Posts Tagged ‘Old Photographs’

The House at 34 South Battery 

October 12, 2015

Sugar’s mother was a Lawton from Savannah. 

Her sister Leslie married a Read, and they lived in Charleston at the corner of Battery and King. 

They had one child named Margaret, and they divorced. Margaret never married. 

Sugar found these photos in his mother’s photo album, which was more in the old scrapbook style where one glued the photos and momentoes to the pages. He’s identified the back garden and carriage house at Aunt Les’s at 34 South Battery. Margaret is in the hammock, Aunt Les is in a chair, and perhaps Sugar’s mother is the other person. We can’t be sure, but she’s not facing the camera, and that was her habit to turn away from the camera. 

This looks like a spring day. The irises are blooming, and the trees are not in full leaf. 

Sugar remembers that his Aunt Les was not a happy person. Is that a child’s memory? Or was she bitter about being divorced, and that attitude became her signature? Maybe she just needed a Sugar of her own. 


The garden and the carriage house are gone. 

The people are gone.  

The memories are gone. 

All we have left are these charming photos. 

Sleep well, everyone. We’re thinking about you. 

The Gold Mine in the Closet: A Basinger Boy

February 23, 2015

But which one?

Garnett, Will, Walter, or Tom?


The Gold Mine in the Closet: The House on Duffy Street

February 16, 2015

Sugar and his family lived in a house on Duffy Street until he was about 5 years old.

It was a nice little house in a blue-collar neighborhood.

There are a few random photos that piece together their times at the Duffy Street house.


The back of the house showing the little porch where the boys had lunch.

The back of the house showing the little porch where the boys had lunch.


(Added 1/9/15)



We think that the woman is Garnett “Garnie” Basinger, a first cousin of Sugar’s mother.

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This is Sugar’s aunt Betsy.


(Added 1/9/2015)

Having lunch on the back porch.


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Easter at the house on Duffy Street.

Easter at the house on Duffy Street.



Are there more photos of Duffy Street?

I hope so.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: More Photos

January 14, 2015

Sugar informed my that he had found more photos.

I’m not even finished with the last go-round, so, really, how many more photos could there be? Ten? Fifteen?

How about ten or fifteen stacks?

Two evenings ago, I spent time with his photos and his scanner. It took 28 scans, each scan with two to six photos per scan.

It looks like I’ll have to start more posts dedicated to just one item, like Sugar’s mother or the twins, where I can add more photos as I find them. (I thought that there were no more “twin” photos, but time have once again proven me wrong.) As it goes with many things in my life, I start with one plan at organizing and it evolves as it goes, thus explaining all the plastic totes that aren’t being used.

My favorite of all is this one of Sugar’s grandmother, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton in Switzerland, probably in the early 1900’s.

I start with the scan that has the photo that I want to crop out.

First I copy the scan in the computer program in order to make enough duplicates so that when I crop each photo out, I still have a copy to work with, and I don’t have to revert back to the original each time, thus losing my crop work. Kind of like, save your work. (My families were agrarian. I can’t imagine explaining to my father, and his father, etc., that I’m working with the crops.)

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Now that I’ve cropped out the image I want, leaving generous margins, I straighten the photo. Sometimes, when I want to watermark my original photos, I’ll open each with Paint, and add the watermark, and SAVE it.

Here’s my finished item.


These ladies just upped the bar for the rest of us.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: An Unidentified House, Part 2

December 21, 2014

Here’s the photo of an unidentified house from Sugar’s gold mine in the closet…

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We drove by where we thought the house should be, only we were looking on the wrong side of the street.

We didn’t know it at the time. If only we had looked left.


When in doubt, I have a method wherein I take an informal survey. I talk to everyone who will give me the time of day. To the outsider looking in? They go nuts, because I don’t follow the advice of the crowd. I don’t understand why people go nuts. It’s my game. It’s my rules. I’m just interested in what other people have to say. I doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to follow their advice. I’m just looking for opinions and input.

I went the easy route. I asked Sugar’s cousin by way of FaceBook.

She didn’t know the house, either, but she knew people who might know.

Sure enough, SugarCousin has an answer. The house’s address is 601 Whitaker Street, not Huntingdon at all. It’s on the southwest corner of Whitaker and Huntingdon, not across the street at the northwest corner where the vet clinic is.


This modern-day photo is from the website of the Whitaker-Huntingdon Inn. But you know at some point we’ll go by there.


So how’d we get the address wrong? It looks like there’s a side door fronting onto Huntingdon, which must be 101 Huntingdon, West. We thought we were looking for the front of a house, not an apartment entryway or a side door.

Take a look at their website. It’s quite lovely. According to the history on the page:

The third owner was Dr. Lloyd Taylor who lived with his family in the home 42 years. In 1923, Dr. Taylor added the one story addition on the rear of the structure as his medical office. Two additional rooms were also added by Dr. Taylor in a two story addition in the rear of the house. During W.W.I, the Taylor’s also converted the second story into an apartment.

Apparently Dr. Taylor also added an apartment at some point that Sugar’s grandmother rented for a brief period.

Anyone want to go on a field trip?

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: The Twins

December 5, 2014

Sugar is a twin.

I’ll bet that was a surprise in 1947. The story goes is that they weren’t expecting twins.

Sugar is the younger of the two, and had to stay behind at the hospital for a bit until he caught up.


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(Added January 5, 2015)

(Added January 5, 2015)

These next photos were taken at 122 East Taylor Street in Savannah, Georgia. We’re guessing that the boys were christened that day. We know that Dr. Tucker christened them at Christ Church. The reasons we think it is Christening Day are these: the boys are two months old, they are wearing white, their dad is wearing a tie, and they are gathered in the garden at their grandmother Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton’s house.

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Sugar’s mother holds him on the left, and her sister Margaret holds his brother.


Sugar thinks that this is a photo of him and his grandmother because his mouth is open. He said that he was told that he cried a lot. I pointed out that this baby is yawning, not crying.

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The crying baby is probably Sugar.


The grumpy baby is probably Sugar. (Added 1/3/2015)

The grumpy baby is probably Sugar. (Added 1/3/2015)


(Added 1/9/15)

(Added 1/9/15)


(Added 1/9/15)

(Added 1/9/15)


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Sugar’s mother is sitting on the left with one of the boys on her lap. Her mother is standing in the middle with the other twin. Her sister Margaret is to the right with Gumpy the dog.

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(Added 2/15/2015)


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Easter at the house on Duffy Street.

Easter at the house on Duffy Street.

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(Added 1/9/2015)

(Added 1/9/2015)



Sugar said that someone went around their neighborhood with a pony and took photos. This is taken at the house on Duffy Street, and his mother is standing on the porch.

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Charles Morton Strahan married the twins’ grandmother’s sister. He was a professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, and he and his wife Mag had a mountain house. The twins and their parents would vacation at the mountain house in North Georgia, and would recall many happy times there.


(Added 1/9/2015)

In North Georgia at the Strahan house. (Added 1/9/2015)


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There was a place near the mountain house called Darling Springs. That’s where they kept their perishables, like milk, butter, eggs, and cheese. I can’t imagine having walk down the road to the refrigerator. (Added 2/18/2015)





Sugar is probably the one on the left. He thinks this photo was made behind their house on the marsh. (Added 1/3/2015)

Sugar is probably the one on the left. He thinks this photo was made behind their house on the marsh. (Added 1/3/2015)

Are there more twin photos in the gold mine in the closet?  Probably not, but if there are, we’ll find them.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: The Wedding Party of Betsy Rounds and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.

November 16, 2014
Someday I'll know who all these people are.  Until then, we have Betsy and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.

Someday I’ll know who all these people are. Until then, we have Betsy and Edward P. Lawton, Jr.

The Diamonds in the Mailbox: Or Now We Have A Problem

November 15, 2014

Sugar has just received a package of Diamonds in the Mailbox.

See what you think.

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This is the family of Richard H. Bateson, 1823-1908ish.  Present are his 4 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and one granddaughter.  His four sons, Sugar’s great-grandfather being one of them and already in the United States, are not present.  This photo comes to us from Sugar’s cousin who has quite his own treasure trove.  The photo was already labeled, so I do not expand upon that here.

Back row:  

Possibly the husband of Florence Amelia Bateson, an unnamed Humphreys, who is a major.

Mary Jane (Polly) Bateson, who married Arthur Widdows.  They had two sons, Manley and Jeff, and went to the United States.

Richard Holgate Bateson, the patriarch of this group.  Do you remember the Christopher R. Bateson family group, that died in Savannah, Georgia, and Sugar had their graves marked this summer? BROTHERS.  Richard Holgate Bateson and Christopher Remington Bateson were brothers.

Clara Beatrice Bateson – never married.

Florence Amelia (Florrie) Bateson, who married the Humphreys man in the photo.  They had a daughter Dorothy (Talbot), and two sons, Frank and Brian.

Front row:

Susan Ada Bateson, never married.  The photo caption says she was “sickly”.

The next person may be Edith, a Humphreys daughter.

And lastly, probably Major Arthur Widdows, the husband of Mary Jane (Polly) Bateson.

And a copy of the original unedited photo.  Y'all, I've had to buy a new scanner/copier.  The old one couldn't keep up.

And a copy of the original unedited photo. Y’all, I’ve had to buy a new scanner/copier. The old one couldn’t keep up.

I’m going to have to quit my day job.

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.