The family friendly event on May 4 at Oakton House and Gardens is from 4 to 8 p.m. The party includes a Victorian carriage photo opportunity, maypole dance by the Root House junior docents, Civil War camp and Civil War re-enactors, a tour of Oakton’s extensive gardens, and, for the first time ever, a tour of Oakton’s 1890 carriage house. Food and drinks will also be served. Tickets are $55 for singles, $110 for couples or $180 for family.
“The party is a celebration of Oakton. One-hundred and seventy-five years just doesn’t come around that often,” said Will Goodman, a Marietta native who owns the home with his wife, Michelle. She was raised in the Buckhead community of Atlanta. They have three grown children: Katie, Claire and Will.
“The celebration is not just about the Goodmans but all the families that have been here before and how they enjoyed Oakton,” said Goodman, a landscape architect and owner of Goodman & Associates.
Oakton thrives on a long history.
“Before there was an Atlanta or a Chattanooga there was Marietta, Georgia,” Goodman said.
Built in 1838 by Judge David Irwin (1807-1885) for his family, Oakton has been the home to four families. Irwin sold the home to George Allen of Charleston in 1849, who then sold it to John Randolph Wilder of Savannah in 1852 who initially purchased Oakton as a summer home for his family. Mrs. Anna Drucilla Wilder (1818-1877) made Oakton her permanent home.
“Marietta was a resort town for people from Savannah and Charleston. Our house, as simple as it is, was a mountain house. Oakton was a place for them to get away from the hot summers down south. You could get here by train. Folks enjoyed themselves (in Marietta). It was a place to come and have a good time,” Goodman said.
Goodman’s grandfather, Robert M. Goodman Sr., and his wife, Dorothy Stephens Goodman, purchased the property in 1939 from the estate of Anne Page Wilder Anderson, a third generation descendant of John Wilder. (Dorothy was the daughter of W.P. Stephens, founder of W.P. Stephens Lumber Company in Marietta.)
Goodman’s parents, Barbara and Robert M. Goodman Jr., occupied the home from 1977 to 2002. In 2002, Goodman and Michelle purchased the estate.
Today, Oakton is the oldest continuously occupied residence in Marietta. The antebellum home and 19th century gardens are majestically situated on 5 acres, the remainder of the original 325-acre site.
“I am sure when this house was built there were other houses in Marietta, but they don’t exist anymore,” Goodman said.
“The soul of the property has changed very little. You don’t have this opportunity very often to celebrate a significant anniversary,” Goodman said.
Oakton is located at 581 Kennesaw Ave. in Marietta.
To purchase tickets, visit www.cobblandmarks.com.