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The Heroic Genius of To-Go Cups »« The 24 Squares of Savannah

Johnson Square

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We had 24 squares to explore during our time in Savannah, and decided to start with the oldest and largest. Johnson Square was established in 1733, and named in honor of South Carolina’s colonial governor Robert Johnson.

Johnson Obelisk

The most notable monument in Johnson Square is a 50-foot white obelisk dedicated to Nathaniel Green, the Revolutionary War hero from Rhode Island who retired to a farm near Savannah. His remains, along with those of his son, are buried underneath the obelisk.

Johnson Square also features two identical fountains, and a sundial dedicated to the memory of William Bull, who helped General Oglethorpe both choose Savannah’s location and design its unique layout. The time was off a little when we visited, but ancient sundials can’t be expected to cope with daylight savings. Another monument is the Johnny Mercer bench, which honors the city’s best-known musical artist.

Ever since Savannah’s inception, Johnson Square has been the center of city life. In the very early days, this is where colonists would meet to check the time, fetch water, make use of public ovens, and congregate for worship. The Christ Church, found on the eastern side of the square, is known as the “Mother Church of Georgia.” Built in 1773, it’s the oldest in all of Georgia.

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Johnson Savannah
Johnson Sq Savannah
Johnson Square
Savannah Sundial
T Mills London Sundial
City Hall Savannah
Johnson Square Savannah
Johnson Square Savannah
Savannah Church
Johnson Square Fountain
Mercer Bench
Savannah Platns
Nut Beast
Mother Church Savannah
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November 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm
6 comments »
  • November 8, 2010 at 5:11 pmDave

    Johnson is probably one of my least favorite squares; not quite the secluded charm that many of the others have. I know I’ve been to the Mercer Bench in Bonaventure, but for the life of me don’t remember one at Johnson Square, which shows how little time I have spent there!

  • November 8, 2010 at 8:06 pmJuergen

    What is your favorite Savannah Square. Always curious to find out what our readers like.

  • November 9, 2010 at 2:13 pmDave

    Lafayette is probably my fave; I also like Madison & Monterey.

  • November 9, 2010 at 2:45 pmJuergen

    Thank you Dave – we try to check them out all 😉 Any other Savannah Tips are always more than welcome!

  • July 23, 2015 at 10:56 amAnita Anders

    Can someone please give the details of the legend related to the lack of moss in Johnson Square.  We heard it on our walking history tour recently, but I cannot remember the details of why it was “cursed.”


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Johnson Square We had 24 squares to explore during our time in Savannah, and decided to start with the oldest and largest. Johnson Square was established in 1733, and named in honor of South Carolina's colonial governor Robert Johnson.
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