Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Much of Savannah's charm and beauty is found in the layout of its historic squares by General Oglethorpe. On June 9, 1732, King George II granted a charter to British General James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785) and 20 Trustees for the creation of a new colony to be called Georgia, after the king. In 1733, General Oglethorpe landed on the historic bluff above the Savannah River and founded what would become the 13th colony in America. (I just found more information about these squares. Telfair Square is named for the Talfair family, whose members made important contributions to Georgia in the areas of politics, business, the arts and philanthropy. Well, no square will be named for TOTA, a poor church mouse!)Oglethorpe made his dream into reality with the layout of the new city. In this dream city, he created a town that filled with squares that would be earmarked as "green lungs" or public parks (he was green before the so-called green/environmental friendly stuff was cool). Oglethorpe wanted an orderly grid composed of 24 squares. (I went to the above Pulaski Square expecting to find a statue of General Kazimierz Pulaski but was greatly disappointed because there was no statue there. The General fought and died in the Battle of Savannah during the American Revolutionary War.) PS: The General was a Polish Count. (Again, no square is named for TOTA, the hockey fanatic for the useless talent of knowing the goalies in all 32 NHL teams or all the names and jersey numbers in the Detroit Red Wings roster!)I did not troll through all the 24 squares. Prior to the visit, I planned to visit and take photos of all the squares (just to prove that I was there) but I realized that the goal was not that important and down right silly. Walking, riding the horse carriage and driving around, I probably saw most of the squares. (Orleans Square named for the Battle of New Orleans, an American victory in the War of 1812.)
Madison Square is named for the fourth president of the United States, James Madison.
Johnson Square is named for Robert Johnson, the royal governor of South Carolina who aided Oglethorpe in establishing the colony of Georgia. Most of the squares are rather unadorned and basically patches of manicured greenery, Spanish moss hanging like curtains on beautiful oaks trees, wooden benches, fountains, inhabited by squirrels and unflattered residents. Johnson Square and Wright Square are two of the stately grandeur landmarks. Most visitors are interested in Chippewa Square where the bench which was a prop during the filming of the movie, Forest Gump. We were told the bench is in the museum, but that did not stop people from standing by the Chippewa Square sign for a photo op! My sister and I had our photo taken there too :)