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Eatonton in Putnam County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Childhood Home of Joel Chandler Harris

 
 
childhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 28, 2020
1. childhood Marker
Inscription.  Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories, his mother and grand-mother moved in 1853 to a small two room house here in the back yard of the Andrew Reid Mansion from Barnes Tavern. The women did sewing for the large Reid family. Joel's mother, a devout Methodist, taught him to read and write using the Holy Bible as his first text. Friends loaned other books, and between 1854 and 1860 Joel attended the Eatonton Male Academy paid for by the County Poor School Fund. The days attended per year ranged from 78 to 200. Some of his teachers were: Miss Katherine Davidson, Thos. G. Scott, Wm. A. Wilson and Irby G. Postmaster Sidney C. Prudden encouraged Joel to read the newspapers, journals and periodicals awaiting pickup. It was at the old Post Office in the 100 block of N. Jefferson Ave. where 16 year old Joel saw Joseph Addison Turner's ad for a “printer's devil” for his new weekly newspaper The Countryman, published at his plantation “Turnwold,” 9 miles from Eatonton. Turner hired him in March 1862 and Harris lived there in the Turner home. Hudson Harris later remarked that the 9 mile trip from Eatonton was the most important journey of his life. Turner,
Childhood Home of Joel Chandler Harris Marker and House image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 28, 2020
2. Childhood Home of Joel Chandler Harris Marker and House
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like Postmaster Prudden, recognized Joel's keen intellect and imagination. On Dec. 1, 1862, Joel's first small item appeared in the newspaper. Turner directed his reading from his 4,500 volume library. Harris said later Turner's tutelage had been the equivalent of a college education. Harris remained at "Turnwold” through the Civil War, leaving when the newspaper ended in May 1866. During those four years at "Turnwold," Harris learned the African folk tales told by many different slaves. He published them in 1881 as stories told by the mythical slave character Uncle Remus as Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, The Folklore of the Old Plantation.
 
Erected 2016 by The Madison Town Committee of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia; The Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, Inc.; The Uncle Remus Museum of Eatonton, GA, Inc. and Friends.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the The Colonial Dames of America, National Society of series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
 
Location. 33° 19.638′ N, 83° 23.396′ W. Marker is in Eatonton, Georgia, in Putnam County. Marker is on West Harris Street
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just east of North Madison Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located behind the Bronson House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Eatonton GA 31024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bronson House (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of John C. Mason's Dwelling House (within shouting distance of this marker); Putnam County Confederate Monument (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Stoneman Raid (about 500 feet away); Putnam County (about 500 feet away); The March to the Sea (about 500 feet away); Veterans Flagpole (about 500 feet away); Putnam County Veterans Monument (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eatonton.
 
Also see . . .  Joel Chandler Harris. (Submitted on May 17, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 80 times since then. Last updated on November 24, 2021, by Bill Witherspoon of Decatur, Georgia. Photos:   1. submitted on May 17, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.   2. submitted on May 18, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 30, 2021