Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Something Old | Willa's House

Atlanta, Georgia // Virginia Highland neighborhood

Willa Williams, my great aunt, was born in 1914 in Adairsville, Georgia. She worked for Sears & Roebuck for 47 years in the catalog department managing over 100 people and transitioned to the computer during her tenure, which as you can imagine had to be a huge deal.

She and her husband, Herbert, married in 1942 and bought their house in 1949 for under $10,000. He died soon after that from cancer. Willa never remarried, but she enjoyed a full life traveling with friends and celebrating the arts. 

Overall, she lived a simple life enjoying doing what she loved. She never added a washer and dryer or air-conditioning to the house but had a window unit in her dining room and her bedroom. I lived with her one summer while I had an internship at Rutt Custom Cabinetry at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, and it amazes me that she lived like this for so long. 

The home was vacant for five years after she broke her hip at 92 and was never well enough to go home. My mom and her sisters, Frances and Lisa, sold the house two years ago. These are shots of the home right before it sold.

When I was in school at North Georgia College before transferring to the University of Georgia, I did a photography project and captured and developed this shot of Willa (circa 1998). Above are some of her accolades. 

Not Willa's wedding ring but a ring she gave my mom from a boyfriend. 


paula said...

What a beautiful home. makes me teary eyed thinking of my deceased grandparents home. So many good memories. Wish my kids could have met them.

Amy said...

you really captured the emotions of the home. lovely work.