Saturday, June 3, 2017

#1874 22 squares

I want to write about Savannah, Georgia tonight. Since I downloaded my photos, I've had a chance to look at them on my computer screen and remember how pretty the town was, think about all the history there and recall all the walking Lizzie and I did in the few days we were there.

On our second day in Savannah, which was a Friday, used the book I'd purchased, A Self-Guided Tour of Savannah by Maryann Jurkofsky, to look around the Historic District. The book was an excellent source of directions and information. It was only $5 on If you are going to Savannah, I highly recommend getting this book.

Savannah was founded in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe. He planned the city around a series of park-like squares. Of the original 24 squares, 22 remain. Lizzie and I made it our goal to see all 22 of the squares that Friday. We did it, too! We walked through every square. Some were more picturesque than others; some were more historical, some seemed to be just a nice place to sit outside and catch a breeze on a hot Savannah day. They are all beautiful in different ways.

I did not take photos of all 22 squares, but I did take photos of some of my favorites.

Johnson Square
This first photo is from Johnson Square looking toward Bay Street. The gold domed building in the background is the Savannah City Hall. There are a few interesting things about Johnson Square. First, it was the first square established by General Oglethorpe. Second, the monument in the square which is 50 feet high and made of white marble, is basically the tomb of General Nathanael Green and his son George Washington Green. General Green was best friends with George Washington and was Washington's second in command in the Revolutionary War. The third interesting thing is that there is a Green Square, named after General Green, but as I mentioned, his remains are here in Johnson Square. Finally, the fourth and in my opinion most interesting thing about Johnson Square is that there is no Spanish moss in the trees in this square. Spanish moss is EVERYWHERE in Savannah, but not in Johnson Square. Why? Legend has it that Nathanael Green hated Spanish moss. He had people pull down all the Spanish moss from the trees in Johnson Square, but it always grew back. When Green died, he was originally buried in Colonial Park Cemetery, but eventually his remains (and those of his son) were moved to Johnson Square. It is said than when Green's remains were moved to their final resting place, Spanish moss stopped growing on the trees in the square. All I know for sure is that there is no Spanish moss in the trees in Johnson Square. It's true.

Monterey Square
Monterey Square has a monument to Count Casimir Pulaski. He was killed in the Siege of Savannah during the Revolutionary War. His remains may or may not be buried under the monument. Some people think Pulaski was buried at sea and some think his remains were at a plantation and later moved here to Monterey Square. Quirky.

Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square his a pretty fountain in the center of it. What I like most about this square quite honestly is the houses that surround it, most notably Hamilton -Turner House, but there is also the Flannery O'Connor House and the Andrew Low House. I'll do a post of the mansions of Savannah another day (teaser!).

Chippewa Square
The monument in Chippewa Square is for General Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia and sort of the father of Savannah, for which I think he should be revered and congratulated.  A fun fact about Chippewa Square is that it is where Forrest Gump sat on a bench and told us all that "life is like a box of chocolates." The bench where Forrest sat is no longer in the square; it has been moved to a museum in town, but it makes me smile to think about it.

Whitefield Square

Lizzie and I both totally fell in love with Whitefield Square. It has a pretty white gazebo in the middle of it and is surrounded by Victorian houses. This square felt very calm and soothing to me. We went back there on our last day and just sat still for a few minutes. It's just lovely.

There are a couple of other squares that I liked that for some reason I didn't get a photo. One is Madison Square. It has a statue of a man named Jasper. He was a soldier during the Revolutionary War. He died saving the flag during the Siege of Savannah and his monument depicts him clutching the flag in one hand while the other hand is pressed against his mortal wound. Very dramatic. The houses around Madison Square are great, too. 

Ellis Square is across the street from City Market. The fun thing about Ellis Square is the statue of Johnny Mercer. Mercer was born in Savannah (and is buried there, too, in Bonaventure Cemetery). He was a well-known singer and songwriter. Think you don't know his songs? You do. He wrote Moon River which won an Academy Award for Best Song from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. He also wrote Jeepers Creepers, Hooray for Hollywood, Come Rain or Come Shine and On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. Yes, they are all old songs, but you've got to know at least one of those. Hooray for Hollywood? Come on!

Finally, there is Wright Square. I actually do have a photo of this one, but I can't say it was one of my favorites. It sticks in my mind for a couple of reasons, though. The first is that it sits across from the courthouse and back in the day, prisoners were taken to Wright Square to be hung. The big old oak tree that was the hanging tree is still there and is said to be full of dark energy. I wouldn't go near the tree. I just didn't like it. A more positive thing in Wright Square is that there is a monument to Chief Tomochichi who was a friend to General Oglethorpe. Tomochichi is buried in Wright Square. Tomochichi is fun to type and to say. Try it. 

That's it for my recap of Savannah's beautiful squares. Talk to y'all tomorrow!

1 comment:

Kteach said...

I like to read about Savannah, you know I wanted to go :))
Pretty pictures and good stories.
I do like to say that name too lol