Chronological / Destinations / Georgia / United States

The Almost Secret Ogeechee River Car Museum

You have to know its there and call for a reservation because this museum sits on private historic property. However, once you find Riverview Farms, you will delight in browsing and may not want to leave. Car enthusiasts should rev up their engines and head to the Ogeechee River Car Museum in Jewell, Georgia.

Ogeechee River Car Museum Sign

Ogeechee River Car Museum Sign

 

1955 Thunderbird

1955 Thunderbird

The Ogeechee River Car Museum is the priceless collection of Alan Shapiro, former owner of numerous record stores. Each of the cars is in pristine condition and maintained in ready-to-drive shape. Enjoy a walk down memory lane with classic cars surrounded by fixtures typically found in old gas stations or period items and antiques popular the same year as the vehicle.

You first enter a black and white tiled lobby or party space that feels like a 50’s sock hop. It’s lined with platinum and gold records from the artists associated with Mr. Shapiro. There’s a 1914 cash register, an old fashion candy store, neon signs and a1955 beauty: a turquoise convertible Thunderbird.

Coca Cola Lounge

Coca Cola Lounge

Shapiro’s collection started about 25 years ago when wife Judy suggested her husband get a hobby. Alan loved Coca Cola so it was an easy decision for him to start collecting Coca Cola memorabilia. This innocent hobby turned into one of largest collections of Coke bottles and assorted marketing items in the world. The World of Coca-Cola, the official museum in Atlanta, is after some of Alan’s treasures. These are stored in a special lounge within the car museum.

Pink Cadillac

Pink Cadillac

1973 Jag Roadster

1973 Jag Roadster

The Jewell Box

The Jewell Box

Alan also started collecting model cars and instead of just acquiring small replicas, he decided to purchase (just like Coke) the real thing: authentic antique cars. He procured them over the years by auctions, trades, word of mouth and online sales. The vehicles are housed in a 10,000 square feet climate controlled building.

The museum and garage were built in May 2000 to show off the classic cars dating from 1868 through 1979. As you might expect, the collection contains a few Cola Cola delivery trucks. Each car is occasionally placed in shows and many have won awards.

Ready for Tea

Ready for Tea

I feel in love with the 1973 Jaguar Roadster and would have loved to have taken that baby for a ride. The turquoise convertible T-Bird was also to my liking, along with the popular Ford Mustangs I vividly remember. Don’t miss the vintage Mercedes Benz and a pink Cadillac like the ones Elvis gave away.

The museum property is available for tours as well as rental space. Reservations can be made at: www.rockmillplantation.com.

Denise, Jewell Box owner

Denise, Jewell Box owner

When you leave the car museum, why not stop at the Jewell Box, practically next door, for some delicious homemade treats and browse an equally impressive array of Victorian items.

I suspect only women will be interested in having tea, but owner Denise Coard does a top notch presentation. She told us the story about an episode of the (now cancelled) TLC reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” that was filmed in her shop. Mama June called the proper English clotted cream (always served with scones) “clobbered cream.” Stop in and Denise will tell you all about it!

Jewell ( population 83) lies both in Warren and Hancock County and is separated by the Ogeechee River Bridge. Warren County is less than a two hour drive from Atlanta or just an hour from Augusta, Georgia.

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