207 East Charlton Street
Built in 1856, Savannah's Historic Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home was the birthplace and childhood home of Flannery O'Connor, one of the country's oustanding writers. Born Mary Flannery O'Connor in 1925, Flannery lived in the house, then a modest one-story home until 1938.
Mary, as she was known until college, grew up on Lafayette Square during the depression and attended nearby Catholic schools. She died of lupus erythematosus when she was only 39, the same disease that had claimed her father in 1941.
The 19th century Greek revival townhouse is undergoing major renovations. The top two floors and the basement are apartments. The living room on "parlor level" floor, which is open to the public, with twin fireplaces and chandeliers has been completely refurbished. The heart-of-pine floors, heavy furniture and lace curtains are reminiscent of the period when it was home to the O'Connor family. The walled garden was added in 1993. It was in the back yard that 5-year-old Mary is said to have taught a chicken to walk backwards.
The house is owned and operated by the nonprofit Flannery O'Connor Home Foundation, which bought the property in 1989. The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Foundation is a non-profit corporation, funded by donations and staffed by volunteers. Today, it is maintained partly as a memorial to her and partly as a literary center for Savannah. The house is open to the public free of charge on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Literary activities are held at various times from October to May. The home presents special readings for the Georgia Heritage celebration and for Saint Patrick's Day.
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