Interesting Facts about Savannah, GA

Posted on: Thursday June 14, 2018 at 9:44 AM

Savannah, GA is a great place to live, a great family town, but also a great touristic destination with an array of different cultural and historical content and places. Savannah is the oldest town in Georgia and therefore has a long, rich, and colorful history.  

While there are some tenets, figures, and events that are famous and known to all, there are always new things, places and facts to discover about Savannah, GA. The city is simply never boring, and it never disappoints.  

Here we have made a list of some fun and interesting, as well as some rarely known facts about the charming city of Savannah, Georgia.

America’s First Planned City

Not only is Savannah the largest and oldest city in the State of Georgia, but it is also the first planned city in the entire United States. The history of Savannah dates back to 1733 when a British General James Edward Oglethorpe came to the area and founded the town of Savannah.

General Oglethorpe came with an already prepared, detailed and extensive plan for the organization of the town. It is known as the “Oglethorpe Plan” and it included a grid of wide streets that were intertwined with numerous public squares and parks.

Savannah Has 22 Squares

The number of public squares in Savanah is truly astonishing, but was is even more interesting and significant is that all of those squares are the original ones from the Oglethorpe Plan, built in the 18th century. There were 24 public squares built according to the first city plan, and 22 of them were preserved and are still standing today.

They are cherished for their beauty and are named in honor of some significant figures or events in Savanah’s history, such as General Oglethorpe himself, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, etc.

The City Was a Christmas Present for President Lincoln

During the Civil War, when Union soldiers were conquering the southern colonies, there was one particular Union general that was wreaking havoc on every southern city he came across, General William Tecumseh Sherman. After burning down Atlanta, it was Savannah’s turn to be destroyed. But as he entered the city he was confronted with it in all its beauty.

Savanah had since its beginnings been one of the most beautiful cities in America, and General Sherman also recognized this. He deemed it too precious to be burned down and decided to spare it and offer it to President Lincoln as a present for Christmas that year, in 1864.

The Famous Spanish Moss is not Actually Moss

What better place to enjoy nature, shade, and some peace and quiet but the live oaks covered with the famous and beautiful Spanish moss? And the trees really do look mesmerizing covered with that idyllic drape that is found all around the city. You may, however, be surprised with the fact that Spanish moss is neither Spanish nor a moss.

The origins of the plants are actually American – it is a plant native to the Americas, and it belongs to the Bromeliad plant family. Another very famous member of that family is also pineapple, so the Spanish moss is actually closer to pineapples that to actual moss. These plants absorb moisture directly from the air and are specific to the humid southern areas.

Savannah is Home to the First Black Church in the U.S.

The first black church in the entire country was the First African Baptist Church, founded in 1800 in Savannah, Georgia. The church’s important and integral role in the Civil Rights Movement is very well known, but the fact that it is the oldest and the first black church not as much.   

This historic congregation, and now an important landmark located on Montgomery Street, served as a safe house for slaves and all other African Americans throughout history, functioning as an integral part of the Underground Railroad. Today it serves as a memorial and a reminder of the past hardships of the African Americans, as well as their great contributions to the development of the black community in Savannah and the entire country.

Home of Flannery O’Connor

The world-renowned novelist and short-story writer Flanner O’Connor called Savannah her home. She was born there in 1925 and spent most of her childhood in the city. Her childhood home is now a historic house museum and can be visited at its same original location, 207 East Charlton Street.

Another interesting fact related to this famous Southern writer is connected to her love of animals. She and her family raised chickens at their home in Savannah, and O’Connor is said to have taught one of the chickens to walk backward.

The Famous Scene from  Forrest Gump  Was Filmed in Savanah

We all know the famous movie  Forrest Gump , most of the people have seen it, and others have certainly heard about it. At one time or another, many of us have heard the very famous phrase about how “life is like a box of chocolates.” But what many probably don’t know, is that the scene where Forrest sits on the bench talks about his life and delivers that memorable line, is actually filmed in Savannah, along with a few other scenes.

These were some of the lesser known facts, and we at Harper Special Services from Savannah, GA there are certainly many more. Take a trip to Savannah, visit some of its famous sites and monuments, mingle with the local residents, and you are bound to learn much more and enjoy the city to the fullest.