Last weekend, my boyfriend, Joel, and I visited a few of Savannah's historic sites and I brought my camera along! Take a peak at what you can see when you visit Savannah, GA.
Joel and I, being newer to Savannah, like to explore on weekends when we have free time. I love history so a lot of the time we find some kind of museum or historic site to explore. We found out that the Telfair Museums sell tickets that will grant you access to THREE different sites! The tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for people over 65 & military personnel with ID, $15 for students with ID, and FREE for children 12 and under. This price gets you into the Owens-Thomas House, the Telfair Academy, and the Jepson Center. If that wasn't great enough, you have a week to use the ticket, so you can take each site a day at a time!
We started at the Owens-Thomas House where there was a guided tour. The tour starts in the "Slave's Quarters." The tour guide showed us the original paint that was painted on the rafters in the Slave's Quarters. It was a vibrant blue color which at first seemed coincidental, but the guide explained that early 19th century Americans believed blue paint would keep ghosts and spirits out of their homes because they would not pass over water.
After the Slave's Quarters, we headed to the main house. We were able to visit most places including the cook's kitchen in the basement next to the large cistern which was connected to the two downstairs baths and a shower. The Owens-Thomas House was built in 1819 so running water for baths was a definite luxury. The house also has original flushing toilets -- another luxury.
One of my favorite rooms in the house was the dining room. There was a lot that I didn't know about dining in early American history. When the house was built, in 1819, having a dedicated dining room was a rarity. Everything in this room was very extravagant. The orange-ish light that you can see in the top right corner of the first photo is coming from the colored glass window cutouts. This was an interesting addition that the tour guide said was meant to sort-of "set the mood" for a dining evening.
Another interesting tidbit that the guide told us was that there was often one glass of alcohol (i.e. wine) at the table so one would raise their hand and request the butler to bring them the cup to drink from. The butler would then wash the glass for the next partaker.
Upstairs there were a lot of impressive aspects to the house that just added to its beauty. As you can see, there was a bridge (WHAT!?) from one side of the upstairs to the other. There wass also more colored glass. Two of the upstairs rooms were bedrooms and another one of them was actually a public sitting room and a study for the man of the house. It was definitely a different time considering nowadays we don't tend to invite dinner guests to our upstairs rooms.
One of the bedrooms was decorated like what a guest room would look like in the early 1800s. There was a four post bed and the table and chair pictured above was placed in front of the original fireplace. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the portraits on the wall in this bedroom. One of the portraits was of Catharine Littlefield Greene, a famous twice-widowed woman of America. She had nothing to do with the Owens-Thomas House other than their timelines being aligned, but I still found her story to be very interesting. She originally married the Revolutionary War general, Nathanael Greene, and then married her children's tutor after he died. Needing a new tutor for her children she hired Eli Whitney, the inventor of the Cotton Gin.
The Owens-Thomas house was a wonderful place to explore and learn about. It faces Oglethorpe Square and was only three squares from the next stop in the museum experience!
We went to the Telfair Academy next which I was unable to get any pictures of on the inside. I will do my best to describe its beauty!
There are four galleries inside the building with artifacts from the founding of the museum by the Telfair family. My absolute favorite part of the museum was the main hall. It had a tall ceiling, probably 50 feet tall, which was breath-taking. All along the walls in this hall were huge beautiful pieces of Renaissance art. Upstairs they had donated art pieces from different cultures like rugs from India, dishes from China, as well as some American artifacts from the same periods.
I definitely want to revisit this museum when I have a longer amount of time to spend there!
To end up the evening, Joel and I took my dog, Max, to Forsyth Park.
Forsyth Park is the largest square in downtown Savannah and many events are held there throughout the year! There are tennis and basketball courts, large fields to run or simply lie in and a small amphitheater for occasional concerts. There is also a playground and a garden in the center of the park. The most famous attraction in the park is the Forsyth Park fountain. It is a beautiful fountain that characterizes the city of Savannah.
We enjoy going to Forsyth Park especially because it gives Max a chance to be around other dogs and play in the fields!
Needless to say, Savannah is a great place to explore and has activities for all interests, from museums to parks!
I hope you come visit and enjoy Savannah as much as I do!