Archive for November, 2014

The Gold Mine in the Closet: The Family of Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson

November 30, 2014

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Over the past few days, I’ve seen photos of families posted online. Families I know, families I don’t know.  They are clustered in groups for the Thanksgiving holiday, and many of them are taken outside a house.

We like our houses.  We identify with our houses.

Here’s the Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson family in New York City June 3, 1898 outside their house on West 88th Street. Charles is seated at the top of the steps.

Starting at the upper left, we are focusing on the four people along the back.

Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson, Jr.

Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson, Sr.

Mary S. Bateson

Richard Humphreys Bateson

Then the three seated on the steps, from left to right:

Edgar Farrar Bateson

Lucinda D. Bateson

And lastly, Charles’s wife, Mary McLochlan Stamps Bateson.

*****

Plus we have some Diamonds from the Mailbox…

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Do you remember the Christopher Remington Bateson family plot in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia?  The one that was unmarked for 135 years until Sugar had a marker made this year?

Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson is his nephew.

And the world just got a little smaller.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Basingers with Bicycles

November 29, 2014

Even though this photo is not completely identified with people or a timestamp, we know that it was before 1910, which is when the father, Major William Starr Basinger, died in Athens, Georgia.

William Starr Basinger and his wife Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger had six children that lived to adulthood.  During the end of his life, they went to live with their oldest daughter Margaret who married Charles Morton Strahan.  Uncle Charlie was a professor at the University of Georgia at Athens for over 60 years, and he and Margaret had a house on the campus where the Law Library is located now.

There are two boys in the photo, but which two boys are these?  The older two, James Garnett Basinger and William Starr Basinger, Jr., who graduated from UGA, or the younger two, Thomas Garnett Basinger and Walter Garnett Basinger, or a mix of the two?  At any rate, that’s definitely Margaret Amelia “Aunt Mag” Basinger Strahan with her parents, William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger.

This is taken, we believe, on the back porch at the Strahan house on the campus.

Two Basinger brothers, their father William Starr Basinger, their mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, and their sister Margaret Basinger Strahan.

Two Basinger brothers, their father William Starr Basinger, their mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, and their sister Margaret Basinger Strahan.

We know that this is the Strahan house because Sugar said so.  We have also seen this house in other photos.

Like these three…

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.

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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.

Another online resource that I am newly interested in is newspapers.com.

I found this clipping regarding the two oldest Basinger boys, who were in the class of 1890 at the University of Georgia in Athens.

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From the Atlanta Constitution, June 15, 1890

 

 

William S. Basinger, Jr., of Dahlonega, is

the son of Maj. W. S. Basinger, president of

that college.  He is a member of the

S. A. E. fraternity and Phi Kappa lit-

erary society.  He is the youngest

man in the graduating class, and is

first-honor man in the Master of Arts course.

He is one of the brightest men in college,

and will make his mark.  He, too, will be a

lawyer.

James Garnett Basinger is also a son of

Major W. S. Basinger.  Like his brother, he

took first honor in A. M. in the class of ’89,

and took a post-graduate course this year, in

which he receives the degree of C. and M. E.

He is a member of S. A. E. and Phi Kappa.

Civil engineering will claim his genius.

Something remarkable about these boys is their age.  William Starr Basinger, Jr., is graduating from college to become an attorney at age 17, and won’t turn 18 until August 28, 1890.  James Garnett Basinger, the oldest, has graduated the year before in 1889 at age 19, and has finished a post-graduate course in 1890 at age 20.  It is helpful to note that James Garnett Basinger has just turned 20 on May 27, 1890, so he’s still extremely young.

Now I’m wondering if this is a graduation photo and the boys received bicycles for graduation presents.  I suppose it’s possible.

Thanks, Sugar, for sharing another photo from the gold mine in the closet!

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Girl Scouts

November 28, 2014

There’s a photo in the gold mine with young girls dressed alike.  Girl Scouts, perhaps?

I find myself saying this a lot about this gold mine:  “See what you think.”

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If they are Girl Scouts, does that photo above relate to the photo below?  Both photos are taken on the front steps at the Lawton house on Edgewood in Gordonston.

Sugar's Aunt Margaret with her children Billy and Mary.

Sugar’s Aunt Margaret with her children Billy and Mary.

 

I found this reference to the Girl Guides, which became the Girl Scouts, by using newspapers.com.

This is from the Abilene Reporter-News, October 2, 1960.

This is from the Pampa Daily News, March 12, 1942.

1913 – First khaki uniforms ordered, con-

sisting of middies and skirts and

voluminous neckerchiefs.

I also found this reference to the facts that led up to the formation of the Girl Guides. It mentions our friend, Miss Nina Anderson Pape, from the Pape School, but it doesn’t call her by name.

From the Abilene Reporter-News, October 2, 1960.

From the Abilene Reporter-News, October 2, 1960.

In March 1912 Mrs. Low visited her ancestral home in Savannah after an extended residence in England.  On her first night home she phoned an old friend who was headmistress of a girls’ school.  “Come right over.” urged Mrs. Low.  “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.”

Here’s a link to my blog post about the Pape School by clicking here. The historical marker links Nina Pape as the headmistress of a girls’ school that is mentioned in the newspaper clipping above.

The photos from Sugar’s gold mine were taken before 1929.  We know this for certain because the Lawton family was not living in Gordonston in 1929.  Sugar’s cousin Mary, who is the little girl in the photo with her brother Billy and mother Margaret, was born in 1918, so let’s guess she was perhaps 10 years old at the most.

I’m struck over and over when researching women just how hard it is to find out anything about them unless they are linked to a man.  I find it very impressive that Juliette Gordon Low and Nina Pape were such strong individuals that their memory is linked to their achievements.

And all those little girls?  They had no idea they were making history.

The Kitten Who Came to Call

November 27, 2014

I was driving home one evening, and I had just turned on the last road before my little road.  I spotted something on the side of the road across from where the old club used to be.  A small, black-and-white something.

It looked a bit like a cat, but they don’t usually hide half in and half out of the weeds on the side of the road. Perhaps it was trash.

As I got closer, the cat, for yes, it was a cat, spotted me, and melted back into the tall weeds.

*****

Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch.  Don’t judge; you’ve done it, too.  This particular time, I woke up in the middle of the night and headed to bed.

Someone was already there ahead of me.  Someone had come inside in the night, and made himself at home on my bed.

I took these photos without flash so I wouldn’t wake up that someone.

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And later that day, like later where the sun is shining…

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He’s outside taking a sun bath.  I can’t get within 5 feet of him.

So I set the trap.

And the following morning, I am delighted to see that he has gone into the trap.

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Only he hasn’t.

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So who’s in the trap?  I do a quick headcount, and everyone is accounted for, so this might not be good…

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One angry possum, who apparently doesn’t care for the color pink.

I set the trap again.  And again.  And again.

And all I catch are the cats that live here.

My hope is that I can catch him somehow, and get him fixed.  He, however, has other plans.

He moves back down the road, across from the old club.  Sometimes I still see him hiding in the weeds on the side of the road.

 

Sugar’s New Neighbor

November 26, 2014

Sugar has a new neighbor.

She comes to visit him often.

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I thought perhaps she was pregnant, but when I palpated her abdomen, I found nothing.

A whistling from next door told us that her people were looking for her.  When we returned her, we asked if she was pregnant.

Oh, no, they said.  She had 3 babies 3 weeks ago.

It was a good thing that I hadn’t spirited her off to be spayed.

But really?  She’s no bigger than a squirrel.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Samuel Hopkins Adams

November 25, 2014

Sugar said that a famous author named Samuel Hopkins Adams would rent the house that his grandfather built.  He rented it in the wintertime, which is what we call a snowbird.

Honestly, a famous author?  Who just happened to live in your step-grandmother’s house?

This particular house was built in 1937-1938, overlooking Battery Creek.

After Sugar’s grandfather died, the house stayed occupied by Sugar’s step-grandmother.  She took a job during the winter months up north at a college, and rented her house out to Samuel Hopkins Adams.

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While we were collecting obituaries at the Beaufort County Library’s Beaufort District Collection, we found the obituary for Samuel Hopkins Adams.

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He wasn’t just a children’s book author. He also was a newspaperman who wrote a series of articles for Collier’s magazine which were largely responsible for the enactment of the pure food and drug act.

What does this have to do with the gold mine in the closet?

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This book in particular as mentioned in the obituary…

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Inscribed for Lawton Bateson,

With the compliments of the author.

Samuel Hopkins Adams

May 1st, 1957

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.

When she was 16 months old, her family sailed from Bordeaux to New York in 1915 on the S.S. Rochambeau. She’s not in all of the next 11 images; some are ship photos and one is the ship’s roster, but all are relevant to her life.

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LawtonLeslie 1915

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With her mother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton. (Added January 17, 2015)

 

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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.

 

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At sea.

At sea.

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. Sugar says the child on the right is her niece Mary Garrard.

 

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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 Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was a neighbor of Robert Frost.

 

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In Atlanta, Georgia, in 1940. "Mrs. Simmons, 161 Peachtree". (Added 2/18/2015)

In Atlanta, Georgia, in 1940. “Mrs. Simmons, 6161 (or perhaps 1161) Peachtree”. (Added 2/18/2015)

In Atlanta about 1940.

In Atlanta about 1940.

 

 

 

At Rockport 1946 (Added 1/9/15)

At Rockport 1946 (Added 1/9/15)

 

In the garden in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1946. (Added 2/18/2015)

In the garden in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1946. (Added 2/18/2015)

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

On Edisto Island in 1946 with Faith Murray.

 

With her husband at Edisto Island in 1946.

With her husband at Edisto Island in 1946.

 

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

 

 

She had two wonderful dogs, Maggie and Jiggs. This was possibly made in the late fall of 1947. There are photos of the twins taken during this same photo session, and they look to be about 3-4 months old.

She had two wonderful dogs, Maggie and Jiggs. This was possibly made in the late fall of 1947. There are photos of the twins taken during this same photo session, and they look to be about 3-4 months old. (Added 1/9/15)

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

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

 

(Added 12/21/2014)

(Added 12/21/2014)

 

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

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

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On vacation at Edisto Island, perhaps in the 1970s.

On vacation at Edisto Island, perhaps in the 1970s.

And finally…

Family and friends at her memorial service at Bonaventure Cemetery.

Family and friends at her memorial service at Bonaventure Cemetery.

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.