Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another southern town

Leaving Charleston it was a short trip to Savannah Ga. This trip along the southeast coast was an eye opener for us, as this was the first time we had been this far east. The coastal swamps and marshes were surprising along with all the water we passed over by the many bridges. We followed US 12 as far as we could and then US 17. Everything on this trip seemed a lot closer, as our trip last winter covered TX and AZ. Charleston and Savannah are very close together and when you look at a map Savannah is about as far northeast in Georgia as you can get.Savannah and Charleston, along with many other southern coastal towns were founded by the shipowner merchants. They made their first fortunes shipping goods and slaves from overseas. This was hard work so they then went on to become plantation owners as this was seen as a step up and they could sort of retire and show off their wealth. Savannah is more of a coastal town with a water front that has many old cotton warehouses with cobblestone streets and foundations that have been turned into shops and restaurants and other unique places. Charleston was built in the old tradition of getting as much as possible in as little space where Savannah's historic district has 22 squares with many statues honoring the city's founders. Both have many beautiful old houses with many of them open as museums and showplaces.
The next day we took a trip out to Tybee Island to visit the lighthouse there. The lighthouse and most of the area was developed by the gov't--- first as a lighthouse in 1736 (At 90ft--the tallest building in America ) and lifesaving station and then as Fort Screven for the protection of Savannah. With over 400 yrs of history it is a unique place.The fort and lighthouse was used as training grounds until after WWII and in 1947 sold the the community of Tybee. The area was built also as an escape for the residents of Savannah from the summer heat and became summer residences for many. Access to the area was difficult and a railroad was for many years the only way . There was also a big amusement park that still operated in the 1980's. On the way back we stopped at the Crab Shack, a local oddity restaurant that was recommended by a guy at the Ga welcome center.. we found it a fun place with good food.

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