Tour Locations | A Stroll through the Heart of Savannah’s Historical District
North side of Wright Square
You should be standing on the north side of the Gordon Monument in the center of Wright Square, with your back to the monument. Diagonally to your left, you will see CVS.
Now look straight ahead, where you will see Johnson Square.
Keep looking past Johnson Square and you will find the Gold Dome to city hall. Beyond city hall is the Savannah River. This gives you a perspective of exactly where you are standing.
Have a seat on a bench in front of you, while I introduce myself and give you a background of how Savannah first began.
My name is Rose, I am the owner of Explore Savannah, a walking tour company. I grew up in NE Ohio, where not much happened that was written in the history books. It wasn't until I moved to the south that I began to see and understand how rich our history truly is. My husband is from South Carolina, one of the original 13 colonies and his family history dates back to those colonial days. Being married to Rick has inspired me to learn more about our history. Moving to Savannah in the spring of 2016, I truly began to appreciate and dig deeper to learn all I could about Savannah and her rich and inspiring history. My perspective is much like yours, being able to see and experience her historic district with fresh eyes and admiration.
Enough about me, let's get started with your tour.
Savannah was established by General James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733, when he landed where the Hyatt is today, just left of city hall on Bay St; the building with the gold dome. With him were about 35 families, 114 people in all.
Savannah was a preplanned city, Oglethorpe's plan was for 24 squares, today we still have 22. You are in Wright Square, the second square that was established. This was known as the Civic Square, the Courthouse Square and more commonly the Hanging Square. Take a moment to look around you. Imagine you are back in the early 1700's, when this all began. Where CVS is today, is where the jail used to be.
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Now turn around, facing the monument.
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The large white building on your right, today this is a courthouse. Wright Square has always had a courthouse.
Now scan your eyes to the left, to the row of buildings.
Under these buildings is the very first cemetery of Savannah, dating from 1733-1750. Yes, there are still people buried under there. It is said that where you are standing was where the gallows were. Hangings were public events back then and Wright Square is where those were held.
Before we get going, I'll explain how VoiceMap works.
It uses your location to play audio automatically at the right time and place. This means you can put your phone away now. Don't worry if I'm silent for a while, when I'm not giving directions or telling stories. There's a map on your screen if you ever feel lost and if you do go off track without noticing, VoiceMap will let you know.
So, let's get going.
Begin walking to your left, then turn right, walking through the square, keeping the monument on your right. I will tell you about the monument in a moment, but first we will talk about Tomochichi and who he was.
Continue walking through the square, keeping the monument on your right.