A report this summer of a possible Nationalist Chinese "cultural display" adjacent to Jimmy Carter's homestead in Plains was premature, the result of an overager real estate dealer's comments to a reporter.
An Americus, Ga., land salesman named James Dalton told the Atlanta Constitution recently he was exploring with the Nationalist Chinese the possibility of buying for $1 million 190 acres of farmland that comes within a thousand feet of Carter's back door. Since 1976 the property has been owned by a group of Canadian investors who paid about $1,700 an acre for it, which Dalton says was $700 more an acre than the going price at the time.
Actually, Dalton had only talked about a possible sale of the land with a friend, a Georgia doctor who hails from Taiwan. Dalton suggested the Taiwan government might want to build a cultural display, complete with signs carrying political messages that could attract publicity and catch the president's eye. Taiwan's consul general in Atlanta labeled the idea "ridiculous," and Dalton now says his proposal is probably dead.
Footnote: Plains landowners are anxiously awating word of the location of Jimmy Carter's presidential library. "If he chooses Plains, whoo! You'll need Chase Manhattan to finance the land!" exclaims Dalton. And it would probably benefit about half a dozen out-of-towners, including the Canadians and a doctor in California, who bought property near Plains shortly after Carter's election in hope of turning a profit from the area's instant fame.