A Centenarian and Frog Hollow

Author: Molly Swift
August 21, 2018

When Mr. Lanier told me about his wife’s grandmother, Evelyn Pye Creed, it was in reference to celebrating her 100th birthday. Becoming a centenarian is certainly a cause for partying, and the family marked the occasion with a drop-in at the Belvedere United Methodist Church the day after her birthday. Mr. Lanier was keen to have an little article or mention in the paper, so we were talking about what he and his wife, Angie, wanted to say about their grandmother.

As I learned more about Ms. Evelyn and her husband of 52 years, Kenneth Creed, I realized I would have to do some research into my own hometown. The daughter of a carpenter, John Thomas Pye, and a furrier, Gertrude “Trudy” Walker Pye, Ms. Evelyn was born in Estes Street, in the area of Augusta known as Frog Hollow. Ms. Trudy often claimed it was on of the hottest days that year. It was June, 1918. While air conditioning was invented in 1902, it wasn’t commonly installed in residential areas until the 1930s; I don’t like imagining being in that heat all summer.

Mrs. Creed moved to Belvedere when she was three, and never really left. She and her husband raised a family in the same cottage they first bought as a young couple, and added onto it as the family grew in the decades that followed. After graduating Garrett Secretarial College, Ms. Evelyn worked for a couple of legal firms – her first wage was $5 per week.

Mr. Creed was in the Merchant Marines during the war, and he worked at King Mill and also at Lynnwood Hospital. Mrs. Creed’s career continued at Belvedere Elementary working as its secretary for 16 years – Mrs. Lanier told me she lovingly cared for the many children passing through her office. Since retiring, she has continued to live in Belvedere near her family.

There are many aspects to Ms. Evelyn’s life’s story that piqued my interest, but it was the mention of Frog Hollow that stuck in my mind as I hit up Google later that day. Though I was aware of the Frog Hollow restaurant on Broad Street, I knew nothing about the 19th century neighborhood. Ms. Evelyn was born on a street that doesn’t exist anymore, and hardly exists on the internet. But, it is mentioned.

More is to be found on Frog Hollow itself. Most of the residents were mill workers and people who worked in the city. The community existed from 1863 until 1968, and was named after a frog pond in the park. I discovered it was originally a swamp area lined by Augusta-Summerville Plank Road, now known as Walton Way, which served as part of the neighborhood’s boundaries.

Frog Hollow stretched out from 13th and 15th streets along Walton Way to Harper Street. When the University Hospital acquired and built on the land, the community began to crumble. The last family moved out of their home July 7,1968, fifty years ago.

Of course, you know Google and its ability to send you down a rabbit hole of just more stuff – I’ve discovered so much more now about this area and I’m ready to find more. Thank you and happy birthday, Mrs. Evelyn Louise Pye Creed.