Side entrance to Pasaquan.

Pasaquan

Field review by the editors.

Buena Vista, Georgia

We first heard about Eddie Martin and his folk art palace "Pasaquan" from some of our older relatives in Columbus, Georgia. Their recollections were alluring:

"That fellow, 'Pasquale' they called him, used to come into town dressed like a wizard."

"They say he danced naked on top of the Empire State Building."

"He trained snakes to guard his home."

"He let his mule starve to death, because the mule wouldn't go into the barn with all the crazy mirrors and wild colors."

The eyes follow you.

Eddie Owens Martin was born outside of Buena Vista, Georgia, in 1908. When he was 14 he ran away to New York City. Former (now deceased) Pasaquan site supervisor Gwen Martin told us that he worked as a waiter, a bartender, "studied dance, was a male prostitute, got into the drag queen scene... later he was a pimp and ran a successful gambling house." He also traveled as a merchant seaman to distant ports, but he regularly came home to help his family harvest the cotton crop.

When his mom died in 1957 Eddie returned for good -- because people from the future told him to.

Eddie later said that he'd been sick with a fever when he was visited by three very tall humanoids from the future world of Pasaquan. They chose him, they said, to be their envoy, "St. EOM," the only Pasaquoyan of the twentieth century. Eddie's job was to go to Georgia, make art, and live his life in a way that would show people how wonderful the future would be.

For the next 30 years Eddie did just that. He built room after room onto his mom's little farm house, furnishing it with paintings and sculptures of multi-colored Pasaquoyans in their anti-gravity "Power Suits." He covered the outside walls with mystic symbols, and filled the surrounding seven-acre compound with cement totem poles and lots of big heads, all brightly decorated with Sherwin Williams house paint. He used hubcaps and Tupperware as molds for the stucco insets in his undulating brick and concrete walls.

Interior decoration.

As St. EOM, Eddie wore serapes and necklaces; turbans, feathered headdresses, and pointy coolie hats. He braided his beard with corks and beads. He never paid taxes, and earned money by telling fortunes. Allen Woodall Jr., owner of the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, recalled driving out to Pasaquan to have his fortune told in 1962. "You'd park outside and beep your horn," he said. "If Eddie wanted to work that day he'd wave you in." Allen paid ten dollars, and Eddie's predictions for him all came true.

If you visit Pasaquan today, Eddie won't be around -- he shot himself in 1986. But the "Bodacious Mystic Badass of Buena Vista" has left behind plenty to interpret. His sprawling art site and home makeover still stands, tended by volunteers from the Pasaquan Preservation Society, visited by countless fans despite the local highway departments tendency to remove its directional signs.

Levitation Suit of the Future.

Visitors enjoy the weird energy of Pasaquan, although it's probably a fraction of what was generated by the live Eddie experience.

Folklorist Fred Fussell, who gives tours of the site, said that, "Some people come here and say, 'I can't deal with this!' They just kind of freak out; the vibes are too much for them." As for the guides, "It's like The Shining," he said with a smile. "You spend time here, you start developing personality quirks."

Pasaquan is equal parts mysticism, geometry, and snake handling. Eddie's amateur concrete work is crumbling in spots, there are holes in the floor of the house, his paints are fading. But the preservationists have repaired areas damaged by neglect and weather, and plan more improvements to keep Eddie's vision in good shape.

Eddie's glorious future has thus far gone underappreciated, but perhaps some day we'll tour Pasaquan as we levitate in our Power Suits. Either that, or the Pasaquoyans will have to canonize a new saint to carry on the mystic badass work.

Walls of Pasaquan.

Pasaquan

Address:
238 Eddie Martin Rd, Buena Vista, GA
Directions:
From Buena Vista town square drive north on Hwy 41 for 1.5 miles. Bear left at the fork onto Hwy 137. Drive west 4.5 miles, then turn right onto CR 78/Eddie Martin Rd. Drive a half-mile to Pasaquan, on the right.
Hours:
Closed for restoration. Private tours can still be scheduled ($100). (Call to verify)
Phone:
229-649-9444
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

More Quirky Attractions in Georgia

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Georgia.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

July 25, 2014

My Sights

Save Cool Vacation Destinations!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Georgia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center, Richmond, California (Jul 21-27, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Buena Vista, Georgia

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now