LOOKING FOR SOMEWHERE TO LIVE IN TWICKENHAM, A PLACE WITH A BIT OF STYLE AND NOT TOO EXPENSIVE?

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How about this recently renovated house on Hale Street? Sitting on a quarter of an acre of land this detached property has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a brand new kitchen with all appliances plus original hardwood floors and new fitted carpets throughout. The house also benefits from a carport to the exterior and a patio. The cost? For a quick sale the property is going for £128,000.

That’s the good news. The bad news is this Twickenham is not our Twickenham. It does not sit on the river Thames and it isn’t bounded by great parks, historic palaces or grand houses. This Twickenham does not provide luxury homes for the good and great or the rich and recognised. This Twickenham is a small neighbourhood of about a dozen streets in the city of Savannah, Georgia, USA.

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Surprisingly for a small community with a population of less than 1,100 people there is an impressive amount of information available. 73% of the community are Afro/Caribbean and 23% are White with small groups of Hispanic and Asian in between. The average monthly rent is £550 and the average age is 38.1 years. 60.7% of the population live in families and the average family size is 2.5 people. Although the average income is £40,560… which is £12,000 more than people living in the mother city of Savannah some 21.4% of the population live below the poverty level. The average cost of a small detached house is an astounding £84,000 which would barely buy us limeys a garage. Twickenham Georgia is what you might describe as a typical American suburb – neat, modest and well behaved. As for its larger and nearby neighbour this is what the official Travel and Tourist Guide has to say…

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With its pedestrian-friendly layout and innovative urban design, Savannah serves as a balm for the senses. The city of Savannah inspires visitors with its emerald tree canopy, quaint cobblestone streets and majestic architecture. Take the time to wander off the beaten path and experience the history, beauty and charm of this beloved coastal city. From architectural tours, music and food festivals, to art exhibits and Civil War re-enactments, Savannah brims with all kinds of magical moments to excite and entertain.

For those wishing to get away from ‘emerald tree canopies, quaint cobblestone streets and majestic architecture’ there is another, simpler Twickenham to the north-west on the John Day River in Oregon. Compared with the abundance of information about Twickenham, Georgia nobody seems to know anything about Twickenham, Oregon. Historians describe the place as ‘historic’ which is their polite way of saying ’it’s a ghost town’. One recent visitor Mark Markovich tweeted..

Beautiful scenery in the area. Take your camera, food, drinks, and gasoline. I didn’t see any gas stations, restaurants, or lodging!

Another traveller, more poetically inclined, blogged…

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Finally I arrived in Twickenham, which is nothing more than a few ranches with a bridge over the John Day River. The scene is just so pretty. The green valley with the lazy river flowing along, little human activity going on, and lots of birds doing their thing.

You’re not going to find any bargain basement housing in Twickenham Oregon. In fact you are not going to find any housing at all in Twickenham Oregon but there is some history if you care to look…

The area was originally named ‘Contention’ after a quarrel between two of its prominent residents. A daughter of one of the residents involved in the quarrel suggested renaming the place ‘Twickenham’, after the London suburb, thinking that it would be more dignified than ‘Contention’. In 1895 the ‘Contention’ post office closed and was replaced by the ‘Twickenham’ post office that opened in 1896. That too closed in 1917, and mail to Twickenham thereafter was sent via Fossil, about 20 miles to the north.

You cannot accuse those early Twickeneers of not trying to big-up their little town. In 1899 they recommended the community as a possible county seat. A county-wide election held in 1900 produced 436 votes for Fossil, 267 for Twickenham, and 82 for Spray. At the time, Twickenham had a store, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, and a ferry across the John Day River. Now it has none. The only thing running today is the John Day River.

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Not so far from Twickenham Oregon there is another ghost town which was founded in the 1890’s. Unfortunately that too started to disappear back into the sagebrush in the early 1920’s. Its name was Richmond!

— from Martyn Day