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Countdown to Savannah: Two Historic Homes
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.
Two of Savannah’s most visited historic houses were the homes of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. I visited both of these houses on a trip to Savannah a couple of years ago and enjoyed seeing these beautiful homes restored as they were in the late 1800's. I especially liked the connection to Juliette Gordon Low.
The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace (also called the Wayne-Gordon House) is located at the corner of Bull Street and East Oglethorpe Avenue. The house was built in 1821 for Savannah Mayor James Moore Wayne, who later sold the house to his niece Sarah and her husband William Washington Gordon I, the first of four generations of the Gordon family to live in the house. Juliette Low spent her childhood in this home. In 1953, the house was threatened with demolition, but it was purchased by the Girl Scouts, who restored it and opened it to the public. The house was Savannah’s first National Historic Landmark.
The house has been restored to reflect the 1880s and the period of Juliette Gordon Low's girlhood. There are many pieces from the Gordon family, including artwork by Juliette Gordon Low. Part of the house also serves as a museum and program center for the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The "Birthplace" is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday amd Saturday and 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday. Closed on Wednesday November-February. Open on Wednesdays March-October, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Guided tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and begin approximately every 15 minutes. The admission fee for adults is $8.00 and $7.00 for students and adult Girl Scouts. Family (up to 2 adults and 4 children), $25. Children under age 5, free. Pioneers in Preservation Pass, $18.
The Andrew Low House
After her marriage to William Low, Juliette moved to his family’s home at 329 Abercorn Street on Lafayette Square. After William Low’s death, she inherited the house, and the first Girl Scouts meeting was actually held in the carriage house of this house. Juliette Gordon Low then lived here until her death in 1927.
The house was built in 1847 for William Low’s father, Andrew Low, a cotton merchant and considered the richest man in Savannah. Many famous Americans visited this house, including William Makepeace Thackeray and Robert E. Lee. The house is now owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia, and has been opened to the public as a museum since 1952. It is an elegant, three-story home, beautifully decorated with period antiques.
The Andrew Low House is open every day but Thursday for tours. Tours are led by professional docent guides every half hour beginning at 10:00 am (12 noon on Sunday) until 4:30 pm. The admission is $8.00 for Adults and $4.50 for Children 12 and under and for Girl Scouts.
Learn more about these two historic homes:
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 Wood, 2007
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