- In 1864, General Sherman began his march to the sea, burning the city of Atlanta and everything else in their path on the way to the coast. Savannah was evacuated and avoided destruction. Upon entering Savannah, Sherman was so taken back by its beauty that on December 22, 1864, a legendary telegram was sent from Savannah and delivered to then President Abraham Lincoln, by which Sherman presented the city of Savannah to Lincoln as a Christmas present.
- Over 20 movies have been filmed in and around Savannah including: East of Eden, The Return of the Swamp Thing, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Forrest Gump.
- Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scout of the USA was born in Savannah.
- The Bonaventure Cemetary, made famous by the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Savannah.
But what is a cemetery without ghost stories and legends. One of the most popular legends is that of the Gracie Watson statue. This statue of a small girl buried in the cemetery is often inundated with gifts put in her lap. It is said that if any of these gifts are stolen the statue will cry tears of blood.
- Another legend is that of the ghost dogs. It is said that these four legged fiends will chase people from the cemetery.
- Savannah’s downtown area is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States.
- The Pirate House, a famous Savannah restaurant, was actually a tavern frequented by pirates who sailed the Carribbean in 1794. Events at the Pirate house were the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island.
- In 2002, the American Institute of Parapsychology named Savannah, “America’s Most Haunted City.” Based on Savannah’s history of fires, plagues, wars and voodoo, they determined Savannah was the perfect place for supernatural activity.
- While admiring Savannah’s splendid architecture, you might start to notice a recurring color painted on the door frames, porches and window sills of many Savannah homes. This blue/green color, or “Haint Blue,” is not only aesthetically pleasing but has an important purpose, and that is to ward off evil spirits. “Haint Blue” paint was first used by African Slaves to secure entry-point into their houses from spirits. According to the Geechee/Gulla culture of the Lowcountry, the blue/green color of “Haint Blue” represents water which, it is believed, spirits can not pass over.
- While the Spanish Moss that hangs from Savannah’s majestic oaks is a true reminder that you are in the romantic deep South, it does not make a great souvenir. A small biting bug called a “chigger” makes Spanish Moss its home. During the early days of the Colony, residents often stuffed and bounded their mattresses with the soft and bountiful Spanish Moss only to wake up irritated and itchy after the tiny bugs invaded their slumber. As a result, a common phrase emerged in Savannah, and it was – “Goodnight neighbor, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
- Savannah is home to the largest celebration in the South honoring St. Patrick (an Irish Catholic Saint) and is famous for the “To-Go Cup” (thanks to the city’s liberal view on cocktails to-go)
- The first protestant Sunday school in America was started in Savannah by John Wesley in 1736. In 1819 Savannah made worldwide news as the home port of the steamship S.S. Savannah. The Savannah was the first steam-powered vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
- Telfair Mansion and Art Museum is the oldest public art museum in the Southeast. Housed in the museum are American, French, and Dutch impressionist paintings as well as a large collection of many works in different mediums.
- Ready for some good ol’ family fun! Savannah was recently ranked among the best southeastern destinations for families by Family Fun Magazine, published by the Walt Disney Corporation
Find more about Savannah Georgia’s history with a walking tour!