Jimmy Carter National Historic Compound: A Picture Tour of President Jimmy Carter’s Home in Plains, Georgia
Driving up and down I 75 the sign for the home of President Carter always says "visit mel" So, we did. My wife and I took highway 27 and visited perhaps the sleepiest little town in the United States, Plains, Georgia.
Driving in, it almost looked like a movie set, right out of the depression-laded 1930s.
There was not a McDonalds or Starbucks to be found. Actually, there wasn't even a Wal-Mart! What is there is a charming little community that shouts the nostalgic values and lifestyle of days long gone by, the home of President Jimmy Carter.
The town is built on one set of crossroads-one road leading in; a second leading to the Maranatha Baptist Church where Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School and the high school where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter went to school; a third leading to the "other" Baptist Church; and a fourth leading to the Billy Carter filling station, the President's compound, and the boyhood home of President Carter.
We began our visit by going down Highway 45 to the Maranatha Baptist Church.
I understand that President Carter teaches Sunday School there a couple of times a month. (See http://www.mbcplains.org/?page_id=212.)
Did You Know? Jimmy Carter Work Project
Jimmy Carter's involvement with Habitat for Humanity International began in 1984 when the former president led a work group to New York City to help renovate a six-story building with 19 families in need of decent, affordable shelter. That experience planted the seed, and the Jimmy Carter Work Project has been an internationally recognized event of HFHI ever since. http://www.habitat.org/how/carter.aspx
Turning back toward town we come to Plains High School. The building is being renovated into a museum for the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site by the National Park Service and houses some Carter memorabilia, and a few rooms have been restored to 1930s and 40s furnishings.
I was impressed with the authenticity as I remember much of those furnishings in my schools as a child. I easily remember having to sit on that front seat right in the face of the teacher for some infraction of which I don't remember. I doubt if our President Carter ever had to sit on a hotseat.
Did You Know?
Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solution to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
Turning up Church Street we come to the real life of Plains, Georgia. On the corner is the old Billy Carter (President Carter's colorful brother) filling station.
They are renovating the station too, and it looks pretty good compared to the pictures I remember when Billy was running it.
On down the road is the home of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, called the Carter Compound. It is well guarded with a fence around it. Pictures are not welcome, but you can't see anything from the road except the Secret Service buildings.
I got a real surprise when I tried to take a picture. I pulled in to the gate area beside a plain-looking wooden building with mirrored windows, got out of the car, and started to walk over to the fence.
A booming voice suddenly said, "What do you want?"
I stopped just as suddenly and meekly said, "I was just going to take a picture."
"You can't park in the drive!"
I made it back to the car without an embarrassing accident or getting shot and then boldly drove on down Church Street. Just remember if you visit Plains, it's probably better if you don't try to take pictures of the Compound.
On to the sights. We continued on to the Carter childhood home. It sits outside of town a couple of miles and is completely unremarkable.
The home has been renovated and furnished as it was in the 30s/40s.
Established beside the house is a seemingly out-of-place tennis court. Beside that is the store where they sold just about any staple a person could want--food, clothing, medicines, tobacco, petroleum products, and cotton mule collars.
Behind the store is a large windmill that must have been the envy of all the farmers around.
Back in town, we stopped to eat a Mom's Restaurant, one of the few places to eat and the only place open on this Sunday afternoon. Good food; you might want to eat there when you visit, but don't wait too late as it closes early in the afternoon. I don't think much goes on after dark in Plains Georgia.
Writings by President Jimmy Carter
President Carter has been a prolific writer. The following is a list of his books from Wikipedia. If you are interested in previewing any of them, please click on the ad following the list.
- Carter, Jimmy (1975). Why Not the Best?. Nashville: Broadman Press. ISBN 0-8054-5582-5.
- Carter, Jimmy (1977). A Government as Good as Its People. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22815-3.
- Carter, Jimmy (1982). Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-05023-3. 
- Carter, Jimmy (1984). Negotiation: The Alternative to Hostility. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. ISBN 0-86554-137-X.
- Carter, Jimmy (1993). The Blood of Abraham: Insights into the Middle East. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-293-5.
- Carter, Rosalynn; Carter, Jimmy (1995). Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-388-5.
- Carter, Jimmy (1994). An Outdoor Journal: Adventures and Reflections. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-354-0.
- Carter, Jimmy (1993). Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-8129-2299-9.
- Carter, Jimmy (1995). Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation: Revised Edition. London: Puffin. ISBN 0-14-037440-X.
- Carter, Jimmy (1995). Always a Reckoning, and Other Poems. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-2434-7.
- Carter, Amy; Carter, Jimmy (1996). The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-2731-1.
- Carter, Jimmy (1998). Living Faith. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-3034-7.
- Carter, Jimmy (1997). Sources of Strength: Meditations on Scripture for a Living Faith. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-3236-6.
- Carter, Jimmy (1998). The Virtues of Ageing. New York: Ballantine Pub. Group. ISBN 0-345-42592-8.
- Carter, Jimmy (2001). An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-1199-5.
- Carter, Jimmy (2004). Christmas in Plains: Memories. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2715-8.
- Carter, Jimmy (2002). The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture: Delivered in Oslo on the 10th of December, 2002. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-5068-0.
- Carter, Jimmy (2003). The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-5542-9. A historical novel about the American Revolution, and the first work of fiction written by a U.S. President.
- Carter, Jimmy (2005). Sharing good times. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-7068-1.
- Carter, Jimmy (2006). Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-8501-8. Won a Grammy Award for best spoken-word album.
- Carter, Jimmy (2006). Faith & Freedom: The Christian Challenge for the World. [London]: Duckworth. ISBN 0-7156-3610-3. UK edition of Our Endangered Values.
- Carter, Jimmy (2006). Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-8502-6.
- Carter, Jimmy (2007). Leading a Worthy Life: Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bible Study with Jimmy Carter. Simon & Schuster Audio. ISBN 0-7435-6176-7.
- Carter, Jimmy (2007). Measuring Our Success: Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bible Study with Jimmy Carter. Simon & Schuster Audio. ISBN 0-7435-6726-9.
- Carter, Jimmy (2008). A Remarkable Mother. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-6245-1.
- Carter, Jimmy (2007). Beyond the White House. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-5880-2.
- Carter, Jimmy (2009). We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4391-4063-4.
- Carter, Jimmy (2010). White House Diary. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-28099-1.
- Carter, Jimmy (2012). NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-95081-3.
- Carter, Jimmy (2014). A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-476-77395-7.
- Carter, Jimmy (2015). A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-5011-1563-9.