Posts Tagged ‘Corinne Elliott Lawton’

Back to 135 Perry Street

March 5, 2016

Sugar and I had a simple errand involving a cat. 

Poor Gerald had a squinty eye condition that was causing his third eye lids to cover almost two-thirds of his eyes to protect them. The veterinarian called in a prescription of neo/poly/bac drops, which was called in to the local pharmacy in our little town. 

When we went to pick it up, I asked to see the med before Sugar paid for it. It was wrong. They had substituted an eyedrop with a steroid, and if his cornea had an ulcer or a scratch, the steroid would cause his cornea to melt. 

That’s right. MELT. 

After much discussion and determination that the pharmacy did not carry this simple drug, I sent a text to the vet (it’s handy to have a vet friend). She called in another med to a pharmacy in Savannah. We had planned on going on a cemetery errand the next day anyway. 

*****

As luck would have it, Savannah was crowded, and Sugar muttered a bit while looking for a parking place. He finally found one in front of Corinne Elliott Lawton’s house where she died in 1877. 

  
 

 
  
  
  
  
  
Good-night, Corinne. We’re thinking of you. 

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FlowerFest 2015: a Visit with the A. R. Lawton Family

December 14, 2015

Sugar and I had already driven by the plot of the Alexander Robert Lawton family, and there were tourists there. We weren’t ready to visit unless we weren’t on display. Even though I always want to shout at people, “See that guy?! He’s a Lawton!”

Because I am cool like that. 

   
    
    
  

Hey Corinne, I’ve got your back.

  
    

Our friend Sarah Alexander Cunningham, who was Corinne’s niece, and the keeper and donater of Lawton artifacts

 

  • To live in the hearts of our loved ones is not to die. 

 

Nora is Corinne’s sister.

  

Henry is Nora’s husband.


There is a Sago Palm in the left front corner of the Lawton plot that is enormous. A couple of close-ups are necessary.  

    
 
Let’s go see some new folks, at least new to you and me. They are another connection of Sugar’s. 

Surprised? I know I am. I thought we’d met them all…

FlowerFest 2014: Poinsettias for Bonaventure and Laurel Grove

December 28, 2014

It started very simply.

Sugar wanted to continue a tradition whereby his mother would take flowers to her family’s gravesite at Christmas and Easter.

We started in 2009. That’s when we took poinsettias to his mother in Bonaventure and his cousin in Laurel Grove.

Then over time, we found more of Sugar’s relatives buried in both places. He bought more and more flowers every year.

This Christmas we were up to eight poinsettias, which represented not individual people, but individual plots with multiple relatives.

We asked a SugarCousin if she wanted to join us on our crazy train, and she did.

*****

We three stop first at Bonaventure at the Corbin plot. Here’s a mystery: why is Dr. Francis Bland Tucker buried in the Corbin plot?

Albert Sidney Lawton, who knew Miz Florrie in Garnett, South Carolina, married Elizabeth Tayloe Corbin, a Savannah girl. Miz Florrie’s father, Walter Gant, worked for Albert Sidney Lawton, and when Albert Sidney moved to the Jacksonville area, Walter moved, too.

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Leaving the Corbin plot, we drive further along the lane, and circle back on another lane so that Sugar can inspect some headstones. He thinks he knows these Lee people from when he was growing up.

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We notice that Clermont Huger Lee has the same name as the girl that was in Sugar’s mother’s class at Pape School in 1925.

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Clermont Lee is on the front row, all the way on the right.

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And just to the right, we find this stone, slightly hidden by the foliage. Perhaps we should add her to our floral list. No husband, no children.

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Then on to the Basinger plot. I’ve written about this family a lot.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will. Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will.
Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

We see that some little animals, chipmunks perhaps, have enjoyed a pre-Christmas acorn meal at the entrance to the plot.

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This is James “Garnett” Basinger who married Nannie Screven. They had one daughter.

We step across the lane to the Starr plot. Sugar places the poinsettia in a permanent flower holder in front of his great-great-grandmother’s gravesite. She’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

Mary "Leslie", Tom, Elizabeth "Georgia", Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate' the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Mary “Leslie”, Tom, Elizabeth “Georgia”, Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate’ the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

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A little further along, we stop to visit Corinne Elliott Lawton.

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Corinne Elliott Lawton

Corinne Elliott Lawton

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Having finished at Bonaventure, we head across town to Laurel Grove.

 

 

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The crape myrtles look like they could be cut back yet again.

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Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800's.

Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800’s.

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SugarCousin brought poinsettias for her parents and her aunt Mary.

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We’re not done. The Batesons need some poinsettias, too, especially when you stop to consider that this family has been in unmarked graves since 1855. Sugar had their marker made and installed this year after we learned that they were his cousins from Lancashire, England.

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A few lanes over is the Densler mausoleum. Mrs. Mary Densler was Aunt Polly to Sugar’s g-g-grandmother Jane Susan Starr Basinger. This family died out. No one to bring flowers, except us.

So we do.

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We got these flowers almost a full week before we could put them out. Sugar went back and bought a bonus one just in case we needed it. What to do?

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Close by is the Alexander family. Sarah Alexander married Alexander Robert Lawton, and they were Corinne’s parents. These Alexanders were Sarah’s family. There are other collateral folks here: Gilmer, Porter, Houston, Read, Cumming, Van Yeveren…

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On the way home, we swing by for one last look at the Jones-Lawton mausoleum. The rain has been misting on and off for a bit, but it’s on the way in earnest now.

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Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Easter Lilies for Bonaventure & Laurel Grove, 2014

April 22, 2014

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After last year’s less-than-breathtaking lilies, we found these, of all places, at the Publix Supermarket.  Sugar decided that we needed five, and we went over the list again in our heads.  One for Laurel Grove, one for the Basinger plot in Bonaventure, one for the Starr plot, one for Dr. F. Bland Tucker in the Corbin plot, and one for Corinne Elliott Lawton.

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We could probably have gotten many more, but we drew the line at five.

On Easter morning, almost a full week later, the lilies were well bloomed-out and glorious.  Sugar had been keeping them sheltered and watered.

 

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Now on to Bonaventure.  It’s windy and cold, and not many tourists are out yet.  We stop at the Corbin plot where Albert Sidney Lawton is buried, and we see that the same two graves that had flowers at Christmas have flowers again.  We wonder who has been here, and we see that the lilies have blown over, in spite of having been placed into a dug-out hole.

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Sugar has forgotten his shovel but he makes do with a digger of sorts.  It’s really not a machete.  Really, not.

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As we’re driving off, he notices yet another Lawton that we don’t know.  (He figures it out when he gets home because he has books and stuff, but we still don’t know why they are buried in this plot.)

 

 

 

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She’s Lillian Lawton Haynsworth, and she’s buried with her husband James Henry in a Steinberg plot.

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Over to the Basinger plot now, to see his great-grandfather, great-grandmother, mother, and brother, along with some other Basinger folks.

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Now across the lane to the William Starr plot which is shared with their friends, the Peter Basinger family.

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There’s a ready-made receptacle for flowers at the foot of William Starr Basinger’s mother’s grave.  She’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

 

One lone azalea blossom is protected deep into the bush from all the rain and wind.

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Onwards to the river to see Corinne Elliott Lawton.

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We consider that no one else has brought flowers.  No one.  Yes, it’s been cold, rainy, and windy.  But no one, not even the tour guides that make money off her “suicide” tale have honored her memory with a floral token.

Can I say that these were the best lilies ever, and each pot was only $5.99?  It’s true.  Magnificent buds and blooms graced each plant.  This does not mean that we are cheap, it means that we are astonished.

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Hey, Corinne, we’ve got your back.

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The far side of this plot has another threshold which we have never crossed. It’s for the Cunninghams.  Nora Lawton, Corinne’s sister, married a Cunningham, and it’s their daughter Sarah Alexander Cunningham who helped me solve the mystery of Corinne’s death.  It wasn’t suicide.

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Good-bye everyone.  Sleep well.

Who Was Mrs. Mary M. Densler, Or: Off to the Graveyard

February 5, 2014

Mrs. Mary M. Densler is the only non-Starr/Basinger listed in Thomas Elisha and Jane Susan Starr Basinger’s Family Bible.

So who is she?

I found a memorial listed for her on findagrave.com. She was married to Frederick Densler. That didn’t help at all, except that we learned that she was in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

Sugar found the true answer in his great-grandfather’s memoirs, “Personal Reminiscences” written by William Starr Basinger. He talks about his mother’s mother’s sister, Mary Marston Pearson Densler. They called her Aunt Polly. Frederick and Mary “Polly” had three children that I can find documented: Mary, Rebecca, and Edwin.

So off we go to Laurel Grove in spite of impending rain. I was able to figure out where the crypt was, in Lot 480, by using this website maintained by the city of Savannah. The original Starr/Basinger lot was at the opposite end of the lane, in Lot 451, before those people were moved to Bonaventure Cemetery. The McLaws have that plot now.

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Here are some close-ups.

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This is Thomas W. Bealle who married Rebecca A. Densler.

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Thomas and Rebecca had one daughter named Tallulah who died at age 12.

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Here’s son Edwin B. Densler, and his parents Frederick and Mary “Polly” Marston Pearson Densler.

According to the website for the city of Savannah, there are also the following Densler people in Laurel Grove North or in an unknown location:

Densler infants buried in this crypt at Lot 480.

Charles Pearson Densler who died at age 14 months in 1811 and buried in an unknown location.

Barbara Densler whose death/age/burial is unknown.

Edmond B. Densler, 11/26/1843, age 23 years.

Frederick Densler, 01/11/1849, age 72 years, buried in an unknown spot, although clearly he is buried here according to the marker.

Fredrick Densler, buried in Laurel Grove in Lot 480 on March 24, 1853.

John Densler who died in 1828 at age 16 years and is buried in an unknown spot.

Mary Densler, age 22, buried February 29, 1836.

Mary Densler, died on January 28, 1865, and buried January 30, 1865, age 44.

Sophia Densler, died and buried in Lot 296 on August 25, 1857, age 87.

Virginia Densler, buried September 9, 1816, in an unknown location, age 5 years, 10 months.

William Densler, buried in an unknown location on June 8, 1815.

*****

I walked around to the back of the vault to get photos at all angles, like usual for me, and was startled when I saw rings mounted in the ground like where you might tie a horse. Except maybe not.

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Sugar thinks these rings are to pull on, like to open a door, like a door into the vault. I wish I had a photo of my face when I realized what he was talking about.

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He pointed to another vault across the lane as confirmation of his conjecture, and yup, it’s a door to the grave.

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Is that a crack in the door?

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I’m sorry, Smets people. I couldn’t resist.

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We strolled along the lane, and I took some random shots of other mausoleums.

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Here’s Lot 451 which was the Starr/Basinger plot. All these folks were moved to the Starr Family Plot in Bonaventure. I notice on the city of Savannah website that Edwin Pearson Starr’s location is still noted in Laurel Grove Cemetery, even though I know he’s in Bonaventure. I’ve photographed his headstone several times, and he’s next to his aunt (Sugar’s great-great-grandmother) Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

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Across the way we saw the back of a grand memorial, and we thought that, if memory serves, that it was the Gilmer memorial, so we strolled over, and reacquainted ourselves. I’ve written about General Jeremy Francis Gilmer (his obituary is somewhere on this blog), and married Louisa Fredericka Alexander, who just happened to be the sister to Sarah “Sallie” Alexander Lawton, the mother of Corinne Elliott Lawton, who has stirred much ado on this blog.

Let’s just say that we also stepped across the lane to another plot with the beautiful angel, and made some remarkable discoveries.

And that, Dear Reader, is the subject for another blog. After all, I took 100 photos of the day, and we discovered more family connections.

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Thank you for the tour, Aunt Polly. And thank you to whoever it was that wrote of her death in the Family Bible of Thomas Elisha and Jane Susan Starr Basinger in 1857! We wouldn’t have started searching for Aunt Polly without you.

Christmas Poinsettias For Dead People, 2013 Edition

December 28, 2013

Sugar said that his mother always took flowers to the cemetery for Easter and Christmas. Lilies at Eastertime, and poinsettias for Christmas, even when the money was dear. It was something that was important to her, and she managed somehow.

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Because we don’t have holiday traditions like most people, we go to the graveyards. I thought there would be tours going about the cemetery, what with families gathering for the holiday and perhaps escaping the hectic season.

We start at Bonaventure at the William Starr Basinger plot.

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No tourists at all, just us, traipsing around.

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We went over to see beautiful Corinne Elliott Lawton. The internet searches for her that lead people to this blog have slowed down, so perhaps the lies told about her have slowed a bit. If you are interested in reading more about her, you can do a search for her on this blog.

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Hey, Corinne, I’ve got your back.

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Then we drove over to Laurel Grove. Sugar places the poinsettias, then adjusts them several times. Every year, every season, every time, he fiddles with it to get it just right.

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Merry Christmas to all people, living and dead.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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‘Cause it’s not a kitchenhouse, fool.

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It’s a carriage house.

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

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This ancient stump makes a lovely natural planter.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Now we’re at the front of the house.

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The brick walkway.

 

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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.)

 

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WASHINGTON – WILKES

HISTORICAL MUSEUM

*****

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.

*****

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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The Norton Plot

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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And yet I try again.

 

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

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

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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.

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The threshold to the Norton plot.

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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.

135 Perry Street

September 14, 2013

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Do you know this house?

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It once was 135 Perry Street.

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To the right of the Stoddard-Lawton House.

This is the house that Corinne Elliott Lawton was living in when she took a turn for the worse, and died.