Derek Edward Llamas
Tour Guide Extraordinaire
Growing up in Waynesboro, Georgia, I learned an appreciation for the past from an early age. As a child I’d listen intently as my grandfather recounted the days when farmland was worked by mule-drawn plows, acreage was measured in lengths of chain, and ice was brought home in large blocks from the city’s old ice plant to be kept in the ice chest. The childhood recollections of my great-great aunt, an octogenarian who grew up during the Great Depression riding in a mule-drawn buggy long before poor families like hers could afford a car, left me completely baffled. How was it that people got along before all the modern conveniences of computers, cars, and – most importantly in the South – air conditioning?
Drawing was also a favorite hobby of mine. I spent many hours sketching the quaint and occasionally fanciful facades of the 19th-century houses and storefronts that characterize Waynesboro’s historic downtown until I could reproduce them from memory. Something about the rambling old structures beckoned to me, and I wondered at the histories, great and small, that might be languishing in their melancholy shadows.
Considering my enthusiasm for history and architecture, it was only natural that I decided to move to Savannah in 2011 and attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. There I studied historic preservation and architectural history, learning to recognize the origins, nature, and language of our historical built environment and gaining first-hand experience working with the tangible resources that connect us with our past. I developed a zeal for fine architecture, both the quaint and the monumental, as well as for adherence to well-researched historical truth. Combined with a natural talent for storytelling, my passion for accuracy ensures that my tours are entertaining as well as factual.