Saturday, January 28, 2017

Extraordinary Women in Savannah, Georgia, and America

SAVANNAH, Georgia -- Women are getting national news headlines lately. We're happy to see it!

Amazingly, when spotlights are turned on women around the USA and the world, we can sometimes trace a connection to Savannah women, stories, plus associated places that travelers may visit today.

Caterer-turned-innkeeper and Savannah tourism
star Jackie Heinz of Zeigler House Inn

We are confident that you will enjoy your stay laced with southern hospitality and gracious cuisine at Zeigler House Inn, hosted by Kentucky born, caterer-turned-innkeeper Jackie Heinz!

When you visit Savannah, we hope that you will ponder the roles of women in making daily life in Savannah, and in the whole of America, a better place.

Don't be surprised when you see innkeeper Jackie Heinz's choice of flags waving in the Savannah breeze at this popular Jones Street inn. America's red, white and blue USA flag waves with patriotism. Pink flags hail attention and awareness to keep up the research to fight cancer and "Save the Tatas."

In March each year, green and orange flags celebrate the tireless effort of Ireland's immigrants who began arriving in the 1830s to Savannah. Joining slave labor, the Irishmen would join slaves to build the railroads, canals, streets, and grow the congregation of Catholic worship in the Georgia colony. Irish women rallied in spite of poor conditions of lodging on the east and west outskirts of the historic district.


Never to marry, Mary Telfair's bequest established the first art museum in the South. In 1875, Alexander Telfair’s sister Mary -– heir to the family fortune and last to bear the Telfair name –- bequeathed the house on Telfair Square and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum -- Telfair Museum of Art and Science. We have Miss Telfair and her generosity to thank for the Georgia Historical Society building on Gaston and Whitaker Street, and the original Telfair Women's Hospital on Park Avenue, both overlooking Forsyth Park. 


There are seven women who began the preservation movement in Savannah first chose Davenport House on Columbia Square to make their stand. Threatened with demolition in 1955, a group of community-spirited citizens joined forces to purchase the Davenport House. The extraordinary women who founded the Historic Savannah Foundation are Katherine Judkins Clark, Elinor Adler Dillard, Anna Colquitt Hunter, Lucy Barrow McIntire, Dorothy Ripley Roebling, Nola McEvoy Roos, and Jane Adair Wright.


The Library of Congress's feature, "Women Come To The Front" -- Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters of World War II. Toni Frissell (1907-1988) volunteered her photographic services to the American Red Cross, Women's Army Corps, and Eighth Army Air Force during WWII.

Ms. Frissell's story hits close to home. The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is in Pooler, a few minutes west of Savannah.

An HBO movie, featuring the Mighty Eighth Air Force is underway. 

Florence Martus. "The Waving Girl" statue is the first memorial to a Georgia woman in any city park. Florence was born August 7, 1868. She is a Savannahian whose understanding and application of the words “Southern Hospitality” brought her fame as the Waving Girl. Martus lived with her brother, lighthouse keeper George Martus, between 1887 and 1931 near the entrance of the Savannah harbor. During this time she would wave a welcome to each incoming ship and wave a goodbye to every outgoing vessel. During her years at the lighthouse, she greeted more than 50,000 vessels. A memorial to her legacy is located on Savannah’s historic River Street, east plaza.

The story of spinster Cook sisters, Ida and Louise, of England are called "unlikely heroes" for taking financial earnings from writing romance novels to save Jews from the Holocaust. The Cook sisters' story hits close to home too.

In July 1733, 42 German and Portuguese Sephardic Jews arrived in Savannah. In the year 1750, a full 17 years after the Jewish community’s founding, only 16 Jews lived in Savannah: the family of Abraham and Abigail Minis, the brothers Daniel and Moses Nunes, and the family of Benjamin and Hannah Sheftall. The Jewish congregation established in Savannah the third congregation in America. Source: Institute of Southern Jewish Life.

Now open for tours, Harper-Fowlkes
is owned by The Society
of the Cincinnati, a bequest from Alida Harper Fowlkes.
Alida rescued the Georgian Tea Room, housed in the
basement of the Olde Pink House. She was involved
in the Society to Preserve Savannah's Landmarks,
which was organized to save The Pink House.
She preserved the stately home on Madison Square
that houses Shavers Book Store. Meldrim House
is one of the10 houses she salvaged.  
Part of the original group of Jewish settlers in Savannah, after her husband’s death Abigail Minis took over his businesses and started one of her own. She doubled his fortune and became a prominent land owner. Minis also provided funds and assistance to the rebels to help in the Revolutionary War.

Georgia Public Broadcasting produced "Meet the Forgotten Women of Savannah History".
  • Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts. Her birthplace is a museum.
  • Flannery O'Connor, author. Her Savannah home on Lafayette Square is open to visitors.As the story goes, this is wehre she taught her pet chicken to walk backwards.
  • Mary Musgrove, Indian interpreter for Georgia founder, James Oglethorpe
  • Mother Mathilda Beasley, the first African American nun in Georgia. Mother Beasley's old home was renovated and resides on East Broad Street, near Liberty St.
  • Helen Wyatt Snapp: a pilot at Fort Stewart during World War II
  • Mosianna Milledge cooked for Juliette Low after she was married and moved to England. Milledge introduced her southern cooking to England's elite. She taught Rosa Lewis, socialite, hotelier of The Cavendish Hotel, and "Queen of Cooks" her southern techniques.
  • Rebecca Stiles Taylor, assertive teacher, writer, organizer, and first African American woman to serve as Savannah Probation Officer in Juvenile Court. 
  • Nina Anderson Pape, cousin of Juliette Gordon Low she gathered the girls for the first Girl Scouts, and later founded Savannah Country Day School and children's Fresh Air Home at Tybee Island. 

  • More Famous Women in Georgia --

    In 1922, Rebecca Latimore Felton, of Georgia, is appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill a temporary vacancy. The first woman senator, she serves for only two days.

    In 1934, Lettie Pate Whitehead becomes the first American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company. Her husband, "Joseph B. Whitehead and fellow attorney Benjamin F. Thomas approach Asa Candler, president of The Coca-Cola Company, with a “preposterous idea” – bottling Coca-Cola, which is a popular fountain drink at the time. Mr. Candler unenthusiastically sells to the entrepreneurs for $1 the exclusive rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola in most of the United States."  - Source:

    Savannah's history, beauty, and charm have grand, bold roots, constantly being nurtured by its stakeholder citizens like Savannah tourism star Jackie Heinz, owner and innkeeper of Zeigler House Inn.  Get here when you can!


    Featured on "Wheel of Fortune", Zeigler House Inn was fully renovated in 2002. This upscale mansion now a romantic getaway inn on magnificent Jones Street in uptown Savannah's historic district serves stately bed and breakfast lodging with delicious cuisine (compliments of caterer-turned-innkeeper Jackie Heinz, a southern 'steel magnolia' from Kentucky). With French-inspired decor -- a nod to Revolutionary hero, General Marquis de Lafayette -- the 7 private suites and private rooms afford Europe-meets-Savannah style, plus southern comforts for a leisure trip and/or business travel enhanced with local flair. Each of private suites and rooms uniquely features a private kitchen or kitchenette, plus private bath.

    Contact: 121 West Jones Street, Savannah, Georgia USA 31401; Phone: 866-233-5307; email;; twitter @ZeiglerHouseInn; Facebook

    Copyright © 2017 Zeigler House Inn

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