Richard Curtis is his family’s historian and is the manager of the Curtis family land partnership. He is the middle son of three brothers. His family moved in 1948 to Wrayswood, an old plantation home in Greensboro, Georgia. He was 4-years-old at the time. The plantation was named for the previous owners, the Wray brothers.
Curtis has lived on the property in various houses for the majority of his life. But he became invested in preserving the family’s history, in the main house, when he built his own home on the land, in 1997.
The main house, the house Curtis grew up in, has slowly turned into a museum of sorts. Rooms filled with Native American artifacts found on the property, birth certificates from the 1800s, and old family portraits line the walls and shelves.
Rooms, where previous family members once lived, have purposefully remained the same. They stay as historical reminders of the people who came before. These family relics are cherished and are oftentimes restored to replace their former glory.
Although the house is empty right now, come family reunions, especially around Easter and Christmas, it changes. The house becomes stuffed to the brim with generations of family who come together to celebrate holidays and community.
These family functions are major events, and can consist of upwards of 110 family members. Which includes close friends accepted as family. Sharing familial community has always been important to the Curtis family. Since a family wedding is coming up, the Curtis family is highly anticipating the opportunity for another gathering on the property.
The former plantation exists on more than 200 acres and the Curtis family has always made their living from the land. Whether it be raising cattle, raising sheep, or as its used now – raising trees for timber. The family has always utilized and loved the property.
Curtis noted, “I can’t imagine spending my life anywhere else.” As generations come and go, this family has made a promise to keep this house and these memories the same.
Lydia Megdal is a senior majoring in journalism in Grady College Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.