The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
– G.K. Chesterton
What unique historic sites in Augusta should we show visitors when they come to town for the Masters Tournament next month?
Well, I asked – at the behest of an out-of-town TV production company – and you continue to answer.
If this was a horse race, Meadow Garden, the oldest house in town and former farm of Declaration of Independence signer George Walton, would be the clear favorite.
“It is the oldest documented house in Augusta,” Virginia Nicholson wrote. “George and his family located here in 1792, although the house stood here from the 1780s. Situated next to the Augusta Canal, which wasn’t built until 1845, it was part of two 50-acre tracts Walton owned. He died in the house on Feb. 2, 1804.”
But there are more recommendations. Many more.
SACRED HEART: Doug Herman writes: ”Sacred Heart Cultural Center is one of the most artistic, unique, and interesting treasures in Augusta. … it’s 100-plus-year history and near demise only to be saved by a local benefactor.”
SPRINGFIELD BAPTIST: Dan White says: “Oldest African-American Church in USA and the first and founding pastor ordained by Abraham Marshall, son of Daniel Marshall, who brought the Baptist faith to Georgia through Kiokee Baptist Church. I took my Georgia history class many years ago on a tour there and it was outstanding.”
Others mentioned the Signers Monument, Confederate Powder Works, Reid Memorial Presbyterian, the Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson, Bell Auditorium, St. Paul’s Church, Thurmond Dam, Summerville and the Partridge Inn,
SAVANNAH RAPIDS PAVILION: Billy Cooper, of North Augusta, writes: “Savannah Rapids Pavilion and the towpath to the water pump station is very interesting. For those attending the tournament, this should attract the kids and also those that like to walk, jog, train.”
BUTT BRIDGE: Martha Brown, of Hephzibah, says “The bridge and the Dennis Cahill Memorial are a must-see for visitors. The beautifully decorated bridge stands in stark contrast to the simple stone monument. Although Archie Butt was well known and a person of great influence, and Dennis Cahill a poor Irish immigrant, his memorial will outlast the bridge.”
GOULD’S CORNER: Lyle Glascock points out that within a mile of Gould’s Corner (Milledge Road and Walton Way) many governors lived: Walton, John Milledge, John Forsyth, George Crawford and Charles Jenkins. “I doubt you can find anywhere in the U.S. with so many former governors’ homes in such a small area,” he said.
Other mentions: the Augusta College guard house, Summerville Cemetery, the Aqueduct near Lake Olmstead, Redcliff Plantation, the old Medical College, and the mills along the canal in Harrisburg.
RICHMOND ACADEMY: Paula Conner writes, “The first thing I thought of. I think its history, beginning with the original building and progressing to its location in the beautiful building it now occupies on Russell Street, is extremely important and interesting.”
HILDEBRANDT’S: Rick Marschalk said the old grocery at Sixth and Ellis streets has “lots of great old photos throughout the store and Luanne and staff make some great sandwiches.”
More places: Ty Cobb’s old house on Williams Street, the Lucy Craft Laney Museum, St. Paul’s Church cemetery, Magnolia Cemetery, Enterprise Mill, the Cotton Exchange and Lookaway Hall.
Finally, Tom Faircloth, of Barnwell, suggested the 228-year-old Augusta Chronicle. “You and staff could give a great historical record of Augusta,” he wrote.
Thanks, Tom. Believe it or not, we usually have a foreign film crew come by almost every year to do a story on how we cover the golf tournament. It’s why I keep German and Spanish dictionaries in my desk.