Savannah is known as the First City of Georgia, which is befitting because of its beginnings in 1733 by James Oglethorpe, the founder of the Georgia colony. Located on the Savannah River, a short distance inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Savannah prospered as a port through during the last half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth. Silk and later cotton from the southern plantations passed through on way to Europe and the rest of the world. The Savannah, Georgia business directory of today continues to reflect the significance of the Port of Savannah, while a glimpse through the Savannah, Georgia yellow pages also reveals the importance of tourism, the military, and manufacturing to the local economy.
Oglethorpe himself designed the original layout of the city. His plan called for lots clustered around open squares. He envisioned six such squares, which he thought would allow for sufficient expansion of the city. As the city flourished, however, its growth went well beyond what was originally planned. Eventually, the city encompassed 24 squares, 22 of which remain. The squares serve as public gardens and open space.The city and its squares have appeared in films such as Forrest Gump, whose opening scene was filmed at Chippewa Square, and books such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, whose main character lived in the Mercer Williams House.
By the early part of the twentieth century when, a boll weevil infestation devastated southern cotton crops, Savannah's fortunes went into a gradual decline. The city's historic and architectural heritage was threatened. In 1955, civic minded citizens banded together to save an architecturally important home from destruction, and soon began a plan to restore the city to its former glory. Today, Savannah has one of the largest historic districts in the country.Both residents and tourists have much history and culture to enjoy. The childhood homes of both Flannery O' Connor, the noted Southern writer, and Julia Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, are located in Savannah.Savannah plays host to many cultural events throughout the year, including its St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest in the country.Because of its location in the low country, Savannah enjoys a mild climate.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan
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