The Squares in Savannah are very famous today. It serves the residents and tourist cool place to rest while walking in the heat summers of Savannah. They’re very beautiful and full of history some of them are even haunted…but we really do not know what they were for when they were first built. The first four squares where Johnson Square, Percival (now Wright Square), Ellis Square, and St. James (now Telfair Square). It was to provide the colonists some space for their military exercises. Studies suggest that the—
“layout was also a reaction against the cramped conditions that fueled the Great Fire of London in 1666, and there is speculation that Oglethorpe’s military studies had made him familiar with the similar layout of Beijing (or “Peking,” as it was formerly spelled).” - Wikipedia
Lower New Square was laid out in 1734 and was later renamed for Capt. John Reynolds, governor of Georgia in the mid 1750s. Reynolds was in fact an unpopular governor and it is said that the celebration held upon his arrival in the colony was rivaled only by that held upon his departure. The square contains a bronze statue by Marshall Daugherty honoring John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Wesley spent most of his life in England but undertook a mission to Savannah (1735–1738), during which time he founded the first Sunday school in America. The statue was installed in 1969 on the spot where Wesley’s home is believed to have stood. Upper New Square was laid out in 1742 and was later renamed in honor of Georgia founder General James Oglethorpe. — Wikipedia
In the 1790s, Savannah grew rapidly and six new wards were established in the 1790s alone, including the four that now comprise the northeastern quadrant of the Historic District. The new wards expanded the grid by one unit to the west and by two to the east. Due to space restrictions these new wards are slightly narrower east-to-west than the original six.
These are the Squares:
Washington Square, Franklin Square, Warren Square, Columbia Square (where the famous Davenport House is located), Greene and Liberty Squares.
Expansion of Oglethorpe’s grid of wards and squares continued through the first half of the 19th century, until a total of twenty-four squares stood in downtown Savannah.
These Squares are:
Chippewa Square (The “park bench” scene which opens the 1994 film Forrest Gump was filmed on the north side of the Square.)
On my next post I’m going to talk about the Cathedral of St John the Baptist and Forsyth Park as well as the Cemetery.
Thanks for bearing with me…till next time!