Monthly Archives: September 2007

Work continues at Fort Pulaski on National Public Lands Day today

Today marks the third consecutive year that Fort Pulaski has participated in a national tradition of volunteerism all across the country.  Thousands of volunteers flock to our forts, national parks and other cultural heritage sites in an effort to assist in the upkeep of these national treasures once a year during  National Public Lands Day. In addition to the normal maintenance issues of clearing vegetation and placing wooden foot-bridges along the Cockspur Island Overlook Trail, Fort Pulaski’s superintendent hopes to get a leg up on another ambitious project. 

Pulaski’s very popular McQueen’s Island Rails to Trails path Mcq_trl
already attracts a robust flow of bikers, runners, and hikers to this six mile long trail along a now abandoned railroad bed that used to connect Tybee Island to the Historic City of Savannah.  The plan today is to extend this trail a mile further to it’s eventual destination at the Lazaretto Creek Bridge Line1192
separating Tybee Island from the greater Wilmington Island area.  As we continue to attract more and more outdoor loving eco-tourists to our important coastal Georgia eco-system, Savannah Getaways is certain you will appreciate the many outdoor opportunities to visit historic and nature based attractions to be found throughout the lowcountry.

Savannah Kingfish Classic Event draws winner from 200 miles away

More money was awarded to the winner of last weekend’s inaugural Savannah Kingfish Classic Series Fishing Event than these type tournaments typically command. And by all accounts this Kingfish Mackerel tournament was a competitively fished event with in excess of 110 different boats participating. The uniqueness of the event was attributed to a series of fishing venues from as far away as St. Marys, Georgia, Charleston, S.C., New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Holden Beach, N.C. The winning boat, Fishmeister, captained by Dean Spatholt, actually fished off the waters of Morehead City, North Carolina 200 miles away from Savannah’s River Street weigh in headquarters where he boated his winning 50.04 pound King Mackerel.  202038224
Spatholt lead all contestants vying for $400,000 worth of prize money with the lion’s share of the winnings including a $15,000 first place prize,  as well as a 2007 GMC Sierra Pickup truck.

Although most of the competitors fished off Savannah’s coastal waters, tournament rules that allowed River Street  fishing further away made for an exciting race to the  finish in order to get to the weigh in at Rousakis Plaza on  River Street within the allotted time frame.  Not only did your fishing lines have to be in the water by 6:30 a.m. on the morning of this one day event, you had to get make it to the weigh-in line between 3-5 p.m. on September 22.  The Savannah Rotary Club Sunrise took possession of the winning fish (close to 30 kings weighing in between 20 to 36 lbs. for the most part).  Festivities held later that night included an awards ceremony across the Savannah River from River Street at the Savannah9
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa out on Hutchinson Island.

New Black History Religion Tour Debuts in Savannah’s Historic District

The Savannah Morning News
reports an important new walking tour debuted downtown a few weeks ago and Savannah Getaways is delighted to offer discounted rates at select accommodations along the tour route to black history tourists in the low season. To read the entire story, click on the link.

Reverend Andrew C. Marshall Walking Tour will focus on families, black and white, and show how they became interconnected. The symbolism of nine months, the time it’s taken her to put together the Rev. Andrew C. Marshall Walking Tour, isn’t lost on Vaughnette Goode-Walker."I’m birthing the Marshall tour," Goode-Walker said with a deep laugh, sitting in her office in the Owens-Thomas House, Poi56
where she works as associate curator of education. The hour-long walking tour will launch Friday. It will center on the life of Marshall, an African-American who was born a slave but eventually became the pastor at First African Baptist Church and a successful Savannah businessman who also impacted Savannah’s other Black Baptist Church, Second African Baptist Church on Greene Square.

Marshall’s success was due in part to his white benefactor, banker and businessman, Richard Richardson – the first owner of the Owens-Thomas House. The tour, said Goode-Walker, will explain how slavery intertwined and affected the lives of Marshall, Richardson and other men and women who lived in that neighborhood. The project already has won praise and attention. The Elderhostel program at Armstrong Atlantic State University, which provides educational opportunities for adults 55 and older, has signed up to take the tour on Tuesdays from October through May. Goode-Walker’s tour, said an Elderhostel spokesman, adds another layer to Savannah’s story.

To obtain more information about lodging in select tour homes as well as obtaining more information about the actual tour, call (912) 233 – 9743 or our reservation desk to answer questions about specific properties along the tour route shown in this blog.

Ben Franklin’s contribution to an Invasive Species Legacy in Coastal Georgia

Considered a “most useful tree” in colonial era Savannah, by no less an authority than Benjamin Franklin,The Chinese Tallow Tree 201108362
was valued for it’s waxy berries which were used in soap and candle making as well as a source of lantern light in the absence of less expensive hog fat or whale blubber.   Native to Asia, this 235 year old transplant was known throughout coastal Georgia as a Popcorn Tree but is now considered a highly invasive “beautiful villain” that stifles other species growth in southern coastal maritime forests by shading out other plants and infusing the soil with toxins to keep other species from getting too close.  A Rice University blog documents Ben Franklin’s unintended consequences of his gift giving and the ensuing legacy when he shipped some seeds to his friend Thomas Noble at Wormsloe Plantation.

The evolution of species is usually thought to be long and arduous, with the culling of bad mutations and the natural selection of good ones taking tens of thousands, if not millions, of years. But throughout the southern coastal regions of the United States, the process may be unfolding at a dramatic pace — on the order of decades — thanks to something Benjamin Franklin did in 1772. Franklin, then in Europe, sent Chinese tallow tree seedlings to an associate in Georgia.

Nothing like combining a little coastal Georgia history with stately Colonial Plantations, Georgia State Parks, and mixing in some experimentation to develop a system for limiting this invader to get your attention.  To find out what The Nature Conservancy is doing about this problem in Georgia, read the entire article in the Savannah Morning News.

19th Century Glass Exhibition at Telfair in Savannah

Logo_telfairNow on display at the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences 19th-Century Glass from Savannah Collections, featuring clear, colored, etched, cut and uncut glass from some of Savannah’s most prominent families – Telfair, Owens, Gibbons and Stiles.

This delicate sampling of house ware will show the range of styles and craftsmanship available in the 19th century.

Stop by the Telfair Academy from now until December 2nd to view this fascinating exhibit organized by the Telfair Museum of Art.

Savannah College of Art and Design products featured on The Real World: Sydney

The new installment of MTV’s The Real World features several items designed by faculty, students and alumni from the Savannah College of Art and Design. The 19th season of the popular MTV reality show is set in Australia and premiered in August.

RwbedroomThe art-filled house features SCAD made items such as ceramic vases, wool rug, bowls and dinnerware. Prominently featured are the curly-Q quilts made by SCAD graduate Jen Jenkins. These can be seen at the foot of the beds.

So, next time you watch the Real World look for items from local Savannah artists and if you find items you like check out the Savannah College of Art and Design website for ordering information.

Who will SCAD honor at this year’s Savannah Film Festival?

The 10th Annual Savannah Film Festival is scheduled for October 27th – November 3rd, 2007.

This year on opening night, the Savannah College of Art and Design will present Lifetime Achievement awards to three members of the famed Redgrave family – Vanessa, Lynn and Corin. This will mark the first time that all three siblings will be honored together.

Also to be honored during the festival are Academy Award Winning Directors Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) and William Friedkin (The French Connection).

Seeking that elusive parking space in the Landmark Historic District

A recent article by the the Savannah Business Report and Journal documents the initiative the City is expending to make parking easier for historic downtown visitors. 

The Downtown Business Association (DBA) and the City of Savannah recently announced two new initiatives that should make it easier to find parking downtown. The first is a Savannah shopper parking pass – a $4 pass that is good for four hours of parking in any legal space, regardless of the posted time limit. The idea, according to Barbara Colbert, the city’s director of parking services, is to provide convenience for people shopping downtown. "(With the pass) you don’t have to worry about feeding quarters into the meter," she told roughly one hundred people gathered at a DBA luncheon to hear options from the city and the association’s parking task force.

The pilot program is slated to begin on Oct. 1 for a two-month trial period, after which it may be instituted permanently. The pass must be filled out completely to avoid fraud and be used in 24 hours. Merchants who will sell the pass have yet to be chosen. This shopping pass is similar to the existing visitor pass, which cost $8 and must be used in 48 hours. The city is also reducing the cost of parking at the Savannah Civic Center from $1 an hour to 30 cents an hour. This will also begin on Oct. 1 and will last indefinitely. The City of Savannah additionally will continue and extend its free holiday parking program from Thanksgiving to New Years, which will offer free parking downtown from noon until 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Enduring Low Country Lifestyle Festivals in Historic Beaufort, South Carolina

As many life long locals and retired baby boomers can attest the lowcountry has so much to offer the coastal salt water loving river rats in the way of access to the Atlantic Ocean, a rich historic tradition of fun filled days, and fresh seafood caught in teeming coastal waterways.  With that in mind it is appropriate to start planning for the 13th Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival coming up the first weekend in October on the fifth and sixth of next month.

The Beaufort Shrimp Festival has been held each October in Beaufort’s beautiful Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Testdsc_0102
There is always a free public music concert, outdoor events such as a golf tournament and a 5K walk and run. The main attraction is the much anticipated freshly caught shrimp from the surrounding coastal waters. Understanding the difference in enjoying the freshest, finest shrimp caught in local waters versus farm grown shrimp imported from Asian countries – well the difference is all to apparent to even the least discriminating palate. The centerpiece of this local festival is the abundance of the delicious shrimp served by local restaurants serve via their own special shrimp recipes PLUS many other delectable examples of Lowcountry cuisine.Marina4
  Plan a foodie filled getaway in Historic Beaufort and be in attendance for Beaufort’s Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet for this important weekend.

When Britain, Spain, and France sought to carve up the New World

Within three years of establishing a British Colony astride the coastal low country bordering states of Georgia and South Carolina demarcated on the Savannah River, General James Oglethorpe turned his attention to the south of Savannah. The year was 1736 and the conventional wisdom of the day required an English toehold further south to stake out British national interests by establishing the township of Frederica, Georgia. Actually the town was in reality a fortification established at a time when Great Britain, France and Spain all claimed this area for their own. Fort Frederica was the southernmost post of the British colonies in North America and advanced the purpose of the British to stop the Spanish advance from their St. Augustine, FloridaFoma_fomaeast_375x180 base into the rest of Georgia and South Carolina.

Nowadays, Fort Frederica National Monument is administered by the National Park Service on St. Simon’s Island. AzaleasA tour of the Park reveals stately oaks, massive grape vines, along with the ever present Spanish moss which lends an air of another time and another place unequaled on the Georgia coast.  History Lovers can take a self-guided audio walking tour along a trail that leads past trailside exhibits and signs explaining daily life in "Frederica Town". Remnants of his fortified settlement include ruins of the fort, barracks, walls, moat, and several houses. In 1742, the British won a hard fought victory over the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh.  This victory secured Britain’s hold on Georgia. Eventually the fort and town fell into decline as Oglethorpe’s forces were disbanded in 1749 and a 1758 fire destroyed most of the buildings.  Looking for a history filled day trip out of Savannah for a step back in time?  You could do a lot worse than visiting Fort Frederica.