President George Washington

Washington Square was one of the first set of squares laid out between 1791 and 1801. The square and its ward is named after President George Washington in honor of his official visit to Savannah in 1791. During the visit he attended several festivities and services at Christ Church near Johnson Square.

Fun Fact: It is one of two squares named to honor a then-living person; Troup Square is the other.

Surrounding Streets

Houston Street (pronounced “House-ton”) was named for John Houstoun, the first mayor of Savannah.

Houston and St. Julian streets are lined with some of the oldest houses in Savannah.

Fun Fact: Saint Julian Street more historic than it is, owing to the faux tabby streets.

Between Price Street and Washington Square are two notable buildings with relations to a Bestseller. The rumored to be, but probably not haunted, Hampton Lillibridge House and The Charles Oddingsells House, home of Major Charles Oddingsells. Both homes were restored by Jim Williams, the Savannah antiques dealer, best known as the subject of the book and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Freepersons of Color

Like Warren Ward, Washington Ward was home to many freepersons of color, most notable, Betsey Baptiste. In 1795, Betsy Baptiste was brought to America as a slave. After she regained her freedom in 1813, she became a successful businessperson, allowing her to own a home in Washington Ward.

You can also find Simon Mirault’s home at 21 Houston Street, which was built in 1852. Mirault was an émigré (note: a person escaping the French Revolution; emigrant) from Haiti who became a successful tailor in Savannah. The property was originally located in Troup Ward.

Coca-Cola Connection

The largest building on Washington Square is a cotton warehouse built in 1860, which became a Savannah’s first Coca-Cola bottling factory in 1902. Prior to that time, several Freedman owned property in that area.

International Seaman’s House

A house of note is the International Seaman’s House on Houston Street. This house run by the Savannah Port Society has and continues to service seamen who come to Savannah’s Port. They provide transportation, recreation facilities, refreshments, telephones, and counseling to seamen while in the Port of Savannah. This Historic House also now hosts many special events such as weddings.

Book your stay within walking distance of Savannah’s historical squares, today!

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