Savannah, Georgia

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The Riverfront

Looking down the river.

Below: between 1887 and 1931 Florence Martus became a local landmark by greeting every ship entering or leaving Savannah. The statue below at left and the historic marker below at right commemorate her.

City Hall
Below: before there was tea, there were ... rocks?

Rock was a precious commodity on the coastal plain, where the nearest hard rock is many miles inland. Fortunately, ships regularly brought loads of it in the form of ballast.

The King of England heard about it and said "Whoa, these guys are getting stone - for free?" and promptly began regulating and taxing it. The colonists were not amused. However, ballast is a lot harder to inventory than tea, plus it can be thrown overboard without damage, so the taxes were pretty ineffectual.
Sightseeing boat.
Above: part of the former waterfront fortifications.



Left and below: Tourist activities, including carriage rides, start at the old railroad station.
Left and below: an elegant brick viaduct leads away from the railroad station.

Elegant Architecture

Savannah was in a severely run down condition a few decades ago before renewal movements sparked a renaissance.

Left and below: the Owens-Thomas House.
Left and below: the Catholic cathedral.

Savannah's Famous Squares

Georgia founder James Oglethorpe decreed that every block have access to an open square. A couple were gobbled up by the growth of the inner city but over 20 still remain.

Through streets parallel to the river bound most of the squares but streets perpendicular to the river are interrupted. There are through streets perpendicular to the river between the squares, however.

Famous Painted Lady

This house shows up on innumerable post cards and architecture books.

A Place With Pirattitude

A former smugglers' den, connected to the waterfront by a tunnel, now a restaurant and night spot.

Bonaventure Cemetery

When people in Savannah talk about "The Book," chances are they don't mean the Bible. They mean Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, made into a truly weird movie starring Kevin Spacey, John Cusack and Jude Law. The cemetery that figures prominently in the film is this one. The famous Bird Girl statue is now in a museum downtown (they really ought to put up a replica).
Below: the most famous figure buried here is songwriter Johnny Mercer. Titles of some of his most famous songs are engraved on the curved bench.

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Created 28 March 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020