Sherman burned Atlanta. Now fire has claimed a Georgia museum’s trove of memorabilia from the movie most commonly associated with this Civil War episode: “Gone With the Wind.”
Earlier today, the curator of the Road to Tara Museum, in Jonesboro, Ga., stood outside police tape surrounding the storage units the fire damaged.
“It definitely was not a good moment,” said Rebekah Cline, marketing and communications director of the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which runs the museum.
“We are just anxiously awaiting the report from the fire chief on our [storage] unit,” Cline said.
Museum officials were not sure about the extent of what was lost, but because most of the items in storage were paper products, they were not hopeful. The museum owns a number of giant movie posters and boards that were too large to fit in the museum and so were kept in the storage unit. One very valuable item is a 1939 photo from the Atlanta premiere.
Most of the group’s wardrobe items were safe in the museum, Cline said.
All 400 storage units in the facility suffered some damage. Museum officials hope theirs suffered less because the fire started on the top, and their unit was below.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” Cline said, “but on a positive note, because of the publicity, private donors have started to step forward and offer to loan us items if we discover they’ve been lost.”