Historic Statues On River Street
Just steps away from our historic hotel, a plethora of history awaits all along the Savannah River, where tug boats and container ships sail through daily. Stroll the cobblestone streets and brick paths, where several statues memorialize significant figures and events in Savannah.
On the west side of River Street, right in front of the Barnard Street ramp, visitors will find a statue of a ship hovering above a water fountain next to a historical marker, which gives an account of the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, SS Savannah, and America’s first
successful iron steamship in commerce, SS John Randolph. Before setting out on her journey, SS Savannah stopped by the Savannah Steamship Company, where she was fitted with an engine and boiler. SS John Randolph, on the other hand, was pre-fabricated in England, but shipped in segments and assembled here. The fountain was erected by The Propeller Club of The Port of Savannah as a tribute to maritime Savannah and to the merchant and naval ships that have proudly carried it name around the world.
A World Apart
Walking east, the next memorial visitors will come upon is “The Cracked Earth” World War II monument that memorializes WWII military
personnel who died fighting. The earth is split into two halves, representing a divided world during the war, with of all who served from Chatham county and received a Purple Heart or WWII Victory medal listed on plaques inside. Three flags stand at the front of this statue, which is located on the west side of the Hyatt tunnel.
The African American Monument
About a block away from River Street Inn, a monument of a family of four embracing on another stands, with the chain of slavery at their feet. The statue was designed by Dorothy Spradley, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. There is a plaque on the bottom of the statue with an inscription by Maya Angelou about slavery, which finishes with, “Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.”
The Anchor Monument
Right next to Rousakis Plaza, guests will find a fountain with an anchor statue centered in the middle, which was dedicated in 1976 to all merchant seaman lost at sea. It would not be there if not for Margaret Purcell Campbell, who organized the Port of Savannah Chapter of The Women’s Propeller Club and worked for three years to get the monument erected.
The Waving Girl
On the far east side of River Street, past the River Street Marketplace, in Morrell Park, a statue of Florence Martus with her Border Collie stands proudly, welcoming ships into the Savannah port. The daughter of a sergeant at Fort Pulaski, Florence greeted all of the ships sailing into the harbor between 1887 and 1931. Some say that she was waiting for the sailor who she fell in love with to return.
The Olympic Yachting Cauldron
A few feet away from The Waving Girl, a monument commemorates the Olympic yachting events held in Savannah in 1996. This cauldron statue with five columns created by Ivan Bailey, pays tribute to the five Olympic rings and the Greek heritage of the games.