There are many tours around Savannah. Trolley, walking, biking, Segway, ghost (they tour by night in a hearse). We chose the 90 minute narrated trolley tour to get a general overview of the city and some historical information. SCAD (savannah college of art design) is located right in the historic district. They own 69 buildings. They have bought many of the historic buildings and have renovated them and turned them into classrooms or art galleries or studios. One of these being the old train warehouse. They also converted an old Ho Jo’s (Howard Johnsons) just off the square into student housing. They also own and run Gryphon Tea room- more later. There is a large art presence in Savannah.
After the trolley tour we split. The Hubby wanted to go to the Colonial Graveyard and I wanted to go to Andrew Low’s house and the First Girl Scout Head quarters.
I realized that the tour guide makes all the difference in your tour. I had an excellent guide who had a wealth of information not just on the Low family, the house, historical Savannah but also time period furniture. Andrew Low was a very wealthy cotton factor (broker). One year they had a tax levy and it was recorded that he had made $250,000. In the mid 1800’s! Unheard of! His only son, by his second marriage (both wives died in childbirth), married Juillete Gordon (Low) founder of the girl scouts. They actually had a very sad marriage. He had a mistress and left everything to her, when he died Juliette fought the will and won, living in the Low house till her death. She founded the girl scouts because she wanted girls to learn skill to be successful and independent. Behind the Low house is the First Girl Scout Headquarters.
Hubby and I were going to meet back up for lunch. However, he walked off in the wrong direction about a mile past and then came back to meet me, not even seeing the cemetery.
We chose Gryphon Tea Room for lunch. As I mentioned it is owned by SCAD and students work in the restaurant. The building was an old apothecary and it is warm and cozy inside, perfect for tea or lunch.
The food was again, delicious. I was never disappointed on this trip.
I had the caesar salad sandwich with a cucumber salad.
Hubby had the smoked salmon and egg salad sandwich with a caprese salad. I was shocked. I told him I couldn’t believe he ate salmon. He had no idea what I was talking about he thought it was bacon on his sandwich, but the waiter confirmed that salmon and we had a good laugh. (If you don’t know what I am talking about it is from an earlier post ).
I was able to convince the Hubby to tour the Owens/Thompson House after lunch. One of the finest house museums in Savannah are is the Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House, on Oglethorpe Square. The house, built in 1818, is one of the finest examples of the English Regency style. It is also the only house museum intact with a carriage house, slave quarters, basement kitchen and original wall paper and interior architecture.
In this style, the focus is on symmetry. There were false doors and windows just to creat symmetry and balance in the design. It was a very beautiful house.
After the tour, the hubby went back to the B&B for a nap and I walked around the squares.
The Mercer Williams house is the house of the events in the book and then movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The statue, The Bird Girl, which is on the cover of the book was moved from the cemetery to the Tefair museum for protection. Built in 1860, is one of the finest examples of Italianate designs in Savannah. It was built for the great grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer and in 1969 was purchased and then restored by Jim Williams, the principal subject of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Scenes from the movie were shot here. Still privately-owned by the family.
After walking around we met back up for dinner at B. Matthews Eatery. It was almost across the street from the B&B. Cozy atmosphere, quiet, not busy and excellent food. I had shrimp and grit bites with arugula beurre blanc and curried chicken and sweet potato stew. Hubby had roasted boneless chicken legs and sun-dried tomato and mozzarella ravioli, rosemary cream, porcini, pear tomato. We walked back to the B&B by the river passing The Waving Girl statue. She was sculpted by the same artist who did the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima sculpture. The waving girl lived at the lighthouse and waved to every boat that passed by, rumored to by waiting for her love, but he never came.
Day three we headed out to Tybee Island.