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Countdown to Savannah: The Waving Girl

Kathy Wood (kaydee)

In early 2007, we started our official Countdown to Savannah. Each Sunday, we posted a different topic about this special city where we met for our first Great Slow Travel Gathering in Spring 2008.

With 63 posts over 14+ months, we learned a lot about the many facets of this historic, hospitable and intriguing American city. Our weekly posts touched on Savannah's history, famous people, architecture, food, culture, surrounding area and much more. We hope this information acquaints you with Savannah, entices you to visit this historic city, and prepares you for a very memorable trip.

The Waving Girl statue

Today—to welcome Slow Travelers to Savannah—we feature the famous and often-photographed statue, The Waving Girl, located on a bluff at the east end of the downtown riverfront area. (Photo of The Waving Girl below courtesy of the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Photo of The Waving Girl statue

The famous Waving Girl statue

The Waving Girl statue recognizes Florence Martus (1868 – 1943) who waved at the ships sailing in and out of Savannah for over 40 years. Today we’d like to think she’s waving at Slow Travelers to welcome us to her city in 2008.

The inscription below the statue reads: "Her immortality stems from her friendly greeting to passing ships, a welcome to strangers entering the port and a farewell to wave them safely onward."

The bronze Waving Girl statue is the work of sculptor Felix de Weldon, who is considered the foremost American sculptor of the 20th century and is best known for his masterpiece “Flag Waving on Iwo Jima” in Washington D.C. His statue of the Waving Girl with a collie dog is one and one-half times life size, cast in one piece and mounted on a slanted platform.

The Waving Girl statue was commissioned by the Altrusa Club and erected in 1972. According to the city of Savannah website, the Waving Girl is the first memorial to a woman in any Georgia city park. It is just one of many interesting statues and memorials you’ll discover all around Savannah.

Learn more about the Waving Girl and the work of sculptor Felix de Weldon here:

Florence Martus, the Waving Girl

Georgia's Cockspur Island Light: Home of the Waving Girl

The Waving Girl

Felix de Weldon (biography and works)


All About Savannah: Links to many information pages about Savannah (where to eat, where to stay, places of interest, getting around town, and more)

Woods Family Grand Tour of Europe: List of articles and photo albums by Kathy Wood

Kathy is a former Human Resources executive who now works as a consultant and part-time college professor. She and Charley also lead The Luberon Experience (www.luberonexperience.com), a week-long, small-group trip based in Provence.

© Kathy Wood, 2007

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