Historic building to be baptized with a marker


August 5 – Grover Coe Fohm’s property tax bill for 1608 Reynolds St. was $5 – in 1873.

Deborah Riner, the building’s current owner, wishes her taxes were this low.

Now as an office of the Coastal Hypnosis Center, GuyNel Johnson’s research suggests it has served a variety of sailors calling at Brunswick Harbor over the centuries.

“We think it may have served as a boarding house or perhaps as a place where port workers slept between trips,” Johnson said.

Grover Coe Fahm was a ship’s captain and operated from the port of Brunswick, she said. He probably had other sea captains staying in the house.

“They had to stay somewhere when they were in port, and they also had family. We think that’s what a lot of these homes were at the time,” Johnson said. “They served the harbour. Bay Street didn’t look the same as it does now. They had a train and the Oglethorpe (hotel), and it took a lot of people to serve all those areas.”

His information comes from documents stored at Brunswick Town Hall, which was once a customs office. These records date back to the 17th century, and it was there that she found property records for 1608 Reynolds from 1873. She could not identify Fahm’s grave in Brunswick with certainty, but her son is buried at Oak Grove cemetery, and his obituary mentions that his father was a well-known sea captain.

It’s obvious the building is old, says Riner. from the original wood siding to certain interior features.

“It has its little quirks because it’s very old. The light switch is outside the bathroom, things like that. It has a very warm feel to it,” Riner said.

The Magnolia Garden Club and the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority will hold a ceremony to officially recognize the building with a historic plaque today at 5 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.

While anyone is free to have their own plaque made, the Garden Club and DDA will order one and pay half the cost under a grant scheme launched in 2016 with the christening of the old office. from The News at 1604 Newcastle St. Johnson. research applications with support from DDA Executive Director Mathew Hill.

“We certainly endorse them and cooperate with them. We worked with them to come up with the program,” Hill said.

The grant only applies to homes in the Old Town Historic District, which Hill says is roughly bounded by H Street on the north, First Avenue on the south, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the east and the Brunswick River to the west.

For Johnson, the program is not just a historic preservation initiative, but something she personally has fun with.

“It’s very important to me that we preserve our history and let everyone know how wonderful this place is,” Johnson said. “I love Braunschweig.”

Riner’s business is the 17th plaque the club has awarded to a commercial enterprise – the first since the COVID-19 pandemic – with 12 plaques for historic homes.

In a slightly confusing twist, 1608 Reynolds is the first plaque installed in the New Town area of ​​the Old Town Historic District. New Town was a neighborhood developed after the original historic core of the SoGlo area, as the city expanded.

It’s still under development, but Johnson said the club and DDA will eventually roll out a website that people can use to view each building’s history.

For more information or to request a plaque, contact Hill at [email protected]


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