Parts of the facade from the Tara plantation featured in “Gone with the Wind” will soon be added to the exhibit of a Marietta museum dedicated to the literary and film classic.
The Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum acquired several elements that make up the Tara facade in an auction held last week by Profiles in History. The Los Angeles-based company also auctioned the famous Tara door last week to an anonymous buyer for $120,000.
Connie Sutherland, executive director of the museum, said the organization submitted a winning bid of $35,000 for the items. Money from the museum’s budget and a private donor funded the purchase. With the inclusion of buyer fees, the total amount of the purchase adds up to $42,000.
Items purchased by the museum include shutters and window frames from the front of the home and the left wing, which includes the tall windows and shutters mounted to the right of the front door. Also included in the package are two large interior shutters, which are seen in the film when Scarlett O’Hara removes the draperies to make her dress.
According to the Marietta museum, Tara was built on a production lot in Culver City, California. After filming for the movie wrapped up, the set remained standing until Desilu Productions had it dismantled. Sutherland said the structure was purchased by a buyer in north Georgia, but plans for renovations didn’t pan out.
Former Georgia First Lady Betty Talmadge eventually purchased the door and surrounding frame for $5,000 in 1979. Talmadge restored the door and loaned the structure to the Atlanta History Museum for a special exhibit. It was later moved to space at the Margaret Mitchell House museum in Midtown Atlanta.
The museum’s acquisition comes a month after it hosted a celebration honoring the 80th anniversary of the film’s debut. Sutherland said the elements the museum purchased are housed at the Lovejoy Plantation near the Clayton-Henry county line. She and other museum volunteers will make a trip this week to film and catalog the items.
Once they return to Marietta with the items, they will incorporate them into their plans to restore an older carriage house it has on its property. That house will become part of the museum’s exhibit. Once the elements are in place, visitors will be able to marvel at a piece of film history.
“It’s a whole different ball game because you know that’s a piece of iconic history,” she said.
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