates, dolls, books, collector cards, greeting cards, postcards, cookie jars, talking jewelry boxes, figurines, Christmas ornaments, music boxes, art work, prints, posters, gift certificates and other rare one-of-a-kind items.
Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast
From Macon: Take I-75 North to exit 188, Juliette Road/Tift College Rd. Turn left, heading towards Forsyth, Georgia. Go through downtown Forsyth and continue straight. The road will deadend into US 41. Travel 15 miles to Barnesville. Go to the second light, which is Main Street and turn left. Go through downtown Barnesville, passing a large, white pillared Methodist Church on your right. Tyler Street on the right is your signal to slow down. The next street is Byrd St. (which was the original driveway to Tarleton Oaks in the 1800's.) Turn right on Byrd Street and go one block to Greenwood Street. Tarleton Oaks is directly in front of you. Turn left on Greenwood and make an immediate right into Tarleton Oaks' driveway.