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Walton Way: 1905

Walton Way: 1905

Circa 1905. "Summerville, South Carolina -- Walton Way." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Looks like Augusta

I've lived in Augusta for 13 years now and as a resident and avid photographer, this defiantly looks like Walton way.

["Defiantly"? Definitely. - Dave]

Big box of news?

Could that be an early paper vending machine, two cents for a copy?

Definitely Augusta, my home town

The photo was taken at the corner of Milledge Road and Walton Way, looking e-s-e toward downtown. Growing up in Augusta in the 1940s, I distinctly remember the streetcar tracks on Walton Way, although the cars went out in 1935 on the Walton Way-Central Ave. belt line, and in 1937 on the rest of the system. Tracks remained on portions of Walton Way out to Monte Sano Ave., and on Broad St. out to 13th St. and from 15th out to Julian Smith Park. On Walton Way it was single track from Milledge to Monte Sano, and there was a turnout into the Arsenal. Trackage was standard gauge, T-rail (no girder rail, i.e., no flangeways). The original street railway here was the Augusta & Summerville Railway, Summerville being that portion of present-day Augusta known to the natives as "The Hill." My paternal grandparents lived on the Hill at 2504 Helen St. and I spent summers there with them well into the 1950s. Augusta was a great railroad town also, with the main shops of the Georgia Railroad located near the grand Union Station ("the depot" to the locals). All of that is demolished. The Southern, Atlantic Coast Line, C&WC, and the Ga. & Fla. also served Augusta. While I missed the streetcars in Augusta, I later rode them in New Orleans, and became (and remain) a trolley "nut."

Corrections and reflections

As others have noted, this Summerville is a section of Augusta, Georgia, on The Hill, as locals say. This is a view of Walton Way, corner of Milledge Rd., looking toward downtown (roughly compass east). The house on the corner at left is still standing, nicely restored in recent years. Streetcars (the preferred term in the South, not "trolleys") last ran in Augusta in 1937, four years before I was born there. My grandparents lived on the Hill, at 2504 Helen St. (house now demolished), and I attended William Robinson Elementary School through third grade. I would ride my bike down Arsenal Ave. to Walton Way and thence to school. The streetcar tracks were in the concrete pavement for many years after service ceased; in fact, you could trace practically the whole line back up to Monte Sano Ave. and, in the other direction, down the Hill to Thirteenth St. and then over to Broad St. From Monte Sano the line ran down Central Ave. in the center boulevard (in New Orleans they call it the "neutral ground') and worked its way back to Broad St. It was a belt line, i.e., cars ran in a continuous loop in both directions. Although I missed the streetcar era in Augusta, I later lived in New Orleans and rode them almost daily.

Today it costs millions of

Today it costs millions of dollars a mile to build a light rail system. Back then they just laid down track and drove the cars on it.


@lesle: The bigger box if possibly a postal relay box, to "refill" the letter carrier's sachel with delivery mail along the route. If not, then my guess would be garbage can. I agree with you about the smaller box being a mail drop box for customers.

Gould's Corner, Augusta, GA

This photo was taken from Gould's Corner in the Summerville historic district in Augusta, GA. The photo is listed in the LoC database at the end of a short series in Augusta; my guess is that the photographer simply labeled it "Summerville," then he (or someone else) later added the "S.C." based on the photos that followed. In any case, the house at the left is the Gould-Weed house. Just down the road, Walton Way takes a jog left, as can be seen by the curve in the trolley tracks. Here's the (overexposed) street view today:

View Larger Map

If you look at Bing's street view of the house from a few different angles, you can see that the architectural details match.

The tram is the only clue

Tried to find current pics of Walton Way. Only thing now in Summerville is Walton Place... a little cul-de-sac in a modern subdivision. But, close by is another development with street names such as Tram Blvd and Iron Road. My guess is that the area was bulldozed for new homes but the builder kept some of the history in the street names.


I suspect this photo is mislabeled. In Augusta, Georgia, there is a community also called Summerville. Walton Way, in the former place, is a major main road and vintage photos show trolleys were in service there. To my knowledge, my native Summerville, South Carolina never had trolleys.

Too Late for Pony Express, Too Early for FedEx

On the left, u-bolted to the metal post, what are those two box enclosures? Is the small one a Post Office mail drop? And I have no idea about the larger one.

Ahhh, that’s better.

Obviously the trollies clean-up after themselves in Summerville.

Tree Town

So many trees to trim, so little time. Even though Augusta, Georgia has an average high of 58 and low of 33 in January, I am sure they can have an ice storm every now and then. I would guess that a heavy one would put this town out of business in 1905. Look at all the tree limbs over power, telegraph, telephone and even streetcar lines.

tree hazards

Though there is evidence of some tree pruning having been done, a lot of work remains to protect all those inmeshed utility lines from the next big wind storm and any swinging/falling branches.

Could be Augusta

As a lifelong resident (60 years) of Augusta, GA, I feel confident in saying this is indeed Walton Way. However, it's in Augusta, not SC. And, this particular section of it is in the "Summerville" neighborhood of Augusta. It looks as though we're looking down the familier steep hill where The Bon Aire Hotel and The Partridge Inn are both located at the bottom. As a matter of fact, The Partridge Inn can just be seen in the distance in the center of the picture. Of course I could be wrong...probably am.

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