What’s Doing in Savannah
Savannah, the oldest city in the state of Georgia, is not only one of the country’s prettiest and most “southern” cities but it’s also one that will tell visitors a story, dating back nearly half a century before the American Revolution, as they stroll through the city’s streets and squares.
Savannah welcomes visitors from all over the world to enjoy its beauty and southern hospitality. Here it’s all about the city’s well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century homes, many of which welcome visitors for tours, especially during the Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens, with the 80th edition slated to take place in March.
However, there is also a sinister side to this historic city. Savannah is reputed to be the most haunted city in the United States, with numerous ghost stories to lend credence to the claim. Visitors travel from near and far just to see the numerous haunted houses and listen to the twisted and frightening tales that permeate the city. Visitors beware, you may discover more of Savannah than you bargained for.
In 1733, General James Oglethorpe founded the settlement, which was the thirteenth and final American colony to be established on the banks of a river now known as the Savannah River, naming the colony Georgia, after England’s King George III.
Shortly thereafter the city was laid out around four open squares. Each square was surrounded by four residential blocks and four civic blocks, collectively known as a ward. The four original squares, Johnson, Wright, Ellis, and Telfair, grew to be 24 by 1851.. Most were named after a significant figure from the city’s history. Today, there are 22 squares in the city: three were demolished in the twentieth century but Ellis Square was restored to its former glory in 2010.
Savannah’s importance as a port city – the southernmost in the 13 colonies – gives it a more international flavor than most other cities in the South. Silk and indigo were the city’s two chief exports and cotton, thanks to Georgia’s climate, which is perfect for growing the crop, became the primary commodity after the American Revolution bringing considerable wealth to the city’s European immigrants.