Minnie Pearl got her start here and Walt Disney loved to visit. When Hetty Jane Dunaway, one of the most popular actresses on the Chautauqua Circuit of summer theater, married booking agent Wayne P. Sewell, the couple moved to the Sewell’s family cotton plantation near Roscoe, Georgia. There, Hetty Jane turned red clay and cotton fields into her vision: a storybook garden as a setting for a theatrical training center. After its heyday during the 1930s and 1940s, the garden was neglected for nearly 50 years.
Today the 25-acre Dunaway Gardens is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Regrded as one of the south’s largest natural rock and floral gardens, there are spring-fed pools, stone waterfalls and extensive hand-laid rock paths, walls, and staircases.