I enjoyed my visit to Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home in Savannah, Georgia. We visited the day before her birthday.
The house is located at 207 East Charlton Street, facing Lafayette Square, with a prominent view of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where young Mary Flannery attended mass.
Here’s the house:
Here’s O’Connor’s baby stroller:
Note the monogram detail:
Fancy! A lot of the fancy details in the O’Connor house—and indeed the house itself—were a result of the largesse of O’Connor’s mother’s second cousin, Katie Semmes, who was a benefactor for the family. (She also lived next door and took an interest in O’Connor’s creative development).
Young Mary Flannery’s seventh grade report card:
She must’ve been excellent at algebra (or the teacher was easy).
According to our (excellent, informative, and passionate) tour guide Cody, O’Connor’s favorite play spot in the house was the bathroom: she would fill the tub pillows and hold reading parties in there. (Apparently, she got in trouble for reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales to some of the neighborhood girls).
One of my favorite things in the house is young M.F. OC.’s criticism of The Fairy Babies:
“Not a very good book.”
O’Connor’s childhood lamp is St. George slaying the dragon:
Cute little table:
Not at all creepy:
From O’Connor’s parents’ bedroom—specifically, the view from the window under which young Flannery slept in a bassinet for some years—there is a clear view of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (the trees in Lafayette Square wouldn’t have been nearly as tall):
Another view from within O’Connor’s parents’ bedroom:
Make of that what you will.
There’s a dogwood tree (in beautiful bloom below!) in the backyard; it’s the only plant that still survives from O’Connor’s time in the house:
It was in this backyard that little Mary Flannery taught a chicken to walk backwards:
And from O’Connor’s 1945 yearbook:
There were a bunch of cool things that I didn’t take pictures of too. Great tour, great fun. As a lagniappe, here’s the little free library under the house’s steps: