MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia. (41NBC/WMGT) – Located just outside of Downtown Milledgeville in Baldwin County, the Lockerly Arboretum is one of Middle Georgia’s outdoor gems.
The vision for Lockerly began with a man named Edward J Grassman, commonly known as EJ. EJ was born in New Jersey before he eventually moved south and settled in Middle Georgia as a kaolin clay miner in the late 1950’s. A lover of the land, Grassman traveled the world and along the way collected plant clippings to bring back with him. In 1963, Grassman purchased 50 acres of land that Lockerly now sits on.
There is something for everyone at Lockerly, and Executive Director Jennifer Pollard said that “when you come to visit Lockerly Arboretum you can check in at the arboretum office and pick up a map of the grounds you can then choose if you want to walk the grounds and walk the nature trails or if you would like there is a gravel road that runs the perimeter of the property and you can drive that as well.”
One of the big hits of the land is the man made lake in the center of the property. Lockerly maintains a great relationship with the department of natural resources and this allows the lake to be stocked with catfish each year.
In 1852, local judge Daniel Reece Tucker built Rose Hill after purchasing the land just one year earlier. The Greek revival style home is the second home to sit on this site as an earlier version was torn down and then rebuilt to its present day status.
Today, touch ups are ongoing to the aging home, but the elegance stays intact. This allows the Lockerly arboretum staff to use rose hill for learning, events for kids as well as even a wedding venue throughout the year.