Standing in front of Lawton Place in the 1950's
During Reconstruction in the 1870's, railroad companies began speculating in real estate as a way to raise revenue for the railroads. Northern railroad investors who envisioned "a summer resort" established Mount Airy in northeast Georgia along the Atlanta and Richmond Railroad line in 1872. Which is also the highest point between the two states.
General Alexander Robert Lawton of Savannah was an early investor in Mount Airy. The Railroad Avenue lot where Lawton built his summer home, one of the many parcels he purchased. After his death in 1896 the house was sold and has had many owners.
Its most famous tenant was baseball legend Ty Cobb, who rented the home in the late 1950's when his own home was being built on a near by mountain. In a letter to a friend in 1957, he wrote, "Have a fine old house here, rented antiques, etc., to live until my home is completed. Friends and all the people are so fine and helpful to me."