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The Olde Savannah Inn Blog

Johnson Square in Savannah

kathleen Dupuis - Wednesday, May 08, 2013
One of the things Savannah is best known for is her squares so starting today we'll be doing a blog on a square every month.  We'll start our journey with Savannah's first and biggest square: Johnson Square.  The square was named after longtime friend of General Oglethorpe and Governor of South Carolina, Robert Johnson.  Johnson aided Oglethorpe by providing food and a safe escort to Georgia, but he is most well known for a successful military campaign defending Charleston from pirates.  
Since it was the first, Johnson square served many purposes for the locals.  Many of the essential shops for everyday life were located there including a sundial to tell the time.  The sundial was dedicated to the memory of William Bull (also the namesake of Bull Street).  Bull was another South Carolina resident who assisted in the creation of Savannah.  
Speeches were delivered here by Presidents Washington and Monroe, Daniel Webster, and General Marquis de La Fayette.  News of South Carolina's succession from the Union was also read here.  In the middle of the square is an obelisk dedicated to Nathaniel Greene, ironically the namesake of a neighboring square.  Originally, the obelisk was purely decoration until years later when the Revolutionary War era General's remains were interred there.