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This Month in Georgia History

June 11, 2012

In an effort to streamline railroad transportation and relink the country following the end of the Civil War, on June 1, 1886 it was declared that all U.S. railroads were to be required to follow the Stephenson Gauge (now referred to as Standard Gauge). Railroads in the north already followed this gauging (4′ 8.5″ between the rails). Prior to this declaration, railroads in Georgia (and some other southern states) were gauged at 5’0″ between the rails.

To learn about railroad history in Savannah and the surrounding lowcountry, be sure to schedule time to visit the Roundhouse Railroad Museum while in Savannah. The Roundhouse is open everyday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The property is available for rent to accommodate your special events, including weddings.


This Month in Georgia History

May 14, 2012

George Whitefield arrived in Savannah on May 7, 1738. Whitefield was furnished with a 500 acre land grant 10 miles south of the Savannah settlement. Following his arrival, Whitfield established the Bethesda Orphanage for boys on his land. In March of 1740, construction began on the orphanage’s buildings.

The property struggled to survive due to high operating costs and the death of George Whitefield in 1770. In 1773, a fire destroyed the original home on the property. After numerous changes to the administration, the Bethesda Home for Boys, a boy’s school, was established on the property. The school continues to operate on the property, and in 2011 officially changed its name to Bethesda Academy.

15 Minutes Away by Car: Oatland Island Wildlife Center

May 7, 2012

This week, we take another trip outside of Savannah’s National Landmark Historic District to highlight the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Oatland Island is the Savannah area’s educational nature reserve. With a mix of animals, it is the closest thing to a zoo in the surrounding lowcountry area. Unlike traditional “zoos,” Oatland Island is a sanctuary for animals (native to the surrounding area and some from across the country) who are unable to return to the wild for various reasons.

A trip to Oatland Island can last for an hour or two or all day long. The habitats are linked to one another along a meandering two-mile nature trail that takes visitors through the woods and along the marsh. The center also is home to an extensive raptor aviary. Events are planned throughout the year and include an annual sheep shearing

Oatland Island Wildlife Center is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission into the center is $5 per person, there are military and senior discounts available. For more information about Oatland Island, visit their website at:

Getting to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center from the Catherine Ward House Inn by car is very easy. From door to door, it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive between the two.

This Month in Georgia History

April 9, 2012

On April 19, 1796, Nathaniel Twining announced stagecoach services between Savannah and Augusta. This service would become the first successful offering between the two cities – making the 130 miles between the two cities far more manageable to travel. An attempt at this service 10 years earlier failed in less than a year.

This Month in Georgia History

March 12, 2012

In March of 1957, The Life You Save was performed on CBS’s Schlitz Playhouse of Stars. The performance starred Gene Kelly, Agnes Moorehead, and Janice Rule. The Life You Save was written by Savannah native, Flannery O’Connor.
One of Savannah’s most prolific short story authors, Flannery O’Connor is memorialized at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home museum. The museum is located on Lafayette Square, at the intersection of Abercorn Street and East Charlton Street. The physical address of the Flannery O’Conner house is 207 East Charlton Street. For more information about the museum, check out our feature about it here.

This Month in Georgia History

February 13, 2012
Photo from Tim Nealon. To see more of his work, visit:
Photo by Tim Nealon. To see more of his work, visit:

Every February marks the anniversary of James Oglethorpe’s landing in the new world just outside of what would become Savannah in 1733. Oglethorpe and his settlers landing at Savannah is commemorated officially on February 12.

Savannah celebrates the role of many key individuals in her history with statues and monuments in the city’s 22 squares. James Oglethorpe is honored with a lovely statue in the center of Chippewa Square on Bull Street. Chippewa Square is a leisurely 12 minute walk from the doors of the Catherine Ward House Inn.

Recipe of the Month: Eggs Benedict Casserole

February 3, 2012

Photo by Taste of Home

At the Catherine Ward House, we make every effort to switch between sweet and savory breakfast dishes every morning. Our blog follows suit as we share recipes that we have tested in our kitchen over the past seven years. So far, we have shared recipes for Banana BreadIndividual Ricotta FrittatasOrange Praline French ToastRolled OmeletsSconesVegetarian Strata, and Apple Crisp. After some input from past guests and blog readers, we’ve chosen to share with you a recipe for Eggs Benedict Casserole. This casserole is a great way to offer up the delicious flavors of eggs benedict, without the hassle and exact timing of poaching eggs (always hard when there is more than two hungry people at the table).

Like many of the casseroles we’ve tried over the years, this one is a make-ahead – lending itself to become your family’s new “special morning” go-to group dish.

Follow the jump for the recipe Read more…