Savannah – away from Downtown: 2.Wormsloe Historic Site

How to describe?   Breathtaking,  amazing,  stunning,  magnificent,  awe-inspiring,  spectacular…..

So no big deal then – its just an avenue – leading to a bit of a ruin!

But what an avenue!   Stretching ahead of you for 1.5 miles,  400 arching live oaks,  dripping in Spanish Moss,  form a canopy above a packed-dirt driveway.

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Vehicles coming and going on the avenue actually accentuate the scale…..

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The moss covered branches cast long shadows across the road.

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The trees were planted in the late 1800’s,  making them relatively young for live oaks.

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Trivia Moment

The Live Oak is thus named because its an evergreen – remaining green and therefore ‘live’ throughout the winter when other oaks are dormant and leafless.

Spanish Moss is not a parasite so doesn’t harm the tree.  It receives its nourishment through the process of photosynthesis – (NO! don’t ask – that’s beyond my pay grade.  But I can tell you,  for no extra charge,  that its related to the pineapple!)

 

 

Wormsloe Estate

Noble Jones was a carpenter who arrived with James Oglethorpe and the first group of settlers in 1733.

He was to survive the terrible initial hardships of the new colony to serve as doctor,  soldier and councilor among other occupations during his lifetime.

In 1736 he received a grant for 500 acres of land that would form the core of Wormsloe.

He built a fortified house overlooking the Skidaway Narrows,  a strategic section of the Skidaway River,  roughly halfway between Savannah and the Atlantic Ocean.  The area was considered a backdoor for potential invaders and the fortified house was part of a network of defensive structures established by Oglethorpe to protect Savannah from a potential Spanish invasion.

Jones subsequently developed Wormsloe into a small plantation, and his descendants built a large mansion at the site which they used as a country residence.

While most of the estate has been transferred to the State of Georgia,  his descendants still control some surrounding lands.

 

At the end of the main avenue,  the road narrows to a walking trail which leads to the ruins of the original house.

 

Whilst the ruins are not particularly impressive in themselves,  they are significant for 3 reasons:

*They are the oldest standing structures in Savannah.

*They give us an idea of the size and layout of dwellings of the time.

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*You see great examples of those famous Tabby walls

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Oyster shells were (and still are) a widely available resource throughout this region…

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The trail runs along the marsh.  Twice a day the tides rise and fall six to eight feet.  The inconsistent influx of saltwater makes it a harsh environment for wildlife and there are few permanent residents.   However, many land and water creatures feed and shelter here.

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Further along the trail is the Colonial Life Area.

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The wattle and daub cabin would be typical of a colonial frontier home.  Sticks are woven together and stuffed with a sticky material made from some combination of wet soil,  clay,  sand,  animal dung,  straw or basically whatever was lying around!!

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A palmetto hut

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At the visitors’ centre,  you can watch a short film and view some of the plantation’s artifacts.

 

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Small Stuff

 

Getting There:   The estate is located about 9 miles for downtown Savannah.  Without a car,  your best option is Uber.

Admission:   $10 +tax per person

Wormsloe  Website 

Before you go

 

Thinking of visiting Savannah?  Have a look at these:

Savannah – a stroll Downtown

Savannah – away from Downtown: 1.Bonaventure Cemetery

 

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17 thoughts on “Savannah – away from Downtown: 2.Wormsloe Historic Site

  1. This is one of the most beautiful oak tree avenue! Over the years, I’ve seen this beautiful place many many times on different social media platforms and every single time it made me speechless. World is such a beautiful place worth exploring, and I can’t wait to be back on the road. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. The sun is shining in Sligo and that makes life in lockdown a little bit easier to manage. Aiva 😊

  2. What a magnificent canopied drive. I would love to see this and maybe drive through it in an open-topped car. I knew about the live oaks but I didn’t know about Spanish Moss so thanks for the explanation. Good to know.

    1. You’ll get there some day! It would certainly be amazing in an open-top … why not …. put it on your list!!!
      Hope all is well. Mind yourself. XXXM

  3. I’ve seen pictures of this or similar canopied avenues, but always assumed they were processed to look so perfect. But it’s not! It looks stunning! Thanks for the tour.

    1. Gosh I haven’t a clue … We didn’t do a guided tour and I decided to walk back along the avenue while the others went in to watch the info video… so I’m a bit short on such facts! Stunning either way! XXXM

    1. Yes and lovely to walk along the road also. Mind you – I went for a bit of a walk and it was full of beautiful twenty somethings taking selfies – not to mention the 4 romantic couples that stopped me and asked me to take their photos 📸!! 🤣

    1. I don’t think I ever came across tabby before this – I’ve no idea how widespread it is. Interesting to see it close up. Thanks for your support …. stay safe. XXXM

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