Davenport House News

January 27th, 2016

Humble Object of Revelation
Revealed:  Doll Returns to the DH

IMG_4506-webJust prior to my arrival at the DH in 2002, our scholar Page Talbott, Ph.D., sent a fax with a letter from a Savannah antique dealer about two “African American dolls” that were found in the rafters but were in the possession of others, and how she hoped we could find them.  In the letter the dealer said that one was at the North Carolina State University Museum in Raleigh and the other with a private collector in Wilson, North Carolina.  Shortly thereafter I contacted NC State University Museum and found that the doll was indeed in their collection.  It was purchased through an auction house.  The curator offered to loan it back to the DH.  Time passed.  At some point I contacted the dealer, who is now deceased, to understand what happened to the dolls.  He was unable to give details but he gave me the name of a collector who might know about the second doll.  Time passed.  A decade passed.  Finally this past June after attending a conference in Williamsburg where the speaker -  Jeff Neale from Middleton Place in Charleston – gave a paper on a feed sack embroidered with the story of slavery, which was found at a flea market and which is now in their collection, my mind went back to the two dolls that got away from the Davenport House.  Jeff Freeman re-contacted NC State Museum and found out that it is undergoing a rebranding process and will now focus primarily on the visual arts.  It is now Gregg Museum of Art & Design.  Registrar Mary Hauser said the Museum would be happy to return the doll, since it could “tell its story better in Savannah.”  We are indebted to Roger Manley, Director of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design, for the generous donation.  The doll was picked up in August and revealed to the public following a lecture by Jeff Neale on Ashley’s Sack, noted above, on December 7th. Research remains to be done on the doll, its date and use, and the DH is hot on the trail of the second doll.  Stay tuned! read more…

2015 HSF Gala

July 1st, 2015

Join us at the Gala on October 17th to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of HSF!

FINAL-Save-the-date-Image-web read more…

Georgia’s First Preserve America Youth Summit

July 1st, 2015

Last week, the National Park Service sponsored Georgia’s first Preserve America Youth Summit, right here in Savannah.  HSF and SCAD served as local coordinators for the summit with help from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on the state level.

Designed for high school students, the summit convened from Sunday, June 21 through Wednesday, June 24 and students from across Georgia investigated issues of preservation while exploring Savannah’s diverse cultural heritage. Working with preservation professionals and SCAD faculty, the program helped students to develop an appreciation for Savannah history, while also encouraging them to cultivate a unique perspective for sharing insights about preservation in their own hometown communities.

Ten students participated from Warrenton, Lathemtown, Augusta, Tifton, Smyrna and Savannah, and visiting partners included Katie Orr from the Office of Outreach, Education, and Training at the National Park Service; Mark McDonald, President & CEO of The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation; and Jeanne Cyriaque, African American programs coordinator for the Historic Preservation Division in Atlanta.

read more…

Tybee Island’s Historic Districts

July 1st, 2015

Our friends and neighbors on Tybee Island are pushing for the establishment of three historic districts, and HSF encourages our members to support this important initiative.  Identified as: Fort Screven, Mid-Island, and Resort, these well-known areas include hundreds of historic buildings that have no protection from demolition or drastic alteration.  Tybee Island City Council is taking up the question of local designation for these districts, and there is a public hearing on Thursday, July 16 from 3:30-5:30pm.

Add your voice to the preservation choir on Tybee and speak in favor of adopting a local preservation ordinance.  Savannah knows—from experience and the recently released “Beyond Tourism” report—that local historic districts: generate more tax revenues, enjoy more stable property values, create and attract a disproportionate number of jobs, and provide the density and predictability that people crave when investing in property in comparison to all other non-designated areas in the city and county.

Let’s support protecting and preserving the heritage of Tybee Island.

1733 Society News

July 1st, 2015

EIS-webHistoric Savannah Foundation hosted a reception for 1733 Society members, Past Presidents, as well as local civic and community leaders to present the results from, “Beyond Tourism: Historic Preservation in the Economy and Life Savannah and Chatham County.” The report was commissioned by HSF to examine ways historic preservation plays a positive role in the local community. The study, which was conducted by consulting firm PlaceEconomics, showed the positive impact historic preservation has on job creation, an improved tax base and stable property values. read more…

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