During the railroad boom of the 1840's and 1850's, Savannah doubled in size and population. Seeing a real need for accommodations and housing, business woman Mary Marshall developed several properties in Savannah, most notably the iconic Marshall House hotel in 1851. Mary Marshall and her estate leased and collected rents from The Marshall House until 1914.
The hotel’s colorful history spans 167 years, and includes roles as a hospital during the Yellow Fever Epidemics in the mid-1800's, and as a Union hospital during the final months of the Civil War. How ironic that hotels in Chicago are now converting their empty rooms into rooms for COVID-19 patients.
The Marshall House was also home to Joel Chandler Harris, author of the famous Uncle Remus Stories during the Reconstruction Period. For economic and structural reasons, The Marshall House was closed in 1957. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors were abandoned, but the ground floor was maintained for various shopkeepers and stores until 1998.
In 1999, The Marshall House was extensively restored, and once again became a Savannah fixture. Great efforts were taken to ensure the hallmarks of the historic hotel were preserved or recreated, including the Philadelphia Pressed Brick on the façade and the Savannah Grey Brick throughout, original staircases (some of the spindles and accents have been recreated), original wood floors, fireplaces, brick walls, the doors to each guest room, and several clawfoot tubs dating back to 1880. The veranda and gas lights were reproduced in the likeness of the original features. The Courtyard Atrium was encased with a glass ceiling to give a sense of the area’s previous use as a courtyard. Artifacts found during the restoration are encased in display cabinets on the second and third floor.
Photo captured October 8, 2019.
New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.