May 23rd: Savannah, GA

Savannah City Hall

Savannah City Hall

We headed to downtown Savannah today to do the tourist thing. Savannah has got to be one of America’s most interesting cities. First, we took a trolley tour, and our guide was great. The overview tour was billed to last 90-minutes, but took more like 2-hours. The great part is that the tour company allowed Annie to ride along.

Savannah has park-like 22 squares, and each one seems to have some interesting history or story. Then there are lots of neat old homes, churches, stores, and of course the river front Cotton Exchange area with its still active seaport.

Now we come back to our British statesman, philanthropist, military general, and good friend James Oglethorpe. You guessed it – Savannah is another one of Jim’s planned communities. In February 1733 Jim landed here only to find the place already occupied by the Yamacraw tribe and chief Tomochichi. Well, Jim and Tomochichi hit it off real well thanks to a white trader living there with his Indian wife who did the translating. Oglethorpe charmed Tomochichi into allowing the British to stay.

As usual, Oglethorpe then laid out his city, named it Savannah, and made it the capital of the British Provence of Georgia. He did a splendid job adding those really nice squares and streets wide enough for tour buses.

General James Olethrope

General James Olethrope

Friends from Bloomington, Illinois - Mark & Pat

Friends from Bloomington, Illinois – Mark & Pat

Inside Savannah's Catholic Church

Inside Savannah’s Catholic Church

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