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The museum is the private collection of Tommy Smith, who owns the Citizen’s Telephone Company which services the area. If you look closely, you’ll see Smith has a lot more items not even on display yet. The American Pickers from the History Channel would go nuts sifting through the boxes beyond the displays. Housed in this renovated 1920s cotton warehouse are the oldest and rarest examples of telecommunication in the world. Exhibits date from 1876 to the 21st century.
The Rural Telephone Museum is the biggest attraction in Leslie, and in fact, the building that houses the museum is probably bigger than the town itself. As you’d expect, there are a lot of antique telephones dating back as far as Alexander Graham Bell’s first model. There are also huge switchboards, telephone lines and lineman tools. There is also a nautical room and an Indian display.
Know Before You Go
The best way to see this exhibit is to ride the SAM Shortline, which is part of the Ga State Park System. There are several different train tours, but several of them stop here at the phone museum.Admission to the museum is normally $8, but if you’re riding the SAM Shortline, it’s a discounted price of $3. Museum employees stand outside the door to collect your cash as you walk in. There are no credit card machines. If you aren’t coming on the train, make sure to call first, as the hours can be somewhat "flexible."