Tuesday, August 14, 2007


This morning, I’m waiting for two homeowners to call me. I e-mailed them the chapters (#10 and #11) that I’d written about their homes and now it’s their chance to let me know if they have any corrections.

Did I get their dog’s name wrong? Did the antique chest in the dining room belong to their husband’s great grandmother, not his grandmother? You get the idea.

Anyhow, Chapter #9 has now been reviewed and is in the ‘Done’ folder. I know the last one mentioned by number was #7 but I was never very good at math! I forgot to report that Brooke’s story (#8) was done.

Chapter #9 is a cottage on Tybee Island, Georgia. This barrier island off the coast of Savannah is lined with gorgeous cottages and colorful beach bungalows.

Of course, modern condos and high-rises exist, too, but they hold no fascination for me. They are never as interesting as older homes, especially ones with a good story waiting to be told

When Marcia and Tom bought their cottage it was considered a tear down. It had sat empty for 20 years -- abandoned by all but the flocks of pigeons that called the place home.

After they purchased the wreck, however, a funny thing happened. Marcia’s new Tybee Island neighbors started telling her tidbits about the house and it’s history. The more she heard, the more determined she became to save the 19th century cottage instead of knocking it down.

The cottage got a second chance (see above photo of cottage hallway) and Marcia, Tom and the cottage live happily ever after. The pigeons, on the other hand, all had to find a new home.

FYI: Marcia is the granddaughter of Sema Wilkes, the founder of Savannah’s famous southern-style eatery, Mrs. Wilkes. For years, four generations worked together at the restaurant dishing out sweet tea, irresistible collard greens, whorls of mashed potatoes, platters of legendary fried chicken and biscuits that would make even Paris & Nicole go off their diets.

I had the pleasure of meeting the family matriarch several times prior to her passing in 2002 and she gave me a copy of her cookbook. Even though the book is now well worn with use, my pet chickens feel safe – my favorites are her recipes for Crab Stew, Creole Eggplant and Sweet Potato Souffle.

***** BLOG DU JOUR *****

In keeping with today’s southern sojourn, I’d like you to meet Harriette Keen Jacobs. Her blog South of The Gnat Line is a gorgeous eclectic mix of southern humor, nature worship, fabulous chicken photos and farm life. After you visit, you’ll understand why I love Harriette’s blog. How many stylish sites have links to McMurray Hatchery? City slickers may want to skip this one.


South of the Gnat Line said...

Hey There ~ thank you for the mention in your post today. I am lovin' your photos since we are out in the low country ourselves. Meanwhile, we are big time Tybee fans and I have the drive down to 3 hours flat (sometimes LESS!) from the garage to beachside.

Just so you know ~ I'm spreading my wings and have SouthoftheGnatLine.com. Best of luck w/your book project and will follow along.

Stop by any time!
Harriette Jacobs

PAT said...

Hello Barbara...I loved the peek inside this beautiful cottage. J and I will be marketing our lake condo, perhaps, next spring. That's the plan anyway. We spent last weekend looking at older homes/cottages, to consider. I'm not sure we would have the stamina at our age, for restoration. It's a lovely dream though.


Mary Isabella said...

New to your site will visit again. It is very pretty and interesting.

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Barbara, your posts are always so cozy, love the charming cook book; and that foyer, just Gorgoues!!!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Barbara, this was such a fun post to read. The photos look gorgeous, I for one can't wait for your book to be out and available!

Mrs. Wilkes is adorable, isn't she?How great that you got to meet her.

I'll be visiting the South of the Gnat blog later...sounds like Southern fun.