Savannah

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 21 Jan 2012 22:17
Savannah, Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
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We woke this morning to find a very nice surprise on deck. Extremely civilised to sit with a cup of tea and the lightest, most delicious doughnuts – ever, with the daily paper. So easy to fall in to the American way, move over cereal. Bear later spoke to one of the lads who told him they have been delivering every morning, except Sunday for the last forty years, but they have never advertised the service.
We could never afford to stay in these marinas in the summer, but winter rates with discount on a week long stay make it possible on our way south. Grand Gromit.
Time to get on the bus and take our first at-venture in Savannah. A sharp slap for Bear on the half hour, $1.50 journey when I pointed out a Pawn shop. Lewd and lascivious comments from him, slap – I didn’t say Porn.
 

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We found the Visitors Centre where Randy was vey helpful. Outside we boarded an Oglethorpe Tour bus with the very knowledgeable and highly amusing Pookie as our driver come guide. She said we would all have to listen to her for an hour and a half before we could do the ‘get off and on’ bit. Fine with us as we always like to do a full circuit first to get our bearings and choose what we fancy seeing in more detail.

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City Hall was designed and built by local architect Hyman Wallace Witcover in 1901. The original cost estimate of $205,167 included ornate statues of chariots and horses atop the structure. Budget considerations forced their deletion from the final plans, but they can still be seen in the architect's original rendering. The dome rises seventy feet into the air. It was originally clad in copper but was gilded in 1987. The $240,000 project was a gift from a local philanthropist. Tissue-paper thin sheets of 23-carat gold leaf were applied to the dome, cupola and clock hands. 
 
 

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Savannah has the second largest St Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S.A, they put green dye in all the fountains, dress up and the city has a real carnival feel. This “Berger” house is just outside the ‘Historic District’ and when neighbours took the owner to court, the judge ‘slung’ it out as soon as he knew which street it stood on. We rather like it. Houses within the Victorian District are ruled rather like the English Grade 1 listed building regulations, inside and out, the Historic District – just outside. 

 

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Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial centre and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia's fourth largest city and third largest metropolitan area. 

 

 

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History: General James Edward Oglethorpe, a philanthropist and a representative of King George II to the American colonies, was sent to create an experimental settlement, growing mulberry trees for silkworms to do their stuff, whilst designing and organising a town and as a buffer south of the Savannah River to protect the Carolinas from Spanish Florida and French Louisiana.

On the 12th of February 1733, General James Oglethorpe and his settlers landed at Yamacraw Bluff and were greeted by Tomochichi, the Yamacraws and Indian traders John and Mary Musgrove. Mary Musgrove often served as a translator. The city of Savannah was founded on that date, along with the colony of Georgia. In 1751 Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a Royal Colony and Savannah was made the colonial capital of Georgia.

The city was named for the Savannah River, which probably derives from variant names for the Shawnee, a Native American people who migrated to the river in the 1680’s. The Shawnee destroyed another Native people, the Westo and occupied their lands at the head of the Savannah River's navigation on the fall line, near present-day Augusta. 

 

 

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Pookie told us that the shop above had been built and used as the very first Ford dealership in Savannah

 

 

Climate: Savannah's climate is classified as humid subtropical, this climate is characterised by long and almost tropical summers, with temperatures reaching freezing only a few times in the winter (with rare snowfall). Due to its proximity to the Atlantic coast, Savannah rarely experiences temperatures as extreme as those in Georgia's interior. Nevertheless, temperatures as high as 41 °C and as low as −16 °C have been recorded. Summers tend to be humid with many thunderstorms. Nearly half of Savannah's precipitation falls during the months of June through September, characteristic of monsoon-type climates.

Savannah is at risk for hurricanes, particularly of the Cape Verde type. Because of its location in the Georgia Bight (the arc of the Atlantic coastline in Georgia and northern Florida) as well as the tendency for hurricanes to re-curve up the coast, Savannah has a lower risk of hurricanes than some other coastal cities such as Charleston, South Carolina. Savannah was seldom affected by hurricanes during the 20th century, with one exception being Hurricane David in 1979. However, the historical record shows that the city was frequently affected during the second half of the 19th century. The most prominent of these storms was the 1893 Sea Islands hurricane, which killed at least 2,000 people.

The first meteorological observations in Savannah probably occurred at Oglethorpe Barracks circa 1827. Observations at the barracks continued intermittently until 1850 and resumed in 1866. The Signal Service began observations in the early 1870’s. Today, the National Weather Service records local weather observations at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

 

The population was 5,146 in 1800. In 2010 it was 136,286

 

 

 

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Pookie pointed out the fancy “dolphin” drain cover on this house and said it looked more like a “Cayat feesh” and the pub the Julia Roberts tapped on the window as she saw her husband and his mistress at a table inside. “I wouldna been tappin ousside, I be tappin on his heyad wid somethin’ real heavee insigh.”   

 

 

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Points of interest: Savannah's architecture and history are internationally known, as is its reputation for Southern charm and hospitality; for example, the city's former promotional name was "Hostess City of the South," a phrase still used by the city government. An earlier nickname was "the Forest City", in reference to the large population and species of oak trees that flourish in the Savannah area. These trees were especially valuable in shipbuilding during the 19th century. Each year, Savannah attracts millions of visitors from across the country and around the world. Savannah's downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.

The city's location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Tybee Island, formerly known as "Savannah Beach", is the site of the Tybee Island Light Station, the first lighthouse on the southern Atlantic coast.

Savannah's historic district has 22 squares (Ellis Square, demolished in 1954, was fully restored in early 2010). The squares vary in size and personality, from the formal fountain and monuments of the largest, Johnson, to the playgrounds of the smallest, Crawford. Elbert, Ellis, and Liberty Squares are classified as the three "lost squares," destroyed in the course of urban development during the 1950’s. Elbert and Liberty Squares were paved over to make way for a realignment of U.S. highway 17, while Ellis Square was demolished to build the City Market parking garage. In 2010 the city restored Ellis Square after razing the City Market parking garage. The garage has been rebuilt as an underground facility, the Whitaker Street Parking Garage opened in January 2009. Separate efforts are now under way to revive Elbert and Liberty Squares. 

 

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Christ Church savannah

 

Historic churches and synagogues: Founded in 1733, with the establishment of the Georgia colony, Christ Church is the longest continuous Christian congregation in Georgia. Early rectors include the Methodist evangelists John Wesley and George Whitefield. Located on the original site on Johnson Square, Christ Church continues as an active congregation.

 

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The First Bryan Baptist Church is an African-American church that was organised by Andrew Bryan in 1788. The site was purchased in 1793 by Bryan, a former slave who had also purchased his freedom. The first structure was erected there in 1794. By 1800 the congregation was large enough to split: those at Bryan Street took the name of First African Baptist Church, and Second and Third African Baptist churches were also established. The current sanctuary of First Bryan Baptist Church was constructed in 1873. In 1832, a controversy over doctrine caused the First African Baptist congregation at Bryan Street to split. Some members left, taking with them the name of First African Baptist Church. In 1859, the members of this new congregation (most of whom were slaves) built their current church building on Franklin Square.

 

We finished our tour and ambled to River Street (own blog). We think Pookie’s best comment was about the “Waving Girl” (own blog). “Wave for fordy fower ye-ars, he git less than fordy fower minits from me, an thaat if he lurcky”.

 

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ALL IN ALL A REALLY INTERESTING CITY