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Visit the Whitefield and Wright Squares in Savannah Georgia.

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Whitefield Square
Whitefield Square
This square is located on Habersham between Taylor and Gordon Streets.

It is named for the Rev. George Whitefield, an early minister in the colony, friend of John Wesley, and founder of the Bethesda Orphanage in 1740. Done in 1851, this was the last of the City's squares. Around the square there are wooden Victorian houses, a later style in the historic district.

On the North side of the square are two very tall, modern buildings: the Red Cross and the Rose of Sharon apartments. Also on this square is the First Congregational Church.
Wright Square
This is one of the oldest of the City's squares, laid out in 1733. It is on Bull Street between State and York Streets. It was originally called Percival Square to honor Viscount Percival, later the Earl of Egmont. It was renamed to honor James Wright, Georgia's last Royal Governor.

Wright Square in Savannah GeorgiaIt was commonly called "Court House Square," as from its earliest days to the present, it has held a courthouse on the site. The present yellow brick courthouse, on the east side, was designed by William Gibbons Preston and was renovated in 1992 for continued use by County offices.

Next to the Court House, also on the east side of the square, on a Trust Lot, is the Lutheran Church of the Ascension, built in 1844. Also on the square is the United States Post Office, built in 1899 of Georgia Marble. Around the top of the building there are panels of all different types of marble quarried in Georgia.

On this square, Tomochichi was buried in an elaborate funeral service in 1739. His monument remained as done by the early colonists until it was demolished in the early 1880s to make way for a monument to William Washington Gordon. The members of the Colonial Dames in Georgia were responsible for placing a huge boulder of Georgia granite in the Southeast side of the square in memory of Tomochichi.
Gordon Monument in Wright Square
Gordon Monument in Wright Square

The Gordon Monument, located in the center of Wright Square, was created to honor William Washington Gordon. The monument memorializes Gordon and depits the significance of the Centeral Railroad, the first railroad to be established in Georgia. It was erected in 1883.

W. W. Gordon died at a relatively young age (1796-1842), before the railroad was finished. The railroad itself was to be his monument. After a decade of prosperity in the 1850's, the railroad was almost completely demolished by Sherman's army in 1864.

The rebuilt railroad survived unprecedented competition during the Reconstruction period, and a severe national depression in the 1870's, often by sacrificing the payment of dividends to the stockholders, and by reducing the pay of the employees, from the president on down.

Gordon's son, W. W. Gordon, Jr., was elected to the Central's board of directors for the first time in 1877.

In 1880, a faction of directors wanted to change the conservative fiscal policies of the Central, and lease it to the L&N Railroad of Louisville, which would temporarily enrich the stockholders, but end the Central's independence. W. W. Gordon, Jr. was a staunch ally of William Wadley, the railroad's president.

The timing of the monument is a reminder of the battle over the railroad's policies; it also represents the apex of the Central's power, independence and prestige in the 1880's.
Memorial to Tomochichi
The Memorial to Tomochichi consists of a granite fragment displaying an inscriptional bronze plaque. It was erected in 1899 by the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames of America. The memorial was preceded by the gravesite of Tomochichi which formed a monumental mound in the center of Wright Square. The mound was destroyed in 1883 to make room for the erection of the Gordon Monument.

Memorial to TomochichiTomochichi's grave had been located at the center of Wright Square since his death in 1739. Tomochichi, chief of the yamacraw Indian Tribe, reatly assisted Oglethorpe in establishing the British settlement in Georgia. He was buried in the center of Wright Square. In fact, the first monument in Savannah was erected on this site in memory of Tomochichi. This monument (no longer standing) was described as a pyramid of stone by Oglethorpe. Shortly after Tomochichi's death, the Yamacraw Tribe ornamentally placed ballast cobblestones upon his grave mound. In 1872, the "warwick Vase" was placed upon this site marking Tomochichi's grave. A bit of controversy was sparked from the proposal to locate the Gordon Monument on the Tomochichi grave mound, but not enough to halt plans.

The inscription reads: "In memory of Tom-o-chi-chi. The mico of the Yamacraws, The Companion of Oglethorpe, and the Friend and Ally of the Colony of Georgia."

The rough granite fragment represented Tomochichi's strong and rugged character. According to Stewart it is possible this is the only memorial erected for a Native American by descendants of European settlers.
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