Unveiling the historical tapestry of Savannah, the Davenport House Museum, positioned at 324 East State Street in the heart of the city’s northwest corner, beckons those captivated by the past. Originally an 1820s residential home, this site has metamorphosed into a captivating museum dedicated to preserving Savannah’s rich history and culture, adorned with an eerie ambiance that heightens its allure.
Since opening its doors as a museum in 1963, the Davenport House has drawn visitors seeking a glimpse into the past. Noteworthy accolades, such as the 2005 Preserve America Presidential Award and the 2010 Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities, underscore its significance in safeguarding historic treasures. Standing three stories high with 19th-century furnishings, the Davenport House Museum, situated in the northwest corner of Columbia Square, stands as a guardian of Savannah’s heritage, inviting exploration into its enigmatic past.
The Davenport House Museum’s rich history originates with New Englander Isaiah Davenport, who was renowned for his craftsmanship. One of the first known examples of his work in Savannah is Laura’s Cottage, constructed shortly after his arrival in the city in 1808.
The home Davenport built for his own family, which is now the Davenport House Museum, is a testament to his skill and artistic vision. However, the Davenport family’s tenure in the house was relatively short-lived. In 1840, Davenport’s widow, Sarah, sold the property to Benjamin Baynard for a sum of 9,000 dollars. This marked an important chapter in the history of the house.
Isaiah Davenport, a renowned craftsman of his time, was born in Rhode Island in 1784 and began his career in New England before relocating to Savannah, Georgia, in 1808. In Savannah, Davenport made a name for himself through his exceptional craftsmanship and architectural designs. His life was not limited to his professional achievements; he was also a loving husband and a doting father to 10 children.
In 1809, Davenport married Sarah Clark, and together they established a family in the house that is today known as the Davenport House Museum. Sarah was a supportive partner, skilled in managing their large household while Isaiah focused on his growing business. Their home was always filled with the laughter and joy of their children, making it a lively and warm place.
Professionally, Isaiah Davenport was a respected figure in the community. He served as the city’s alderman from 1822 until his untimely death in 1827. His contributions to Savannah’s architectural landscape are still evident today, as several of his works remain as historical landmarks. Despite his early demise, Davenport’s legacy lives on through his remarkable constructions and the Davenport House Museum, a testament to his life and work.
Within the historical tapestry of the Davenport House Museum resides not only echoes of the past but also a spectral presence — an ethereal cat affectionately known by locals as the Ghostly Cat. This elusive feline has become an intriguing facet of the museum’s allure, with both visitors and staff recounting sightings that add an extra layer of mystery to the historical surroundings. The Ghostly Cat is known to materialize in unexpected places, gracefully moving through the hallways or lingering in the shadows, its spectral form disappearing as mysteriously as it appears. With a Binx-esque charm (a nod to the famous cat in “Hocus Pocus”), this apparition is believed by some to be connected to the pets that once belonged to the Davenport family, forever bound to their former home. Whether one is a history aficionado or a seeker of the paranormal, the enigmatic tale of the Ghostly Cat, infused with a touch of whimsy, adds a captivating dimension to the Davenport House Museum, reinforcing its distinct charm and appeal.
Another resident of the Davenport House Museum that has stirred intrigue is the enigmatic entity known as the “Ghost Girl.” As cited in local folklore and numerous visitor accounts, the Ghost Girl is frequently spotted on the upper floors of the house, particularly in the former bedrooms of the Davenport children. Witnesses describe her as a young girl adorned in period attire, emitting an aura of sadness and longing.
Local lore suggests that the Ghost Girl is not a passive apparition. Some accounts tell of her engaging in spectral play with an old-fashioned ball or gazing out of the window as though anticipating someone’s return. Witnesses often report an abrupt drop in temperature in her presence, accompanied by soft, sorrowful humming. While her true identity remains shrouded in mystery, speculation abounds that she could be one of the Davenport daughters, forever tethered to the echoes of their childhood home. The presence of the Ghost Girl adds a layer of mystique to the Davenport House Museum, captivating both history enthusiasts and paranormal investigators alike.
The Davenport House is renowned for its architectural and historical significance. It was built in 1820. This Federal-style home in Savannah, Georgia, was the masterpiece of master builder Isaiah Davenport. The Davenport House is particularly notable because it marked the beginning of the historic preservation movement in Savannah.
The Davenport House was built in 1820. This historic dwelling is a prime example of Federal-style architecture and continues to stand today as a testament to the architectural prowess of the past. It was originally built by Isaiah Davenport, a prominent builder in Savannah, Georgia. Over the years, the Davenport House has undergone different ownership and uses. In 1955, it was purchased by the Historic Savannah Foundation, who saw its potential as an important piece of history to preserve.
Yes, the Davenport House Museum does offer guided tours. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide in-depth insights into the rich history and architectural significance of the house. As you walk through the well-preserved interiors, you can immerse yourself in the 19th-century era, appreciating the artifacts and stories that encapsulate the heritage of the place. Please check the museum’s official website for the most recent information on tour timings and availability.
The Davenport House Museum, located in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia, offers a glimpse into early 19th-century life. Visitors can explore beautifully restored rooms filled with old-time furniture, decorative art, and household items that reflect the lifestyle of the prosperous Davenport family. The museum also features a picturesque courtyard garden, adding to its historical charm. Regular guided tours provide insights into the history of the house, its preservation efforts, and the cultural context of the era.