Monday, June 20, 2011

Savannah, Pt. 5

This fountain on the waterfront commemorates the birth of steamships here.  On May 22, 1819, the steamship SS Savannah departed the Savannah wharf to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, arriving in Liverpool in 27 days.  President James Monroe had toured the ship and taken an excursion on her roughly two weeks before in anticipation of the historic event.  She was 98 feet on deck, had a 25-foot beam, and 13-foot draft, and her two side paddle-wheels were powered by a 90-hp. steam boiler.  She still used sail on the open sea, but the ability to maneuver unaided under her own power in channels and rivers would mark the beginning of the death of the Age of Sail by the end of the century.  The first steamship to actually commence commercial trade was the SS John Randolph, also launched and sailed from Savannah on July 9, 1834.
This is the street running between the warehouses and the wharf.  It would have been a hub of activity in its day, and I guess still is if you count the tourism business.  This is a rare shot.  It is usually wall-to-wall people.  I have several more pictures from Savannah, but I'll share them when we get home and I don't have to deplete the air card more than necessary.  I still haven't heard from AT&T.  Color me surprised!

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