As we previously mentioned, our original plan was to visit Savannah, GA, in early October. But then Hurricane Matthew came along and we had to re-route, heading south along the Gulf Coast of Florida as far as the Florida Keys, then north along the Atlantic Coast. Weeks ago, we had already booked a spot for an extended stay beginning in mid-November in Navarre, FL, on the Gulf Coast of the Florida panhandle between Pensacola and Ft. Walton Beach. Bottom line, in order to get back to Savannah, we stopped off in Brunswick, GA. This would save us 150 driving miles to get to Navarre.
Another of Valerie’s sisters, Kathy, lives in Pooler, GA, just to the west of Savannah. So, our day trip to Savannah had the dual objective of a quick tour of Savannah and a brief visit with Kathy. In order to get a look at Savannah, we booked a walking tour. It was a history themed tour that took in some of the many squares that were a part of the original design for the city.
When the city was first laid out in 1733, it was built around four open squares. As the town grew, this pattern was repeated eventually reaching a total of 24 squares. The first four squares were Johnson Square (where our tour began), Wright Square, Ellis Square and Telfair Square. This design followed the Oglethorpe Plan, named for the founder of Savannah, General James Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe was a member of the British Parliament and a social reformer who became concerned with the treatment of Britain’s poor, particularly those who were condemned to debtor’s prison.
Oglethorpe and a group of like minded associates formulated a plan to resettle many of these poor to a newly established colony in Georgia. His vision was a system designed to support and perpetuate an economy based upon family farming. Very importantly, their ship to the New World also carried cotton seeds which were instrumental in establishing the cotton industry in the US South. Part of Oglethorpe’s plan for the colony was a ban on slavery but within 10 years the ban was lifted due to economic pressures.
Later in the day we went out to Pooler to have dinner with Kathy. Unfortunately, Gerri was unable to join us but we did see her briefly and met their 3 sweet little dogs. We had dinner at nearby Crawl Daddy’s.
The next day we took a look at the town of Brunswick and drove out to St. Simons Island, which is both a seaside resort and a residential community. On the south end of the island is the St. Simons Island Light. The original lighthouse was built in 1810, it stood 75 feet tall. It was destroyed by retreating Confederate troops so that it could not be used as an aid to Union warships. The current lighthouse was completed in 1872 and stands 104 feet tall. The lighthouse underwent a major renovation in 2010.
Next stop: Tallahassee, FL