Posts Tagged ‘219 East Gaston Street’

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…..