Tour Locations | A Stroll through the Heart of Savannah’s Historical District
Green Meldrim House
As you cross the street, you should have St. John's Epicipal Church on your left and the house on your right. You can walk up to the front of the house, or enjoy the grassy area in the courtyard, while we take a few minutes to talk about the history of this house.
This is the Green-Meldrim House built by Charles Green, completed in 1853. Notice the ironwork, the large oriel windows and the details of the front doors.
Charles Green was originally from Liverpool, England. In 1833, at 26 years old, he moved to Savannah with only $10.80 cents in his pocket; that's about $333.00 today. Charles got a job on the docks as a clerk, working his way up to become a very successful cotton merchant. In 1850, he bought the property this house sits on for $3,500, then built the house for $93,000 dollars, or just over 3.2-million today. This was the most expensive house in Savannah at the time. Charles built this house as a wedding present to his 2nd wife Lucy. He commissioned John Norris the architect to build the house, then Charles and Lucy headed to England and traveled Europe for a 1-year extended honeymoon, buying furnishings and materials for the house. Forty thousand dollars worth of the materials used on this house, are from Europe.
The Green Family lived here for about 40 years. It was after Charles's death, and after the Civil War, Charles's son fell into financial ruin and was forced to sell the house. In 1892 he sold the house to Judge Peter Meldrim for only $33,000. The Meldrim's lived here for a number of years and in 1943, St. John's Episcopal Church, the church next to the house, bought the house for only $42,000. They still own it today and use it as their Parish house. The Carriage House in the back serves as the home for the church's rector.
The house is mostly known as being the Headquarters for General Tecumsah Sherman with the Union Army during the Civil War, when he overtook Savannah. General Sherman arrived in Savannah on December 21, 1864. Upon his arrival into the city, Mayor Richard Arnold surrendered to Sherman. Charles Green invited Sherman to use his house as headquarters. Sherman fell in love with the city and did not destroy Savannah. Instead, he wrote a telegram to President Lincoln, granting him the city as a Christmas present, along with 150 heavy guns and ammunition and 25,000 bales of cotton. The front of the house faces the church. If you are standing at the front of the house, with your back towards the church, look at the windows upstairs. The windows on the left was General Sherman's bedroom, the windows on the right were his office.
Feel free to take a look, but let me first show you where to go next.
You're going to cross back over the street and walk into Madison Square.
Before you get to the Jasper's monument in the center of the square, turn right and continue along the right side of Bull St., crossing over Charlton St.