Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When in Rome...Georgia that is

Shortly after we arrived in Rome- a place in Georgia one hour from Atlanta -  we learned that the city incorporates seven hills and three rivers, just like its namesake. How cool is that?
Peaceful Civil War Graves at Myrtle Hill Cemetery

We were hungry and drove downtown for lunch at the Partridge Restaurant. The dining establishment is one of Georgia's oldest in operation and has been serving customers in Rome since 1933. Our Sunday dinner was a bountiful spread of fried chicken, ham, turkey and all the trimmings, plus other southern specialties, all served family style. Yum.
Family Style Dining at the Partridge House
We then began our tour with Anne Culpepper, a lifelong Roman and knowledgeable guide. I must admit it took me a few minutes to begin to think of local residents as Romans.

Statue of the Capitoline Wolf
Photo @ Debi Lander
Our first stop was the steps of City Hall to see the statue of the Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus, a copy of the statue in Rome, Italy. In fact, the statue was a gift to the city from Dictator, Benito Mussolini in 1929.  Anne told us many residents at the time found the bronze shocking and would often drape it with cloth.   

Myrtle Hill Cemetery

Myrtle Hill Angel
Photo @ Debi Lander

On to Myrtle Hill Cemetery, one of those cemeteries ranking as a tourist site with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Myrtle Hill, established in 1857, is really a combination art gallery, history museum and botanical garden in one.

Confederate Memorial
@ Debi Lander
The centerpiece is the Veterans Plaza with a tomb of America's Known Soldier, Charles Graves, who was chosen for burial along with the unknown soldiers at the tomb in Arlington National Cemetery. However, his mother wanted him brought home to Rome. She won.

There are also a number of other statues: a bronze replica of a WWI "Doughboy," a monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy and another believed to be the first to honor the role of women in war.

The cemetery is strewn over steep hills and six terraces including more than 350 Civil War soldiers, both Confederate and Union. In all, there are more than 20,000 graves.  I found Myrtle Hill a peaceful place with many beautiful angel monuments, interesting markers and a large mausoleum and fabulous view at the top of the hill.
Vista from top of Myrtle Hill Cemetery. Photo © by Judy Wells.

There is one headstone belonging to an "unknown" Confederate soldier where an oak tree has grown around it. Chris Cannon, Director of  Rome's Convention and Visitor's Bureau, told me it is the most photographed grave in all 32 acres.
Unknown Confederate Tombstone and Tree

There's another grave and intriguing sports story, but we are saving that for later.

Free Apps

Myrtle Hill Cemetery has its own mobile App tour available free at You can also find one for Georgia's Rome through the App Store.  Pretty neat!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Berry College and Martha Berry's home, Oak Hill, which we will cover in an upcoming post. 

The Claremont House

The Claremont House B & B in Rome, GA
Photo @ Debi Lander

Back in town we had just enough time for a short break at a lovely (and Rome's only) Bed and Breakfast- the Claremont House.  This grand Victorian Gothic house was built in 1882 and includes 14-foot ceilings, 11 fireplaces, reproduction wallpaper and Victorian antiques. The immense home is surrounded by lovely gardens.  No wonder many brides choose to have their receptions here.

Guest Bedroom - Claremont House
My spacious bedroom felt feminine, with the most enormous bed; is there such a thing as an over-sized King?  Each of four guest suites in the B & B has a private bath, coffee service and sitting area. The hallway contains a snack table and assortment of drinks (alcoholic and non), just in case you get the midnight munchies. 

Outside Brewhouse in downtown, which with 95% occupancy, is the envy of other towns and cities. Photo © by Judy Wells.
For dinner we chose to dine at the Brewhouse Grill downtown on Broad Street (no chain restaurant there) and enjoyed their live music by sitting outside. That way we were able to easily converse. After many meals, it must have been time to order a burger, because I did and truly enjoyed it--along with a beer!


Rome's Clocktower

After dinner I was driven up to  Rome's famous 100-foot tall clocktower, unfortunately just a little too late for the perfect photo. The sun had gone down, but I still managed to get a decent shot of the panoramic vista.  The clocktower (formerly a water tower) is an easy 107-step climb and the base includes murals about Rome's history. 
View of Rome, Georgia from the Clocktower
Photo @ Debi Lander

We did not have time to visit the Chieftains Museum (also closed on Sundays), the former home of Cherokee leader Major Ridge.

Breakfast the next morning was a scrumptious seated meal served by the B & B owners, Holly and Chris McHagge. After sleeping in hotels, staying in a B & B was a delightful change, especially one as posh as the Claremont House.
Breakfast at the Claremont House

And then, we were off again. Arrivederci, Roma. 


  1. Lovely! I attended college in Rome. Great town.

    1. Glad you liked it, Debbie. It is a beautiful campus.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. I stumbled on this review as well. Great review. My dad went to boarding school at Darlington and used to take me up there. They have done a nice job keeping up the downtown area with some nice resataurants, ect. We also really enjoyed the Rome Braves when we were there. It really is a nice little town.