First rally week is done, now on to the second.
Guess what we started out with this morning? Coffee and doughnuts? WRONG. Coffee and Fritters! All flavors!
First stop today was our Midnight Book and Movie Tour.
Starting out at Franklin Square, designed in 1790 in honor of Benjamin Franklin, who was an agent for Georgia in London. Franklin Square was once known as “Water Tower Square,” because it was home to the city’s water supply in the mid to late 19th century. The Square now anchors the western end of the City Market, where we found a statue of Johnny Mercer.
He was the co-founder Capitol Records. Yes, back in the day, we used “records” to listen to our music. He also wrote the lyrics to the song “Moon River.” Most people write about their memories, but in this case, the river near where Mercer grew up was renamed Moon River in his honor.
We drove by Lady Chablis’ home nightclub, “Club One,” where she was known as the Grand Empress.
Lady Chablis was played by herself in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Below is a photo of an old “Sears” house. Back in the day, houses could be ordered through the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Does anything look peculiar to you?
Yep, those windows were installed upside down….
The First Afro-American Church
This church was used as a stop along the Underground Railroad. No records were kept on how many slaves used the Church on their way to the North for their safety. A unique feature in the Church, which relates to the Underground Railroad, are the holes in the floor in certain areas of the Church. These holes are arranged in a pattern known as a Congolese Cosmogram. This pattern represented life so it fit with the church. The real reason for these holes were breathing holes for slaves who were hidden beneath the floorboards!
The Mercer House,
where the alleged killing of Billy Hansen took place in Williams’ study.
Remember the bug man in the movie? Below is “Clarys” his breakfast place.
The Unitarian Universalist Church, built in 1851, now sits on the west side of Troup Square. Legend says that James Pierpont wrote the song we know as “Jingle Bells” during the time that he served at this church. The Unitarian Church was forced to close prior to the Civil War because of their abolitionist beliefs.
Beneath the large oaks that now dominate Wright Square, blood has been spilled. The first white burial ground was located at Wright Square. At the southwest corner of the square, extending underneath some of the buildings, is where the bodies of those first buried in Savannah rest—but not all of them are at peace. A common theme that you will find throughout Savannah hauntings is that buildings and roadways were often built on top of burial grounds. Thus, the most haunted city in America.
The ghost of Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi allegedly still resides in Wright Square. If you visit his monument on the southeast corner of the Square, and run around it three times while saying “Tomo-Chi-Chi," his ghost might actually appear.
Savannah was celebrating May Day at Calhoun Square. The children weren’t shy about posing either.
Identical homes were built for twin sisters, who incidentally did not get along.
Do you think maybe daddy built their identical homes attached to force them to get along?
Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the most visited locations in and around historic Savannah. The grounds are widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in all of our country.
There are a number of well-known individuals laid to rest inside the walls of Bonaventure Cemetery. Perhaps the most well know is Johnny Mercer. The famous American song-writer is laid to rest in a part of the cemetery close to the Bull River. His grave is one of the most visited graves in Bonaventure Cemetery.
Another well-known person to be buried in Bonaventure is Conrad Aiken. Aiken grew up in Savannah where he wrote some of his novels and poems.
Little Gracie Watkins is probably the MOST visited grave site in Bonaventure. Gracie died in 1889 when she was only six years old. Her father had a sculpture carve a true-to-life statue of Gracie for her grave. The wrought iron fence surrounding her grave is almost always adorned with flowers, stuffed animals, and other trinkets that would make a child happy.
Nothing like being buried on waterfront property.
Before leaving the cemetery, we decided to do a group photo.
Unfortunately, we did not have everyone in our group.
Lunch was at the Blue Moon Brewery followed by a tour.
The afternoon was spent at Telfair Museum and Jepsen Center.
One of the photos below is acrylic aerosol on spraycans, who would have thought… The real time camera depicting blur and mosaic pictures was lots of fun.
Everyone’s favorite was Savannah’s “Bird Girl,” ESPECIALLY KAY’S favorite. It was featured on the cover of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
We enjoyed a FABULOUS dinner at the Pirate’s House, established in 1753. Southern Fried Chicken, pork, fish, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, collard greens, and banana bread pudding for dessert. We even had a pirate visit us to tell us about the restaurant in the “pirate” days (probably like today’s biker bars) and how they have underground tunnels, which are now closed, down to the water to sneak in the rum.
The Pirates' House is home to some rare early edition pages of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The pages can be seen hanging on the walls of the Captain's room and the Treasure room in the Pirates' House.
Within the restaurant is the Herb House built in 1734, the oldest house in the state of Georgia. It was originally used by the gardener of Trustees' Garden which was an early Colonial experimental garden which later failed.
The Herb House was later turned into an inn for seamen since it was only a block from the Savannah River. Seamen and pirates gathered there to drink, party, and tell outlandish tales.