Down Parham Road near Fort Gordon's Gate Three, a stand of pines once encircled Copse Hill, the final home of Southern poet Paul Hamilton Hayne. It was little more than a shack.
But from his small estate in Grovetown, Hayne became known as "The Poet of the Pines."
Not much remains of the estate today. Hayne died in the late 1800s, and his son never had children. The house collapsed in 1959, but a monument will rise to remember him.
In partnership with the Georgia Historical Society, the Grovetown Museum will erect a historical marker in front of its Robinson Avenue building at 3 p.m. today.
Local historian Charles Lord spent decades tracking down the remains of a life once celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic and will preside over the ceremony.
"It will be the culmination of a dream I've had since I was 14," Lord said.
Lord had a childhood friend whose family was one of the last to inhabit the home that had no water or electricity. He spent hours staring at the fading wall decorations pasted by Mrs. Hayne.
Many remnants in the museum bear the designation "Donated by Charles Lord."
Although Hayne is listed on the Poet's Monument on Greene Street in Augusta, the only tribute to the poet in Grovetown before today was Hayne Drive, a two-lane road that intersects Robinson Avenue near Second Avenue.
Rayburn S. Moore, a Hayne scholar who hopes to attend the unveiling, said the poet has been ignored since the late 19th century.
Like Longfellow and many of his contemporaries, Hayne has fallen out of fashion despite his renown while alive.
"Hayne's poetry is old-fashioned, and like many other poets, many of his contemporaries, his poetry just does not appeal to modern audiences," Moore said.
Hayne fled Charleston, S.C., with his wife and young son after losing everything in the Civil War. The former Confederate soldier had published before the war and wanted to renew his writing.
Moore said Grovetown inspired Hayne. "Many of his poems were based on his surroundings and dealt with the birds and the natural scenes of the area," he said.
A Romantic poet such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, Hayne had some of his works published in respected journals such as Harper's Monthly and Atlantic Monthly.
He also worked as an editor for publications such as the Charleston Literary Gazette.
In addition to the marker, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners recently approved the naming of a new Parham Road overpass as the Paul Hamilton Hayne Memorial Bridge.
Thomas H. Robertson, Hayne's great-great-great-nephew, acquired a collection of Hayne's personal papers and writings from his grandmother. He donated them to the Augusta Museum of History in 2002.
Gordon Blaker, curator of the Augusta Museum, said the collection includes books that Hayne kept as journals but later pasted over with newspaper articles, photographs and mementos.
"What I'd love to do is remove the scrapbooking stuff from the pages he'd written on and be able to read what he wrote under there," he said, speculating that the writing Hayne did mostly in pencil might be rough drafts of his works.
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