Savannah History Museum

The Savannah History Museum is located in Tricentennial Park off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Originally the building belonged to the historic Central of Georgia Railway and was used as a train shed. The museum allows you to walk through the history of Savannah from its founding in 1773, American Revolution, Civil War, World War I & World War II, to the present day. The museum holds over 10,000 artifacts pertaining to the history of Savannah. You will see exhibits that highlight the cultural, historical, and artistic contributions to the history of Savannah.

SAVANNAH HISTORY MUSEUM HOURS

Monday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Thursday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Saturday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sorrel-Weed House

The Sorrel-Weed House is located on the corner of Harris Street in Madison Square. This house is among the most well-known haunted houses in Savannah. The home was featured in the opening scene of Forrest Gump and has been a destination for paranormal lovers and ghost hunters around the world.

The home was designed by Charles Cluskey for Francis Sorrel in 1837. Francis was one of the wealthiest men in Savannah, he was a West Indian plantation owner from Saint Domingue what is now known as Haiti. As a child, he was saved by one of his enslaved women from a slave revolt due to his age and her pity for him. He would live in Port Au Prince with the enslaved woman’s family and eventually would move to America.

Ironically Francis would eventually become a merchant and would buy and sell enslaved people. This enabled him to become quite wealthy and would marry into the wealthy Moxley family. Francis and Lucinda Moxley were married in 1822, but Lucinda would die from yellow fever only five years later in 1827. Although he lost Lucinda, two years later he married her sister Matilda in 1829. Their marriage, however, was struggling due to the infidelity of Francis who was having an affair. It is assumed that Matilda found out and she threw herself off the second floor of the home and dived to her death.

Although you cannot go to the second story of the home it is a wonderful tour that gives insight into the enslaved and free people’s relationship during the 1820s in Savannah. I highly recommend going and seeing the house TWICE! Take the day tour for the history and architecture and then take the ghost tour and learn about the spirits that haunt the home!

SORREL–WEED HOUSE HOURS

Monday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Sunday: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm

Jepson Center

The Jepson Center is located in Telfair Square right next to the Telfair Academy. The building alone is a marvel made up of white Portuguese stone and a glass façade that faces Telfair Square. The building is made of three floors that hold six exhibition galleries for traveling exhibits, two sculpture terraces, a large atrium, an interactive educational gallery for families and children, a 225-seat auditorium, expansive art storage space, a library, and a museum store. A huge glass piece is featured on the backside of the museum that houses ArtZeum! It allows the sunlight that falls in the exhibit to bounce off of all the glass in the space. Currently, two featured exhibits are by Sonya Clark Finding Freedom and Noel W. Anderson Heavy is the Crown.

ArtZeum!

Clark’s exhibit features a large installation of cyanotype reactive fabric that she has dyed using seeds as the stars on the fabric. This installation acts as the night sky and is reacted by blacklight flashlights, the viewer is to find the Big Dipper as that was the way enslaved workers used the stars to go North for the Underground Railroad. Her work is not only engulfing you physically as you move under the canopy but it envokes you emotionally as you are participating in Finding Freedom like many African-American slaves had to do to flee holds of slavery.

Anderson’s exhibit features many works of police violence against the African-American Community and he correlates how black masculinity is misrepresented in America. The works features share the social and systemic oppression that is faced by young African-Americans today. One of the most moving pieces is entitled Escapism, which features an overlay of young African-American men who have features of the faces of the officers who murdered them. He does this in a computer regenerator to link the men together forever in a piece of work.

JEPSON CENTER 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

The Savannah Theatre

Savannah Theatre

The Historic Savannah Theatre is located in Chippewa Square. The theatre was designed by William Jay and opened its doors in 1818. Their first production was the comedy “The Soldier’s Daughter” and “Raising the Wind.” Today it is still used for shows and is a staple of our city.

In the first twenty years the theatre would change hands a few times due to the financial hardships endured in the 1820s with yellow fever and the fire of 1820. By 1838 the theatre would be incorporated in December of that year and was taken over by a more stable stock company.

The theatre has faced many fires through the years but today is renovated to an Art Deco style. They had a grand reopening in 1950 with a screening of “Mister Eighty-Eight.” According to their website many prominent actors have performed on their stage as such Fanny Davenport, E.H. Sothern, Julia Marlowe, Otis Skinner, Henry Irving, Tyrone Power, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell and W.C. Fields.

The current shows playing are Legends Live On!, Forever Midtown, Historic Savannah Theatre Paranormal Investigation!

SAVANNAH THEATRE HOURS

Monday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Massie Heritage Center

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

Harper-Fowlkes House

The Harper-Fowlkes House is located in Orleans Square and carries a rich history behind it. Originally this house was commissioned by Stephen Gardner to be designed by Charles Cluskey. Cluskey was an Irish architect who worked on the Hermitage Plantation for the McAlpin’s. Unfortunately in 1843, Gardner had run into some financial problems and had to sell the home to his brother John, who went on to sell it to Aaron Champion.

Aaron Champion’s daughter Maria Sophia soon married James W. McAlpin, the owner of Hermitage Plantation. The couple used the house mostly for entertaining guests or throwing big events. When Champion passed in 1881, he left the house to his son-in-law to hold for Maria and their children. Once Maria died in 1890, the house was split in interest amongst their five children, her son Henry McAlpin would end up keeping the home and living here until he died in 1931.

Through the McAlpin’s life, they would renovate in 1895, adding a top floor addition, moving the staircase to create a larger dining room, and adding a Mansard roof. The house was left to Henry’s third wife Mary Auza McAlpin and his daughter Claudia McAlpin Whitney in equal shares. The home would be put up at auction to settle the McAlpin’s estate.

Aldia Harper Fowlkes purchased the home for $9,000 ($176,764.53 Today) from the Citizens and Southern National Bank in 1939 after she had been in love with the home since she was a little girl. She would ride the trolley car just to admire it and had always dreamed of buying the house once she was older.

As a child Aldia suffered from typhoid fever and had to spend many of her younger years in bed. She developed her skills of drawing and painting to keep her imagination alive though being bedridden. She ended up finishing school and returning to become quite the socialite among Savannah families. She opened her own studio “Variety Shop” and continued to succeed in her life.

In 1939, Aldia’s wish came true. She and her mother moved into the now named Harper-Fowlkes house on New Year’s Eve. Along with her love of this house, she had fallen for the Savannah homes that needed a little extra help. She was able to restore ten homes throughout Savannah to keep up the Preservation Movement that has now taken over the city in attempts to save the historic district.

The Home is open for tours but no photos are allowed in the interior of the home. The architecture is the best part of viewing this house and I highly recommend the tour!

HARPER-FOWLKES HOUSE HOURS

Monday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Tuesday: CLOSED

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Thursday: CLOSED

Friday: CLOSED

Saturday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Andrew Low House

The Andrew Low House is a home in which visitors to Savannah can tour and learn more about the Low Family, their enslaved servants, and the connection between Juliette Gordon Low and the Girl Scouts. The architect John Norris used multiple architectural styles for the home- such as Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Italianate. The home showcases these styles well as they all blend to make one of the most unique homes in Savannah’s Historic District. The home also has quite a collection from the Low Family including antique furniture, paintings, and even small collectibles from family members.


When visiting the Low House, you can expect a lovely tour which details the story of the Low generations that resided in the home. This includes Juliette Gordon Low and her husband William Mackay Low who lived in the home in 1886-1887. Although they separated in 1901 when William passed away, their divorce was not finalized which left the home to Juliette. After the death of her husband, Juliette searched for a meaning to her life which she discovered in founding the Girl Scouts of America.

Andrew Low House Hours:

EVERYDAY LAST TOUR AT 4 O’CLOCK

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 – 4:00pm

American Prohibition Museum

The American Prohibition Museum is located in Savannah’s City Market and also houses one of the speakeasies of Savannah. I learned a lot about Savannah’s role in the Prohibition and how certain Mobsters, Presidents, and Nuns adjusted to the laws based on their lifestyle. My favorite new information was founding out that NASCAR was started by bootlegging Moonshine during the Prohibition Era!

The best part is the hidden speakeasy that serves amazing drinks! Make sure you get your drink tickets at the door and grab the Chatham Artillery Punch!

Throughout the tour you learn about the Temperance Pledge and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union which used children and religion to further the spread of the Prohibition Laws. They like many others were against the use of alcohol and used the Temperance Family Pledge to reinforce the pledge against alcohol by pushing abstinence. Often the pledge would be placed in the Bible as a promise to God to abide by the rules of Prohibition.

Carry Nation

Carry Nation was a huge advocate for the Prohibition and she went on a huge rampage of destruction to saloons throughout Kansas. After her husband Charles Gloyd died from being a drunk she swore to change how people used alcohol. She was known for carrying a hatchet along her campaign and smashed liquor bottles and mirrors to break down the morale of the patrons. No one wanted to see Carry Nation stroll through the front door of their saloon.

Mobsters like Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and Machine Gun Jack McGurn on the other hand were booming in business by bootlegging. Although law enforcement put together a Prohibition Bureau, there was little support from the government to keep up with the crime. This allowed many mobsters and gangsters to advance and make money until their much anticipated downfall.

American Prohibition Museum Hours:

LAST GROUP ENTRY 4:15 pm!

Monday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:15 pm

Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Armstrong Kessler Mansion

If you have ever gone down to Forsyth Park you have probably passed by the Armstrong Kessler Mansion. The word mansion is used due to the vast grandeur of the building and it is currently a private residence. The mansion was built in 1919 for George Ferguson Armstrong, in an Italian Renaissance Revival style by architect Henrik Wallin.

The building has been utilized as many different things over the past hundred years. A few years after Armstrong died his wife donated the building to the City of Savannah to be converted into the Armstrong Memorial College in 1935. In 1938 Wallin built his last project which was the Herschel V. Jenkins Auditorium for the college, unfortunately it was torn down later by Jim Williams. Williams bought the property and produced a beautiful garden where the auditorium once stood.

From 1970 to 2017 the building was the law firm of Bouhan, Williams, and Levy until Richard C. Kessler purchased it for his own private residence. Although the home is not open for tours if you are planning a spectacular event you can contact them for a tour.

Webb Military Museum

The Webb Military Museum is owned and operated by Gary Webb. He dedicates his love for history and collecting memorabilia to his parents James and Doreen Webb. He has been collecting war memorabilia since he was eleven years old, the museum holds only half of his collection. When you see this museum you will understand the magnitude of his FULL collection.

His collection pans over seven different American conflicts starting from the Civil War all the way to the Cold War. His pieces tell the stories of the men and women that served during these wars, and even his own mother’s gas mask is featured among the collection. I have always been interested in history and this was one of the best collections I have seen from one person. His story is amazing as he lived overseas for much of his life and was able to start his collection at a very early age with the help of his father, mother, and grandfather!

Webb Military Museum Hours:

Monday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tuesday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wednesday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Thursday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm