The second of Savannah’s squares to be laid out was Percival Square, later renamed to honor Georgia’s last royal governor James Wright.
The marble monument in the middle of the square is to William Washington Gordon, a successful businessman and politician, highly-regarded in Savannahian society. When he died, his influential friends demanded that the city honor him with a lavish memorial in Wright Square. “There should be no trouble”, they reasoned, “right now, there are just some troublesome Injun bones. Move them away!”
They were the remains of Tomochichi, who had been buried in the center of the square 144 years ago, as a way to thank the Indian chief for helping out the colony in its harrowing first years. Citizens were outraged about this insult to one of the city’s most important founders. In consolation, a memorial stone was placed in a corner of Wright Square, and the nearby Tomochichi Federal Building was named in his honor.
There’s always something going on in Wright Square. During our time in Savannah, the northernmost bench in the square has been the hocking place of a big old man who sings the blues, all day long. Last time we were there, he was singing, “Girl, you done me wrong. GIRL, you done me so wrong. Girl, I wish you was dead”. We had just bought delicious (and outrageously overpriced) sandwiches at a nearby shop called Zumzi’s, and sat down on the other side of the square to listen to a scraggly old guitar player howl out classics like Desperado.
- One of the movies filmed in Wright Square is “Cape Fear”
January 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm Comments (6)