With the family farm destroyed by a flood, Cason Jewell Callaway, the retired CEO of Callaway Mills turned his attention to a large parcel of land he owned in west central Georgia. He intended to construct a tribute to his late mother, Ida Cason Callaway.
When Callaway Gardens opened in 1952 the attraction feature golf and a boathouse in a garden setting. The original clubhouse is today's Garden Restaurant and the Overlook was the centerpiece of the original garden. Cason's son, Howard "Bo" Callaway was made executive director in 1953, and in 1956 the attraction celebrated its 1,000,000 visitor.
One popular early addition was Robin Beach. Hailed as the largest man-made inland beach, Robin Beach attracted folks from Georgia and Alabama who couldn't make it to the seashore for the weekend.