Category Archives: Visitors

Howard Finster’s “Paradise Garden”

One of Chattooga County's most  influential and famous citizens was the Reverend Howard Finster. Finster, sometimes called the "Grandfather of Southern Folk Art", used various types of folk artwork to spread his evangelical and humanitarian message to the world. In his lifetime, Mr. Finster created over 46,000 original pieces of artwork. His legacy and work are forever intertwined with Chattooga County and the national art community through his Paradise Garden. Paradise Garden is the art environment of famed country preacher turned folk/visionary artist Howard Finster. The Garden was begun in 1961 and continued as the focus of Howard Finster's labor for over 30 years. Howard's painting career, which began in 1976 and resulted in over 46,000 paintings, was born out of his visionary labors in Paradise Garden. Today Howard Finster's art is in the permanent displays of major museums and is prized by art collectors everywhere.   Paradise Garden, “one of the World's greatest Beauty Spots” as Howard declared it, was the site of hundreds of documentaries and numerous music videos from bands such as REM and The News Boys. REM's famous "Radio Free Europe" single was filmed in the Garden. Howard also collaborated with the group Talking Heads for their album "Little Creatures."  Howard's cover art for the album won Album Cover of the Year from Rolling Stone.  Johnny Carson had Rev. Finster appear on the “Tonight Show” to showcase the Garden, and Howard became the darling of universities and art galleries around the country. Howard Finster was recycling from the 1940's and turned a former swamp in his back yard into one of the world's most celebrated art environments .His artwork in Paradise Garden is colorful, inspiring and an amazing combination of materials and themes celebrating his love of people, mechanical objects, his Christian faith and God's creation. Paradise Garden is managed by the Paradise Garden Foundation,  a Georgia Non-Profit. The Garden is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00-5:00  and Sunday from 1:00-5:00 for tours. Please contact the Garden for information about tours, donations, art prices, and Howard Finster's legacy as an artist and famous Georgian.  
Contact Information
Howard Finster's Paradise Garden
Jordan Poole 200 N Lewis Street Summerville, GA  30747
Phone: 706-808-0800 or 706-808-0801 Fax: www.paradisegardenfoundation.org
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County Directory

This is the list of the different departments found around: Though Chattooga County is known for its slow paced lifestyle, the county is home to non-stop activities from Spring to Winter. Regardless of season, Chattooga County showcases its rich culture and history with a variety of programs for all ages. Whether its an organized sporting event or an arts and crafts festival, Chattooga County has a family-fun activity planned for you.
Department Address Contact
Animal Control 464 Red Oak Drive Phone: 706-857-0679 Fax: 706-857-0676 Email:
City of Menlo 3056 Georgia Highway 337 Phone: 706-862-2440; after hours: 706-862-2212 Fax: Email:
City of Summerville 120 Georgia Avenue Phone: 706-859-0900 Fax: Email: ctysvillega@windstream.net
Civic Center 44 Highway 48 Phone: 706-857-0700 Fax: 706-857-0742 Email:
Congressman Phil Gingrey 119 Cannon Legislative Office Building Phone: 202-225-2931 Fax: 202-225-2944 Email: gingrey.ga@mail.house.gov
County Transit Stockade Road Phone: 706-857-0736 Fax: Email:
Extension Office 10011 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0744 Fax: 706-857-0746 Email: uge1055@uga.edu
Health Department 60 Farrar Drive Phone: 706-857-3471 Fax: 706-857-6941 Email:
Howard Finster's "Paradise Gardens" 200 N Lewis Street Phone: 706-808-0800 or 706-808-0801 Fax: Email:www.paradisegardenfoundation.org
Library System 360 Farrar Drive Phone: 706-857-2553 Fax: 706-857-7841 Email:
Library System 15 Bulldog Boulevard Phone: 706-734-7594 Fax: 706-734-7504 Email:
Multi-Purpose Center 152 Senior Drive Phone: 706-857-0729 Fax: Email:
Office of Sole Commissioner 10102 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0700 Fax: 706-857-0742 Email: chattcom@windstream.net
Office of Solicitor of State Court Post Office Box 159 Phone: 706-857-0704 Fax: Email:
Office of State Court 10102 North Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0661 Fax: Email:
Office of the Clerk of Court 10035 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0706 Fax: 706-857-0686 Email:
Office of the Coroner 10351 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-3423 Fax: 706-857-7988 Email:
Office of the Magistrate Court 10017 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0711 Fax: 706-857-0686 Email:
Office of the Probate Judge/Election Superintendent 10035 Commerce Street Phone: 706-857-0709 Fax: 706-857-0877 Email:
Public Works Stockade Road Phone: 706-857-0736 Fax: Email:
Senator Johnny Isakson 120 Russell Senate Office Building Phone: 202-224-3643 Fax: 202-228-0724 Email:
Senator Saxby Chambliss 416 Russell Senate Office Building Phone: 202-224-3521 Fax: 202-224-0103 Email:
Senior Center 152 Senior Drive Phone: 706-857-5001 Fax: Email:
State Senate, District 53 District Office Phone: 706-375-1776 Fax: Email:
State Senate, District 53 421-A State Capitol Phone: 404-656-0057 Fax: 404-651-6767 Email:
Town of Lyerly 6086 Georgia Highway 114 Phone: 706-895-2611 Fax: Email:
Town of Trion 1220 Pine Street Phone: 706-734-2332 Fax: 706-734-7727 Email:
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Chattooga County Tourism

A Year of Non-Stop Fun

Though Chattooga County is known for its slow paced lifestyle, the county is home to non-stop activities from Spring to Winter. Regardless of season, Chattooga County showcases its rich culture and history with a variety of programs for all ages. Whether its an organized sporting event or an arts and crafts festival, Chattooga County has a family-fun activity planned for you. In the spring, Chattooga County residents and visitors alike can participate in activities like the Twisted Ankle Trail Run. The Twisted Ankle Race takes place each May at Summerville’s Sloppy H. Floyd State Park. The race allows visitors and citizens alike to run in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest. ankle runParadise Garden Foundation is host to Finster Fest in May.  Finster Fest is an annual art and music festival held in Dowdy Park in downtown Summerville.  Information on Finster Fest can be found at www.finsterfest.com. May is also home to the county’s Relay for Life. Taking place at Dowdy Park, Relay for Life allows members of both the public and private sectors to work together to raise money for cancer research. The community also usually hosts portions of the Tour De Georgia bicycle race in the spring. The Town of Trion is home to Memorial Day festivities each year. The track field is always scattered with American flags to remember the members of the community who have joined the military. The City of Menlo does a similar program. Early summer also sees the annual “Down Home Farm Day” at Dowdy Park. The event, sponsored by Better Hometown, allows citizens and visitors to gather in Summerville and see the vibrant agricultural community in Chattooga County. Better Hometown also sponsors  activities, arts festivals, and city beautification projects throughout Summerville. The City of Menlo is home to the annual 4th of July parade and festival. The City of Summerville also hosts a “Celebrate Independence!” festival each July 4th. The program allows visitors to enjoy a fireworks show, cook-outs, crafts booths, and musical entertainment. Summer ends each year with the annual Summerville-Trion Optimist Club’s Tennis Tournament in August. The tournament hosts play in men and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles for players of all abilities. The tournament is always open for people outside the county. Summerville also plays host to “Steam Into Summerville” Railroad Days. Railroad Days allow the city to host travelers from Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Summerville Railroad Turntable. Visitors are able to enjoy the Couey House, Dowdy Park, arts and crafts booths, and all that downtown Summerville has to offer. Fall is home to Chattooga County’s Sum-Nelly Arts and Crafts Festival. Sum Nelly allows folk artists, quilters, musicians, and visitors to gather and enjoy the beautiful fall weather of Chattooga County. Summerville’s Recreation Center hosts a Haunted House in October. The Summerville-Trion Optimist Club hosts the Halloween Walk in downtown Summerville.  The walk and house provide safe alternative Halloween entertainment.farm day November and December see the advent of holiday spirit in Chattooga County. Beginning in 2015, the Summerville Better Hometown Program brought back the Victorian Christmas Window tour originally started by  the Summerville Victorian Christmas Art Guild, which was formed in 2005, to present life-size window displays for businesses in downtown Summerville. As you can see, a year in Chattooga County is jam-packed with fun-filled family activities. From organized athletics to cultural excursions, the people of Chattooga County open their arms and their doors to you and your family. Come visit us and sit a spell, we promise you won’t be disappointed....
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