"The homes of American Presidents that have been preserved represent an invaluable resource for all Americans… But in preserving only the homes of major historical figures, we tend to lose much of the essence of ordinary life that would illuminate those times… As currently planned, the Jimmy Carter historical site and park would serve both these important purposes."
-Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia (1972-1996)
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and Preservation District was established by Congress in 1987 by Public Law 100-206. The historic site consists of the Plains railroad depot, Jimmy Carter’s boyhood home, Plains High School, the Carter compound, and 100 feet of scenic easements along both sides of Old Plains Highway (U.S. 280) west of Plains. The preservation district consists of a historic district and 650 acres of various agricultural lands. The park –comprised of the site and district- is in and around the incorporated city of Plains, Georgia.
The National Park Service will build upon the hard work and prudent management evidenced by Plains and its citizens so that the city and the region of Sumter County, Georgia, continue to accurately reflect the setting in which the 39th president matured and to which he returned after service in the Navy, the Georgia governor’s mansion, and the White House. It is in this setting that he and Mrs. Carter continue to conduct their post-presidential lives and work.
The purposes of the general management plan are as follows:
- Provide a framework to accomplish legislative objectives.
- Identify and involve appropriate constituencies for consultation on major decisions.
- Protect significant cultural and natural resources.
- Identify the park audiences and determine how to best communicate major messages.
- Incorporate the preservation district into the overall visitor experience.
- Relate development to preservation and interpretation needs.
- Prepare the groundwork for drafting cooperative agreements with appropriate agencies and organizations to ensure preservation of the park.
The plan represents the combined efforts of the National Park Service and the residents of Plains, Georgia. The preservation and interpretation of the historic resources and their surrounding environs will help visitors understand and appreciate the story of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.