The Gold Mine in the Closet: Sugar’s Mother & Her Life in Photos

November 24, 2014

This will be a post-in-progress, kind of like a work-in-progress, except it’s not work.

This is going to be an experiment, this posting and editing of photos of a single person.  As we discover more photos in the gold mine, I’ll add them to this post.

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Genette, circa 1919, perhaps about 5 years old. She is at her sister Margaret Lawton Garrard’s house in Gordonston. Margaret is the oldest and Genette is the youngest. That’s Genette’s niece Mary Garrard, who is Margaret’s oldest child.

 

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Genette is on the right with her mother and two unidentified children. Perhaps it’s 1921, and she’s about 6 or 7.  Perhaps the children are her cousins Matilda and Garnett Basinger, which are the most likely possibilities. They are at the Lawton house on Edgewood in Gordonston.

 

Perhaps around 1923 or 1924.  Genette is in the back of this trio.  The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda.  They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

Perhaps around 1923 or 1924. Genette is in the back of this trio. The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda. They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

 

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Again at the house in Gordonston. Genette is on the left, perhaps about 1924, but I’m only guessing that she might be 10 years old. I suspect that the child on the right is a cousin.

 

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens.  There's Matilda Basinger with her mother "Batesie", an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens. There’s Matilda Basinger with her mother “Batesie”, an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.

 

Genette is on the back row on the very left.  1925, The Pape School in Savannah, Georgia.  She's about 11 here.

Genette is on the back row on the very left. 1925, The Pape School in Savannah, Georgia. She’s about 11 here.

 

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The year is unknown. I’m guessing she’s a teenager here, and we don’t know whose house or car these are. But that’s definitely a dog driving.

 

Matilda Basinger, Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, and Leslie's brother Walter Basinger.

Matilda Basinger, Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Leslie’s brother Walter Basinger.

 

Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, her daughter Mary Genevieve "Genette" Lawton, her grandson Billy Garrard, her daughter Margaret Lawton Garrard, and her granddaughter Mary Garrard.

Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, her daughter Mary Genevieve “Genette” Lawton, her grandson Billy Garrard, her daughter Margaret Lawton Garrard, and her granddaughter Mary Garrard.  Genette is possibly about 13 years old.

 

With Erastus Hewitt in Connecticut.  He was a neighbor of Robert Frost.

With Erastus Hewitt in Connecticut. He was a neighbor of Robert Frost.

 

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

 

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Genette on the left holding Sugar, and her sister Margaret holding Sugar’s brother in 1947.

 

 

At Duffy Street in Savannah, Georgia, possibly around 1950.

At Duffy Street in Savannah, Georgia, possibly around 1950.

 

In the mountains of North Georgia.  Perhaps around the mid-1950s.

In the mountains of North Georgia. Perhaps around the mid-1950s.

Mary Genevieve “Genette” Lawton Bateson, 1914-2001.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: A Child’s Homemade Photo Album

November 23, 2014

That child is Sugar’s mother.

Here we have Matilda Basinger, Sugar’s mother Genette, Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Walter Basinger.  Leslie and Walter are sister and brother.

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Uncle Walter Basinger, Mother, Matilda, Me, Garnett

It’s a dandy little photo album, all bound together with golden cord.

 

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Mother and Batesie (Batesie was Walter Basinger’s wife)

On the back page of the album, there’s a photo from Athens, Georgia.  Sugar’s grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton had an older sister, Margaret, who was known in the family as Aunt Mag.  Mag married Charles Morton Strahan, who was a professor at the University of Georgia for many years.  For a while, Mag and Leslie’s parents lived with them at their home on the campus, where the Law Library is now. The Strahans also had a mountain home in Mountain City, Georgia.

This particular photo shows Walter Basinger, his wife Batesie, a woman that I believe is his mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, his daughters Matilda and Garnett, his sister Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and “Lillie”.

Who is Lillie?

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Here’s what I’m guessing.

Do you remember the post about the house at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia?  In it I mentioned that Sugar’s grandmother employed domestic help.  She had Edith for many years until Edith retired, then she employed Vivian.  She also employed a man named Clarence who came several times a year to oil the hardwood floors.

I think Lillie is a domestic servant for Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, prior to Edith.  I base this on nothing more than the fact that they are standing together in the photo.

Not that photo.  This one.

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Daniel & Agnes Mann’s House on Bay, Part Two

November 22, 2014

Do you remember how we went all around Daniel & Agnes Mann’s house in Beaufort, and even into the art gallery on the first floor? The person working in the art gallery said there was an artist who rented the second floor, and if we ever saw the side outside door open, then we could just go on up the staircase and ask for a tour.

Just go on up the staircase? (said in a hushed tone)

We’re the people that don’t want to bother anyone. We don’t want to make anyone go out of their way for us. This might even include flagging down a waiter and asking for a refill of sweet tea, even though that’s their job. We don’t want to get in the way.

We’ve been by the house several times, looking wistfully at the side door as if we could make it open by magical powers.

Today, it’s open.  We peep around the corner and see the staircase leading to the magical second floor.

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Are we really going to just walk up a stairway just because a clerk in an art gallery told us we could?

Ohyesweare.

We took a few steps, Sugar called out Hello?, we heard voices, we took a few more steps, and as if by magic, found ourselves at the top of the stairs.

There was a man and a woman, he the artist, and she perhaps a client discussing a commission.  We asked permission to look around.  He didn’t even hesitate to say it was fine.

The artist in residence told us that we could walk through the space, but we couldn’t go up the elliptical stairs because the stairs are unstable. Doesn’t seem like too much to ask, since we don’t really feel like going to the hospital today.

The staircase is famous because it is elliptical, not circular. I managed several shots by holding the camera out as far as I could into the stairwell. Here’s the first shot of several.  See what you think.

The upstairs space is basically two large rooms with the elliptical stairway in between. So we entered into one large room, then into the stairwell, then through into the next large room.  The windows front northerly onto Bay Street, and also on the east side (which you have seen from the outside in previous posts).

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Here’s a fun shot.  It’s the Verdier house directly across the street. We went on the tour recently, and the tour guide allowed me to take a shot of Agnes’s house from the upstairs window directly to the right of the porch. The shutters over there are closed now.

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It occurred to me that you can’t tell how wide these boards are without a frame of reference. Here’s a ladies size 7 frame of reference.

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See?  Really an artist’s gallery.  There’s one of Agne’s fireplaces, redone.

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The house I grew up in had this same type of window hardware for lifting the window. It’s a pretty fair guess that my 1950′s house was not using hardware from the late 1700′s. Regardless, these walls are thick.

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Another thick wall, this one an interior, separates a room on the left from the stairwell.

 

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Y’all, that’s Agnes’s fireplace. The stairway leads to an upstairs 3rd floor that we will most likely never see.

But dream?  Oh, we can dream.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: 2009 “I” Street

November 21, 2014

Sugar has photos in the gold mine in the closet.

He’s shown this photo to me before.

Sugar's grandmother Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton and an unidentified lady.

Sugar’s grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton and an unidentified lady.

He said that it’s a photo of his grandmother in front of the 2009 “I” Street house in Washington, D.C., where some of the Garnett relatives lived.

So of course I’m curious as to why his grandmother had a photo made in front of a house where several of her relatives lived, but the photo has only one relative?  And how does he know it is 2009 “I” Street?

There are things we know.  We just know them without having to be told.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve been told them so much that we don’t remember the hearing of them, we only remember the knowing of them.

He simply knows that it’s the “I” Street house, but he doesn’t know who the woman on the right is.

So I ask who would she have her photo made with, and why isn’t there anything written on the back?  Maybe because everyone KNOWS who the woman is.

*****

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In Athens, Georgia, on the campus of the University of Georgia, where Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger’s oldest daughter lived with the daughter and son-in-law, Mag and Charles Strahan. Circa 1925.

William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.

William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.

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See the newspaper in front of the window? Sugar said his grandmother liked to read the paper, to stay up on current events. Later in life she had a tiny black-and-white television. She would watch the news, then turn the TV off when the news was over.

Then I look at him and say:  That’s her mother.  THAT’S MARGARET ROANE GARNETT.

 

 

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Sugar’s Father Was a Cowboy

November 20, 2014

No, really, Sugar’s father was a cowboy.

He’s told me that for years.  That his father was a cowboy on Dataw Island.  Modern day Dataw people would laugh, for it’s a gated community.  That’s right, you can’t get on the island without permission and a pass for your windshield.

But back in the day, 1935 to be precise, it was a cattle-holding area.

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For some reason there’s a random photo of Black Mountain, North Carolina, on the master page.  The smaller images that are taped across the bottom are very small. The actual photo portion is about the size of a large postage stamp.

Sugar’s father was about 27 when these pictures were taken.  He had moved to the area from New York City.

That sounds like the makings of a pretty good movie.  City boy becomes a cowboy, which perhaps has already been done.

 

Letting go…

November 19, 2014

ruthrawls:

Lovely thoughts for a cold morning…

Originally posted on Earthbornliving:

She let go without a thought or a word
She just let go
She let go of the fear of the judgements of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head
She let go of the indecision within her
She let go of all the right reasons wholly and completely
Without hesitation or worry
She just let go
She didn’t ask anyone for advice
She didn’t search the scriptures
She just let go
She let go of all the memories that held her back
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward
She let go of the planning and all the calculations about how to do it just right
She didn’t promise to let go
She didn’t journal about it
She didn’t write the projected date in her date timer
She made no public anouncement
She put no add in the paper
She didn’t check…

View original 128 more words

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Gordonston, The George A. Murphy Home

November 19, 2014

It’s hard to keep up.

I’m back-tracking to some more photos I took while we were in Gordonston taking photos of Sugar’s grandparents’s house and his aunt’s house.

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Mr. George A. Murphy owns house number 3 in the above brochure.

While we tooling around Gordonston, hanging out the van window taking photos and looking completely incognito, I spotted an older home that surely was on the brochure.  I started thumping the brochure like it was a Bible and I was a street preacher.

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My goodness, like a fine wine, this just keeps getting better.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Weary Researchers Need Strength

November 18, 2014

I’m still cherry-picking photos from the gold mine, and also cherry-picking photos from our outings to support the photos from the gold mine.  Things are out-of-ordery, but it doesn’t seem to matter. My biggest worry is that I won’t get finished, because this mine is deep and wide.

Strength.  I need it.

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Apparently they knew we were coming, and placed complimentary “Sugar” packets on the table for him.

 

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Let’s celebrate a little English heritage, shall we? (Best enjoyed when said in a British accent.)

 

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We’re early, before the lunch crowd. If we start eating lunch much earlier we’ll have to call it breakfast. I have no clue what we’d call breakfast, then.

 

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Gratuitous shot of the ceiling with a speaker somewhat cleverly hidden.

 

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Sugar got Cheese Rarebit in memory of his father. I got the Ploughman’s Lunch because I eat like a Ploughman.

It was all good and cheese-y and warm.  ‘Cause we’re off to take photos of places where things used to be.

 

The Gold Mine in the Closet: The Pape School, 1925, Savannah, Georgia

November 17, 2014

Sugar’s mother had told him years ago that she went to the Pape School, and that she rode the bus from Gordonston.

That didn’t make sense to us. What was the Pape School? What kind of name was Pape?

Then he found this photo.

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5th grade photo of The Pape School in 1925. Mary Genevieve “Genette” Lawton (later Bateson) is on the left on the back row. The Teacher Mrs. Lee. 1st row: 1. Frank Williams, 2. John Leffler, 3. Mary Pate, 4. Catherine Stewart, 5. Pratt Adams, 6. Mary Manning McNeil, 7. Mary Roland, 8. Elizabeth ?, 9. Walter Hartridge, 10. Clermont Lee. 2nd row: 1. Genette Lawton, 2. Marion ?, 3. Will ?, 4. Delia ?, 5. ?, 6. ? Chisholm, 7. Edward ?, 8. ?, 9. ?, 10. ?

 

See the boy on the front row, 2nd from right? He’s Walter Hartridge. Do you remember Alice Bateson, an orphan of Savannah? In 1880 she was a servant at age 9 in a Hartridge household, and that family was undoubtedly related to Walter Hartridge. I haven’t proved that yet; I’m just speculating, but it’s quite probable.  I’ll work on that angle, and then report back to you, just not today. The interesting thing is that Alice Bateson turns out to be the cousin of Richard Bateson, and Richard was born years later in New York, moved to South Carolina in the 1930′s, and married *Sugar’s mother*. Connections, they are everywhere.

His mother is on the back row on the left. There’s a separate piece of paper glued under the photo with a caption of who everyone is. Unfortunately, it’s written in pencil which has faded very badly especially in the bottom right hand area where it was probably handled and held by right-handed people. The handwriting is childish, so I’m supposing that Sugar’s mother wrote it. After all, she was about 11 in 1925 when the photo was taken.

The upper right of the photo has this:  “5th Grade Pape School 1925″.

We turned to our friend google and asked her about this:  “Pape School in Savannah Georgia”, and she told us about Nina Anderson Pape. You can read more about her. She was a Georgia Woman of Achievement. There’s also another article here written by an Armstrong student in 1984, and mentions that she met at the home of Louisa Porter (I’ve written about her before) when they were involved with starting the Girl Scouts with her cousin, Juliette Gordon Low.  The article also mentions that Walter Hartridge, Jr., was one of her pall bearers.

She started her teaching career at the Massie School, which was conveniently catty-corner to Sugar’s grandmother’s house across Calhoun Square.  (Y’all know what catty-corner is, right?)

Do we go to Pape School?  Ohyeswedo.

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Sigh. This is where Pape School used to be.

 

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This is to the left of the building which now sits where Pape School was, back in the day.

Nina Anderson Pape

(1869-1944)

A pioneer in women’s education, Nina Anderson Pape completed

her studies at Columbia University.  She founded the Froebel

Circle, which educated the poor children of Savannah’s

Yamacraw Village; and Tybee Island’s Fresh Air Home for

disadvantaged youth.  At this location in 1905, she established

the Pape School, which became one of the premier schools for

girls in the Southeast.  Miss Pape was instrumental in bringing

kindergartens to Georgia and included one in her school’s

curriculum in 1911.  Students from the Pape School in 1912

comprised the first two Girl Scout troops in America.  Miss Pape

became a leading advocate of higher education for women.  The

Pape School became Savannah Country Day School in 1955.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and

Savannah County Day School

The part about the Girl Scout troops?  One of Sugar’s Garrard relatives, Cecilia Garrard was in the 1st troop, and also Anne Carrington Read, who was Guilielma Lawton Carrington’s daughter, so now we know that they also went to Pape School.

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This is the back of the marker, which is the same as the front. I’m standing in the bushes to get this shot, and I’d like for it to be noted that across the street is beautiful Forsyth Park. So we waxed rhapsodic about how the little children could go across Drayton Street and play in the park.

We’ve walked along the side of the building, and I’m shooting this from the rear side of the building looking across to Forsyth Park.  Can you see the historical marker? That’s right, it’s hidden by the bushes.  Told you I was standing in the bushes to get the shot for you people.

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The rear of the building sports a parking lot.  There are some pillars along the curbing, and we decided that these pillars and curbing were here when Sugar’s mother went to school here.  We considered backing the van up to this pillar and taking it home with us, but again, our goal on some of our outings is simply to NOT go to jail.

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I satisfied myself by walking along the curbing, balance-beam style, and made a less-than-graceful dismount.

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This wall of brick, supported by concrete and rebar, defines the rear of the parking lot. Those bricks?  Why, they look like they are just waiting to be stroked and admired. We imagined that Sugar’s mother sat on the wall with her friends, giggling and whispering, even though I don’t know if she was a giggler or whisperer.

Sugar said that his mother said that her mother taught at the Pape School.  We later found this very fact in one of the city directories, which I cannot locate now, because we got side-tracked by Edith Barnes.   (Remember that name.  It will serve you well.)

And we also went by the Massie School, where Nina Anderson Pape first taught. The photos are adequate, but only that.  We’ll go back to get more.  Some people were standing and sitting about the entrance, and I didn’t want to ask them to move for the sake of a blog.

Out the window.

Out the window at Massie.

 

That’s the Pape School.  It looked lovely, didn’t it?

The Gold Mine in the Closet: The Wedding Party of Betsy Rounds and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.

November 16, 2014
Someday I'll know who all these people are.  Until then, we have Betsy and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.

Someday I’ll know who all these people are. Until then, we have Betsy and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.


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