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Jefferson Davis Memorial State Historic Site

Irwin County

Date Established: 1997

Original Acreage: 4 Acres

Current Acreage: 12.7 Acres

Reuben W. Clements purchased the land in 1865. In 1915, his son, Honorable J.B. Clements, and the Georgia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy introduced a resolution tendering four acres of land to the state of Georgia for the purpose of creating a state park. The resolution passed, and in July 1920, the original four acres were officially deeded to the state. On July 3, 1933, Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company deeded to the Governor of Georgia an additional four acres for Jefferson Davis Park, bringing the size to eight acres. On March 8, 1938, the United States of America deeded to the state of Georgia an adjacent tract of land containing 3.66 acres. In 1952, Jack Eli and Doris R. Vickers donated 1.008 acres as a gift to the park, bringing it up to today?s total of 12.668 acres.

On May 10, 1865, Union Troops ended the four-year War Between the States by capturing Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States. The capture marked a new page in America History by ending a war the cost this country more than 600,000 lives. Jefferson Davis was heading west into Texas to meet another Confederate army which might have made the Civil War last another two years with even more dead Americans. Many people believe that the Civil War ended when Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia, but the official ending of the war happen here in Irwinville, Georgia, which is now called Jefferson Davis Memorial State Historic Site.

In 1939, on Jefferson Davis's birthday, a monument was erected to mark the exact spot where he and his party were captured. In 1939, a museum was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The site offers a nature trail for teaching about Georgia wildlife and shows the original highway in which Jefferson Davis and his party traveled. It also provides a group shelter for family reunions and other gatherings, a picnic area to enjoy Georgia's beautiful weather, and a playground for children.

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