Called 'The Southern Belle of the Georgia Coast,' Savannah, Georgia is enchanting, romantic, mysterious and intriguing. Anyone who visits here is immediately taken with her charm. Savannah was Georgia's first city, and has certainly remained one of the favorites of travelers throughout the years. What began as a one of America's early colonies has developed into a city rich in history and culture. Here are some facts about this fascinating area:
- Savannah is located at the mouth of the Savannah River and was an important port city for the industries of cotton and lumber for many years.
- Savannah is four-and-a-half hours by car from Atlanta and 45 minutes from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
- Savannah's population is approximately 296,000 people.
- The climate is subtropical and is good for outdoor activities year round.
- Savannah was founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe, who had sailed here from England.
- Oglethorpe named Georgia after England's King George II.
- Savannah is called 'America's First Planned City' because Oglethorpe carefully organized the town into grids, with wide streets and 24 public squares. 21 of these squares were carefully preserved throughout the years and still exist today.
- Savannah's rich soil and great port location made it a hub for the cotton industry and slave trade until the Civil War brought sea-blockades.
- After the Civil War, freed African-American slaves remained in the area and helped develop one of the most historically significant black communities.
- Post-war years saw resurgence in the cotton industry, and Savannah once again rose as an economic hub.
- The Historic Savannah Foundation was founded in the 1950s and has helped preserve and restore landmarks and historic sites.
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