Partners in Preservation
Savannah, Georgia, USA
- Andrew Low House: Built in 1848 for a wealthy cotton merchant and shaded by moss trees and blooming flowers, this home has one of the city's three original mid-19th-century gardens.
- Juliette Gordon Low House: The founder of the Girl Scouts grew up here, and the collections at this Federal-style mansion museum include her suede Girl Scout cap and purse, fine art, and more.
- Davenport House: Savannah's first historically preserved home is one of its oldest brick structures, and a prime example of American Federal-style architecture.
About this Savannah, Georgia tour
When Savannah merchant Andrew Low made a fortune buying and selling cotton, he didn't build just any house. In 1848, he commissioned a New York architect, who had already designed Savannah's Custom House, to begin work on a grand, Greek Revival-style mansion overlooking Lafayette Square. The elegant stucco and brick residence was a showcase for the elegant lives of Savannah's elite, hosting celebrities like Robert E. Lee, and still dazzles today with its collection of silver pieces, 19th-century antiques, and art.
In 1886, Andrew's son William married into one of Savannah's best families when he wed Juliette Gordon. The marriage got off to a good start, but eventually William began drinking and having affairs. In fact, he turned into something of a louse, withholding money from his wife unless she agreed to a divorce. That would have required court proceedings proving adultery, but Juliette was unwilling to air her society family's dirty laundry in public.
There matters stood until William's death in 1905; spiteful to the end, the will left most of his fortune to his mistress. Juliette got some stocks and bonds, a small sum of money, and the Low House. But it was enough for her to travel, and in Britain she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. That got her thinking: Maybe girls could benefit from an organization that emphasized self-improvement and self-reliance. She formed her first group in Scotland, then returned to America and launched the idea in her hometown: Savannah.
Millions of girls around the world have been scouts, learning everything from map-reading to knot-tying to computer skills. Juliette's lovely home in Savannah has become something of a sacred pilgrimage in girls' scouting, and her October 31st birthday is celebrated every year as Founder's Day.
William Low, whose caddish behavior set Juliette on her journey of independence and public service, is remembered by no one.
Dames at work
It's a little politically incorrect to call women dames nowadays, but one group still uses the term proudly. The Georgia Colonial Dames, founded by Juliette Low's mother in 1893, have been instrumental in preserving their states' cultural treasures, and the Andrew Low House was their first project. They purchased and restored it as their headquarters in 1928.
Please make your way to 234 Martin Luther King Blvd, Savannah, Georgia 31401.
As with many historic building, wheelchair accessibility varies. Wheelchair access is available to the basement level of Davenport House Museum (museum shop, restroom, water fountain, courtyard and garden). On request a DVD on a guided tour of the museum can be shown. There are steps. Ships of the Sea Museum; The basement level is accessible with a portable ramp. Andrew Low House; Wheelchair accessible.
Davenport House Museum: Operates Mon thru Sat starting at 10:00 am with last tour at 4:00pm. Sun. starting at 1:00pm with last tour at 4:00pm. Tour runs every 30 mins. Museum closes at 1:00pm on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve.Closed on New Year's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, July 04th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Ships of the Sea Museum: Operates Tues thru Sun starting at 10:00 am with last admission at 4:15pm.
Some of the sites visited have full or limited wheelchair accessibility. Please read our Helpful Hints for more information or call the GoBe Crew.
Walking Tour, Cultural
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for travelers 13 years of age and older.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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