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Continued from the previous page . . .


Savannah also boasts many distinctive non-residential structures, including museums, churches, colleges, public buildings, restaurants, and shops.

Two government buildings shown below are good examples of the impressive and diverse architectural variety in Savannah.

The first imposing white Georgia marble structure, designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style, occupies an entire city block in the Historic District. Originally built in the early 1890s to house the post office, the building is now known as the Tomochichi Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse:

The building is named for Chief Tomochichi, the Creek Indian leader who befriended the early Georgia colonists in the 1730s. There is also a statue in his honor in one of the nearby public squares.

The imposing city hall, built in 1906 at the head of Bull Street, has a dome covered in 23-carat gold leaf mined in Dahlonega, Georgia:

The Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, also designed by young architect William Jay, is part of a tour package including the Owens-Thomas House Museum and Jepson Center, another art museum:

Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences

Savannah is full of churches, some quite large.

The most photogenic we found is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a Catholic church. Founded in the late 1700s in a small wooden building, the current structure was completed in 1876. A devastating fire in 1898 destroyed much of the building. It was rebuilt but the extensive interior artwork was not completely finished until 1912.

Like many other historic buildings in Savannah we've seen, the exterior is covered with scaffolding for refurbishing work this winter:

The church was open so I took a peek inside the sanctuary. I figured it would be pretty snazzy but I was surprised by how elaborate it was.

Since several folks were praying I stayed in the back and tried to be discreet as I took some photos of the elaborate interior:


There are so many detailed, colorful stained glass windows, murals, statues, decorations, and architectural details I don't know how any first-time visitors can take it all in -- or how they'd be able to concentrate on what the priest is saying during a worship service!


One of the oldest buildings -- with some of the most colorful history -- in Savannah is the iconic Pirates' House, which is now a restaurant. You don't have to eat a meal there to tour the place for free but the food is a good enough value that you may as well have lunch or dinner there when you're exploring all the interesting rooms inside.

It's been several decades since I ate here. It's one of my fondest memories of Savannah and I wanted to share it with Jim so we had lunch there one day.


The Pirates' House was first opened in 1753 as an inn for seafarers, including some legendary pirates. Stories abound about the exotic high seas adventures these sailors had from their travels around the world.

One of the legends it that a tunnel extended from the old rum cellar beneath the Captain's Room. The tunnel led to the river. Some drunken men were supposedly carried away unconscious to ships and awoke to find themselves bound for a port on the other side of the globe:

Entrance to the tunnel, which is closed off to visitors

The Pirates' House is located near the Savannah waterfront in Trustee's Garden, named in honor of General Oglethorpe's men. The Herb House, now located inside the Pirates' House complex, was built in 1734 to house the gardener for Trustee's Garden. It is said to be the oldest remaining house in Georgia.

Each of the fifteen separate dining rooms in the current restaurant has a name and theme. You can see original brick walls, hand-hewn beams with wooden pegs, and heart pine flooring. Furnishings and dinnerware represent various periods of time since the inn was built.

With the help of the friendly "pirate" on site, we learned more about the original construction of the exterior of the building, too:

How often do you see square or rectangular wooden nails?

Once of the famous people who enjoyed visiting the Pirates' House is Robert Lewis Stevenson. He mentioned the inn numerous times in his classic novel, Treasure Island.

I think Stevenson's visits were for real. It's more difficult to verify some of the other stories about the place.

The host(?), dressed as a pirate, greets all the diners
and loves to tell about the history of the place.

Some of the hype surrounding the Pirates' House is a bit hokey but it's a fun place to visit and we enjoyed our lunch selections. Jim had traditional southern food from the buffet and I had a tasty grilled salmon salad. While we were waiting for our meals to come we wandered around all the dining rooms to see the architecture and memorabilia.


It took several visits to take a close look at all twenty-two of the original squares that remain in the Historic District.

The squares offer benches and a quiet place to enjoy a walking tour of the area:

The monument in the background honors Major General Nathaniel Greene
for his service to the American Revolution; it is in Johnson Square.

All of the squares have lovely landscaping, including sprawling old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and most have monuments or statues to commemorate local historical figures.

Here are a few more of them:

Statue of Gen. James Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah (Chippewa Square)

Monument to Gen. Casimir Pulaski, who died fighting for American independence

In addition to Pulaski Square, Fort Pulaski is also named for him. I'll show photos from the fort in another entry.

I mentioned Chief Tomochichi above. He was the Creek Indian chief who basically co-founded the colony of Georgia and the city of Savannah with General Oglethorpe, helping with negotiations with other Creek tribes and the Spanish.

Tomochichi was buried with full military honors in the middle of Wright Square in 1739 at the age of 89, which is remarkable longevity for that era:

The monument over his grave is kind of a two-fer, as it also honors William Gordon, the founder of Georgia's first railroad.


Savannah has several larger public parks, too.

The one we liked the most is Forsyth Park, located just south of the Historic District. Here are some photos of this pretty park on a sunny January day:



Rose-like camellias bloom in winter in the South.

It looks more like spring than January, doesn't it?

Continued on the next page:  photos of the historic waterfront and cemeteries

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2013 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil