Literary Day Trips: Close to Home, Easy on the Wallet

Back at Christmas and New Years, I introduced you to two of our pages, author signings and writing groups. Today, I’ve posted an excerpt from our Georgia Authors’ Homes & Museums page. For the complete list, click on the heading, in red, on the top right hand corner of this page. Consider starting with the link to the Southern Literary Trail, the only only tri-state literary trail in the country. As you scroll down the list, by author, you might chuckle at some of the far-flung authors I’ve “claimed” for Georgia. Nonetheless you’ll find interesting spots to visit regardless of where the writers were born. Also note links to additional blog posts written about field trips to some of these spots.

Georgia: Authors’ Homes & Museums

Listed by Author:

Southern Literary Trail: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi

Conrad Aiken: Poet, Savannah


See  You Tube of Savannah home: 

Burns Club of Atlanta, Burns Cottage replica

Robert Burns: Scottish Poet (“To a Louse,” “To a Mouse,” “Tam O’Shanter), Atlanta

Bet you didn’t know that Robert Burns’s childhood hood is located in Atlanta! Well…a replicate of it is–988 Alloway Pl., Atlanta SE. See this earlier blog post to read more:

Erskine Caldwell: Novelist (Tobacco Road), Moreland

Childhood home: “The Little Manse.” The Erskine Caldwell Birthplace Museum is usually open Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Caldwell Birthplace, POB 207, Moreland, GA 30259, 404-254-8657.

James Dickey: Poet and Novelist (Deliverance), Atlanta

Dickey was born in Atlanta on February 2, 1923, the son of Maibelle Swift and Eugene Dickey. He spent his first eighteen years in Atlanta and attended North Fulton High School. His poem “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” recalls some of the friends he knew during those years.

The Gate House

The Foxfire Museum: High school journalists in the North Georgia mountains (Foxfire Magazine, many editions of The Foxfire Book), near Black Rock Mountain State Park and Dillard

The “museum” is actually a gathering of log cabins and other buildings saved and moved to land purchased by the Foxfire organization. A terrific day trip. See this earlier post to read all about it.

Robert Frost: The McCain Library at Agnes Scott College in Decatur has a small collection and display of handwritten poems, photographs, Christmas cards, and more, from Frost’s many years of visiting Agnes Scott from the mid-30s up until his death in 1963.

See this earlier post on the Robert Frost Collection at Agnes Scott:

Mary Gay: Novelist, Decatur 

716 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030 / Phone: 404-378-2162

The Mary Gay House was built in the 1820s in Decatur, Georgia.  The name Mary Gay comes from the homes most famous tenant Mary Ann Harris Gay (1828-1918).  The Confederate author and heroine is best remembered for writing an eyewitness history titled Life in Dixie During the War. In this book, Mary Gay recounts a series of daring exploits, including her forays across enemy lines to secure food and clothing for women and children of war-torn Decatur.  Her writings have inspired some of the world’s best authors including inspiration being used by Margaret Mitchell to create scenes in Gone With the Wind and being used by Mark Twain when he quoted some of Mary Gay’s poetry in Tom

Wren's Nest 001

The Wren’s Nest, Atlanta

Joel Chandler Harris: Folkorist (The Uncle Remus Stories), Atlanta, Eatonton

1. Literary Itinerary, Eatonton & Putnam County: 

2. The Wren’s Nest: Home of Joel Chandler Harris, Atlanta  1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta 30310, 404-753-7735. See this earlier post on The Wren’s Nest:

Fanny Kemble: Journal Writer, British Actress, Abolitionist (Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839) , Little St. Simons Island (Butler Plantation)

Today, the plantations Kemble wrote about reflect the diversity of the region: the former estate on Butler’s Island has been turned into a state wildlife preserve; another patrimonial home on St. Simons has been obliterated by development, absorbed on the grounds of a marina; and Little St. Simons Island remains in the hands of the family that bought the land from Fanny Kemble’s daughters and is now a luxury resort. These islands are dotted with reminders of this remarkable nineteenth-century woman and the mark she left on this remote corner of Georgia.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:  Preacher, essayist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Atlanta, Ga.

1.The Civil and Human Rights Museum, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30313-1807.

Designated room contains selections from King’s papers owned by Morehouse University. Includes first pages (handwritten) of sermons; notecards for doctoral dissertation on Paul Tillich and Henry Wieman; Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Famous-Quotenotes from Selma jail to Andrew Young ( a to-do list outlining ways to bring attention to Selma); annotated “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in Christian Century, 1963 (one of first published versions, basis for later revisions); Eulogy for Four Little Girls murdered in church bombing, Birmingham 1963 (typed and then revised by hand); hand draft “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”; much more.

2. King’s birthplace, Ebenezer Baptist Church, tomb. National Park Service, tours available. (King Historic District, Atlanta)


For the complete list of Georgia author homes and museums (McCullers, Mitchell, O’Connor and more), visit the page listed in the top right corner.


If you have suggestions for other literary destinations in Georgia, please leave a comment. Thanks!


9 thoughts on “Literary Day Trips: Close to Home, Easy on the Wallet

  1. Thanks for this. I have a lifetime hobby of visiting author museums in places around the country where we happen to travel. Usually they are hard to find, but not in Georgia, thanks to this blog. When I recently googled “author museums in ga,” guess what was the first link that came up.!

  2. Thanks for these suggestions. Another kind of literary day trip might involve source material that inspires a writer. One place which has always intrigued me is the “Guidestones” (marble monoliths) of Elberton, Ga. Who put them there and why?

  3. Christina, thanks! I’ve added all these sites to a map I keep on places to stop on the many road trips I take across our state and country. Late last year I was fortunate to be in the Florida Keys and visited Hemingway’s house in Key West. A photo of me beneath his portrait graces my writing desk!
    Also, for your readers, I just noticed Deep South Magazine challenged its readers to include a literary stop on their travels this year. ( for those who want to take a look).
    Hmmm, maybe I’d better go clean the closets in the event someone stops by? ;-o)

    • Thanks, Rona. I’ll have to check out that site. Georgia Backroads is another interesting regional magazine.

      I’ve never been to Key West–it’s so far away, but I’ll bet it’s beautiful.

  4. What an intriguing topic! I cannot say I’ve even thought about visiting
    literary sites in Georgia, though I know you have been to many and
    posted wonderful observations of your trips. Maybe this will be the
    jumpstart that I need to get me moving!

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    but I by no means found any attention-grabbing
    article like yours. It is beautiful value enough for me.
    In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will probably be a lot more useful than ever before.

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