Do Savannnah

Georgia Trust Fall Ramble features up-close look at Savannah’s historic properties

  • Jones Street is part of the Georgia Trust’s Fall Ramble from Oct. 6-8. (Provided by Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)
  • Kehoe Iron Works is part of the Georgia Trust’s Fall Ramble from Oct. 6-8. (Provided by Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)
  • Wormsloe slave cabins are part of the Georgia Trust’s Fall Ramble.
  • West Taylor Street is part of the Georgia Trust’s Fall Ramble from Oct. 6-8. (Photos provided by Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation)

Georgia Trust Fall Ramble features up-close look at Savannah’s historic properties

27 Sep 2017

From Oct. 6-8, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will host its 2017 Fall Ramble, rescheduled from last year because of Hurricane Matthew. The Georgia Trust’s Rambles are self-guided tours, dining experiences and social events held in various local historic homes and properties not typically open to the general public.

“The Georgia Trust has been doing Rambles since the ’70s,” says Danielle Meunier, preservation communications coordinator for Georgia Trust. “The primary goal of a Ramble is to introduce the diverse and beautiful historic cities and towns of our state to the Georgia Trust membership and the general public, educating them about local history, architecture and preservation efforts, while financially benefiting the local partnering organizations (Historic Savannah Foundation in this case). The Ramble brings benefits of heritage tourism to these cities and helps to develop their historic resources for the betterment of their economies.”

This year’s Ramble includes a selection of Savannah’s early suburbs, various locations in historic downtown and a sampling of the Lowcountry’s Moon River District. This includes examples of Colonial Revival and Craftsman homes in Ardsley Park, as well as the “palmetto-lined pedestrian mall of Chatham Crescent and the mid-century gems of Kensington Park and Magnolia Park.”

The Ramble takes place over three days and it’s up to participants to decide their own itinerary. Ticket prices vary according to which days you’d like to attend. Friday, Oct. 6, includes the suburban homes tour; Saturday, Oct. 7, features restorations, award-winning preservation projects and other historically significant sites in the Historic Landmark District; and Sunday, Oct. 8, includes waterfront homes on Isle of Hope and an exploration of the longtime Gullah Geechee community in Pin Point.

“We are expanding beyond the Landmark Historic District with this Ramble and including tours in many other historic areas of Savannah that are not as often highlighted,” says Meunier. “We will be featuring sites in Ardsley Park-Chatham Crescent, Midtown (including many mid-century neighborhoods like Kensington Park-Groveland, Fairway Oaks-Greenview, Magnolia Park) and the Moon River District.

“The Ramble is not just a house tour,” she adds. “Throughout the weekend we also host meals and social events at historic venues, like a special partner event between the Georgia Trust and Historic Savannah Foundation’s young professional supporters, and a sold-out tour of Ossabaw Island.”

Some of those social events include cocktails and dinner in the newly rehabilitated Machine Shop at Kehoe Iron Works, breakfast at the Lucas Theatre with a talk by select authorities on architecture and preservation, a traditional Lowcountry boil at Mary and Howard Morrison’s Lebanon Plantation and brunch along the banks of Shipyard Creek with access to the historic grounds of Bethesda Academy. It should be noted that tickets with meals are sold out for this year’s Ramble, but tour-only tickets are still available.

“We definitely strive to feature exclusive sites and opportunities not commonly available to the public through the Ramble,” says Meunier. “Therefore many of the sites are private homes that our Ramblers will have a chance to get inside of. We are very excited to be able to include the Wormsloe Library, as well as an original slave cabin on the site. Other particular sites of interest include the Kehoe Iron Works Foundry (attendees will be some of the first to see this newly rehabilitated complex as it nears completion), and some in-progress rehabilitations such as the Old Elks Lodge on Oglethorpe Avenue, which is being converted to Husk restaurant, and the new LaScala restaurant slated for Abercorn and 37th streets.”


What: Georgia Trust 2017 Fall Ramble

When: Oct. 6-8




Registration: First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Start the day by picking up your registration packet at First Presbyterian Church in Ardsley Park. The church’s congregation began in 1827 and has had three sanctuaries throughout its history. The current neogothic style sanctuary was built in 1956.

Friday Ramble: Ardsley Park and Midtown

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Traverse Savannah’s earliest automobile suburbs filled with grand Colonial Revival and Craftsman homes before visiting the palmetto-lined pedestrian mall at the center of Chatham Crescent and the hidden mid-century gems of Kensington Park and Magnolia Park. Explore homes including a 1930 Tudor-influenced English vernacular home and a 1955 mid-century modern house featuring nearly all of its original details.


Registration: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

9-11 a.m.

Put your finger on the pulse of preservation in Savannah’s grandest historic theater, designed in the Spanish Baroque style and operated by the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Orientation: Lucas Theatre

10-11 a.m.

Hear from some of Savannah’s eminent authorities on the city’s architecture and preservation. Learn about Savannah’s intriguing history and discover why this historic and hospitable town has grown to be one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations.

Registration: Kennedy Pharmacy, 323 E. Broughton St.

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration continues at the Kennedy Pharmacy, a historic pharmacy building that was rehabilitated with the assistance of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Historic Preservation department in 2009.

Saturday Ramble: Historic Landmark District

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Explore Savannah’s world-renowned Historic Landmark District, the largest in the nation. Tour an array of private homes, recently completed preservation projects and up-and-coming rehabilitations in progress. Highlights include grand historic townhomes overlooking Madison Square, an 1842 Federal style townhome that is touted as one of the finest in Savannah, and an 1859 Italianate home that is one of the oldest on Gaston Street.


Sunday Ramble: Moon River District

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Get the Lowcountry experience as you tour sites in the Moon River District. Located just 20 minutes from downtown, this Savannah neighborhood is home to salt marshes, a Gullah Geechee oystering community and the picturesque Wormsloe Historic Site, where you’ll explore several buildings on the private Wormsloe family property including the 1906 library. Discover Savannah’s waterfront plantation houses on Isle of Hope, highlighted by an 1864 Victorian home on Bluff Drive overlooking the Skidaway River.