If you find yourself in the historic and intriguing town of Savannah, Georgia, take a little ride west. Drive west for a spell on Highway 280, and you’ll run across a series of small towns. Most of them have populations under 5,000.
This is where you’d find Burton.
The town grew up organically, according to the local historians. Way back before the Revolution, families settled in what was then wilderness. They began farming, and eventually, they established a small town with schools, churches and commerce.
Even now, Burton isn’t a bustling metropolis by any means. The town has some restaurants–Kenny’s Diner, which has amazing pie; Franco’s, the pizza place; Smokey Joe’s, the barbecue pit; and of course, the newest entry, the Road Block, a restaurant/bar/club which is technically located outside town. That place was opened fairly recently by Mason Wallace, the local boy who made good in Nashville and then returned home to raise his daughter and take care of his mama.
The bakery, which is owned by Kiki Payton, is on a small road just off Main Street. Kiki’s niece, Sydney, runs the gourmet pet food place next door, and she also helps her aunt out whenever Kiki is away, which happens a lot lately, since she and–well, I don’t like to gossip. But let’s just say Kiki is on the road quite a bit.
The Burton Gazette has its offices nearby, too. Will Garth is a one-man show, doing most of the writing, the printing and the layout.
Boomer’s auto shop is smack dab on Main, and it’s a good thing, because he’s the only car place for miles around. Boomer and Millie’s daughter Jenna–their youngest–works at the Historical Society, and she’s been busy lately heading up some restorations of local houses. She does a good job.
Millie works at the veterinarian office on the edge of town. It’s been taken over recently by Maureen Evans and her partner, Smith Harrington. Maureen’s mom is the town’s librarian, and her brother Flynn is back in town now, after years of living away. There’s a story with him, for sure.
The farms surrounding Burton are as much a part of the community as anyone living in the town borders. Sam Reynolds and his sister Ali still run the farm stand that’s been in their family for generations. Their farm produces most of what they sell. The Nelsons’ place is just next door to the Reynolds’ farm. Alex Nelson lived in Atlanta for a while, but life has taken him elsewhere lately.
There are more stories in this small town than you might think. If you don’t believe me . . . go sit down on a bench alongside the village green and look around. Listen. You just might see Tori Westin with her mysterious new boyfriend. Or Ashley Webbar, whose hair salon is doing booming business, scheming to do some matchmaking.
Come to Burton, but remember, if you do . . . be ready to fall in love. Because around here, happily-ever-afters are a specialty of the house.