Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and also happens to be the one Kim and I most recently visited. Savannah is renowned for its historic preservation efforts, which help us understand how buildings have evolved over time. While this isn't uncommon in most older communities, Savannah has embraced the spirits of its past, both literally and figuratively. Here are some images and thoughts from our trip.
When you visit a new city, there is always a lot to take in to understand the area. In this case, the Savannah River is important not only to separate Georgia from South Carolina but also as an artery connecting directly to the Atlantic Ocean. Like much of the South, the area was a primary producer of cotton and rice, so the community naturally developed based on its ability to ship goods. While cotton and rice are no longer the economic drivers they were, Savannah remains a significant port of commerce. During our 3-day visit, I saw at least ten large container ships and an oil tanker delivering goods.
The historic architecture in Savannah is almost as well-preserved as the stories of the dead. Since Savannah is considered the most haunted city in America, we had to go on a ghost walk. Our guide informed us that Savannah is literally built on its dead. Instead of moving old burial sites, construction happened over them. Supposedly, the local sidewalks are not level due to decomposing caskets and bodies below. Is anyone else having Poltergeist flashbacks? One of the more notable sites on our walk was The Hamilton-Turner House (now Inn). It is famous for its paranormal activities and is also cited as the inspiration for Disney's Haunted Mansion ride.
Even though I love architecture, I am not the best architectural tourist. I don’t take many pictures of pure architecture. I am far more likely to take photos of interesting details and oddities. One interesting thing for me on this trip was a set of historic steps along the riverfront. Clearly, someone wasn't overly concerned with uniformity or how easy it would be to use these stairs. For comparison, a typical stair is about half as tall as the ones in the picture.
While we are discussing accessibility issues, the next picture shows a part of the toilet in one of the local restaurants. Early toilets were designed like this so gravity could assist the water coming out of the tank, but with a pull chain so you can reach the flushing mechanism. Apparently reaching the handle to flush was not a consideration here.
Our brief tour of Savannah included history, the wonders of the supply chain in action, a few ghost stories, and some oddities. I think that the people of Savannah would agree that sums up the Savannah experience pretty well.