Savannah Fun Facts from Fun-Loving Thunderbird Inn Retro Hotel

Beer on the Street in Savannah GA | Hidleborg / Flickr Common Use License | Open Container Law

To-go cup required to drink beer on Savannah historic district streets

In the Savannah, Georgia, the “to-go” cup is legendary. The open container laws prohibit the existence of open containers of alcohol in public (on the streets) [Savannah City Code Section 6-1215]. In the Savannah Historic District downtown, city law allows possession and consumption on the street of one alcoholic beverage in an open plastic container of not more than 16 ounces — the “to-go” cup!

Over time we will bring you more story ideas and Savannah fun facts!

  1. Savannah was voted one of the “World’s Top Ten Trendy Travel Hot Spots” by the New York Times
  2. The vintage Chatham County Jail is today’s Habersham Hall, headquarters for the Athletics Department of Savannah College of Art and Design. The jail was built in 1887 and was used until the new jail was built on Oglethorpe Avenue and Habersham in 1978.
  3. One of Savannah’s legendary independent businesses, Bradley’s Key, has been in operation since 1883! The business’s retro sign shows, “We can fix anything but a broken heart.”
  4. Replacing a silly bill goat, Uga, English Bulldogs raised by the Frank W. Seiler family in Savannah, Georgia — has been the University of Georgia (UGA) mascot for over 50 years.
  5. There was once a time when Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was known around town as the art school with the English-style double decker (Flagship) buses. Now, that is only a vague memory. The last time these were in use was 2004. The buses were too tall to maneuver in the historic district amid ancient Live Oak trees that form canopies along Savannah streets. A cheer for RETRO!
  6. In the old Paint Shops of the Central of Georgia railroad complex is the first documented restoration of a saw-toothed roof in the world.
  7. Savannah, Georgia, is the hometown of Johnny Mercer (known for his gap-tooth smile), lyricist of “Skylark,” “Ac-Cen-Tchu-ate the Positive”, and “Moon River” and over 1800 more songs. A bronze statue of Mr. Mercer is in Ellis Square, along with a new (August 2011) 4-minute video in the square’s visitor center.
  8. Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low (nicknamed “Daisy“) was born in Savannah, Georgia. Her birthday is October 31, Halloween Day. In 2012, Girl Scouts will celebrate the 100th Anniversary. Thunderbird Inn will plant daisies to honor Mrs. Low.
  9. Margaret Mitchell based based her fictional married cousins Melanie Hamilton and Ashley Wilkes on a frustrated love affair between her real third cousin Mattie Holliday and the western gunslinger John Henry “Doc” Holliday. When the Catholic Church denied the real life cousins permission to marry, Mattie joined a convent in Savannah and took the name Sister Mary Melanie. She gave Margaret Mitchell permission to use her convent name “Melanie”, as long as the character was “somebody nice”. Source: Georgia Curiosities, 3rd: Quirky Characters by William Schemmel.
  10. The popular theme park, Six Flags Over Georgia, was named for six flags that flew over Georgia and Savannah: England, Spain, Liberty, Georgia, Confederate States of America, and the United States. You can see the flags flying in two locations on Tybee Island and at the Georgia Historical Society (Gaston and Wheaton Street, Savannah).
  11. “Wild thang” Danny Hanford [played by Jude Law in the Clint Eastwood movie, Midnight in the Garden of Evil] is buried in Greenwich Cemetery. Danny’s sympathizers leave plastic flowers, cigarette butts, booze bottles, and little plastic sports cars, in case he figures a way out. Source: Georgia Curiosities, 3rd: Quirky Characters by William Schemmel.
  12. The newly expanded SCAD Museum will open October 29, 2011. For more than 130 years, the Gray Building (once Central of Georgia Railroad headquarters, one of SCAD’s first renovations to Kiah Hall, and today’s SCAD Museum) served as a railroad office building, the longest such continuous use in the country. Union troops occupied the Gray Building and the rest of the depot in December 1864-January 1865 after Sherman’s march to the sea along the Central of Georgia’s tracks. The Gray Building, like the rest of the railroad complex, is built on the site of the Revolutionary War’s 1779 Battle of Savannah. During the 1864 Siege of Savannah, a battery of four guns was mounted at the depot.
  13. The Architectural Salvage room at Massie School has parts from the old City Market, and other buildings that have been torn down. A scene from the movie Legend of Bagger Vance” was filmed in the school’s second story auditorium. Built in 1856 by the renowned New York architect John S. Norris, Johnny Mercer (born in Savannah 1909) attended the school.