Shield Etheridge Heritage Farm
Jefferson, Jackson County
The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is one of Georgia’s most intact historic farms that functions as an outdoor, agricultural museum and operates as a non-profit organization. It’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Georgia Centennial Farm. Like many non-profit museums, a major challenge is to provide and operate tours and interpretative programs on a limited budget and with only a volunteer staff. The Farm itself faced a great need, in the past, to open its historic buildings and cultural landscape for public visitation towards promoting tourism and preservation education in Jackson County.
In 2008, the Farm, with assistance of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC), worked to identify potential solutions to accommodate greater visitation with low operation and maintenance costs. The result was the idea for a self-guided interpretative program that would use a range of interpretative tools. The Farm subsequently applied to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for funding to implement this concept which was awarded a $25,000 matching grant in 2009 and completed on September 30, 2010.