Madison Square

Photo courtesy of faungg's photo

One of Savannah’s most picturesque and popular squares; Madison Square is located on Bull Street which is nestled between Harris and Charlton Streets. Established in 1837 and named after the nations 4th president James Madison, this site was home to the dreadfully bloody Revolutionary War battle, the Siege of Savannah.

Towering amidst the center of the square is a statue of Sargent William Jasper, who was recognized for his heroic recovery of the South Carolina flag during the Battle at Sullivan’s Island. In addition to the statue of Sargent Jasper, there is a monument marking the center of British resistance during the siege. The battle claimed hundreds of lives in just a few hours and the blood that spilled the streets is known to be a major source for the areas paranormal activities. It is this activity that makes Madison Square one of the most popular destinations in Historic Savannah for nightly ghost tours.

Photo courtesy of faungg's photo

Noteworthy to the Square’s popularity are the two vintage cannons donated by the Savannah Armory located on the southern end of the square. The cannons were placed there to signify the first two highways constructed in Georgia. These two relics mark the starting points of each highway, the Augusta Road, leading to Augusta, and the Ogeechee Road that leads to Darien.

Madison Square is rich in beauty and abundant with history. Adding to the square's momentous attributes are the three historic properties preserved within this cherished region of Savannah’s Historic District. The Sorrel-Weed House, St. Johns Episcopal Church, and the Green-Meldrim House, are all places of significant intrigue. Sitting directly on Madison Square is the Sorrell Weed House. This home is rumored to be one of the most haunted and was used in the opening scene of the 1994 film Forrest Gump, making it a popular tourist stop. Adding to its popularity, the Sorrel-Weed House has been featured on the SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” & “Taps”.

Built in 1853, the St. Johns Episcopal Church is known for its magnificent architecture and melodic chimes that ring throughout the day. The church was designed by Calvin Otis, a New York architect whose neo-gothic style resembles that of a British parish house. Just to the side of the St. Johns Episcopal Church is the Green-Meldrim House, which is located in the northwest corner of Madison Square. Architect John Norris designed and built the home in 1853-1861 for its first owner Charles Green for a whopping $93,000! In 1864, General W.T. Sherman occupied the home and used it for his headquarters. Judge Peter Meldrim then purchased the home in 1892 and lived there until his passing in 1933. Finally, in 1942 the Meldrim heirs sold the home to the St. Johns Episcopal Church.

True to its fame, Madison Square offers visitors elegant architecture and historic grandeur of the old south. Tour the square and you find well-preserved, authentic history and a true understanding of the sacrifice of battle. While there, pop into Gryphon Tea Room and bask in the elegance of the brilliant architecture.

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