Thursday, July 30, 2009

How Many Acres Are There?

The 1947 entry in Sally Fitzgerald's chronology in the Library of America volume, Flannery O'Connor Collected Works, explains that upon his death, Dr. Bernard Cline left the Andalusia property to his sister, Regina Cline O'Connor (Flannery's mother), and another brother, Louis Cline. The text states that the Andalusia Farm included "500 acres of fields and 1,000 acres of woods." That particular description is not exactly accurate. Bernard Cline actually acquired two tracts of land equaling 550-acres in the early 1930s that were the core of a 1700-acre plantation in the 19th century. It is out of this original property that Dr. Cline and his immediate heirs carved a farm complex, hayfields, and livestock ponds. It was some time after this initial purchase that Dr. Cline began to acquire wooded sections north of the farm, totalling 1,000 acres in size, which remained undeveloped during his lifetime and were never part of the Andalusia Farm. This section was later divided and tracts were distributed to some of Dr. Cline's relatives. Developers eventually purchased some of these tracts and created the Northwoods subdivision, which includes O'Connor Drive and Regina Drive. Today, Andalusia is 544 acres in size (six acres were lost to the highway expansion several decades ago), and the Flannery O'Connor - Andalusia Foundation owns approximately 524 of those acres, including the main house, the outbuildings, pastures, hayfields, several ponds, and forests. In two separate transactions in 2003, the Foundation acquired this property from Mrs. O'Connor's Estate and from the private owners of the twenty-acre farm complex . The remaining twenty-acre tract is located just north of the farm complex and is held by the Executor of Mrs. O'Connor's Estate.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The King of the Birds Returns to Andalusia

Almost twenty years have passed since the screams of peafowl pierced the solitude of Andalusia. Thanks to the generosity of some close friends to the Foundation, the King of the Birds will soon return. A few peafowl (not the dozens that O'Connor once raised) will take up residence at the farm in August, settling into a very impressive aviary built by local contractor Billy Allen and his fine crew of craftsmen. And, just for the record, the term "peafowl" refers to the two species of the Pavo genus of pheasants. Only the males, with the very beautiful tail feathers, are called peacocks; the females are called peahens. In other words, technically there is no such thing as a female peacock. Building an aviary adequate to house such large birds is quite an undertaking and was not included in this year's budget. We could really use your help! If you would like to make a donation to help us "bring back the peafowl" to Andalusia, please give us a call at 478-454-4029. Thank you.


Monday, July 13, 2009

New Souvenirs in the Andalusia Gift Shop

Some of the visitors to Andalusia arrive prepared to spend a week's wages on the interesting assortment of merchandise in our gift shop. They walk away with a bag full of books, note cards, a Stan Strickland print, and a few other treasures. However, some of our visitors may not have so much money to spend, especially in this challenging economy, but they still want to take something home that will remind them of their experience at O'Connor's home. We have recently added yet another line of inexpensive souvenirs to fit just about any budget -- full-color Lucite refrigerator magnets! Now wait, before you groan, please understand that these are VERY attractive magnets with four different photo styles: the main house, the pond, a peacock, and a single peacock feather. They are reasonably priced at $4 each. Call and order your magnet(s) today at 478-454-4029.