Thomas Watson Lufburrow was the grandson of Matthew Lufburrow, a master builder in Savannah in the early to mid 1800s. Matthew was very successful and built many homes and public buildings which still stand today. He was selected by the noted architect of the time, Mr. John Norris, to build the U.S. Customs House and the Gordon-Low home among others. After the Civil War, Matthew moved to Oliver, GA in Screven County where Thomas was born.
Tom graduated from The University of Georgia and moved to Savannah, taking a position with the G.A. Mercer Co., selling savings certificates. Mr. Mercer was the father of the famous song writer and performer Jonny Mercer. Tom lived with Johnny Mercer’s brother Hugh in the Forsyth Apartments on Whitaker street. While working with Mr. Mercer, Tom met Mrs. Florence Duer Smith they later were wed in Savannah.
Tom left the Mercer Co. in 1923 to found Lufburrow Realty Co. He joined the Savannah Board of Realtors, which had just recently been formed. After forming a group of talented salesmen, he was very successful in both the selling and leasing of residential and commercial properties until the Great Depression hit in 1929.
Most businesses, and especially real estate, were hit hard by the depression. As it ended in 1936, Tom had managed to keep the business going by concentrating on the management of residential and commercial properties. Broughton Street and Bull Street were the center of business and retail shopping until the 1960’s. Tom managed some of the major properties and tenants of the time.
Tom and Florence had one child, Albert who was born in 1924. Albert, like his father, attended the University of Georgia, until he was called away to serve in the army in WWII. Albert returned to Savannah after the war and was married to Bette Sulter. He joined Lufburrow Realty Co. and began his career selling both residential and commercial properties.
In addition to sales, Albert had a keen ability to discern what areas of the city were primed for future growth. He formed several investment groups and began building homes and developing subdivisions such as Kingswood. One of his investment groups purchased a farm that later became a major pacel in The Savannah Mall. He later teamed up with Mr. J.C. Lewis, Jr. to develop Habersham Woods, which was Savannah’s most prestigious development at the time. He also developed 6401 Habersham luxury condominiums and Stephenson Court condominiums. In the 1980’s he developed South Harbor on Skidaway Island with his son Stephen.
Albert was very active in the community, serving as the President of the Savannah Board of Realtors, Chairman of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission as well as Senior Warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He continues to this day to be a valued advisor to his son and grandson in Lufburrow Realty Co.
Albert’s son Stephen was born in Savannah in 1954. He graduated from Savannah Country Day School and attended the University of Georgia obtaining a BBA with majors in accounting, business management and a minor in real estate. He joined the company in 1977. Stephen married Sara (Sally) Dearing in Savannah in 1978. Residential sales, construction and development became the major focus under Stephen’s leadership. Stephen has also been active in the community, serving as Chairman of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Planning Commission, past board member of the Savannah Homebuilder’s Association, as well as the President of the South Harbor Owner’s Association and the President of The Sons of the Revolution in the State of Georgia, among others.
Matthew Lufburrow has been recently welcomed into Lufburrow Realty as the fourth generation in Savannah’s oldest and most trusted real estate company. After graduating from Savannah Christian Preparatory School and then attending Wofford College with a degree in marketing and economics, Matthew worked for the real estate department of The Sea Island Co.. He then returned to Savannah and took a position with Ben Farmer Realty until joining Lufburrow Realty. Matthew is very active with the Savannah Board of Realtors, serving as Past President of the Savannah Multi-List and teaching classes to fellow Realtors. As the real estate industry has embraced the Internet and rapidly changing technology, Matthew has stayed on the cutting edge of new technologies and has been recognized as a gifted instructor, sharing his knowledge with his fellow Realtors.