Archive for October, 2013

In Which Sugar & YoursTruly Go To Washington. Georgia, That Is.

October 28, 2013

We are in love.

That’s right, you heard it here first.  Sugar and I are in Love.

With Sarah Alexander Lawton.

She was from Washington, Georgia, and after all the research  and reading of her journal about the death of her daughter Corinne Elliott Lawton, and then the Bonaventure Cemetery Tour, we had to go.  WeHadToGoRightNow.


A few years ago, Sugar was researching some of his Garnett ancestors, and he came across Eliza Frances “Fanny” Andrews, a famous botanist.  She was the daughter of Annulet Ball and Garnett Andrews from Washington, Georgia, and the more we read about Washington, the more we realized that Washington, Georgia, was an early center of settlement, and culture, and expansion.


I was able to get a few days off from work, and Sugar managed to snag a day extra, so it was going to be a quick trip to Washington then on to Columbia, South Carolina, to go to the Caroliniana Library and look at some archives.

Now the problem comes for us, what with only being able to get away on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, is that many things are closed.  LIke the local historical museum in Washington, Georgia.  (insert rolling of eyes and muttering under breath.)

We went anyway.  Y’all get on board our crazytrain.


This parking lot is to the rear of the building. The downstairs corner of the house that is closest to you has a museum bookstore. That was closed. Sugar kept pressing his face to the glass. “There are books right there. Should we break in?” Uummm, no.

What a beautiful day for history.  Many of the following photos are of the same object, only once with a landscape orientation, and then with a portrait orientation.




This building was to the rear of the house behind where we were standing.  We mused as to what it was, and we decided that it was a kitchen house, since it was next to a well, and we are scholars and all.








The well was covered with a metal grating to keep people from leaning in.


I was feeling bold since the metal grate was in place, and if I positioned the camera just right, I could see the water below.  You can see my reflection in the water.




This little gazebo felt so comfortable that I hated to leave it. But history calls.


Now I’m really confused about the kitchenhouse.  There don’t seem to be many windows, and who would want to work in that?



‘Cause it’s not a kitchenhouse, fool.


It’s a carriage house.


We continued on around the grounds where another building was being renovated.


This ancient stump makes a lovely natural planter.




Sugar lends a hand so that you can see how big this tree must have been. He’s an average guy with an average hand.



We have no clue what this was/is, but I’d like to live in it.



This is the side of the house away from the street. There’s the door to the downstairs bookstore where no one has broken in.




Now we’re at the front of the house.


The brick walkway.



This is under the front porch.


And now we’ve circled around and are back at our starting point.  The bookstore is still not open.  (Insert sad face.)












This museum shows the splendors of plantation life in Georgia

before the War Between the States, displays relics, mementos and

keepsakes of the era that tried men’s souls, and adds a fine

collection of Indian relics for variety.

Washington had many ties with the Confederacy.  The Confederate

Cabinet held its last meeting just down the street.  President

Jefferson Davis met his wife and daughter in this city at

the end of the war.  Mr. Davis’ field desk and camp chest

are on display.  The well named Last Cabinet Chapter of the

U. D. C. has on display many precious keepsakes and mementos

of the war, together with Joe Brown Pikes, guns, swords,

pistols, documents, and pictures.

The big house dates back to about 1800.  It was occupied after

1857 by Samuel Barnett, first Georgia Railroad Commissioner,

and W. A. Slaton, forty-year occupant.  Washington’s benefactor,

Dr. Francis T. Willis, half-brother of Mr. Barnett, lived with

him here.  Francis T. Willis moved to Richmond, Va. in his

later years but told his sons that he wanted his ante-bellum

furniture returned to Washington when there was a place

for it.  Edward Fauntleroy Willis brought the furniture from

Richmond.  It makes a beautiful display.




We toured around a bit more, then went to the B&B to check in.  After chatting with our hostess, we headed out for some supper and more touring.  Supper first, since our hostess told us that the sidewalks would be rolled up by 4:30PM.

This plaque was across from the grocery store.  I love the zoom feature on the camera.



It’s an easy town to get around in, just made for touring.  Washington was not burned by Sherman, and there are over 100 antebellum homes to see.

We found this cemetery, and since Sugar needed to call home to check on the dogs, we stopped here.  It was a Catholic cemetery.


Elise Mertz was all alone, so I stopped to make a memory of her, so far from home.


Then we saw a road sign that said Alexander something-or-other, and Sugar said, “This is it.”

This is what?  He’s doing it again.  He has a plan, and I have no clue what he’s talking about.


Of course.  The Gilbert-Alexander house.  And here’s the reason why we’re here.  Sarah Alexander Lawton.

Of course.

The Ghost Tour

October 27, 2013

Sugar called me last week to say that he saw a new billboard on the way to Savannah.

That sounds like exciting news, doesn’t it?  A new billboard.  Wow.

However, this billboard was featuring a ghost tour, just in time for Halloween.  It seems that the billboard was starring none other than Corinne Elliott Lawton.

The next chance we got, we drove out that way to take a photo and to complain to the management.


Y’all call and complain, too, please.  Beautiful Corinne should not be used to hawk ghost tours.

Frieda Rauers Cunningham Swain, 1892-1974

October 26, 2013

All the conversations about Lawtons, and Cunninghams, and Rauers, caused Sugar to dredge up a memory.

There was a woman in his hometown who wasn’t seen very much.  Every small town, and certainly big ones, too, have people who keep to themselves.  So much so, that they became known as recluses.  (If I didn’t have to leave my spot on the couch, I’d be good with that.  I’m a recluse in training.)

Some recluses have become that way because of personal tragedy, or embarrassment, or painful shyness.  Sugar remembers that sometimes his mother, who was reclusive, would mention that she “saw Frieda today”.

Sugar and his mother didn’t talk very much, like lots of parents and children.  I don’t remember having very many real conversations with my parents.  Everything was understood and already said.

To me, for him to remember that his mother mentioned seeing Frieda was of some importance, some significance, in her appearing in public.  We wondered if we could find out more about her.  He found a bit about her husband in one of his books, and I went in search of her on the internet.

I found her on findagrave.    This meant we had to go to Bluffton.


Sugar grew up in Bluffton.  Yet he had never been to the Bluffton Cemetery, because his people were most recently from Savannah.  We had no idea where to start, so we parked along the drive into the cemetery, and wandered about.  I was happy that I had my rubber boots in the car, what with all the rain.

And somehow, Sugar wandered right up to her gravestone.  She shared it with her husband, William Moseley Swain.






And, as is my way, I circled around the plot taking photos.




It’s an old graveyard.  There are many nice trees and plantings.




Sugar saw some folks he knew.


Imogene Fripp Lowden



Enid Fripp Duncan



Kirk was a childhood friend of Sugar’s.




Harry Oliver “Ollie” Lowden, Jr.


Then I took a photo of this small headstone, just because.



And on the opposite side….


Gone to be an angel

I don’t know who Jane Hope is, but her headstone was all alone, so let’s remember her here.



The Van Duyn family had a bulb farm. Sugar remembers it.



Most of these plots are not fenced off.  The next one was, although overgrown, and I had to keep pushing branches out of the way in order to get the next photos.



The Martin family is an old name in this area.  And there’s Ole Yeller, faithfully waiting at yet another graveyard.




So it was a good outing.  We found what we were after, Sugar found some old friends, I found some interesting markers, and no one was arrested for trespassing.

The Bonaventure Cemetery Tour

October 16, 2013

Well, we did it.

Let's do this thang.

Let’s do this thang.

We went on the Bonaventure Cemetery Tour.  We chose to go to the one that’s given the 2nd Sunday of the month by the Bonaventure Historical Society.  It’s free, and we were interested in finding out what stories, if any, were being told by this group about Corinne Elliott Lawton.

While Sugar signed the guestbook, I stepped into the next room which had memorial photos of famous folks buried here.  I really thought that I would be able to read the names from the photographs, but I can’t.  Perhaps I can go back and enlarge the original photos on my computer and read them, and then update this post.  Perhaps.  Probably not.








It’s Alexander Robert Lawton, Corinne’s father, also called A.R.L. in Corinne’s mother’s diary.


We gathered at a meeting place at the intersection of Mullryne and Wiltberger Ways.  We learned from the website that we should wear comfortable walking shoes and to bring water.


The BHS representative is introducing our guide, Mrs. Ford.


And to think I was worried that I would get to hot and wouldn’t be able to keep up. Mrs. Ford set the standard for comfort by wearing white pants, a *jacket*, a cute straw hat, and espadrilles. I was shamed.

Our first stop was a marker that memorialized the early burials.  Some of the locations of the graves are not known.  Some were moved here from other burial locations.












We started out the tour with maybe 20 people.  Stragglers kept joining us during the tour until there were at least 40 people.


The ladies in the right of the photo moved between these bushes to get a better look at the tour guide.  Never, never step between bushes in this part of the country without waving your hand up and down in front of you.  This is very important because you must break the spider webs that are built between the bushes.  Because spider webs have residents.  The shorter woman was the perfect height.  She stepped between the bushes and started waving at her hair.  I said, “It’s just a fly.  I got it.”  I couldn’t tell the nice tourist that she had a spider in her hair.  The tour would probably end right there, what with all the screaming.




Sugar saw the “Branch” threshold and decided that these were his people, related to Christopher Branch. We have no proof.


We’re gathered now outside the famous memorial to “Little Gracie”. Her statue has had to be fenced in because it was considered good luck to rub her nose, which was causing considerable wear.


And now, Sugar discovers a true relative while everyone else is looking at the plot opposite.  This is George Mosse Norton, buried in the Norton plot.  Of course.



The Norton Plot


This is the Rauer plot, and these folks are related to Henry C. Cunningham, who was the brother-in-law to Corinne Elliott Lawton, and he was the father of Sarah Alexander Cunningham who donated her collection of family papers to the Georgia Historical Society.




And by this time there are so many people in the crowd, and we are lagging to the back like bad students on a field trip, that we missed the speech at the Baldwin plot.  When we went back after the tour to look at this plot, we found that the people in this plot were related to Corinne’s mother, Sarah Alexander Lawton from Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia.  (This means that we are going to have to go to Washington.  Georgia, that is.)

And then we move on to the Lawton plot.


Mrs. Ford perched on the threshold, and spoke a bit about the Lawtons, mostly about Corinne’s mother, Sarah.  She did not mention Corinne.  At.  All.

Hmmm.  Interesting.  We don’t know what that means.

I went back into the Rauer plot to take some more photos, and because I didn’t thoroughly read the details of the tour, I didn’t know that we weren’t supposed to go in the plots.  Oops, me.









And we found the Stoddard plot, whose family was associated with the Lawtons.

IMG_4906 IMG_4907




And we’re at the end of the tour.  So we went on a little tour of our own.


I was attempting to get a nice shot of this tree, which was clearly unsuccessful.


And yet I try again.


We walked over to the river, and Sugar spotted something.




I used the zoom feature on the camera and found that Dub Foster’s marker is on the rocks.


We headed back to the Norton plot so that Sugar could visit with his folks.  Do you remember the name George Mosse?  I’ve written about him before.  The Mosses intermarried with the Nortons.  See, we can’t go anywhere without finding people that Sugar is related to.




The threshold to the Norton plot.



And that’s our tour!  I’m still curious to take the paid tour.  I keep getting hits on the blog with the search term “Corinne Lawton”.  Are they still talking about her?

I suspect they are.  The billboard is a dead (pardon the pun) giveaway, which is a blog for another day.

Turtle Power

October 15, 2013

IMG_4785About two months ago we had a lot of rain.  When I arrived home in the afternoon, the standing water was from the road all the way to the awning of the RV.

Good thing I had rubber boots in the car.








We had more rain over the next few days.

One day while driving home, I saw a large turtle (tortoise?) on the side of the road, and I pulled over and scooped him up.  I had a nice-sized cardboard box in the car, because apparently I have become my mother, who used her car for extra storage.  I currently have a box of saltines in my car.  You know, just in case a saltine shortage breaks out, or I need to leave a trail of saltine crumbs in the forest like Hansel and Gretel.


I took Mr./Ms. Turtle/Tortoise home and had a little photo shoot before the release.




Then I set her down in the grass, and she refused to budge.


So I took her inside the fence and put her into the wading pool to spend the night.


I took her to a low grassy area near the swamp and let her go.  I would like to report that she turned gratefully to me and waved goodbye, but she did not.

It occurs to me that the excessive rains displaced her.  Most of the time when there’s a turtle on the road, they are intent on heading north and it’s springtime.  This one was sitting on the side of the road facing south, just sitting still.  She made no effort to get away from me.  Dazed and confused, I suppose.

I haven’t seen her back on the road, so I suppose that’s as good an ending as this story will get.

I have no clue what kind of turtle she is.  I found a really good site where you check off what the physical characteristics are on the list, and then click “search”, and the site returns the possible choices.  I have either discovered an unnamed creature, or I don’t understand the choices.  Hard or leathery shell.  Flat or rounded shell.  How many scutes.  Coloring.  Neck stripes.

Clearly, the solution is that I have discovered a rare beast.

An Unexpected Present

October 11, 2013

Oh, y’all, I just received the best present.

I went to a new Thai restaurant.  Somehow they knew I was a knitter.

They brought me a pair of knitting needles.  Squeeeeee!



Patience Taylor, Born 1868, Died December 11, 1917

October 2, 2013

A few posts ago, while looking for Colonel Lawton Cemetery, Sugar and I were at Bostick Cemetery in the area outside the fence.

And after we found Colonel Lawton Cemetery, about a week ago, I had the bright idea that I would start a new blog.  You see, I started browsing through the South Carolina Death Records on and found many, MANY death certificates for people that had no headstones in Colonel Lawton Cemetery.

That’s right, *no* markers of any kind.  Nothing physical to show any visitors that anyone was there except the depressions on the ground.

I decided to start a new blog just using the death certificates and/or the photos of the headstones.

Reader Sharon contributed the name “Certifiable Presence“.  LOVE the name.

Today I was scrolling through 1917 and found a death certificate for Patience Taylor in Bostick Cemetery, which rang a bell.  It turns out that I took a photo of her headstone, but didn’t transcribe it.

I have learned that if you don’t put the words out there, search engines cannot find you.  So in remembrance of Patience Taylor, here is her marker and death certificate.

Patience Taylor, wife of Stephen Taylor

Patience Taylor, wife of Stephen Taylor

Notice that the death date and her age on the headstone and the death date and her age on the death certificate do not match.

SouthCarolinaDeathRecords1821-1955 (63)

“Faithful to her trust,

Even unto Death”