Monterey Square

Photo courtesy of faungg's photo

Monterey Square commemorates the 1826 Battle of Monterey during the Mexican-American War. The square is located on Bull Street between Taylor and Gordon and is favored for its peaceful atmosphere. Monterey Square is immediately recognized for John Berendt's 1994 novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book’s title alludes to the notion of "midnight" being the period occurring between the time for good magic and the time for evil magic. Hence the novels setting which, in actuality commemorates Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery.

Bonaventure Cemetery is located near the bluff of the Wilmington River in Savannah and played a vital role in the book and film. The book's plot is based on real-life events that occurred in the 1980’s and Berendt used those actual names of the Savannah residents to tell the story. Berendt’s work and popularity of the film has certainly contributed to the mystery and allure of Savannah’s spiritual folklore.

Another unique feature of Monterey Square is that all structures, with the exception of the United Way building, are truly originals. In the center stands the Casimir Pulaski Monument, a tall statue of a wounded soldier in honor of the General. Pulaski was a young Polish nobleman who fell as a hero during the American Revolution. Some speculate that an unknown Revolutionary soldier is buried beneath Pulaski's monument, and some even go so far as to think it may be Pulaski himself, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Photo courtesy of rcsj

Located on the southwest end of the square lies the meticulously restored Mercer-Williams House. Like the Green-Meldrim House, the Mercer-Williams house was also built by John Norris and is certainly thought to be the most picturesque of Savannah's historic homes. Savannah’s most dedicated restorationist, Jim Williams purchased the vacant home from Mercer in 1969 and spent over two years restoring it. The home, now The Mercer Williams House Museum, contains Mr. Williams’ private collection of art and furnishings spanning over three centuries from around the world.

Photo courtesy of jeffgunn

The Mercer House has been surrounded by mystery and death. In 1913, the owner at that time tripped over the second floor banister, suffering only mild injuries but strangely died three days later. Later on in 1969, a young boy chasing pigeons on the roof fell over the edge and impaled himself on the iron fence below. Then as retold in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Jim Williams' assistant, Danny Hansford, was shot to death in the home.

Across the square sits a handsome synagogue with the oldest continuing congregation in America practicing Reform Judaism. On the north face of the square is the Comer House owned by Hugh M. Comer, President of the Central Georgia Railway. During the centennial celebration of Savannah’s Chatham Artillery, Comer hosted former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis and, his daughter, Winnie also known as the Daughter of the Confederacy.

Photo of Temple Mickve Israel courtesy of cm195902

Meticulously preserved, spectacular beauty, mystery, and peace and quite are just a few of the comments you will find on TripAdvisor and other travel review sites. These are more than just comments they are products of an effort to restore and preserve some the most picturesque and historic events in the south. There is a lot to explore in Monterey Square so relax on one of the many benches located in the square, grab a cup of coffee at one of the nearby café’s, take it all in and you will not be disappointed you came.

Monterey Square is south of Madison Square and north of Forsyth Park. A self-guided walking tour beginning at Savannah City Hall would take you through many of Savannah's finest squares including Johnson Square, Wright Square, Madison Square, through Monterey Square and across Gaston Street into the northern part of Savannah's largest park where the incredible Fountain Park Fountain awaits. It's a great spot for taking photos to commemorate your Savannah visit.

The statue in Monterey Square is not the only way Savannah has commemmorated Casimir Pulaski. Fort Pulaski National Monument is also named for Count Pulaski.

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