Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home
Opposite the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Lafayette Square stands the rather Spartan facade of the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home (207 E. Charlton St., 912/233-6014, www.flanneryoconnorhome.org, Fri.–Wed. 1–4 p.m., closed Thursdays, $5). The Savannah-born novelist lived in this three-story townhome from her birth in 1925 until 1938 and attended church at the Cathedral across the square.
Once a fairly nondescript attraction for so favorite a native daughter, a just-concluded round of renovations has returned the main two floors to the state Flannery would have known, including an extensive library. A nonprofit association sponsors O’Connor-related readings and signings.
While the current backyard garden is circa-1993, it is the place where five-year-old Flannery is said to have taught a chicken to walk backwards, foreshadowing the eccentric, gothic flavor of her writing.
Across from the O’Connor house is the Hamilton-Turner Inn (330 Abercorn St., 912/233-1833, www.hamilton-turnerinn.com). Now a privately owned bed-and-breakfast, this 1873 Second Empire mansion is best known for the showmanship of its over-the-top Victorian appointments and its role in “The Book” as the home of Joe Odom’s girlfriend “Mandy Nichols” (real name Nancy Hillis). In 1883 it was reportedly the first house in Savannah to have electricity.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition