Posts Tagged ‘122 East Taylor Street’

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 5

December 18, 2014

We drove by where Edith’s house used to be.


And after we went home, we kept thinking about the Edith that we are looking for.

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We realize that we need to go back to the Library and look at a series of the Savannah City Directories.

So we do.  But it takes us a while. The blogging doesn’t show that we’ve been working on this project for over a month, probably closer to two. We are a bit obsessed with giving our Edith a last name, and finding out more about her.

We think her last name is Barnes.

So we look for Edith Barnes.

We start with 1940 because that’s when we find her on the U.S. Federal Census.

She’s not in the 1940 Savannah City Directory. So let’s guess that means that she wasn’t living there in 1939 when the information was gathered for publication in 1940. But when the 1940 census was taken actually in 1940, she was living there. Make sense?

We do find Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1940 living at 101 Huntingdon, West. We don’t know anything about her living on Huntingdon, so we’ll need to check that out.

1940 LawtonLeslieB 101 Huntingdon W

Here’s Edith in 1941 at 547 East Charlton Lane. She’s a maid for L. E. Orvin.

1941 BarnesEdith


Here’s Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1941.

1940 BarnesEdith

In 1942, Edith is still at 547 East Charlton Lane, and is still a maid for L. E. Orvin.


1942 BarnesEdith


By 1942, Leslie Basinger Lawton is at 122 East Taylor Street.

1942 LawtonLeslieB


In 1942, Louis E. Orvin is at 213 East Gaston Street.

1942 OrvinLE


Let’s jump to 1948. We’ve established that Edith Barnes is at 547 East Charlton Lane for years. We’ve learned that Leslie Basinger Lawton went from East Gaston to West Huntingdon to 122 East Taylor Street.

In 1948, Edith is at the same address.

1948 BarnesEdith


And so is Leslie Basinger Lawton.

1948 LawtonLeslieB


Let’s make a bold leap and jump into 1970, where we find Edith Barnes still at 547 East Charlton Lane. The times they are a’changing, and the city directory is not divided into a “white” section and a “colored” section any more.

1970 BarnesEdith

1970 LawtonLeslieB

We can’t find Edith in 1975.

When I get home, I check one.more.time. And I find a death record for Edith Barnes on November 27, 1969. I also find a death record for Edith Barnes in January 1969.

Is this a mistake? A typo? A glitch in the system?

Someone? Anyone?

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 4

December 14, 2014

It feels like we’re getting close.

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This is Edith who worked for Sugar’s grandmother at the house at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.

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We’re looking for more information about Edith. Sugar doesn’t even know her last name, but he knows that once his family drove her home, and it wasn’t far from his grandmother’s house. He has a vague, shadowy memory that it was east of his grandmother’s, perhaps between Price and East Broad, on an east/west street.

I found an entry on for Edith Barnes who lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, and that address fits exactly with his memory.

I can’t find a death record for Edith Barnes in Savannah, so perhaps she was buried back in South Carolina where she was born. Truly, I can’t find a death record anywhere, but this is not an obstacle, only a challenge.

East Charlton Lane doesn’t exist any more. We drove aroundaroundaround and couldn’t find it. If only we had a good map.


I remembered that there are the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia, and, glory hallelujah, they are online. They are not user-friendly, so it involves a lot of panning left/right/up/down and zooming in to read the street names. And some cursage on my part.

I discovered that I can save the image to my computer for your viewing pleasure here on the blog.

Because I found East Charlton Lane on the map. The most recent one was for 1916, and there’s 547 East Charlton Lane.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane 1916


A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

If the Edith that we want is truly the Edith that lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, we know that she most likely didn’t live here in 1916. She was born approximately in 1908 in South Carolina. It’s POSSIBLE that she moved here with her family.

And you know what, even if she’s not our Edith, she was SOMEBODY. She was a person that lived and died even if we can’t find her death record.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane1916 (zoom)


So it’s time to go by Edith’s house.

We find where East Charlton Lane should be, but it’s an alley now.

Right about where Edith’s house should be, there’s nothing.


Except a sunbeam through the afternoon trees to say hello.



Don’t give up, Edith. We’re still looking for you.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 3

December 13, 2014

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Here’s Edith.

She worked for Sugar’s grandmother until she was old enough to retire.

Sugar remembers that she was a great cook. He doesn’t remember her last name, or even if he ever knew her last name.

We think that we have found her as Edith Barnes by looking through the 1940 Federal Census on She’s listed as living at 547 Charlton Lane, but we can’t find Charlton Lane. It doesn’t seem to exist any more.

I can scroll through all the pages of the Savannah City Directory by using, which is tedious, time-consuming work. We decide to go to the Library on Bull Street instead, and look at the directories in person.

There’s a genealogy/history room there. You don’t even have to sign in, unless you want to use the computers. I can take photos of the city directory pages using the digital camera.

We decide to randomly start with the 1957 volume. Sugar would have been old enough to remember Edith, and would remember that they drove her home once to an area east of his grandmother’s that would be close enough for her to walk.

And she’s still at 547 East Charlton Lane, which matches the 1940 census. There are two Edith Barnes, just like the 1940 census, but the second Edith Barnes lives at Fellwood Homes, and we don’t know where that is, so we’re still going with the first Edith Barnes as being our Edith.

While photographing the pages, I wrote the year, name, and address on a plain piece of paper and inserted it into the book, as a way to help me identify the photos during the editing process.


I also used a handy little library pencil to help me locate the entry.

Then I cropped the photo for easier readability.


His grandmother is still at 122 East Taylor Street, which is the only place Sugar remembers her living at.



In the 1965 City Directory, both women are living at the same addresses as in 1957.




Do you see how Leslie B. Lawton is listed at the Widow of Edward P. Lawton and residing at 122 East Taylor Street? Edward never even lived at this address. He died in 1929 when they were living at East Gaston Street.

Right about now we’re flagging, from the researching and the driving around. (We had a list of places that we went to that I haven’t shared with you yet, but it was a long list, and our heads are full.)

So what happened to 547 Charlton Lane? If only we had an old map.

Then I remembered the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 2

December 11, 2014

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We’re looking for Edith.

That’s all we’ve got. Her name.

Sugar has a few memories. When his family would go to Savannah to visit his grandmother, Edith would give the boys a snack, a special snack. She would present them with a wax-paper-wrapped treat.  She had taken a wedge of cornbread, sliced it open, and slathered it with butter and jelly, then closed the little sandwich, and wrapped it in wax paper. He said they couldn’t wait to unwrap it, for they were always hungry.

Edith made their Thanksgiving meal. The family went to his grandmother’s on Taylor Street, where Edith had prepared a feast. Those town houses had tiny, simple kitchens, and a good cook was the queen of her kitchen. By the time Sugar was old enough to remember Edith, he thought perhaps she was in her fifties.

Once, he remembers, they drove Edith home.  When I pressed him for more details, he thought perhaps it was east-west between Price and East Broad, which ran north and south, along a tiny lane, and that she got out of the car on the right side, so he believed that her house was on the right, so it would have been on the south side of the lane. It was a small house, very modest, in a black neighborhood. His best guess is this was about the early 1950s.

I decided to find Edith.

I asked Sugar what her last name was.

He didn’t know. He didn’t think he’d ever known.

Was she married? He didn’t know.

I suggested that I do a search on for “Edith” in “1940” in “Savannah, Chatham, Georgia”.

He thought there might be a thousand hits for these terms. Which sounded ridiculously high to me. So when I searched, I got 3,129,389 returns.

Perhaps I needed to modify my search.

I added “Female” and “Black”, and narrowed the search to 2,995,190. Helpful, yet not.

I narrowed yet again to “1940 Census”, and received 742,210. Oh, this was going to be a piece of cake. Heavy sigh.

Oh, hello, let’s try “1940 United States Federal Census”, and here comes 425,461.

Well, by gosh and by golly, let’s do this. The list is alphabetical, and I can scan along the list, and rule out a few as I go, too old, too young, not in Savannah in 1940, etc. The promising ones I clicked on.

The first promising candidate was Edith Anderson. The 1940 census gives the street address. Edith Anderson lived at 405 62nd Street West. Our Edith lived in the eastern part of the city, so she’s not Edith Anderson.

Name: Edith Anderson
Respondent: Yes
Age: 34
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1906
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: Georgia
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Home in 1940: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: 62nd St W
House Number: 405
Inferred Residence in 1935: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia
Residence in 1935: Same Place

And somehow this Edith Anderson is white, yet has not been filtered out by my search. This might take a while.

Next is Edith Barns.

Name: Edith Barns
Respondent: Yes
Age: 31
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1909
Gender: Female
Race: Negro (Black)
Birthplace: South Carolina
Marital Status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: Charlton Lane
House Number: 547
Farm: No
Inferred Residence in 1935: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia
Residence in 1935: Same Place
Sheet Number: 62A
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 460
Occupation: Housework

The whole time I’m doing this searching, I’m talking to Sugar on the phone. When I said that Edith Barns lived on Charlton Lane, he said that this was his Edith. I scoffed, and said we had to keep going.

The next choice was Edith Barnes. Another Edith Barnes.

Name: Edith Barnes
Respondent: Yes
Age: 26
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1914
Gender: Female
Race: Negro (Black)
Birthplace: Georgia
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Home in 1940: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: Henry Street Laue
House Number: 643
Inferred Residence in 1935: Rural, Bryan, Georgia
Residence in 1935: Rural, Bryan, Georgia
Resident on farm in 1935: No
Sheet Number: 6A
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 6th grade
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0

But this Edith wasn’t working in 1940.  He wasn’t even sure where Henry Street Lane was, so I found it on a Google map, and he seemed convinced she wasn’t our Edith. Perhaps she was our Edith, but Henry Street Lane was too far south from where Sugar remembered that they dropped Edith off.

We went through 15 pages with 20 choices per page until we got to the end with Edith Young. Then the choices started over with people who were living in another state in 1940, but were in Savannah in 1935, or they were listed as white, or there was some other variant.

Edith Barns was looking like our choice.

I searched for her address on Google. There was no Charlton Lane, just Charlton Street, which was not right at all, but close, very close.

This means that we have to go to Savannah.


Charlton Street between Price and East Broad does not have the kind of little row houses that Sugar remembers. He insisted that it was a tiny lane, like an alley, almost, and that the houses were close together and right on the street. The street itself was perhaps wide enough for two cars.

We circled around, and he saw a little lane that fit the bill. The name was wrong, and the area has been gentrified, but the houses seemed right, and they were on the right side of the street.






There it is! There’s 547! But did the name of the street change? Who does that?

Well, Savannah does that sometimes. Like West Broad was changed to Martin Luther King, Jr.  But that’s a big street that was changed to honor a person. Why would Charlton Lane be changed to Macon Lane?

Something is just not right…

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith

December 10, 2014

Sugar’s grandmother lived at 122 East Taylor Street in Savannah for as long as he knew her.

We found several photos of the house in the gold mine.

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We also found one of Edith.

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Edith worked for his grandmother. I don’t know how to properly describe what Edith did for his grandmother.  I know that she cooked and cleaned. I don’t want to call her a maid, even though that’s the descriptor we found in the city directories. I’m uptight like that, not wanting to put labels on people, even though her “job” description in the city directory says “maid”. Sugar just says Edith worked for his grandmother for a long, long time. He doesn’t call her a maid either. I suppose we could call her a housekeeper, but I think now that her role was much greater.

We were discussing Thanksgiving, and I was talking about the food that my mother made, and I asked him what his mother made, since there are differences in local dishes.  Like stuffing. Do you call it stuffing, or dressing? And is yours cornbread based, or would it be local with oysters? And did you help in the kitchen? What kind of pies were made?

He really couldn’t answer those questions, because Edith made their Thanksgiving dinner.

So now we have to know more about Edith…

But all we have is her photo. And a few Sugary memories.

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.


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?



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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The Gold Mine in the Closet: 219 East Gaston Street, Savannah, Georgia

November 13, 2014



Well, now, we’re confused by the photo of Sugar’s grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton sitting by the fire with one of her daughters-in-law, Betsy Rounds Lawton.  It looks like tea-time.  See the rocking chair on the right, the one with no one in it?  Sugar has that.

We thought that the photo was made at the house at 122 East Taylor Street.  I pointed out that the Taylor Street house had the fireplaces on an outside wall, so where could those doors (on either side of the fireplace in the photo above) lead?  Closets?  But probably not.

This caused Sugar to examine the photo a little more closely, and he decided that he could not identify the fireplace.

So where was this photo taken?

The most probably spot is at the house at 219 East Gaston Street.  The Lawtons were in that house by 1929, according to Edward’s death certificate.

You can double-click on this image to enlarge.

You can double-click on this image to enlarge.

The photo below shows the house on Taylor Street.  You see the main entrance which led to a hallway, and the rooms for living were on the right.  When you turned from the hallway into the front room, you faced the fireplace.  So the most prominent chimney you see in the middle of the photo below belongs to the house on the left.  The chimney for the Taylor Street house is on the right side of the photo, and fortunately for us, the photographer included it in the photo.

So I’m thinking the doors on either side of the fireplace are not into another room or closet.

This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square.  Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square. Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

Time for a drive-by to 219 East Gaston Street.   There’s a large stone by the front walk near the street.  It looks like the kind of stepping stone that was used to step up into a carriage, but I’ve never seen on with initials engraved into it.  Also, the narrow side is turned to the street, so something is off about this.



The entrance to the home is in the center of the photo, and the actual home is to the left.  The home to the right is a bed and breakfast.


IMG_7419 IMG_7420



The 219 house is the next to the last one on the left, so we walked left to get a sense of what the chimney situation might be like.  I also noted that the house on the end added a porch to the entry, which I love. Notice how the floor of the porch slopes downward away from the building to aid in drainage.  That’s an old-style technique we’ve seen on a lot of porches.



Now we’re directly across the street on the side of the house next door.  There are windows on all floors to each side of the chimneys.  I suppose it’s possible that the 219 house had shallow closets on either side of the chimney, but it definitely was not a system of doors that led to another room.


We walked back along the sidewalk to say good-bye to beautiful 219 East Gaston when I noticed a screened window up high under the eaves.

Ventilation for the attic space, perhaps?


And as we walked along the block, you can peep into people’s yards.  We see a touch of whimsy on one gate.



As far as we know, Sugar’s grandmother moved from 219 East Gaston to 122 East Taylor with no stops in between.  So until we can wheedle our way into the house, we probably won’t know where those doors by the fireplace go.

Which sounds completely creepy.  Maybe we should stay at the bed and breakfast?  Hmmmm…..

The Gold Mine in the Closet: 122 East Taylor Street, Revisited

November 4, 2014

We are so lucky that we can return to the places in the photos and historical documents that we find about Savannah and the Lowcountry.

Nothing will do except that we go to 122 East Taylor Street.  This visit was part of a bigger outing, and I’m cherry-picking these photos from that excursion.

Here’s an old photo, approximately 70 years old, from across Calhoun Square.

This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square.  Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square. Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

Here are new photos, taken just a few days ago.

This sign faces north on the north side of the square.  Imagine that you are standing here, and the house on Taylor Street in behind you to your right and further down a bit.

This sign faces north on the north side of the square. Imagine that you are standing here, and the house on Taylor Street in behind you to your right and further down a bit.


Now walk onto the square for perhaps 20 feet. Imagine that you are in the middle of a clock face, facing 12 o’clock. Turn to your right, and the house is about a 4 to 5 o’clock position. The house has shutters now.


Here’s the gate to the back garden. There’s a carriage house, and most probably it is a residence now, given the mailbox mounted to the gate. It’s noonish now, which is fortunate for us. Otherwise, the walkway might be in shadow. You can tell that this gate faces south from the shadow on the alley.

Yes, the gate was locked.  Thank you for asking.


Next is the front porch where Grandmother sat with the twins for their picture.



What you might call the first floor here is not called the basement.  It’s called the ground floor, so if you ever stay at a Savannah B&B, please do not insult the hosts by saying that you will not sleep in the basement if you are assigned the ground floor.  The next floor up is called the first floor, where the main living area is.

I had a favorite yarn shop in Savannah on Liberty Street, which is sadly (for me) no longer in business.  When Sugar and I went in for the first time, he said that it was like his grandmother’s house.  You walked up the stairs, then in the front door which opened into a foyer, which I might guess would also be a vestibule.   There was a set of steep stairs to the left, and the rooms for living were on the right.  He walked around the yarn shop, gesturing and whispering about what each room was.  It was very cool to have a personal re-enactor.

Because we hung around the front for a bit and there didn’t seem to be any activity, we decided that it would be safe to take a photo through the glass on the ground floor.  Perhaps we would not get arrested.  There are bars on the window, and I managed to position the camera just right to get an interior shot.  The glare from the sun was too bright to see what I was actually shooting, so imagine my surprise when I got a bonus reflection of Sugar.  His snoop factor is much lower than mine.  He’s probably a 2.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.  I’m clearly a 9.3.


And now my favorite photo of the day.

Here’s the window where Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton sat to have her photo made (I’m totally guessing this, but it makes sense).  It’s the only window that would be close to the fireplace.  Her chair and her bench with her glasses and African violet were next to this window.

And that bench with the hearts carved in the base?

Sugar has it.


The Gold Mine in the Closet: 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia

November 3, 2014

Sugar’s earliest memory of his mother’s mother is at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.  He never knew either grandfather, and only a little of his father’s mother.

His mother was the youngest child of seven children, a large range in ages of approximately 20 years, start to finish.  One of the children died at a young age.  The family traveled the world, following Grandfather Lawton’s military career.  The travel took its toll on the mother with six children, what with having lost one to death in a foreign country, and finally she was done traveling the world, and went home to Savannah with the children.  Grandfather kept traveling with his career and business interests, and died of cancer in Paris in 1929.

You can double-click on this image to enlarge.

You can double-click on this image to enlarge.

While we were sifting through the photos, and he was arranging them in small heaps of organization, he found a series labeled “122 E. Taylor Street”.  He thinks perhaps it is his mother’s handwriting.  Upon later reflection, he thinks that one photo is not at Taylor Street, but we don’t know where it is exactly yet at this moment in time.  So I include it here, because if it wasn’t at Taylor Street, it was most likely just before they moved to Taylor Street.

I said “they” moved to Taylor Street.  I meant Sugar’s grandmother.  All the children were out and about in the world.  At one time the family lived at Gordonston, the first subdivision of Savannah, and Sugar thought that they lived with the oldest daughter Margaret who married William Garrard.  After looking at more photos and thinking about it, he was surprised to realize that his mother and grandmother had their own house in Gordonston, which will probably be the focus of another blog post.  His grandfather was the owner of that house, and after his death in 1929, we find that  his wife “Leslie” is renting a house on Gaston Street in the 1930 census.  Apparently they lost the house, moved into rental property, and she later moved to Taylor Street.  It was said that one of the sons and his wife purchased the Taylor Street house for Sugar’s grandmother.  Truth?  I don’t know yet, but I like that notion that she was provided for.

Let’s look at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.

Here’s the first page.  None of these pages are in a book, so perhaps the books were torn apart and divided between family members.  Sugar’s mother was already married and gone.

I took this page, copied it until I had enough pages for each photo saved to the computer so that I could adjust, edit, straighten, and crop to individual images.

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The oldest daughter, Margaret, petting a dog.

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This was a city house, and this is the garden area at the rear of the house.

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This is Sugar’s mother’s mother. On the bench in front of the window, I see an African violet, a pair of glasses, and perhaps an old-fashioned cardboard fan. I also see a newpaper on another surface. I’m wondering if this is the springtime because of the light-colored slipcover.

The next photo was attached to another page along with another photo that was unidentified.  It’s probably not Taylor Street, but it’s still lovely.  There are items on the mantel that probably were gathered during their travels.


Sugar thinks that this is NOT East Taylor Street because he can’t place the fireplace at the Taylor Street house. I include it here until we figure out where it belongs. “Leslie” is with one of her daughters-in-law, Betsy.

So let’s guess that she moved into the Taylor Street house in the early 1940s, because on the 1940 census she is listed as renting, not owning.

LawtonLeslie 1940

In the photo below, you can see the front steps of the Taylor Street house.  The house itself, remember, is a city house, so there’s another house on either side.  This is not the traditional style house that I grew up in, so it’s hard for me to get an understanding of sharing a common wall.  (Spoiler alert:  you know we went over to the Taylor Street house and took photos.)  The house to the left shares a wall.  The house to the right is perhaps 4 or 5 feet away, creating an alley of sorts to the rear garden, and passage to the alley is restricted by a gate.

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It’s easier to see where the Taylor Street house ends on the right, and the next house starts.  The chimney on the right is Sugar’s grandmother’s.


This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square.  Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

This is the view of the house from across Calhoun Square. Savannah is arranged on a grid system, with squares around which homes were grouped.

Let’s skip forward in time, and we’re back in the garden at Taylor Street.  Who are these adorable babes?  It’s Sugar and his brother!


Sugar’s mother arranges him on the left to meet the camera, and her sister Margaret holds his older brother Richard. Hard to believe that the tiny lady on the left just gave birth to twins.

Sugar remembers that his grandmother employed domestic help.  His first memory is of Edith, a black woman who always had cornbread and jelly for them.  I’ve never had jelly on cornbread, but that makes my mouth water every time he says “jelly on cornbread”.  Heck, it’s actually watering just typing those words.

After Edith retired, there was Vivian, an educated black woman who had limited work opportunites.

She also employed a man who came several times a year and oiled the hardwood floors.  I wish she had kept a journal like her father, William Starr Basinger, because now I want to know details.


The boys with their mother’s mother on the front entry porch. We are facing west as we view this photo, and Sarah Alexander Cunningham lived a few doors down. I say Sugar is the one with the sweeter face.


And that’s beautiful 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.  I’ve never been inside, but a few years ago, the property had changed hands and was being remodeled, as was evident by a dumpster parked outside with Grandmother’s hardwood flooring sticking out of it – A LOT. We were sorely tempted to snag a piece of Grandmother’s floor.