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Ramble visitors peruse Gainesvilles historic homes
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Bill Galvin of Johns Creek and Wilson Harvard of Conyers explore the Northeast Georgia History Center on Saturday during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Spring Ramble in Gainesville. Galvin has participated in the tour with a group of six people for several years as a way to get together with friends. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Historic Gainesville was awash with pedestrians on the sidewalks and lounging in the shade of Victorian homes Saturday as part of the Gainesville Ramble, an open-house event for historic houses.

The event was hosted by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and took place in several cities: Toccoa and Martin on Friday, Gainesville on Saturday and Clarkesville set for today.

“We do these events twice a year in different cities across the state so our goal is to bring people to towns they’re not familiar with in the state and give them exposure,” said Brittany Darlington, Special Events Manager of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

All homes that are older than 50 years, thereby qualifying as historic, were eligible to open their doors to the Ramble.

Shannon Betsill, visiting from Atlanta with her daughter, Bronwyn, said she wanted to see the history of the area. “Oh, they’re beautiful,” she added, sitting on the large porch of the Turner-Estes House. “It’s lucky for the businesses that they get to have these nice houses and it’s nice that the businesses are preserving them.”

Darlington estimated that they’d had about 250 participants throughout the weekend.

“There’ve been a lot of nice and charming people coming through, many from different walks of life.” said A.C. Marshall, founder of The Fudgery, which has offices in the Mathews-Marshall House. “I’m sure they’ll be telling the story of Gainesville and our community.”