The homes contain a wealth of artifacts. Watson’ birthplace, circa 1830, provides a humble, though charming, depiction of antebellum life in the South.
His restored first home contains memorabilia of both the Brown and Watson families, including photographs, documents, publications, and personal effects. A restored Rural Free Delivery (RFD) mail buggy is a testament to the significant rural delivery legislation Tom Watson authored while in Congress.
The more palatial Hickory Hill is surrounded by a variety of restored outbuildings that provide a glimpse at Southern life and culture during the early 1900s living. Walking paths take visitors through a barn, past a pigeon cote, peacock run and a schoolhouse. Watson’s life is remembered with a timeline of stepping stones and the grounds are accented with quotations from Watson’s literary and political work. The interior — painstakingly researched to ensure accuracy — is filled with Watson antiques, books and memorabilia.
The Foundation also owns and operates the T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens, Georgia. Named for Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, a legal scholar, Confederate general, and principal author of the Confederate Constitution, the home was restored in 2004 to its 1850 appearance and serves the Foundation as both a historic house museum and as a venue for scholarly conferences.
In 2008, the Foundation purchased the May Patterson Goodrum House, a stately 1930s Atlanta home designed by classicist Philip Trammell Shutze. Considered among his favorite designs, the Goodrum House is among the finest examples of English Regency style architecture in the South. The house and grounds are currently under restoration.