Sunday, February 16, 2014

Zeigler House Inn Shares Unheralded Savannah Story of Historic Jones Street: USA Patriotic Surprises

A blushing Zeigler House Inn's innkeeper, Jackie Heinz (R)
with pal Diane McCray from Green Palm Inn
at Chart House Restaurant on the Savannah waterfront.
SAVANNAH Georgia -- What's in a color, blush? What's in a street name, Jones? Both play important roles in what's happening at Zeigler House Inn right now.

Gussied up beautifully for spring's high season in Savannah, Georgia, Zeigler House Inn bed and breakfast's fresh coat of blush paint comes with an unheralded story about magnificent Jones Street.

Renewed blushes and hoorays, too for applause from SavannahNow, celebrating a big anniversary for John Berendt's novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -- achieving a record number of weeks (216) it spent on the New York Times best-seller list (according to GeorgiaEncyclopedia).  Our Jones Street B&B guests here will be right in the thick of "The Book" neighborhood's storied places.

We'll bring you new photos of the inn soon! Meanwhile ... 

We're blushing with USA patriotic pride, learning this splendid story about Jones Street!  
From City of Savannah historian, Luciana Spracher, we learn that Jones Street was not named for Noble Jones, as we had always assumed.

Jones Street was named for American Revolutionary hero, Major John Jones (1749-1779) of Liberty County (St. John's Parish). Jones was an aide to Brigadier General Samuel Elbert, serving under General Lachlan McIntosh during the Battle of Savannah.
"Jones [street], after Major John Jones, who was killed at the siege of Savannah in [October 9,] 1779. The Savannah Georgian of March 15, 1839 contained the following notice: 'The new street to be called Jones street, it may be worth of remark, is a compliment to the brave father of Capt. Joseph Jones of Liberty county, who fell within one hundred yards of the spot patriotically dedicated to his name, while fighting for the liberties of his country. Thus has posterity been grateful to one of its deliverers of this hemisphere from foreign thraldom.'”-- Source: From A History of the City Government of Savannah, Ga., from 1790 to 1901 (Compiled from Official Records by Thomas Gamble, Jr., Secretary to the Mayor, Under Direction of the City Council, 1900), pages 39-40, regarding the name of Jones Street. 
Hanging from Zeigler House Inn's porch,
our USA flag with a beautiful Jones Street backdrop.


From Yale Press we find more about the valiant Major Jones of coastal Georgia: 
"Major John Jones of Liberty County, had been a young South Carolina aristocrat when he came to Georgia to make his fortune. He had an indigo plantation on one of the Sea Islands, and with an expanding slave force he had seen nearby Rice Hope become a prosperous plantation. This first John Jones had been in business with his uncle, Miles Brewton* of Charleston, one of the wealthiest men in all the British North American colonies. With a Brewton cousin, the first John Jones had owned warehouses and a wharf in Sunbury, the little port for the growing colony south of Savannah. And there had been other Carolina blueblood relatives: Pinckneys and Hugers, Legares and Swintons, Colcocks and Hutsons. To add to his distinction, Major Jones had become a hero of the Revolution. In the battle for Savannah in 1779, when Patriot forces were trying to retake the city from the British, he had led a charge against the Spring Hill battery, and there, wrote a historian of the state, ‘'in the fiercest and most desperate part of the contest, he was struck by a cannon-ball in the breast, and instantly killed.'" -- Source: Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic by Erskine Clarke
General Charles Pinckney called him "Jack Jones" in a letter to his wife, dated October 9, 1779.
Georgia's Royal Governor, James Wright said that the head of the rebellion [for liberty from British rule] in Georgia was in St. John's Parish. Source: Midway Museum Dedication, 1959. 
Tidbit: One of the ironies of #USA musical history is that both "The Star Spangled Banner" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee" use appropriated #British melodies.

As you might guess, by now we're motivated for a more spectacular July 4th this year! And, we'd like to take a road trip to Liberty County along the Georgia coast, and visit more American Revolutionary places in Savannah and Charleston.

Near Zeigler House Inn is a monument to Sgt. Jasper's bravery in Madison Square, and one honoring General Pulaski is in Monterey Square.
  • Historian Col. Charles Colcock. Jones, Jr., LL.D. writes that his great, great grandfather, John Jones, was a rice planter in St. John's Parish (Liberty County, Georgia), the first of the family to arrive from South Carolina to Georgia.
  • On the day Major Jones was killed in Savannah (October 9, 1779), French General d'Estaing was wounded and Polish Brigadier General Count Casimir Pulaski was mortally wounded. Sergeant William Jasper was killed.

Let us know when you'll be heading our way, we'll have more of southern storytelling and wonderful ways to enjoy Savannah for your first time or annual visit.  Zeigler House Inn -- email innkeeper@zeiglerhouseinn.com or call -- toll free (866) 233-5307 in the USA and Canada, or (912)233-5307 local or international. Follow us on Twitter @ZeiglerHouseInn, Facebook and Pinterest.
It is worth noting here that when General George Washington arrived in Savannah on May 12, 1791, the southern boundary of Savannah was South Broad Street (later renamed Oglethorpe Avenue), the east boundary was Lincoln Street, west boundary was Jefferson Street, and north boundary was "the Bay". "Outside these boundaries houses were comparatively few." Source: History of Savannah 
Copyright © 2014 Zeigler House Inn / Sandy Traub

* Located in Charleston, South Carolina, the Miles Brewton House was designed by Architect Ezra Waite and built in 1765-69 for the prominent businessman and slave merchant. It is notable chiefly for its architectural excellence; such historical interest as the house possesses springs directly from its architectural distinction. Miles Brewton did not enjoy his house for long; he and his wife and children were lost at sea in 1775. His sister, Mrs. Rebecca Brewton Motte, resided here during the American Revolution, when it became the headquarters for Sir Henry Clinton and Lords Rawdon and Cornwallis. Tradition says Mrs. Motte locked her three young daughters in the attic while the British were in the house. Another tradition says a British officer etched Clinton's profile and the picture of a full-rigged ship on one of the marble mantels. Mrs. Motte's three daughters married, respectively, John Middleton of Lee's Legion (see 14 George St.), Gen. Thomas Pinckney (ditto), and Capt. William Alston of Marion's Brigade. Alston bought the house after his marriage and made it his town residence for nearly 50 years. He raised thoroughbred horses at his Waccamaw plantation, which was visited in 1791 by President George Washington. The house was inherited by Alston's daughter Mrs. William Bull Pringle, during whose ownership the house was occupied in 1865 as the headquarters of Union Generals Mead and Hatch. The house has continued to be owned and lived in by members of the related Brewton-Motte-Alston-Pringle-Manigault families. Source: Charleston County Public Library

Additional Reading: 
The Journey of Miles Brewton's Bottle

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