Flannery O’Connor and the Peacocks

The Broughton Street House and the O’Connor Family

To highlight The Broughton Street House’s connection to its history, we identify Flannery O’Connor and her use of peacocks as a design focus for our Carriage House. Our Carriage House is a one bedroom, one bath apartment atop the garage behind the main property. It is available to rent as part of the full property, or on it’s own if the full property is not already rented.

On our History page we tell you about the original owner and other residents of this house. Daniel O’Connor and his brother Patrick were a pair of Irish immigrants that came to Savannah after the Civil War. Later, they parleyed their success in industry into real estate investments and established the O’Connor family for generations. Daniel commissioned the three connected townhouses that eventually became 507. 509, and 511 East Broughton. Similarly, his brother Patrick was also a successful businessman and the O’Connor family remained prominent in Savannah through the time of Patrick’s granddaughter, Flannery. Flannery, of course, went on to become one of the best known American voices of the 20th century. Eventually she won a National Book Award for fiction, and was even featured on a US postage stamp.

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor was born in 1925 in Savannah

, and her childhood home is now a museum on Charlton Street.

Flannery’s grandfather Patrick and her great uncle Daniel were Irish immigrants in a new world. As a result, their identity shaped their contributions to society and their views of Savannah. Likewise, Flannery’s Irish Heritage, Catholicism, and Southern upbringing were defining aspects of her life. Her stories were often dark, somber, and somewhat fatalistic.

To highlight the connection between the Broughton Street House and the O’Connor family we have incorporated one of Flannery’s happier subjects into the décor of the Carriage House: Peacocks!

Peacocks in the Carriage House

In her life and in her stories

, Flannery owned, cared for, and used as symbols the beautiful peacock. Later, when the US Postal Service decided to make a stamp honoring Flannery O’Connor, they chose the peacock to highlight her. Therefore, we began searching for art and décor that would bring this theme to the Carriage House to celebrate the connection.

For the bedroom we found a cute print with colors that helped enliven the room.

Peacock Print in the Carriage House Bedroom

In the kitchen / dining room we found a painting from my niece that we thought would be perfect. When we saw it in my sister’s shop, we bought it immediately.

Painting by Ava Denalsky

We had to have a copy of Flannery O’Connor’s stories available, with peacocks, naturally.

The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor

And we even found some William Morris patterned cushions: The Peacock and the Dragon. Once we saw them

, we couldn’t pass them up.
William Morris Peacock and Dragon Patterned Cushions
A vintage Japanese tea set with a peacock motif

We enjoy linking the house to it’s history. Choosing an element like the Flannery O’Connor’s peacocks is a great way to add an interesting visual element while also connecting to the past. Hopefully our guests will enjoy the little details!

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