The Massie Heritage Center is located on Calhoun Square and in my opinion often overlooked by visitors of Savannah. The building is a huge Greek Revival building designed by John Norris and was completed in October 1856 to be a school for poor white children in Savannah. The Massie School is named for Peter Massie who was a Scottish immigrant who moved to Georgia in the late 1700’s. He went on to be the owner of the Bonaventure Plantation and after he passed he gave $5000 to City of Savannah, Glynn County and Elizabeth, New Jersey to set up free schools for the poor children in those areas.
The city invested the money into the Central Rail Road and Canal Company and the Savannah Gas Light Company to grow the amount of the original invest to over $14000. This investment allowed the city to establish the construction of the Massie School. The school was ran by a board with three commissioners and was able to grow their reputation throughout the state of Georgia. They were among one of the first schools to have boys and girls learning together but they were seperated by sides of the classroom.
Now the center is open for tours and goes through the history of Savannah and the history of the Massie School. I had the best experiences in on this tour and really got a behind the scenes look with an amazing tour guide because I did the tour alone. I believe her name was Karen and she was an amazing guide!
I think this tour is often disregarded by tourist since it is not in the main historic area. If you want to really understand the history of Savannah and have a one on one experience I HIGHLY encourage you to check out this tour! It is a HIDDEN GEM in Savannah!
MASSIE HERITAGE SCHOOL HOURS
Monday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am -4:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm