Columbus State University Archives

Timeline

 

July 4, 1908 Eddie Owens Martin is born in Glen Alta, Georgia in Marion County in west central Georgia, USA. Martin's parents are cotton sharecroppers.
1909 Boll weevils begin infestation into Alabama (Georgia’s neighbor western neighbor).
July 28, 1914 The United States enters World War I and the U.S. agricultural economy thrives.
November 1918 World War I ends and the US agricultural economy collapses.
1919 Boll weevils begin infestation in Georgia. By the 1920s, it infests cotton crops in the American South.
1922 Martin leaves Georgia for New York at the age of 14 and makes his living as a hustler on the city streets.
1920’s -1930’s Martin’s father Julius Martin dies, Martin returns to Georgia to help his mother with annual harvesting.
October 29, 1929 Stock Market Crashes. Martin travels to Michigan to work at a Pontiac car plant.
February 1930 The Pontiac plant closes. Martin returns to Georgia near Buena Vista where his mother has just purchased a house that would be the foundation of Pasaquan.
1933-41 Martin travels between Chicago, California and Georgia.  While in Georgia he becomes ill and starts dreaming of Pasaquan. Martin finally returns to New York.
1941 United States enters the Second World War.
1942 Arrested for selling marijuana Martin is sent to a prison in Lexington, Kentucky.
March 17, 1943 Released from prison Martin returns to New York.
1943-1945 Martin works at the Howdy Club in New York City for two years. When it closes, he visits his mother and helps with the harvest.  Martin returns to New York and begins reading fortunes at the Wishing Cup Tearoom.
September 1950 Martin’s mother, Lydia Pearl Story Martin dies.  Martin returns to Georgia where he inherits his mother’s house.
1952 Martin’s artwork is exhibited in Leon Tomler Gallery in New York City.
1957 Martin moves permanently to his mother’s house near Buena Vista, GA. and starts reading people’s fortunes. His customers were primarily African-American. Martin refers to himself as the “poor man’s psychiatrist.”
1957 Starts building walls on his property with the help of local residents D.W. Milner, and his cousins Jimmy and Estes Milner.  Structures are made of concrete but are not painted. Edwin Stephens (road construction worker with building skills) comes to help Martin build. They become intimate.
1960-62 Made about 20 trips to New York to tell fortunes.
1965 The United States sends regular military units into Vietnam.
1967 Martin travels alone to Mexico, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula for 19 days.  Visits the Diego Rivera mural at the Hotel Prado and returns home to add color to his concrete sculptures and structures.
1974/75 Herbert Hemphill (born and raised in Columbus, Ga), a New York art collector, visits Martin in Georgia.
1977 Martin and other Georgia artists including visionary artist Howard Finster visit Washington with Georgia Council for the Arts.  The group is accompanied by the wife of Georgia Mary Elizabeth Talbot Busbee, Georgia Council for the Arts includes Martin’s work in a bicentenary book and film documentary Missing Pieces.
1977 Meets President Jimmy Carter invites him to Pasaquan for a tour.
1982 Martin undergoes double bypass surgery which ignites insomnia and a deep depression.
1984 Attempts suicide using insomnia medicine.
April 16, 1986 Four days after being released from the hospital after kidney surgery Martin take a .38-caliber pistol and commits suicide.
1986-1990 Pasaquan is willed to the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), first and if the society failed, it was to be donated to the Columbus Museum. The MCHS decided they could not manage the site and offered it to the Columbus Museum (Columbus is a major metropolitan center located 35 miles from Pasaquan). The Columbus Museum refused ownership of Pasaquan as they were focused on fundraising for their existing facilities and because several board members disavowed the artisitc merit of St. EOM's work. Though thefts occured at Pasaquan during this period none of St. EOM's artwork was stolen or vandalized.
1990 The Marion County Historical Society forms an auxiliary organization, the Pasaquan Preservation Society, to oversee the site.

2008

Pasaquan is successfully listed as a National Historic Site.

2013 The Kohler Foundation (experts in folk and visionary art environment conservation) receive ownership of Pasaquan from the Pasaquan Preservation Society with plans to conserve the site before handing over ownership to Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.