Hilton House, 1890, Sylvania

As is often a tradition in Georgia towns and cities, one of the grandest homes in the city serves as a funeral home. In Sylvania, it’s the Thompson-Strickland-Waters Funeral Home. Its history is shared here by Nancy Hilton Scherr, via Norman Scherr: The funeral home was built in 1890 by my grandfather, Lee Holmes Hilton, who was only 25 at the time. He moved his wife and children in and the Hilton Home remained in our family until about 1950. He was killed in 1911 after achieving so much including bringing the first bicycle to Sylvania, the first car (an Orient Buckboard), the first bank (Screven County Bank), the first oil mill (Screven Oil Mill), and the first telephone company which was a line connecting Sylvania with the outside world at a station on the the Central of Georgia Railway. Founding the nearby town of Hiltonia, he served on the Sylvania Board of Education, and he also served in the 1900 and 1901 Georgia House of Representatives. My father, named after him, practiced law for years in Louisville, Kentucky, until he moved us back into the Hilton House where he had been born in 1904. I loved living there as a very young girl. Papa died at age 79 and was prepared for burial in the home he was born in, a full circle of life.

Author: Brian Brown

Brian Brown is a documentary photographer, author, and historian who lives in Coastal Georgia.

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