On our (masked and socially distanced) 2020 trolley tour of Savannah, we learned many things we either never knew or had forgotten about Georgia, and Savannah in particular. Hopefully the top 10 photos will help illustrate them in ways that may help you remember some of them.
James Oglethorpe received a charter from King George to found the final American colony in 1732. Hence the name “Georgia.” The king’s purpose was to provide a military buffer between cotton-wealthy South Carolina and the Spanish colony in Florida. Oglethorpe hand picked the 114 original settlers. He established for initial rules: No Catholics (might be traitors to Spain), no slaves, no alcohol, and no lawyers). Within a very short time the lawyers arrived and overturned the other rules. Speaking of lawyers, the guy represented by this wax image would have needed one. This is an advertisement for the Prohibition Museum, one of Savannah’s key attractions. If it were not the COVID era, we might have gone. This 300-year-old live oak was already here when Oglethorpe arrived. The live oak is now the state tree. Savannah, where the colony started, was laid out to contain 24 squares, or parks, each about an acre. The 22 that still remain are filled with commemorative statues and sculptures, making the historic downtown very picturesque. Leopold’s Ice Cream has been serving for 101 years; best I have had in years. The larger Forsyth Park, with this fountain in the center, has been operating in Savannah since the 1850’s. Savannah is the 4th busiest seaport in the USA, following LA, Long Beach and NYC. In early days ships would come empty of cargo but laden with junk “ballast rock.” On arrival, they emptied the rock, which Savannah used for these walls and filled with cotton. From her brother’s lighthouse, Florence Martus, “the waving girl” welcomed every ship to Savannah for 44 years with a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. Now THAT is dedication! A statue of Johnny Mercer, legendary songwriter (Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses) and co-founder of Capitol Records, is one of Savannah’s most famous citizens.