We made a couple of stops on our way home. On our last road trip to Florida we stopped outside Savannah for the night. It poured rain the entire time. We decided that on our next pass, if it wasn't raining, we would stay downtown to see more of this quaint city. It wasn't raining so we stayed two nights!

We also took the opportunity to stop in Durham, NC, to visit our Pease cousins who live there.

Picture

Narrative

Brazilian tourists

When we arrived at the hotel we were startled to see a large motorcycle tour group. We were even more startled to find out that they were a Brazilian motorcycle club that had shipped their bikes (Harleys, of course) to the US for their tour.

They seemed to be nice folks and they were certainly enjoying themselves!

Memorial

Near our hotel was this monument honoring Haitian volunteers who fought in the American Revolution against the British. The memorial was completed and dedicated in 2007.

Savannah Square

Savannah's town plan was ground-breaking at the time the city was founded in the early 18th century. The credit for the plan goes to James Oglethorpe.

Key features are the organization of the city into "wards" constructed around squares. Like everywhere else there have been changes in the past 250 years, but even redeveloped sections of the city, such as this one, have retained the concept of open public squares.

As I recall from what we read while there, this didn't happen easily. It took concerted effort by the residents to stand up to commercial interests that wanted to bulldoze and pave over everything.

Older square

This shows a more traditional square, which is also in the heart of the city.

There are numerous discussions on the WWW about the Savannah plan and its effects. Just search for "savannah georgia urban planning" and prepare to spend some time browsing.

John Wesley

I was astounded to see this statue of John Wesley in one of the squares. I have since learned that Wesley had been personally invited to serve in Georgia by colony founder James Oglethorpe. He brought his brother Charles with him.

Unfortunately neither brother was happy in the new colony. Charles returned to England within a year and his brother followed him not long after. His experiences with the Moravians in Georgia eventually let him to the evangelical mission that was the foundation of Methodism.

Charles Wesley went on to become a prolific creator of hymn texts including such favorites as "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," among many others.

Savannah Waterfront

Savannah is built on a high bluff above the Savannah River. These old warehouse and commercial buildings show the 2nd story entries that face the city.

Savannah Waterfront

On the side facing the river they have even more stories. This has become a location for tourist shops and restaurants.

Savannah Cotton Exchange

The Savannah Cotton Exchange was built in the late 19th century when Savannah was a major cotton seaport. It has recently been restored.

Doggy disposal

This takes the notion of "curb your dog" to a new level! There were numerous dispensers of poop bags and these handy disposal units around to keep the streets and parks clean.

Hoppy has reached the stage of life where he no longer enjoys travel, so we didn't have need to use these ourselves.

Railroad Roundhouse

Another delightful couple of hours was spent at the Georgia State Railroad Museum. They had a display of rolling stock, including one Norfolk & Western car, plus the ability to visit the old railroad shops of the Central of Georgia.

Ceentral of Georgia truck

An example of the products of these shops. The shops closed in 1963 when the railroad was acquired by the Southern Railway.

 

Smokestack

This wonderful smokestack was connected to the forges at the shops by underground flues. The prevailing winds helped the stack draw. Water was contained in a reservoir behind the iron panels.

The doors in the bottom led to twelve heated privies and changing rooms! For white workers only.

When the shops were closed, there was an attempt to dismantle the smokestack, but citizen action prevented its destruction. Thank heavens!

Workers' Garden

Imagine a garden in the midst of the shops!

The railroad encouraged gardening by the workers as a respite from the industrial surroundings. There was competition between the various rail yards for prize vegetables and flowers. This garden was recreated in 2004 from a 1900 plan.

There is still more to see in Savannah, but we were anxious to return home.

Jim & Jim

We had arranged to stay with my cousin Jim Pease (on the right) in Durham for our last night out. After surviving a rush hour drive past Raleigh, we met Jim at his home and then headed over to see his sister Betty & her husband Hop at their new home.

That evening we all went out and ate supper at a restaurant overlooking the Durham Bulls (AAA) Athletic Park. The season hadn't started yet, so we didn't get in a second baseball game on this trip, but the food was good and we enjoyed sitting on the outside deck in the mild weather. Can't imagine why I didn't take my camera, but I didn't so no pictures of Betty & Hop.

James River

The next day was an easy drive home. To celebrate we stopped and I captured this picture of the James River valley just over the Rockbridge County line. There's no place like Virginia!

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