Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Savannah (city)
SAVANNAH, a city and county-seat of Chatham co., Ga.; on the Savannah river, 18 miles from its mouth, and on the Central of Georgia, the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line, and the Southern railroads; 90 miles S. W. of Charleston. It is built on a bluff of sand, about 40 feet above low water, and has a water frontage of about 3 miles, the city receding about 2 miles from the river.
Business Interests.—Next to New Orleans, Savannah is the most important commercial city in the South. The largest vessels can enter the harbor, and the river is navigable as far as Augusta. There is regular steamboat communication with Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Liverpool, and the principal Southern cities. It holds the second place in the United States as a cotton emporium, and also exports in large quantities rice, lumber, fertilizers, and naval stores. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919, the value of imports aggregated $16,747,224; exports, $341,171,319. In 1914 the investment in industrial enterprises was $10,247,000, and the value of the product was $6,709,000. There are National and several other banks, and a large number of daily and weekly newspapers. The assessed property valuations exceed $60,000,000, and the total bonded debt is about $6,700,000.
Public Interests.—The city has an area of 6.8 square miles; an excellent street system; a system of waterworks that cost $1,250,000; and a sewer system covering nearly 25 miles. The streets are lighted by electricity. There is a public school enrollment of over 10,000 pupils, and annual expenditures for public education of about $200,000. The city contains a custom house, court house, Guard's Arsenal, Chatham Academy, Cotton Exchange, Telfair Academy of Arts, a medical college, Convent of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Joseph's Infirmary, Episcopal Orphans' Home, and other charitable institutions.
History.—Savannah was founded in 1733 by General Oglethorpe. In 1776 a British fleet, attempting to take the town, was repulsed after a severe action; and it was taken in 1778, and held in October, 1779, against the combined American and French forces. In the latter action Count Pulaski was killed. Savannah received its city charter in 1789. During the Civil War it was blockaded by the Federal navy, and on Dec. 12, 1864, it was occupied by General Sherman. Pop. (1910) 65,064; (1920) 83,252.