Meadow Garden, Discovered by Harriet Jefferies
Becomes the Mount Vernon of the South

by Patricia Croft

In a manner similar to the recovery of Mount Vernon, Meadow Garden was saved from destruction by a group of dedicated women.  Meadow Garden was passed down through several generations of the Nelson family during the 1800’s.   By 1900, it had fallen into disrepair and the bank foreclosed on the mortgage.  A prospective buyer planned to tear it down.

At that time, Mrs. Harriet Gould Jeffries, regent of the Augusta Chapter NSDAR, sought the help of her chapter to purchase the home. They collected $500, which was not enough. She appealed to the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and women throughout the United States raised the $2000 to save the home.

The National Society made four stipulations: the Augusta Chapter should have Meadow Garden put in thorough repair, the taxes be paid, that insurance should be paid, “and that as many meetings as the regent found practicable should be held there.”

Mrs. Jeffries wrote, “As I consider Meadow Garden not only the property of the nation, but of the State of Georgia, I think it will be charming to have every Georgia Chapter represented in the Mount Vernon of the South by a souvenir of some description. Some Chapters have already contributed articles of furniture.”

With the Walton House, the DAR became the first organization in Georgia to acquire and preserve the home of a notable historically significant person for preservation as a house museum.  In 1961, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution decided that they no longer wanted to own property in addition to Constitution Hall in Washington , D. C.  They deeded Meadow Garden to the Georgia Society of the DAR and they have assumed responsibility for running and maintaining it.