This bell from the former City Exchange dates to 1802 and may be the oldest in Georgia. The bell, imported from Amsterdam, hung in the cupola of the City Exchange from 1804 until the building was razed to make way for the new Savannah City Hall built in 1905. In addition to signalling the closing time for shops, a watchman would also ring the bell in event of a fire and to welcome distinguished visitors to the city. Today, it hands in a replica of the City Exchange, which was erected in 1957.
The Georgia State Railroad Museum is home to more than 40 railroad locomotives and cars and house in the historic Georgia State Railroad Museum roundhouse. The building dates to 1851, but the railroad demolished about half of the roundhouse in 1926 and re-engineered the facility to accommodate larger steam engines. Southern Railway, successor of the Central of Georgia Railroad, closed the facility in 1963 and subsequently started demolishing buildings on the property. The Coastal Heritage Society in 1989 took over management of the facility to preserve the shops for future generations.
The Savannah History Museum, housed in the former Central of Georgia Depot, chronicles the history of Savannah from 1733 to modern times. Among the 40,000 artifacts housed in the museum is the bench from the movie Forrest Gump, information about Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts and a steam locomotive from the early 20th century. The railroad used the building until 1972, and the Coastal Heritage Society opened the museum in 1989.
George Washington sent a pair of bronze six-pounder cannons to Savannah after he visited the city in 1791 as part of his so-called “Southern Tour” following his inauguration. Affectionately called “George” and “Martha” after the nation’s first president and his wife, the guns — one British and one French — were given to the Chatham Artillery. In 1825, there was a push to send the guns to Augusta, but they remained in Savannah. According to one account, the guns were buried in 1861 uncovered in 1872.
Battlefield Park commemorates the Oct. 9, 1779, Battle of Savannah during the Revolutionary War. On that day, an allied force of more than 5,000 French and American troops attacked the 2,500 British soldiers defending the city. It was the second bloodiest battle of the American Revolution, and roughly 800 troops were killed or wounded during the fight. The attack failed, and allied forces retreated from Savannah on Oct. 18, 1779; the city remained under British control until 1782. The city of Savannah purchased the land in 2003, and the park built on the site includes a modern recreation of a redoubt.
The Casimir Pulaski Monument stands in Monterey Square near the battlefield where Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski died during the siege of Savannah. Pulaski, along with Michael Kovats de Fabriczy, is considered “the father of the American cavalry.” Workers laid the cornerstone for the monument in either 1825 or 1853, depending on the source. The monument’s inscription reads, “Pulaski, the Heroic Pole, who fell mortally wounded, fighting for American Liberty at the siege of Savannah, October 9, 1779.” On October 29, 1779, Congress passed a resolution that a monument should be dedicated to Pulaski, and the Savannah monument was the first monument in the United States dedicated to Pulaski.