Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller


Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller for Auntie Healey by Becky Brown

Carrie Berry had several aunts. She often mentioned two in her 1864-5 diary. One was Aunt Amanda Berry Markham, her father's sister (See last month's block.) 

The other was Auntie Healey---Olive Markham Healey who really wasn't an aunt. Olive was sister to Auntie Markham's husband William, so Olive and Aunt Amanda were sisters-in-law who seemed to have been fond of Carrie. She was was often "up" at their homes during the Civil War.

Olive W. Markham Healey (1824-1913) in her later years
The name was spelled Healy or Healey.
"Georgia has the reputation of being the Yankee Land of the South, and it is well-deserved." Frederick Law Olmstead
Olive was in her early 40s during the war. She gave birth to eight children but only two outlived her. Olive and sister-in-law Amanda had much in common although Olive was born in Connecticut and Amanda in Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Most important to our story is that they were both secret Unionists in Atlanta. 
Presbyterian Church on Marietta Street, built 1852

Their husbands Thomas Healey and William Markham were among the most active of those working against the Confederacy, leaders of a group of  Union supporters belonging the the First Presbyterian Church. 
Thomas Goodfellow Healey (1818–1897) 

Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller for Auntie Healey by Denniele Bohannon

New Englanders Thomas and William came to Atlanta from McDonough, Georgia in the 1850s, both ambitious businessmen. When the war began Thomas was partner in brick-making firm Hayden & Healey with a boyhood friend from Connecticut. After the war he and Carrie's father Maxwell Berry were quite successful partners as building contractors.

City Hall is associated with Thomas Healey & Maxwell Berry 
as builders. Here during the occupation Union soldiers
 have erected dwellings on the lawn.

Carrie Berry's family of women may have joined other Atlanta volunteers like Sallie Richards whose husband Sam recorded her making bedding for the hospitals.

"City now full of sick and convalescent soldiers some 3 or 4 thousand….Sallie has been going to help make 'comforts’ to keep them warm in the absence of blankets."  Sam Richards, March 5 1862
Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller for Auntie Healey by Jeanne Arnieri

It is also recalled that the Berry's extended family broke laws to give assistance to the Union prisoners and patients housed in the city.

Fellow Unionist Cyrena Stone recorded a not so-much illegal as devious episode at one of the soldiers' hospitals in March, 1864. Union sympathizing friends brought a "basket...filled with good things." Enslaved Poppy who probably cooked the cakes, advised them to reserve the "nice cakes" for the poor Yankees" not the "Southern Confederacy Soldiers." The women divided the pastries between North and South but not equally.

Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller for Auntie Healey by Becky Collis

And machine-quilted in double fans

Cyrena also told of a very illegal event. A Unionist Confederate guard smuggled a Confederate uniform to a Yankee prisoner who donned the gray to escort a fellow Yankee out of the prison. They explored the city noting important defense positions and returned to the prison in the morning with plans to inform Union troops.

Atlanta Garden #4: Propeller for Auntie Healey by Addison

The Block

BlockBase #1934 was called Propeller by the Ladies Art Company.
Above the cutting instructions for 10" and 15" blocks.

Jeanne Arnieri is making two sets.

Mary Mashuta showed this mid-20th-century version
from Becky Keck's collection in her book Cotton-Candy Quilts.

We tend to think of a Propeller in terms of an airplane, but spinning blades propel many kinds of conveyances---like a Civil-War submarine. Pictured is the Hunley, on view in Charleston today. Men sat inside the tube and pedaled the propeller.

The Healy building on Peachtree Street

Post-war real estate investments made the Berrys, Healys & Markhams
among Atlanta's richest families.

Detail of a Tiffany window remembering Olive Markham Healey
 at Atlanta's First Presbyterian Church 
Auntie Healy's Findagrave file:

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