When Prince William and Kate Middleton married, the eyes of the world turned to Great Britain. The Royal Wedding of 2011 inspired us to turn our thinking to “What is British in Savannah?“.
Innkeeper Diane McCray points out that Green Palm Inn is built in the Classic Gingerbread, Folk Victorian style. And, the Savannah inn’s decor is British Colonial.
A regular stream of United Kingdom (UK) travelers visit Green Palm Inn in Savannah, GA USA.
Did you notice? In December 2010 and January 2011, headlines across the world announced “Queen Welcomes First Great-Grandchild”. The baby’s name is Savannah.
A LITTLE SAVANNAH HISTORY
Savannah began as a British colony in 1733. The Inn’s own “President Street” was “King Street” (named to honor of King George II of England) until May 1801. Following the American Revolution many streets with names like “Duke” (now “York”) and “Prince” were renamed to reflect American liberty from the royal rule of England. The street north of the inn is State Street and was formerly “Prince Street.”
MODERN-DAY SAVANNAH, GEORGIA’S SPOTS WITH BRITISH CONNECTIONS
We are not historians, but we will share with you some highlights of what we think has British connections in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. We have also noted some May 2011 SAVANNAH EVENTS.
Six Pence Pub & Restaurant. The pub is perhaps best known to locals and Savannah visitors as the movie location in Something to Talk About (starring Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, and Robert Duvall). It’s the place with the unmistakable red phone booth and mandatory dart boards. The original Wally’s Sixpence was owned by Wally and Doris from Manchester England. The Union Jack flag waves proudly with America’s Stars and Stripes.
Oglethorpe’s Bench. The Georgia Society of the Colonial Dames of America erected a memorial bench in honor of British General James E. Oglethorpe on the spot he pitched his first tent on arrival to settle the new colony of Georgia. It is located just west of the city hall site on Bay Street (formerly call “the Strand”).
Wormloe Plantation. Tourists in search of southern plantations need go no further! Now a Georgia State Park, Wormsloe Plantation is Georgia’s oldest colonial era plantation. The web site entices: “Experience three centuries in two hours in one place . . . Colonial Wormsloe!”
May 2011 EVENTS: War of Jenkins’ Ear
Saturday, May 28 – Monday, May 30, 2011, 1 PM to 3 PM.
Experience colonial Georgia’s military operations during the 1739-1748 war between England and Spain. Military demonstration at 2 p.m. $3.50 – $6 plus tax. (912) 353-3023.
Ships of the Sea Museum. The maritime museum is at home at Scarbrough House, the mansion of William Scarbrough, partner in the enterprise to launch the SS Savannah, notable for being the first steamship in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean (May to June 1819). The honored guest at Scarbrough House, U.S. President James Monroe sailed from Savannah River harbor to Tybee Lighthouse on board prior to the vessel’s departure for England. The SS Savannah arrived in Liverpool, England on June 20, 1819.
Ships the Sea Museum offers FREE admission May 22, 2011. Since 1933, May 22 (the day the SS Savannah set sail), America commemorates National Maritime Day.
Wright Square. The oldest of Savannah’s famous city squares is commonly called “Courthouse Square”. Wright Square is named for British Governor James Wright. The unmistakable granite stone Memorial to Tomochichi is here. The inscription reads: “In memory of Tom-o-chi-chi. The mico of the Yamacraws, The Companion of Oglethorpe, and the Friend and Ally of the Colony of Georgia.”
Green-Meldrim House. One of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture to be found in the South, the house was constructed in the early 1850’s as the residence of Mr. Charles Green, an Englishman who came to Savannah in 1833. Of special historical interest: upon the invitation of Mr. Green, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman used the house as his Union headquarters when the Federal army occupied Savannah during the American Civil War. It was at this time (December, 1864) that General Sherman sent his famous telegram to United States President Abraham Lincoln, offering him the City of Savannah as a Christmas gift. Reportedly, Mr. Green claimed he was an English subject; and, as the story goes, he was paid rent by the U.S. government for the time that Sherman occupied his mansion.
Savannah Tea Room and SCAD’s Gryphon Tea Room. Take tea and afternoon tea sandwiches, scones, and sweet delights, an English tradition, at two Savannah tea rooms.
Churchhill’s Pub & Restaurant. Located on Bay Street, the pub is British owned and operated. It serves traditional British fare, plus American cuisine. It’s web domain is thebritishpub.com. Enjoy Savannah’s beautiful outdoors on the pub’s hidden courtyard.
John Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. Located along River Street, the Savannah River bluff is where English colonists first arrived in England’s new colony of Georgia, King George II, of Great Britain. The ballast stones from around the world pave much of River Street, and form the much-photographed stone bluff walls and traffic ramps. “The half-mile plaza, named for then-Mayor John P. Rousakis, was dedicated in 1977 and has proved to be an attraction for residents and tourists,” reported Savannah Morning News in 2007. The plaza will celebrate its 35th year in 2012.
World War II Monument, titled “A World Apart“. The United States and Great Britain were allies in World War II. The City of Savannah’s newest monument, located on Rousakis Riverfront Plaza, commemorates and honors Chatham County’s World War II Veterans, both living and dead. The memorial was designed by Savannah architect Eric Meyerhoff, a partner in Gunn and Meyerhoff, the firm that designed Rousaskis Riverfront Plaza.
We hope you enjoyed this “British in Savannah” sampling and will add your comments (below) to share more of the spots where Savannah visitors might find British connections in Savannah, Georgia USA.
Copyright (c) 2011, Green Palm Inn/Sandy Traub. All rights reserved.