Callan Castle

fullsizeoutput_1a10.jpegSo this former home of Asa Candler, the businessperson who made his fortune by creating the Coca Cola Company, is on our Bicycle Tours of Atlanta tour in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood. The “Callan Castle” on the gate refers to the small town in Ireland from which Asa Candler’s family hailed. This fact got me curious so I did a little online research and found out that Candler’s British ancestors were given what became “Crown land” in Callan following a failed Irish rebellion to gain their independence in the 17th century.

Callan, Ireland is in County Kilkenny, which is the county from which my mother’s Irish parents emigrated to the United States in the 1920s. The most famous resident of Callan is a man named Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin, who kept a diary during the years between 1827 and 1835, which was considered a time of extreme poverty in Callan (following another failed Irish rebellion in the late 18th century). (Note that the Great Famine and mass emigration to the United States happened about ten years later.) (Insider tips: The Irish Hunger Memorial, two blocks from the 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Manhattan and easily accessible by using Citibike bikeshare, may stun you with its beauty, poignancy, and global relevance. Also, the free thirty-minute documentary at the Tenement Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side about the waves of immigration to the USA is one of the best films I have ever seen.) There were 200 copies of this diary published in a book with both English and Irish translations. I just ordered a used copy of number thirty two for thirteen dollars.

And that’s another example of the unexpected ways you get to know yourself a little better when you’re Traveling at the Speed of Bike.

*Another place in Atlanta named Callanwolde comes from the same name.

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