Archive for March, 2008

Before and After Pictures from Our Previous Restoration

Written on March 31, 2008 at 8:45 am, by Lain Shakespeare

Lately, I’ve been busy planning our latest restoration efforts–fundraising, researching, meeting with experts, consolidating budgets, and looking through old plans.

I’ve come to find out just how lucky I am. The Wren’s Nest is in decent shape thanks to our last restoration that occurred between 1985 and 1992.

Here’s what the house looked like before–

The Wren's Nest in 1984, Before Our Restoration

And here’s what it looked like last spring from a kind of similar angle–

The Wren's Nest in 2007, Long after Our Restoration

(Note: the stairs are wider now, as they were in Joel Chandler Harris’ day)

Part of my job has included sifting through big boxes filled with pictures, plans, receipts, assessments, and stuff. I figure you might be interested in the pictures part.

Thankfully, our restoration won’t be nearly so drastic as before. They had a mess on their hands.

The Library of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

This was the library.

The Library of the Wren's Nest, After Our Restoration

And this is the library now.

This photo of the hall looks like it was taken when restorations were underway–

The Hall of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

And what it looks like now–

The Hall of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

Fancy parlor–

The Parlor of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

And today–

The Parlor of the Wren's Nest, After Our Restoration

Our dining room–

The Library of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

And today’s dining room–

The Dining Room of the Wren's Nest, After Our Restoration

Finally, the bathroom–

The Bathroom of the Wren's Nest, Before Our Restoration

Looks like they were well underway here.

The Bathroom of the Wren's Nest, After Our Restoration

You’d be surprised at how many people try and use that toilet. Seems clearly marked to me.

Critters at Lenox Square

Written on March 29, 2008 at 9:33 am, by Lain Shakespeare

As promised, here’s my mom and my aunt playing hooky to unveil the Brer Rabbit statue at Lenox–

Linda and Annette Harris Playing Hooky with Brer Rabbit at Lenox Square

Cool dresses. Where can I get one?

Left to right: Brer Fox, Linda Harris, Joel Chandler Harris Jr, Annette Harris, Brer Frog, Brer Bear.


Categories: Baby Pictures |

The Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton

Written on March 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Joel Chandler Harris’ hometown of Eatonton, GA.

Brer Rabbit With the Uncle Remus Museum In The Background

This is Brer Rabbit in front of the Uncle Remus Museum, a few blocks south of the main square. His head is kind of funny-shaped, like a cobra’s.

The Uncle Remus Museum is also kind of funny. The museum is more or less two former slave cabins attached to one another. It’s supposed to be a cabin that Uncle Remus would have lived in (or told stories in) had he not been so darn fictional.

Admission is $1. This executive director thinks it’s well-worth the fee.

Up the road a piece is the town square, where a very similar, less filthy Brer Rabbit lives.

Lain As Salman Rushdie With Brer Rabbit on the Square in Eatonton

This was where we found out that I am taller than Salman Rushdie.

Rushdie and Brer Rabbit

So I’ve got that going for me.

About twenty miles north of Eatonton is Madison, Georgia. Madison is home to beautiful antebellum homes that were spared during the Civil War. Madison is also home to a few monuments to Brer Rabbit and his Critter friends.

Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby in Front of the Uncle Remus Library in Madison Georgia

These guys used to be at Lenox Square. They were created in the 1960s 1959, and my mom got the day off school to help unveil them.

Brer Bear and Brer Frog at the Uncle Remus Library in Madison Georgia

They were moved here, to the headquarters of the Uncle Remus Regional Library System, when they built a new parking deck at Lenox. Or so I’m told.

The Wren’s Nest Now Accepts Credit Cards

Written on March 26, 2008 at 5:55 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Today Eduardo installed our Credit Card scanning system thing. After many hours of painstaking research, we settled on a Hypercom T7 Plus.

Hypercom T7 Plus--That Which Haunts Eduardo's Dreams

Slick, no?

Here’s a short list of things Eduardo had to break in order to get it up and running–

  1. Our phone lines
  2. Our internet
  3. Our spirit

Was it worth it? Probably not. We suffered for SEVEN MINUTES WITHOUT INTERNET, after all.

And fair warning–if you ask to pay for something over the phone via credit card, Eduardo will personally drive to your home or place of business and kick you in the shin.

Eduardo and our Best of Atlanta Sign

(But not too hard!)

He will then hand you a Br’er Rabbit sticky-note that kindly explains how we are not equipped to do that. Sorry.

On the other hand, we won’t be sending anyone to the ATM anymore. Wahoo!

Akbar on WABE’s Atlanta Sounds

Written on March 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

The other day our local NPR affiliate stopped by to record one of our Ramblers, Akbar Imhotep, for their Atlanta Sounds feature.

WABE Interviews Akbar Imhotep, Master Storyteller, Wren's Nest Exerpt, and Cool Dude

You can listen here. And don’t worry, they keep it brief!

Also, in case you’re going to miss Alice Walker’s talk tonight, she too is conveniently featured by Atlanta Sounds.

Edith Wharton’s Home, The Mount, Faces Foreclosure

Written on March 25, 2008 at 8:54 am, by Lain Shakespeare

So, the folks at Edith Wharton’s historic home in Massachussetts have recently completed a $13 million renovation. Wow.

Edith Wharton's Sometimes Home, The Mount

It’s too bad that nobody bothered to pay the rent!

The Wren’s Nest, once in not-so-dissimilar dire straights and currently sitting smack dab in the middle of the foreclosure capital of whatever, feels the Mount’s pain.

The Mount is trying to raise $3 million before March April 24. They’ve got a little over half a million in the bank at press time, which is neither a small feat nor $3 million.

If you’re into that sort of thing, you might want to consider helping bail them out. Even though Edith Wharton isn’t my favorite female author from the 20th century with the initials EW, saving her home seems like a worthy cause.

Thanks, Asian Cajuns.

Margaret Dumont! You Know, From the Marx Brothers

Written on March 22, 2008 at 9:37 am, by Lain Shakespeare

Did you know that Margaret Dumont grew up at the Wren’s Nest? I didn’t.

She’s often regarded as the fifth Marx Brother, or otherwise one of the best straight men of all time. Here she is in Duck Soup, what many call the Marx Brothers’ best film–

YouTube Preview Image

Ms. Dumont happened to be Joel Chandler Harris’ goddaughter, and spent several years here in the late 1890s. I believe her bedroom was our current storytelling room.

Groucho Marx told reporters that Dumont was successful because she didn’t understand any of their jokes. I’ve heard that that too, however, was a joke.

A Wren’s Nest Public Service Announcement

Written on March 21, 2008 at 9:52 am, by Amelia

It’s easy to get confused about history. There are all sorts of dates and events to remember, and sometimes it can be really tough. But it’s important to be sure you’ve at least got the gist.

For example, the Emancipation Proclamation was a biggie. A biggie that took place 145 years ago and changed quite a few things in this country, to put it mildly.

Miss Nannie, being awesome and free
(Miss Nannie, being awesome and free.)

Recently, Miss Nannie was asked, by an adult, if she was a slave.  Nannie politely (and incredulously) replied that no, no she wasn’t.

The Wren’s Nest wants you to know that not all questions are good questions.

The Wren’s Nest Quarterly E-Newsletter

Written on March 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Didn’t receive it? Just shoot me an email (, and I’ll add you to our list.

We try not to be bothersome with our marketing efforts, which is why we only send out our newsletter quarterly.  I hope nobody is feeling suffocated!

Wren’s Nest Facebook Fans

Written on March 20, 2008 at 8:35 am, by Lain Shakespeare

Yesterday the Wren’s Nest got it’s own Facebook page. If you are a member of Facebook, it is now possible to become “a fan” of the Wren’s Nest.

Do I know what that means, exactly? No, no I do not. But I love it. Here’s what it looks like, partially–

Be a Fan of the Wren's Nest on Facebook!  I don't know what that means, but I love it!

If anything, it’s cool because we have a photo album chock full of snarky commentary and behind the scenes shenanigans.

Since the Wren’s Nest happens to be one of the most super-competitive house museums around, we will need to have as many fans as the Atlanta History Center and MODA combined. After that, we’ll conquer the Atlanta Braves, Facebook-style. Get on it, blog-faithful (please).

If you join Facebook specifically to become a fan of the Wren’s Nest, let us know. We will bestow you with a medal of some sort. Probably bronze.