If you’re coming into Savannah via Abercorn, the first square you’ll encounter is Calhoun, named after the South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun. Our 7th Vice-President and an influential lawmaker, Calhoun was fiercely pro-slavery and, although he died before the outbreak of the Civil War, served as an inspiration to secessionists.
Calhoun Square is the only square with all its original buildings still intact and accounted for. The most important is the Massie School — Savannah’s first public school, which opened in 1865. Today, it’s the home of the Massie Heritage Center, dedicated to the history of Savannah. Unfortunately for us, the museum was closed for renovations and, according to the construction guy outside it, would be for “a month. Maybe. Maybe three or four”. Grrr… nothing was said about that on their stinking website! I’ve heard the museum is really interesting, and had been looking forward to it.
Apart from Massie, Calhoun Square is most notable for the Greek Revival-style houses which encircle it. It’s the square nearest our house, and we bike through all the time. And every time, we’re creeped out by the empty mansion at 432 Abercorn, with a foreboding dark, empty oval underneath its stairs. This is one of Savannah’s most haunted houses, whose tales of fright include dead and murdered children. Honestly, the very fact that this tremendous building is sitting there unoccupied is disquieting.
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December 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm