Top Ten Interesting Facts About Georgia Veterans State Park
- Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park opened in 1947 and was the brainchild of Nelson Shipp, head of the Georgia Department of Commerce. Shipp, along with State Representative Palmer H. Greene, inspired the purchase of the park’s land in Crisp County using the theme Honor the Dead by Serving the Living.
Over seventy years later, the inspiration lives on at Georgia Veterans State Park. Visitors can enjoy the best in outdoor recreation and pay homage to those who have served at the park’s signature Military Museum, which includes indoor and outdoor exhibits. From fishing, canoeing, and kayaking to archery, hiking, and disc golf, the park is full of outdoor adventure opportunities. Looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation idea? Turn a trip into a tribute with time spent in the natural beauty of this historically significant Georgia institution.
- The park was purchased for $35,000 and included the Daphne Plantation, a once-popular resort.
Today, this picturesque pocket of the Peach State shares the shores of Lake Blackshear with one of the most serene resorts in Georgia – Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club. With 78 charming guest rooms between the Lodge and the Villas and 10 lakeside Cabins, the lake resort can accommodate parties large and small. Looking for a family reunion idea? Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club is a cozy accommodation solution that features the amazing outdoor amenities of Georgia Veterans State Park.
- The museum was dedicated on May 23, 1962 and was originally a World War I and World War II Museum. The first outdoor exhibit was the B-29A Superfortress Bomber, which the park received in 1956. Since 1962, the museum has been reimagined and rebuilt 3 times and now includes exhibits from World War I to modern-day conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm.
In addition to the B-29A Superfortress Bomber, the Military Museum has an array of outdoor displays including jets, tanks, landing craft, artillery, and a helicopter. Leading visitors through a tribute to all who have served, the museum honors veterans from the Revolutionary War through today. Take a weekend family getaway or schedule a school trip that explores the importance of our veterans throughout American history.
- Lake Blackshear was created in 1930 from damming the Flint River to provide low-cost electricity to the surrounding counties. At its deepest, it reaches 77 feet and covers 8,700 acres.
Getting on the water is easy via the Marina at Lake Blackshear and the Georgia Veterans State Park boat ramps. Lake Blackshear is well stocked with bass, bream, crappie, and catfish making it an angler’s paradise. Searching boat rentals in Georgia? The Marina at Lake Blackshear offers 12 person pontoon boats, kayaks, and the 50-passenger Lady Liberty, which is the perfect venue for hosting a one-of-a-kind event, gathering, or party.
- Lake Blackshear was named after General David Blackshear who cut the old Blackshear Trail through Georgia during the War of 1812 and built Fort Early on the east side of what is now Lake Blackshear.
Georgia Veterans State Park shares a peninsula on Lake Blackshear with Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club. Both the State Park and the Resort border the gorgeous shoreline. Across the northern inlet of the peninsula is Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course (Vets Course), which is recognized as one of the finest golf courses in Georgia with the best value for play.
- The SAM Shortline runs from Savannah to Alabama and was originally used by the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railroad Company in the 1880s.
Today the SAM Shortline Train travels from Cordelle to Americus with a stop at Georgia Veterans State Park. Other stops include Leslie, home of the Rural Telephone Museum, and Plains, the site of President Jimmy Carter’s campaign museum. Experience history in motion aboard a restored 1949 vintage train. Click here to view the route the railway takes through the park and the location of the SAM Shortline Excursion Train Boarding area.
- Now the railroad is called the SAM Shortline to honor the original route, Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery, and the original owner, Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins, (hence “SAM” Shortline). In the days of the Daphne Plantation, the SAM Shortline was known as the Seaboard Railroad.
Year-round passengers climb aboard the SAM Shortline for scenic tours. All tickets are issued at the boarding location, which depends on the specific excursion. Visit the Historic SAM Shorline Railroad website for more information and excursion dates.
- Cordelia’s Restaurant in Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club and the nearby city of Cordele, Georgia were both named after the daughter of Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins. Hawkins was a prominent 19th century Sumter County capitalist and founder and president of the SAM Shortline.
Experience the best in lakeside dining at Cordelia’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With a lovely lake and garden view, Cordelia’s is enjoyed by guests staying at the resort and those visiting the Lodge specifically to dine with the restaurant’s amazing staff. The menu features classic comfort foods and inspired Southern fusion cuisine.
- 88’s Lakeside Bar & Lounge was named because Cordele, GA was established in 1888.
Take in a fabulous view of Lake Blackshear while enjoying a variety of fine wines, liquors, beers, and cocktails. 88’s Lakeside Bar offers casual elegance ideal for relaxing after a day exploring the beauty, history, and activities of Lake Blackshear and Georgia Veterans State Park.
- When the resort within the park first opened, it was named The Retreat at Lake Blackshear. It is now known as Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club.
A luxury Georgia resort, an affordable, challenging and picturesque golf course, and one of the state’s best parks create a vibrant epicenter of history and outdoor activity on the banks of Lake Blackshear. Plan a family vacation, a friends getaway or even a one-of-a-kind destination wedding that takes advantage of all this stunning spot has to offer.