Davenport House: Discovering 1820s Savannah

Early Bird’s Walking Tour

While we are currently in the 2020s, most of us have heard of the “Roaring 20s”, which was the 1920s, but all through April the Davenport House Museum is giving groups a look at life in the 1820s.

“At the Davenport House we talk about the 1820s because that’s what the house looks like, and that’s what we know the most about. Now we are trying to expand our story,” said Jamie Credle, director of the Davenport House Museum.

Every Saturday in April they will be hosting the “Early Bird’s Walking Tour: Discovering 1820s Savannah”, a look into the Savannah that master builder Isaiah Davenport knew.

“In the 1920s you had jazz and prohibition and people love that, but most people do not know a lot about the 1820’s and I think people would enjoy seeing what the vestiges left of the early city architecture,” said Credle.

Beginning at the Davenport House Museum (1820) the tour will take participants on a 120-minute walk for about 2.7 miles, passing by some of the best examples of preservation in the city and learn about what no longer remains.

“We will take people on a walk throughout the city’s landmark district. We will see about eight of the 22 squares. There were 15 squares in 1820. We will see a lot of what the city looked like then and get some history of what it was like living in Savannah then,” said Credle.

The Davenport House Museum is located on Columbia Square at the corner of State and Habersham Streets in the Historic District. 

It is one of the oldest brick structures in the city maintaining the common use of wood construction during the town’s earliest history.

The walk will go from the Davenport House Museum, east to Green Square, then by Second African Baptist Church. The tour also takes participants down Broughton St., Bay St., Ellis Square, Congress St., the previous City Hall location and more, with guests getting a history lesson of what the city was like then.

“The tour gives some African-American history, history on what policing looked like at the time, and immerse people in an imaginative way of the sights, sounds, and even what it might have smelled like then,” said Credle.

The Davenport House was constructed in 1820 by Isaiah Davenport, and now the museum preserves the history of the house and its artifacts. 

The museum also seeks to educate visitors and the community on all the lived experiences of those who dwelt here both free and enslaved, as well as recognize the historical role of the house in the founding of the Historic Savannah Foundation.

The tours will be held on Saturdays in April (2, 9, 16, 30) and the tours will start at 8 a.m. at the Davenport House Museum. 

Following the tour will be coffee and treats in the Davenport House garden.

“A lot of people are early birds. It’s really fun to see the city early before everybody wakes up in the springtime. Even if you’re not an architecture geek but just want to see the Landmark District in the springtime, this walk is fun,” said Credle.

Tickets are $21 plus tax though they recommend reservations, walk-ins are welcome. To purchase tickets, visit davenporthousemuseum.org

About The Author

Kareem McMichael

Kareem McMichael is a filmmaker, documentarian, writer, and multimedia content creator. The Macon native enjoys entertainment, and sharing with locals and visitors’ stories about Savannah’s art and culture scene. When he is not working, he enjoys relaxing at the beach, grabbing a drink, hitting a fun art event,...
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