Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Myths and Mysteries

I'm lucky to have a vintage 19th century photograph of a house that my grandmother, Betty Davis, labeled as being the home where her husband, George Leander Armstrong Davis, was born.  (Click on the images in this blog post to see a larger or more complete view.)
The Hickories (Personal Collection of Margaret Eves)

The photo led my mom and me to seek out that home in Guyton, Georgia during a recent trip we took to Savannah.  With the help of a nice lady at Guyton (Georgia) City Hall we found the house where my grandpa was most likely born, but also discovered it was NOT the one in my old photograph!

Armstrong-Morgan home, Guyton, GA (Personal collection of Margaret Eves)

The Armstrong-Morgan home on Central Avenue is about as close to the epicenter of Guyton you can get (next door to Subway and across the street from the IGA).  The current owner, Marshall Reiner, graciously invited us in and took the time to show us around, despite the fact that the house serves as the location for his CPA business and it was the HEIGHT of tax season!  It's a beautiful Victorian home with high ceilings and a wrap around front-porch.

Mr. Reiner explained that Guyton was a bedroom community of sorts for Savannahians back in the 19th century.  People could work in Savannah and then ride the train home to Guyton or other towns along the railway and spend their weekends or summers where they were away from "the fever" or other unpleasantries of the city.  The map portion below (click the link to see the full map on the Library of Congress' American Memories website) shows the Central of Georgia Rail Road line going from Savannah up through Effingham County to Louisville in Burke County.

Portion of Indexed Railroad and County Map of Georgia
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

1883 Indexed Railroad and County Map of Georgia

When looking at the photograph of the house that we thought was Grandpa's birthplace, Mr. Reiser noticed my grandmother's note that it was at the "29 milepost."  He said the Armstrong-Morgan house was at the 14 mile post, but that the little town of Egypt was around the 29 milepost and it could be that's where the old photo was taken.  You can see "Egypt" along the railway north of Guyton on the map above.  It's possible that the old photo shows a house where the Armstrongs lived at one point until they built their home in Guyton in 1883.  Or it's possible it's a home of friends or relatives.  Unfortunately, Mama and I didn't have time to drive through "Egypt" on our way home to see if we saw a house matching the one in the photograph.  Still a mystery to be solved.


Cram, George Franklin.  Indexed railroad and county map of Georgia. Map. Chicago, 1883. From Library of Congress. Map Collections,
 (accessed April 20, 2013).

Personal collection of Margaret Eves.

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