Visiting Savannah Georgia

 

 

Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia and was established in 1733 on the Savannah River.  The city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia.   That’s the year General James Oglethorope and the 120 passengers of the good ship “Anne” landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River in February.  Oglethorpe named the thirteenth colony Georgia after King George II and Savannah became the first city.  The colony was to benefit the poor, increase trade, and to provide a protective buffer between the Northern English Colonies and the Spanish in Florida.  It was to serve as a religious haven for all but Catholics who were originally banned from the new colony.  In 1734 the only three formal laws ever enacted during the 21-year trust period were NO SLAVES, NO LIQUOR, NO LAWYERS.

IMG_8965In 1778 the British took Savannah and held it until 1782.  In 1796 and 1820 Savannah suffered from two devastating fires that each left half of the city in ashes.  In 1820 there was an outbreak of yellow fever killing a tenth of the population.  During the Civil war Savannah suffered from sea blockades so fiercely that its economy crumbled.  Savannah was spared from fire in the path of Sherman’s army because General Sherman was so impressed by its beauty.  Savannah lies on the Savannah River approximately 20 miles  upriver from the Atlantic Ocean.  Savannah is separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River.   It’s known  for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture.  It’s historic district is filled with cobblestones squares and parks.220px-NathanGreene_Monument

In 1733 Savannah was laid around four open squares each surrounded by four residential blocks and four civic blocks.  Johnson Square was the first and remains the largest named for Robert Johnson colonial governor of South Carolina.

Wright Square was originally called Percival, it was renamed 1739 to honor James Wright most notable of Georgia’s royal governors.  This square was at one time called the hanging square.  The first African slave Alic Riley and her lover the butler were hung here, after killing their abusive master.  The story is she was pregnant at the time of the murder and was not hung until after her son was born.  Now her ghost appears and is asking for help to find her baby.  This is also the only square where you will not find any Spanish moss hanging.

Ellis Square was originally called Decker, named after Sir Matthew Decker one of the trustees.  It was renamed after Sir Henry Ellis and also known as Marketplace square from 1973 to 1950, it served as a center of commerce and was home to four successive market houses.

Telfair Square was originally St. James and renamed in 1883 to honor the Telfair family.  It’s the only square honoring a family rather than an individual.  There are now a total 24 squares in Savannah.  Each one was laid out and named after an important person or event.  Surrounding  all the squares are beautiful Churches and homes, way to many to write about.

We have Chippewa Square 1815 and named in honor of American soldiers killed in the Battle of Chippewa during the war of 1812.  The park bench scene in the 1994 film Forrest Gump was filmed on the north side of Chippewa Square.  The bench was a prop and is now on display at Savannah visitor center.

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We are sitting in Chippewa square where the movies Forest Gump was filmed.  Kent and Johnny don’t have a box of chocolates in their hands.

Here are some of the beautiful homes around the squares in Savannah.  Owens Thomas house built-in 1816 for a cotton merchant and banker Richard Richardson.  In 1819 due to financial losses he sold his home.  Mary Maxwell for eight years ran an elegant lodging house and then it was sold to George Welshman.  He was a planter, congressman, lawyer and mayor of Savannah.  The home remained in the Owens family until 1951 when Owens granddaughter Miss Margaret Thomas bequeathed it to the Telfair Museum of art.    As we drove by you can see the curved glass front doors.  The construction of the Mercer house for General Hugh W. Mercer started in 1860 but was interrupted by the Civil War and was later completed, circa 1868 by the new owner John Wilder.

MG_9978-1024x682This was the birth place of Juliette Gordon (the founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA) the house is also known as Wayne Gordon House.  Juliette Gordon in 1911 became involved with the Girl Guides near her home in Scotland at that time.  She organized two new Girl Guides in 1911 in London.  In 1912 Juliette Gordon came back to Savannah and formed the first two American Girl Guides patrols, registering eighteen girls.  Many competing organizations for girls were forming with her biggest competition Camp Fire Girls formed by James E. West.  The name was changed in 1913 from Girl Guides to Girl Scouts because Scout reminded them of America’s pioneer ancestry.

Sorrel Weed house was the boyhood home of Brigadier General Moxley Sorrel who fought for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.  The opening scene of the move Forrest Gump was filmed from the rooftop of the Sorrel Weed house.  The magnificent Hamilton turner inn also know as the Grand Victorian Lady was built-in 1873 for Samuel Pugh Hamilton a jeweler and later mayor of Savannah.

IMG_8819The Philbrick Eastman house is best known for its iron fence with medallions of prominent men.  Construction of this Greek revival mansion was started in 1844 for Moses Eastman a local silversmith, it was not completed until 1847 for John Stoddard.

Here are some random pictures of home in Savannah.

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Here are some pictures of the beautiful churches in savannah.  Presbyterian church, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Church of Christ, Saint Johns Episcopal, First African Baptist Church, Historic Independent Historic Masonic Temple, Lutheran Church of the Ascension.

The pirates house is a wonderfully preserved seaman’s tavern allegedly built-in 1794.  located only a block from the Savannah River.  The tavern was a popular meeting place for sailors and pirates alike.  Stories are told that sea captains frequently shanghaied unwilling seaman from the tavern to complete their crews.  The tavern was made famous in Robert Louis Stevenson’s’ Treasure Island.

Colonial Park Cemetery established about 1750 was the original burial grounds for the christ Church Parish.  The cemetery was enlarged in 1789 for people of all denominations.  Button Gwinnett a signer of the Declaration of Independence is buried here.  More than 700 victims  of the 1820 Yellow fever epidemic are buried in the cemetery.  Characteristic of the cemetery are the brick tombs or family vaults.  The cemetery was already closed to burials before the start of the Civil War and no Confederate soldiers are buried there.  But the war did leave its mark on the cemetery.  Federal troops took over the cemetery grounds and many of the graves were looted and desecrated.  It has been said that Union soldiers changed the dates on many of the headstones, people lived over 1,000 years.  A son’s father died when he was not even a teenager yet and some dated they died before they were born.   Colonial Park Cemetery is considered to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in Savannah Georgia.

IMG_8924Florence Martus also know as “the waving girl” took it upon herself to be the unofficial greeter of all ships that entered and left the Port of Savannah, Georgia between 1887 and 1931.  Martus would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night.  According to legend not a ship was missed in her forty-four years on watch.

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The Savannah Theater first opened its door at 5:30 on December 4, 1818 with a performance of “The Soldiers’s Daughter”.  The theater  is one of the United States oldest continually operating theaters.  The original structure suffered severe damage due to a hurricane on August 31, 1898 tearing sections of the roof off the building and flooding the auditorium. The theater has undergone two notable structural overhaul due to multiple fires, one in 1906 and 1948.  Following the last fire the structure had been both a live performance venue and a movie theater.

IMG_8873City Market is a must stop place to explores.  There are four blocks of shopping, dining, art, and bars.  We found the Byrd’s Cookie shop started in 1924.  They even have guaranteed Gluten free cookies.  Amy I hope you like Key lime cookies.  City Market had the Thomas Kinkaid City Market Gallery and Savannah candy kitchen.

These characters jumped on the trolley at different stops and explained the history of  their costumes.  We found them very entertaining.

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Laurie’s Debi’s restaurant is the one that Jenny worked at in the film forest Gump.  If you look a the window you will notice a picture of Jenny.

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Six Pence Pub is located in the heart of the Historic District and serves traditional American foods and British comfort food.   The six Pence was established at a site that Wally’s Sixpence was on for 40 year  a place to meet and great new and old friends and keep up with their lives. You will be sure to find a favorite craft or seasonal beer on tap as well.  Remember in Savannah you can take your favorite beverage to go.  It has to be in a plastic cup and not more than 12 ounces.  What a great place to party reminds us of being in Fort Myer Florida.

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We stopped at Joes Crab Shack for some great food.  Kent had to harass the waitress Jess when she took his order and she gave him one of those looks.  Take note what she wrote on his bib” 99 Problems but crab an’t one.” I even tried one of the oysters for the first time don’t know if I really like them yet.

Look at this great view we had of the Savannah river this picture really doesn’t to it justest.

While we were enjoying our lunch at Joes Crab Shack outside on the patio, we saw a hug cargo ship leave its port, a tourist boat, a replica of a pirate ship and watched them put up their sails, and a tug boat.

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Doesn’t Kent look just like the Salty old man?  He didn’t pose for this picture it just happened.  We had a great time touring Savannah wish we would have had more time.  The town has so much history and beautiful  old homes and churches.  We took the historic tour trolley and rode it all the way to the end with 16 stops.  Then we decided what we wanted to see more of.  This is a great way of getting an overview of what the town has to offer.  This was a great piece of advice that Marc MaCoy a gold looper gave us.  Thank’s Marc.

 

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