Posts Tagged ‘ georgia ’

Historical Cities-Atlanta, Georgia is now available in Google Maps

Explore the historical landmarks and sites of the Atlanta Metropolitan area using Google Maps as your guide.

Historical Cities-Atlanta Google Maps

Historical Cities – Savannah, Georgia now in Google Maps

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Google Map Guide to Savannah

The most heavily traveled road in Colonial America passed through here, linking areas from the Great Lakes to Georgia. It was laid on animal trails and Native American trading and warrior paths. Treaties among the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia and nineteen chiefs of the Iroquois League of Five Nations in 1685 and 1722 opened the colonial backcountry for peaceful settlement and colonization in Georgia. The Indian Path had two branches from Carolina, the western branch to Augusta and the eastern to Savannah, formed to find salt and game. This later became part of Great Philadelphia Wagon Road. 

 

The plan of Savannah was based on a sketch in Villas of the Ancients by Robert Castell, who died in one of the English debtor prisons that Georgia was founded to relieve. From this sketch, James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the city, and Colonel William Bull, the leading engineer of the Carolina colony, designed Savannah on a plan to which later builders have adhered. After the landing of the first settlers on February 12th, 1733, Oglethorpe began to lay out the town on a square tract of 15,360 acres to accommodate 240 families. He named the town Savannah, which is believed to be derived from the Sawana or Shawnee Indians, who once inhabited the river valley. Because the Spanish word sabana means flat country, some historians declare that this term was applied to the entire coastal plain by Spanish explorers who preceded the English settlers by two centuries.

 

Savannah became the seat of government when Georgia was made a Royal Province in 1754, and two decades of commercial growth and improved trading conditions followed. At the beginning of the American Revolution, the town had many unyielding Loyalists, but the hot-headed younger men set up a liberty pole before Tondee’s Tavern, shouted approval of the Lexington victory, and organized a battalion headed by Colonel Lachlan McIntosh. When two British war vessels and a transport anchored off Tybee Island, at the mouth of the Savannah River, in January of 1776, the Royal Governor, Sir James Wright (1714-1786), escaped on one of them to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The signing of the Declaration of Independence was celebrated riotously, and in the following year Savannah became the capital of the new state. On December 27th, 1778, Colonel Sir Archibald Campbell landed 2,000 British troops a few miles down the river to besiege the town, which was defended by General Robert Howe and 600 men. Failing to guard a passage through the surrounding marshes, Howe, on December 29th, lost the town and more than half of his men. For this, he was court-martialed and forever divested of military prestige. Following the British occupation, Governor Wright returned. In September of 1779, a long siege was begun by Count d’Estaing’s French fleet, assisted by American forces under the leadership of General Benjamin Lincoln. Their grand assault of October 9th, however, was a disastrous failure, with more than 1,000 casualties. It was not until 1782, when General “Mad Anthony” Wayne’s American forces struck, that the British at last evacuated the city.

 

After the Revolution, there was another period of expansion. The city’s first playhouse was built in 1785. The city was incorporated in 1789, and after Eli Whitney’s invention of the gin four years later it sprang into eminence as a cotton center. Tobacco, shipped down the river from Augusta, made Savannah a market for this commodity. The growth of surrounding plantations and the disposal of Indian lands were other factors in its expansion. 

 

For the defense of the city during the War of 1812, Fort Wayne was strengthened, and Fort Jackson was built two miles downstream. In May of 1814, the U.S. sloop Peacock captured the British warship Epervier, brought it into the harbor, and confiscated $10,000 in specie aboard the British ship. The half century following the War of 1812 was an era of rapid development in transportation. In 1816, the steamboat Enterprise carried a Savannah party upstream to Augusta.

 

In 1819, maritime history was made when on May 22nd, 1819; the City of Savannah was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, sailing into Liverpool, England. The successful use of steam in coastwise vessels inspired William Scarborough and several Savannah merchants to organize the Savannah Steamship Company which was formed on December 19th, 1818. The Savannah, equipped with adjustable paddle wheels, was constructed at Corlear’s Hook, New York, and reached Savannah on March 28th, 1819. President James Monroe made a trip to Tybee aboard this vessel. After arriving in Liverpool, the steamship continued on to St. Petersburg, Russia and then returned home. So expensive was this expedition that its sponsors declared the vessel impracticable for commercial purposes, and it was converted into a sailing packet that plied the coast of the United States until it was lost off Long Island in 1822. In the National Museum in Washington D.C. are the log book and a cylinder of this ship, in honor of which President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 proclaimed May 22nd as National Maritime Day. 

 

To lower transportation costs between the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers, the Ogeechee Canal was opened in 1828. In 1843, the Central of Georgia Railway was completed from Savannah to Macon. During this period, Savannah, because of its harbor, was the greatest port on the southern seaboard for cotton and naval stores.

 

The Mexican War of 1846 brought prominence to two Savannah men. Colonel Henry R. Jackson (1820-1898), later minister to Austria and to Mexico, served as commander of Georgia’s regiment. Josiah Tattnall (1796-1871) distinguished himself at Vera Cruz in command of the Mosquito Division of the United States Navy. During the period prior to the War Between the States, Savannah developed a sectionalism that made it respond instantly to the war cry in December, 1860. Now there were no Whigs and Tories to divide the city. Upon adoption of the Ordinance of Secession, Savannah men seized Fort Jackson, and in March of 1861, the Confederate flag floated over the customhouse. On April 10th, 1862, the 400 defenders of Fort Pulaski, occupied before secession by order of the fiery Governor Joseph E. Brown, were forced to surrender to Union soldiers. Although Fort Pulaski became a Union military prison, Savannah itself did not fall until 1864, when Union General William Tecumseh Sherman marched through Georgia to the coast. On December 13th, Sherman took Fort McAllister and on the 17th, demanded the surrender of Savannah. Confederate General W.J. Hardee and his 10,000 troops continued to skirmish three days longer before they evacuated the city by means of a new pontoon bridge to Hutchinson Island. On December 21st, 1864, Union troops occupied Savannah. 

 

With the abolition of slavery and the collapse of the great plantations, the port ceased to function. But for all the poverty of Reconstruction and an appalling yellow fever epidemic in 1876, there was progress. With the establishment of the Naval Stores Exchange in 1882, Savannah became the leading turpentine and rosin port. During the First World War, boom prices caused shipyards to be hastily built along the waterfront, but a cataclysmic fall in business followed the boll weevil’s destruction of cotton in 1921. By 1926, control of the cotton pest had caused the port to regain much of its former activity. 

 

Along Bull Street, which forms the central axis of the city, are five squares that, in the original city plan, were designed as centers of defense against Spanish and Indian invasion. With all its commercial and cultural successes, Savannah gains its individual charm from its atmosphere of the past. 

Forgotten Natural Landmark-Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, GA

Providence Canyon State Park (Georgia Highway 39C, between Lumpkin and Florence, Georgia)

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is a testament to the power of man’s influence on the land. Massive gullies as deep as 150 feet were caused simply by poor farming practices during the 1800’s, yet today they make some of the prettiest photographs within the state. The rare Plumleaf Azalea grows only in this region and blooms during July and August when most azaleas have lost their color.  The canyon soil’s pink, orange, red and purple hues make a beautiful natural painting at this quiet park.

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We Support-Dunwoody Preservation Trust, Dunwoody, GA

Dunwoody Preservation Trust (DPT) was founded in 1994 with organization funding provided by Dunwoody Homeowners Association. It is a 501(c)3 organization chartered to preserve the history and heritage of Dunwoody through various means. These include acquisition and/or underwriting the maintenance of historically significant properties, documenting historical and current happenings, providing education on Dunwoody’s past and contributing  to the general beautification and functionality of Dunwoody.

In fulfilling these roles, DPT has been responsible for saving the Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse in the center of Dunwoody and converting it into an event facility. Additionally, in 2005 DPT took the idea of acquiring the historical Donaldson-Bannister House and Farm to DeKalb County officials. This multi-building three-acre property in the heart of Dunwoody became available and DPT designed an acquisition plan with its owners and the County that resulted in preserving this property for future generations. Now, the Donaldson-Bannister Farm is owned by the City of Dunwoody and was the benefactor of the funds raised during Lemonade Days 2012. The DPT has been successful in placing both the Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse and Donaldson Bannister House —
as well as the Isaac Roberts House on Roberts Drive — with the National Register of Historic Places.

Other activities that DPT has spearheaded over the years include the “Replant The Dunwoody Forest” program after the 1998 tornado that resulted in raising more than $250,000 and planting over 25,000 trees to begin the recovery of the natural resources that were lost. DPT researched and compiled The Story of Dunwoody 1821-2001, a 500+ page chronicling of our heritage, and The Silent Storytellers, a 250+ page book identifying over 4000 historical gravesites in Dunwoody. DPT has also produced a thirty minute DVD entitled Dunwoody: the History & Heritage – 1821-2003. These publications and productions provide opportunities to expand awareness of our history and heritage. Additionally, DPT led the effort and assisted in the funding of the tree
planting and landscaping of Ashford Center Parkway.

DPT has also assumed the responsibility for the maintenance of New Hope Cemetery where a number of early settlers and Confederate soldiers are buried. DPT was also actively involved with DeKalb County to ensure that a master land use plan developed for Brook Run Park preserved the integrity of the natural beauty of this 102 acre area. This included incorporating venues and activity opportunities needed in the North DeKalb area such as the inclusion of a plan for a world class playground which was opened in October 2005.

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Forgotten Landmark-Hand Trading Company Building, Pelham, GA

 

 

 

 

 

After visiting the Marshall Field Department Store in Chicago Illinois, J.L. Hand was inspired to return to his hometown and build the beautiful Hand Trading Company. The structure was finished in 1916.  This  four-story historical building, once called the “Big Store” carrying a variety of goods for sale, has now been adapted for new uses.

Forgotten Landmark-Dixie Highway Marker, Meigs, GA

Marker is located at County Line Road and Dixie Highway in Meigs, Georgia.  This was the original route of U.S. Highway 19, which followed the earlier path of the western branch of the Dixie Highway.  The marker is similar to many along the route, designating the highway at each county line. This marker indicates the crossing of the boundary between Mitchell and Thomas Counties.

 

 

Neglected Landmark: Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge, Hilton (GA)

Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge, Hilton, GA

Constructed in 1891 by the Early County Commissioners, this relic of by-gone days is the southernmost covered bridge in the United States.  The bridge consists of two spans, measuring 96 feet in length.  Of the queen-post truss modified design, it stretches across Coheelee Creek with its picturesque waterfalls.  The Fannie Askew Williams Park, a county maintained picnic area, is adjacent to the bridge.  

 Tragically, poor supervision of the site has resulted in prolific graffiti on the entire structure.