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Though small, Maysville still puts on plenty of holiday events
Turn-of-the-century buildings line the railroad tracks in Maysville. - photo by Kristen Morales

Location: Ga. 52 between Gillsville and Commerce
More info: Victorian Maysville Georgia, City of Maysville

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This little town, nestled along the railroad tracks on the border of Jackson and Banks counties, was put on the map just before the Civil War as cotton rolled into the area. There was a cotton gin in town, according to town records, and the train made it easy to ship goods in and out.

Along with that commerce came homes, many crafted in delicate Victorian style. Today, those homes that line the main streets are celebrated as part of Christmas festivities in a tour of historic homes - one of only a handful of tours in Georgia that include all historic homes, according to Mary Hart, one of the organizers of the annual Tour of Victorian Homes.

"Probably 10 years it's been a tradition for Maysville," Hart said. "It started slow - originally it was old and new homes. We formed a committee a few years ago and decided we were going to do all historic homes. And other than Madison, I think we're the only town that does all historic homes."

Railroad tracks line Ga. 52, one of two main roads through town, and stately homes line either side. There is an old depot with a restaurant and antique shop, and City Hall is located in an old bank building - you can walk in and speak to city workers through the old bank teller window.

The home tour, which took place last weekend, was second in three consecutive weekends of events in the little town. Over the first weekend in December, the town helped celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree on the town park. And this weekend residents can bundle up the kids for an outdoor showing of "Polar Express."

"We start off and I guess the first thing we have is the Augusta Motorcade; we gather gifts and take them down to the mental hospital in Augusta," said City Clerk Barbara Thomas. "And once you see the gifts coming in, it kind of gets everybody in the Christmas mood."

After Thanksgiving, the town starts decorating for Christmas, Thomas said, and the events begin.

For such a small town - the population hovers just fewer than 2,000, according to U.S. Census reports - there are a lot of activities going on around Christmas. And Postmaster Jackie Barrett said for having such a tiny post office (the building it's in could easily be described as a postage stamp) he sees a lot of holiday mail come through.

"There are a good many transplants here because places like Maysville are hard to find anymore," he said. "There was a lady in here who was trying to explain to her mother what Maysville was like, and her mother lived in Vermont or somewhere, and she said, ‘I told Mom it's like a village; people speak to each other on the street, that kind of stuff."

Barrett agreed that while it's a small town, the Christmas events are one more way the close-knit community stays connected.

"There's a lot more things going on - the Tour of Homes, Christmas in The Park," he said. "I'm local, I just live eight miles down the road. You see people, you speak to them and wave at them when you meet them in the road, go to church right down here.

"Yeah, you get to know a lot of people."