America · Atlantic Coast · Cultural Heritage · Historic Towns · Logistics · Maritime · Maritime Heritage · museums · Rivers · Travel

Savannah Georgia and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Savannah was founded in 1733 on the Savannah River, it became the colonial capital and later the first state capital of Georgia. Its port was of strategic importance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Location Savannah lies on the Savannah River, approximately 20 miles -32 km – upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. It is also located near the Intracoastal Waterway. The Ogeechee River flows toward the Atlantic Ocean some 16 miles – 26 km – south of downtown Savannah.

Savannah DowntownDiverse Neighborhoods over 100 distinct neighborhoods can be identified in six principal areas of Savannah. The city’s location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Other picturesque towns adjacent to Savannah include the shrimping village of Thunderbolt and three residential areas that began as summer resort communities: Beaulieu, Vernonburg, and the Isle of Hope.

The Savannah Historic District is one of largest in the United States

Culture Savannah has a rich and growing performing arts scene, offering cultural events throughout the year, including the Savannah Book Festival held annually on Presidents’ Day weekend in the vicinity of historic Telfair and Wright squares, includes free presentations by more than 35 contemporary authors.

Savannah historic districtArchitecture Savannah was named as America’s second-best city for Cool Buildings and Architecture, behind Chicago. The historic district has 22 squares that vary in size and character, from formal fountain and monuments to playgrounds.

The Story of Mobility in America

Maritime Museums in Historic Towns

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Scarbrough House is the elegant setting for the Museum’s collection of ship models, paintings, and maritime antiques. It was built in 1819 for one of the principal owners of the Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The architect, William Jay from Bath, England, created one of the earliest examples of domestic Greek Revival architecture in the South. Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum restored the house in 1996-97.

Images for Ships of the Sea MuseumWilliam Scarbrough was a shipping merchant, born in North Carolina and educated at the University of Edinburgh, who came to Savannah in 1802, at the age of twenty-six.  In 1818, he became a principal investor and president of the Savannah Steamship Company and began construction of a new house – later called the Castle – on West Broad Street in one of Savannah’s most fashionable neighborhoods.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Educational Programs

Women Pirates like Rachel Wall, Grace O’Malley and Madame Cheng are featured in an interactive program about the exciting role female pirates played in maritime history.

Scrimshaws are decorative carvings on walrus tusks, whale teeth or other bits of bone.  Following the traditions of the great scrims handers, you can learn to make your own piece of carved art.

ships of the sea exhibitSailor Valentines it was customary for sailors to give gifts.  A popular offering was the Sailor’s Valentine or Shell Mosaic.  Sailors would create these items with shells, beans, cloth, and other pieces of scrap material they found on board or gathered from various ports.

Girl Scouts Troop Tours Juliette Gordon Low had family connections to the historic steamship Savannah and her cousin was a Confederate pirate. A WWII vessel was named after her.

Savannah’s role during the Civil War at Sea.  Topics include, the Union’s blockade of the city, blockade runners, and the lives of sailors in the Union and Confederate Navies, as well as important Naval operations in the Savannah area.

USS Savannah and her storied history of service in the United States Navy, from 1933-1946, on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, from operation Torch to operation Magic Carpet.

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