Owens-Thomas House

Owens-Thomas House

Building of the Owens-Thomas House began in November of 1816, designed by William Jay for Richard Richardson. The builder of the home was John Retan and his team of free and enslaved workers. The home was finished in 1819 but the Richardsons would only live in the home for three years before economic downfall after the Panic of 1819, yellow fever epidemic, and fires that destroyed half the city of Savannah. He would sell the home in 1822 after the death of his wife and two children to move to Louisiana, for his business of shipping enslaved children from Savannah to New Orleans.

It was not until 1830 that the then mayor of Savannah, George Welshman Owens, who purchased the home at auction for $10,000. Owens was a lawyer, politician and planter who kept up to fifteen enslaved workers on his property, and roughly 400 enslaved workers on his plantations. Owens granddaughter, Margaret Gray Thomas, was the last to live and own the home and upon her death in 1951 she left the home to the Telfair Academy of Arts to be used as a historical home museum in honor of her father and grandfather.

My favorite part of this home is how the stories of the enslaved workers is being told. As of June 26th, 2021, they are the only house tour in Savannah telling to full story of the enslaved people that lived and worked in the home for the Owens-Thomas families. Due to high volume of visitors, they require you to arrive early on the day they want to take a tour and receive your tour time. If you do not do this you risk not being able to due the tour because they sell out regularly.

Owens-Thomas House Hours:


Monday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wednesday: CLOSED

Thursday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

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