Banks Bed and Breakfast

Bronze plaque on white house.

Names and Graveyards

Oftentimes when a house gets its name, all of the credit goes to the family  who lived there Mortal and pestle engraved on stone.the longest or most recently. Naming in that respect is understandable as those are the people who made the house into a home by raising families, welcoming and saying good-bye to loved ones, and making all the renovations that change the original home to become their own.  Banks Bed and Breakfast, known locally as the Banks House, is no exception.  But, there is another person who should get some credit for getting the foundation buildings of the Banks house started and that is Dr. George B. Montague.  Dr. Montague built the original one story structure and we don’t know whether he did that with his own hands or with help.

I’ve always been curious about this pharmacist and what his life must have been like as he filled prescriptions and  mixed formulas Engraved name on headstone.needed to help people feel better.  Dr. Montague was was born September 8, 1854 which means he grew up during the Civil War. He spent 69 years on this earth making his own impact as a pharmacist.  Being that Dr. Banks was a doctor and Dr. Montague was a pharmacist I would say they knew each other long before the sale of the house and land.  Dr. Montague didn’t go far to set up his own homestead as he eventually built a house and business just across the street on Main Street. His home and business building stood on the corner of Main and Pearl Streets.  Today, the history museum caboose sits right across the street from his original home site. Unfortunately his business building and home are now only a part of Garner’s history. In fact, this site will soon be the location of more modern homes for some of today’s families.

Obelisk tombstone in graveyard.Close to three years after we came into ownership of the Banks house I headed east on Garner Road to partake in some much needed stress relief walking.  I’m prone to walking when I need time to think.  Past the Senior Center, past the playground and picnic shelter, past the dog park, where soon I found myself in front of the Hayes Chapel Christian Church. That’s when I noticed the graveyard. People who know me, know I have a real pull to graveyards.  Graveyards are the places where history settles with so many told and untold stories.  So of course I was drawn to stroll through and see if there were any names I’d heard of. Perusing the setting my eyes soon focused on a burial site with one of the tallest structures in the form of an obelisk tombstone. The first thing I noticed was an engraving of a mortar and pestle. When I saw that, I had to read the name. Sure enough, Geo. B Montague, the man who was responsible for the original structure of the Banks house.  All this time he has been just down the street.  Now, it’s off to the Garner History Museum to find out more!


Saturday, October 21st at 5:00 p.m. “Voices of the Past” Cemetery Tour at Hayes Chapel Church Cemetery, presented by the Garner Area Historical Society. A historical celebration of notable Garner citizens who are buried in this cemetery. Tickets available at the event. For more information contact at or

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