Old Savannah ToursOld Savannah Tours

Our Characters

Interested in learning more about the kind folks who make up our Old Savannah Tours family?

Check out all of our characters below and hover over or click on their photos to learn more.

Two Savannah brothers caught in the middle of a family divided – Adam and his father were staunch supporters of Lincoln, and Able and his mother were loyal to the Confederate cause. Their political differences boiled over into an actual brawl in their backyard – with disastrous results for both brothers.

Adam Clayton

Grave Encounters: Alice Riley was an indentured servant who came to Savannah in 1733. Apprenticed to a notoriously cruel master, she eventually snapped one day and killed him. Alice pleaded pregnancy and was given leniency – for nine months – before her baby was born and she was hanged for her crime.

Alice Riley

Grave Encounters

Dead Solider

The fictional character of Forrest Gump, portrayed by Tom Hanks, has become an icon in the city of Savannah – beloved by locals and visitors alike. Forrest has been entertaining guests of Old Savannah Tours for years – see if you can spot him running around town!

Forrest Gump

A renowned British actress, Fanny gave up her career on the stage to marry Pierce Butler, one of the largest slaveholders in the American south. Unable to bear witness to the atrocities of slavery, Fanny left her luxurious life – and her children – in Georgia, heading up North to return to the stage, in order to donate her sizable income to the abolitionist cause. Fanny published a well-known account of her time on the Butler plantations and was called “America’s Unlikely
Abolitionist”.

Fannie Kemble

Savannah’s “Waving Girl,” Florence Martus, lived on Elba Island with her brother, the lighthouse keeper. Local lore says that she was waiting on a lost love to return, but, whatever the reason, Florence waved at nearly every ship coming into the port of Savannah for over 40 years, gaining international fame for her efforts. To this day ships entering our city blow their horns in honor of her memory while passing her statue on River Street.

Florence Martus

Representatives of the local Gullah Geechee Culture tell how ex-slaves came to inhabit the local islands off the Georgia coast, and discuss their contributions to the development of Southern cuisine. They share fascinating customs and traditions, and may even teach guests a few words or songs from the Gullah culture.

Dessa the Gullah Woman

Considered our founding father, Oglethorpe’s keen sense of social injustice led him to establish the Colony of Georgia, and, along with it, Savannah – America’s first planned city. Oglethorpe was a skilled negotiator and diplomat, as well as a renowned military strategist and urban planner.

General James Oglethorpe

Known as “the Countess,” the extravagant and fashionable Julia Scarborough was married to the President of the Savannah Steamship Company, the firm responsible for the Steamship Savannah, the very first vessel of its kind to cross the Atlantic. Julia hosted President James Monroe at her home when he came to Savannah to witness the ship departing on its maiden voyage.

Julia Scarbrough

The founder of the Girl Scouts (as well as a skilled sculptor and painter), Juliette Gordon Low was born into a wealthy family in Savannah. Inspired by British “Girl Guides,” Juliette brought the concept to America, starting the first troop of girls.

Juliette Gordon Low

Born into wealth as a member of the Moxley Douglas family, Matilda Sorrel was a member of Savannah’s high society and the second wife of Francis Sorrel, a wealthy merchant with a colorful background of his own. Matilda was known for her lavish parties and her elaborate fashion sense – and for her dramatic death.

Matilda Sorrell

Grave Encounters: This mystical figure played a prominent role in the book and the film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil:, helping Jim Williams through his many criminal trials. Minerva the Voodoo Queen immortalized in “Midnight” was actually a real person – a grandmotherly woman named Valerie Bowles. Ms. Valerie wielded true power and influence with “the unseen”, power
not quite as innocuous as her everyday persona led one to believe.

Minerva

Grave Encounters: No longer the exuberant socialite of our daytime tours, the ghost of Matilda Sorrell explains her tragic backstory – a cheating husband, an unfaithful maid, a high society party – and her dramatic suicide – followed by her maid’s. But was it suicide, or something darker?

Matilda Sorrell

Representing many different types of women in Savannah, our Rosies share stories of their personal involvement in WWII, as welders and painters working to build Liberty Ships. They also discuss the Mighty Eighth Air Force and its contributions to the war.

Rosie the Riverter

George Leile was born a slave in Virginia. Alongside his devoutly religious master, he traveled up and down the East Coast, helping to preach the word of God to other slaves. After being freed, George sought refuge in Savannah’s
British-occupied sector, where he continued preaching. His local congregation of slaves eventually grew into the First African Baptist Church, which would become an important stop on the Underground Railroad.

Rev. George Leile

Mistress of the Owens-Thomas House, Sarah was no simple southern belle. She was a unique combination of socialite, mother, wife and businesswoman. She raised six children while managing the family’s large estates and land holdings.

Sarah Wallace Owens

Lucky Joe was a member of the Mighty Eighth Air Force during WWII. While serving in Europe as a tail gunner, he was flying in formation with other B-17’s when his section of the plane was suddenly severed from the fuselage. Jones fell 13,500 feet down into a Belgian cow pasture, somehow suffering no injuries other than a lacerated tongue. His amazing survival secured him a place in the “Guinness Book of World Records” as well as a mention in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”.

“Lucky” Joe Jones

Grave Encounters

Susanna Belmont

The first African American woman to teach openly in Georgia, Susie King Taylor also published a memoir of her experiences with the 33rd United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. In her youth, she attended local “clandestine” schools in Savannah, where she learned to read and write, and after the war she chose to extend that gift to others – opening the first school for newly freed slave children.

Suzie Taylor King

Representatives of the local Gullah Geechee Culture tell how ex-slaves came to inhabit the local islands off the Georgia coast, and discuss their contributions to the development of Southern cuisine. They share fascinating customs and traditions, and may even teach guests a few words or songs from the Gullah culture.

Tokey the Gullah Man

Jim Williams was a wealthy antiques dealer and historical preservationist responsible for restoring over fifty homes in downtown Savannah. He had it all – money, connections, power – until he shot (and perhaps murdered) his young and unruly lover. He became the only person in Georgia tried four times for the same crime. Eventually he was acquitted, but his story became the foundation for the international best-selling novel ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’

Jim Williams

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