E. Shaver, Bookseller in Savannah. Photo credit: Mike Hrizuk, South Magazine
9 Inspiring Flannery O'Connor Destinations in Georgia
You may know Flannery O'Connor as the famous American novelist that she was, but did you know how close her ties are to Savannah and Milledgeville, Georgia? In both of these Georgia cities, you can find several historical sites to visit that will teach you more about who Flannery O'Connor was, what her life looked like and the undeniable legacy she left.
From bibliophiles to inspiration seekers, these sites undoubtedly have something special in store for you. We’ve compiled a list of nine Flannery attractions for your road trip across the state.
Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, Savannah
Visitors to O’Connor’s Childhood Home, one of the few museum houses in the country that is restored to the Depression-era, receive a guided tour that reveals the quiet domestic life of the young Mary Flannery and her family. Flannery called this “home” from when she was born in 1925 until when her family moved to Milledgeville. The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home also offers a variety of free events throughout the year, including free Sunday lecture series in both the spring and the fall, and the Annual Ursrey Memorial Lecture, which has brought Michael Cunningham, Roxanne Gay, and Jaimy Gordon to Savannah.
Note: Open daily, year-round, except Thursdays | 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. | 207 East Charlton Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Cline-O’Connor-Florencourt House, Milledgeville
If you’re walking the streets of Milledgeville, you’ll pass by this gorgeous house. Used as the residence for Georgia's Governor in 1838 and 1839 during the construction of the present Georgia’s Old Governor's Mansion, the house is the family home of the late Flannery O'Connor. Flannery lived here briefly after her family's move to Milledgeville as a teenager. It remains in the family today and is a private residence.
Note: 311 W. Greene St, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville
Now a part of Georgia College’s campus, Andalusia Farm was the home of Flannery O’Connor from 1951-1964. During the 13 years she lived at Andalusia, she completed the bulk of her literary work, as the farm’s environment influenced the setting of many of her writings. Walk the grounds, marvel at the peacocks, and be inspired by the surroundings that inspired Flannery herself.
Also, join fellow Flannery fans at Andalusia on Monday, March 25, 2019, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to celebrate O’Connor’s birthday! Andalusia is celebrating with free admission to the public and with birthday cake all day, and an official cutting of the cake at noon. After all, what’s a birthday without cake?
Note: Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 4 p.m. Tours begin on the hour and the last tour begins at 4 p.m. 2628 N. Columbia Street, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Milledgeville
For over 150 years, the ancestors of internationally acclaimed author Flannery O’Connor, a devout Catholic herself, have been instrumental in the development and growth of the Catholic Church in Milledgeville. The first Catholic resident of Milledgeville was Hugh Donnelly Treanor, Flannery O’Conner’s great-grandfather. Stop by to admire the church’s beautiful and unique Gothic Revival-style architecture and reminisce on a community that was a large influence on O’Connor’s life.
Note: 110 N Jefferson St NE, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Memory Hill Cemetery is the resting place of countless influencers of Milledgeville’s past, including Flannery O’Connor. In addition to the traditional flowers or even a coin, some visitors to O'Connor's grave leave behind other tokens such as peacock feathers, pebbles, stones, poems, small books and figurines.
Note: Liberty and Franklin Streets, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Special Collections Library, Milledgeville
Special Collections is a section of Georgia College’s Ina Dillard Russell Library dedicated to the curation of documents documenting Milledgeville’s past. Staff of the Ina Dillard Russell Library established the Flannery O'Connor Collection shortly after the first publication of O'Connor's short story "The Geranium" in 1946. The early collection consisted of newspaper clippings, magazines containing the first publications of stories, the published works, and some early items from O'Connor's student days at Peabody High School and Georgia State College for Women.
While best remembered for her fiction, O'Connor was also an accomplished cartoonist; numerous examples of her artwork appear in the college newspaper, literary magazine and yearbook. Many of these publications are placed on display for visitors to admire throughout the year.
Note: Open Mon-Fri 9-12 & 1-4 during fall and spring semesters | 221 N Clarke St, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Savannah Book Festival
Attend the Savannah Book Festival and you are bound to find Flannery O’Connor and her works being celebrated. This festival celebrates nationally recognized and local authors through their contributions to literacy, ideas and imagination. Festival Saturday is free and open to the public, featuring solo author presentations in seven venues around Telfair, Chippewa and Wright Squares in historic downtown Savannah.
Note: February 13-16, 2020
E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah
Locals and visitors alike should get their literary fix at this magical bookstore located only a short stroll away from Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home. Adding this destination to your itinerary is a must-do for every book lover. E. Shaver, Bookseller opened its doors in 1975, and E. Shaver herself still runs things today. Take time to visit this literary landmark and appreciate the inspiration that flows from the walls of books. We think Flannery would approve of this independent bookseller!
Note: Open Mon-Tue 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. & Wed-Fri 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. | 326 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
Flannery O’Connor Birthday Parade & Street Fair, Savannah
You simply don’t want to miss this lively celebration of acclaimed author and Savannah native Flannery O'Connor's birthday, March 24. The parade and street fair offer free family fun, live music, a wacky parade, coffee/tea/cake and more! Costumes inspired by Flannery O'Connor characters, settings or the author’s life are encouraged but optional. The parade is free and open to the public.
Note: March 24, 2019 | 1 - 4 p.m. | Lafayette Square, Savannah, GA