Built in 1851, Troup is one of Savannah’s smaller squares. It was named after George Troup, a former governor known his strident support of slavery and anti-Indian policies. It might be because of these unappealing views, that the square’s central monument is not a statue of Troup, but a strange, archaic globe.
Troup Square may lay claim to Savannah’s most curious monument, with its Armillary Sphere. This was a model used to track celestial orbits, invented by the Greeks and made obsolete by the invention of the telescope. The sphere an odd choice for the middle of a square in Savannah, which wasn’t founded until well after the instrument was out of use. (You know where else you can find an Armillary Sphere? Portugal’s flag. Don’t ask me why.)
Another strange feature of Troup Square is its doggy drinking fountain, moved here from its original location in Forsyth Park. It doesn’t even bother with spouts for humans, and is the reason some residents refer to this area as “Dog Bone Square”.
Troup Square isn’t done confusing you, yet. Another oddity is that this is the birthplace of Jingle Bells. You know that song that goes, “Dashing through pleasantly mild winters, in a picturesque Victorian district, round the squares we go, drinking from plastic cups all the way.” The Unitarian Universalist Church, on the square’s west side, is where James Pierpoint, the brother of the church’s reverend, wrote the famous song. Why he was inspired to write a song about sleighing and wintry fun, as he gazed out onto Troup Square is anyone’s guess.
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Love the quiet simplicity of this square, dog-lovers story, and your photos! Jingle Bells was written when the church was formerly located on Oglethorpe Square. A small modern building not sits where the church formerly sat on the northwest Trust Lot of Oglethorpe Sq.
When my mother was a child she lived bor a brief time in the brick apartment building south of what is now the Unitarian Church. My great aunt lived in one of the houses on the southwest corner of Habersham and Charlton. On the northwest corner, Harris and Habersham, where the Firefly Cafe now sits, there was a neighborhood butchershop, Triple T Meats. It was a family owned and operated business that operated for many years.
The square itself was fenced in and was the school playground for Cathedral Day School. The fence was covered with pyracantha bushes. In the fall, the red berry covered bushes would attract flocks of migrating cedar waxwings which would gorge themselves on the fermenting berries. Ever see a drunk bird?
Thanks for sharing. As an alumna of St. Vincent’s Academy, I spent many mornings driving around that square looking for parking. It’s a gorgeous square! Thanks for all of the amazing photos you take of Savannah. Beautiful. You are definitely capturing Savannah’s charm.
Nice to see that the Armillary is back up after it was knocked down by a drunk driver a few years back (thanks to commenter Gil for the memory jog).
Love the photography! Going to visit my son in Savannah in March 2012. We are going to drive around out lying areas to view the scenery. He is a student at SCAD, any advice on where to go outside of city limits would be appreciated.becca
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