The town of Moreland is little more than a wide spot on U.S. Highway 27 in Coweta County, Georgia. The town was founded in 1888 about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta and today boasts a population of just shy of 400 people.
Yet, despite its size, the village has produced a pair of Southern literary lights that shown brightly in the 20th century. Erskine Caldwell was born in Moreland in 1903. Lewis Grizzard was born at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1946, but spent his childhood years in Moreland. Though both gained renown for their writings, they were cut from very different bolts of cloth.
Caldwell wrote of poverty, racism and other social problems that plagued the South. His works included Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre that earned him a reputation as a serious writer up until his death in 1987.
On the other hand, his works also aroused animosity from some people of his native region. But, not just Southerners were leery of his writings. God’s Little Acre was at one time banned as pornographic in both New York and Minnesota.
Lewis Grizzard began his career as a sports editor at the Athens Daily News and later became a columnist for the Atlanta Constitution.
He was however best known as a humorist based on his 25 books. His offbeat view of life in the South showed through in titles like Elvis Is Dead And I Don’t Feel So Good Myself and If Love Were Oil, I’d Be About A Quart Low.
Grizzard also excelled as comedic speaker, appearing on the Tonight Show and guesting on the television sitcom Designing Women.
Grizzard died of heart failure in 1994 at the age of 47.
Today both writers have museums dedicated to them in the town of Moreland. The Caldwell Museum is in the The Little Manse, which is the house in where he was born.
The Lewis Grizzard Museum is on Moreland’s Main Street..