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Flannery O’Conner’s “Andalusia” – Her Farm near Milledgeville, Georgia
Image by UGArdener
"Andalusia was the home of American author Flannery O’Connor from 1951 until her death from lupus in 1964. This is where O’Connor was living when she completed her two novels and two collections of short stories.
Andalusia is open for self-guided "walk-in" tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All other visits are by advance appointment only by calling 478-454-4029.
Andalusia is located in Baldwin County, Georgia about four miles northwest of Milledgeville, on the west side of U.S. Highway 441. Rolling hills, red clay, pine trees, and hardwoods characterize this part of the state. Native Americans inhabited this region for at least 12,000 years, leaving behind an impressive array of earthen mounds, pottery, tools, weapons, and place names. In fact, several major trading paths converged at a site near Milledgeville. When the city was surveyed in 1803, it was on the very edge of the Georgia frontier.
The 544-acre estate is composed of gently rolling hills divided into a farm complex, hayfields, pasture, man-made and natural ponds, and forests. Tobler Creek, a spring fed waterway, intersects the property entering near the west corner and meandering down to exit at the middle of the southeast boundary.
The farm complex at Andalusia consists of the main house, a peafowl aviary, Jack & Louise Hill’s House, the main cow barn, an equipment shed, the milk-processing shed, an additional smaller barn, a parking garage (also called the Nail House), a water tower, a small storage house (formerly a well house), a horse stable, a pump house, and three tenant houses."
"Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Edward F. and Regina Cline O’Connor. The O’Connors lived at 207 East Charlton St. across LaFayette Square from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where the family attended Mass. In the spring of 1938, the family moved to Atlanta where Edward O’Connor was employed as a Federal Housing Authority real estate appraiser. In 1940, the O’Connors moved to Milledgeville to live in the Cline family home on Greene Street. Mr. O’Connor died of lupus early in 1941, and Mrs. O’Connor and Flannery continued to live in the Milledgeville family home along with Flannery’s aunts. It is here that Flannery would continue to live, with a bedroom on the second floor, while she attended Peabody High School and Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College & State University)."
When Flannery O’Connor left Milledgeville in 1945 to attend the State University of Iowa, she enrolled in the Writers Workshop conducted by Paul Engle. Her thesis there comprised a collection of short stories entitled The Geranium, which would contain the seed of her first novel. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree after two years but remained in Iowa for another year before going to the Yaddo Foundation’s
artist colony near Saratoga Springs, New York. Afterwards she lived in New York City where she was introduced to Robert and Sally Fitzgerald, with whom she lived for over a year in Ridgefield, Connecticut. During this time she was writing her first novel Wise Blood.
"In late 1950 Flannery O’Connor began to exhibit symptoms of the disease that had killed her father. Her condition forced Flannery to return to Milledgeville in 1951, but she continued working on revised drafts of the novel even while she was in the hospital. But instead of returning to the family home in town, Flannery and her mother moved to the family farm, Andalusia, where Flannery lived for thirteen years, until her death in 1964."