On our tour of Savannah, we learned the story of Florence Martus who lived on nearby Elba Island.
She became known by sailors around the world between 1887 and 1931 as she waved a handkerchief by day, and she would wave a latern at night to greet ships arriving at and departing from Savannah's harbor.
Florence was born in 1868 and died in 1943. She lived with her brother in a lighthouse near the entrance of the Savannah harbor. The story goes that Florence fell in love with a sailor who promised to return for her; he never did. She spent years waving to passing ships, hoping her love would return on one such ship. They say that during her years at the lighthouse, she greeted nearly 50,000 vessels.
Today, she lives on in spirit because of the statue on the waterfront at the east end of River Street. The statue is of her waving the handkerchief in the daytime. Her loyal dog stands beside her.
I think it is a lovely story and appropriate in this romantic city.
Each of the city's 22 squares has its own identity and Madison Square is no exception. This city has a fine custom of honoring its history and here we see a memorial to an Irish Revolutionary war hero. Sgt. William Jasper's statue and plaque (both pictured here) are a dramatic accent to the shaded square along with some vintage cannons from the old Savannah Armory.
Madison Square is also where you will find the Sorrel-Weed house and the Gryphon Tea Room ( both of which are mentioned in other tips).
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) originally opened on this historic square.
The pineapple is used as a sign of hospitality throughout Savannah. The guide at the Sorrel-Weed house talked about it thinking it was unique to Savannah, but I've seen the same thing in Newport, Rhode Island. It must have been a colonial symbol in all the early cities and towns. At any rate, we see a charming example of their use here... again in their excellent iron work.
YOU MAY HAVE TO CLICK ON PIC TO ENLARGE AND ENJOY THE PINEAPPLES
The moss dripping from all the trees is certainly charming and intrigueing. However, it looks as if it could choke some of the smaller trees if it became too thick on the branches. I'm not knowledgeable in this area, but when I saw this small struggling tree, I felt like getting a ladder and taking the moss off so it could breathe better!
The African American Monument was erected on Rousakis Plaza/River Street on July 27, 2002. The monument is an 11-12' high bronze monument which depicts a black family caught in a tight embrace with broken shackles at their feet.
The Monument is to commemorate and honor contributions of African Americans to the cultural, social, educational, economic and spiritual life of the Savannah community.
With the succes of John Berendt's best selling book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", Savannah has been discovered
by an international audience. First published by Random House in January of 1994, "Midnight" has been on The New York
Times Bestseller List for more than five years, shattering all previous records.
"Midnight has been made into a film by Clint Eastwood and even has its own fan club.
People in Savannah love to drink - most bars stay open 'til at least 12 a, Sun. - Thurs. and 3 a, on Fri. & Sat.
Go on - walk outside with an an alcoholic drink in a plastic cup (16 oz.)! It's legal :)
For some general info, visit the site below:
Savannah has been my home for about thirteen years. I've seen tourists from time to time stare with amazement at the local moss hanging from the trees. As a citizen of Savannah, I would like to give facts about these heavenly looking desires. Moss is usually full of bugs that will bite a person and can harm people. The most common pests are chiggers(Red Bugs). They are hard to get rid of once they get on a persons body. They get under a persons skin and there are only a few remedies that will cure these pests from causing further damage. They need to be smothered with fire or any other form of smothering. My father had them before and he used finger nail polish to smother them. In the old days, before pillows and pillow cases were widely used, people would use moth, pine-straw, leaves, etc to fill up their sacks. They would use these harmful sacks as pillows. Then, wake up in the morning with bug bites. Hence, don't touch the moss. Only admire it from afar. Thank-you,
Dustin Ray McNair
A Local Savannian
If you love the Mardi Gras type atmosphere then go to Savannah any time durng St Patrick's Day Week. It's crazy- don't even attempt to drive down by the waterfront.
Also- book your rooms far in advance- every room but 1 was sold out when we got there.
Mostly any other time of the year Savannah is quiet and calm. It's a beautiful place.
THERE IS A SQUARE WITH OPEN SPACE WHERE FOLKS RELAX WITH A DRINK FROM ONE OF THE NEARBY PUBS OR CAFES. BTW..SO LONG AS YOUR DRINK IS IN A PAPER CUP YOU CAN DRINK ON THE STREET! BACK TO THE SQUARE. WE SAT FOR QUITE A WHILE LAUGHING AT THE KIDS WHO COME TO THESE FOUNTAINS..OFTEN DASHING IN AND OUT TRYING NOT TO GET WET. THE SQUIRTS ARE INTERMITTENT AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN ANOTHER ONE IS GOING TO BURST UP INTO YOUR FACE. LIKE A DANCE, EVERYONE DASHES BACK AND FORTH UNTIL THEY FINALLLY DON'T CARE HOW WET THEY GET AND PROCEED TO PLAY ALL SORTS OF SILLY GAMES WITH THE SQUIRTING WATER.
I often heard this said while living in Georgia:
"If you live in Macon, you will be asked 'what church you attend,' if you live in Augusta
you will be asked 'what your mother's maiden name was,' but if you come to Savannah they will ask 'what would you like to DRINK?'"
I believe that to still be quite true to this very day. Savannah is actually smaller than
most of the other cities in total population, but it is by far the most active for nightlife.
About the only thing that I'd advise out-of-towners against is sharing a lot of their
"great ideas about how to make the city better." Most locals would just politely
smile and IGNORE your brashness. This is a city that is rich in tradition and proud of
its heritage. It is not a city that secretly wants to be New York or LA. I respect that. After
a week or so there....you will too.
Savannah is not New York, nor is it Atlanta -- heck, it's not even Charlotte -- so its important to remember that things move a lot slower here, and its bad taste to get irritated about little things. Don't get distressed if the person in front of you at a stoplight doesn't floor the gas as soon as it turns green, or if the old lady in front of you in line at the bakery takes her sweet time getting exact change out of her little coin purse. Be courteous, polite, and mannerly, and Savannah will treat you in the same fashion. Oh, and it is very poor Savannahquette (it's like etiquette, only in Savannah -- I'm sure you understood) to EVER use ANY kind of profanity in public, in private conversations or otherwise. You'll get nasty looks.
I have never actually ventured into the South, but after my trip to Savannah, I can tell you that Southern hospitality is no joke. Our trip was pleasant from the cab driver that took us from the airport to our hotel, all the way to the cab ride home. Everyone in Savannah seems to be pleasant and willing to help you out should you need help.
The American South has a tradition of great writers from Faulkner to Styron to Welty. Flannery O'Connor is one of the most important of all. Reading her stories gives you a sometimes odd glimpse into life in the South. Her childhood home is in Savannah on E. Charlton St.
Remember that you are in Savannah Georgia so service can be slow. People in Savannah are very friendly and warm so do not let the slowness irritate you, remember you are on vacation. People in Savannah are also well mannered and they greet you at a propper manner so you should greet them back. One of the mistakes made by many travelers is to compare Savannah with Atlanta, remember both cities have their own character and ambition.