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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Savannah's Cobblestones

 
 
Savannah's Cobblestones Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
1. Savannah's Cobblestones Marker
Inscription. The earliest streets were little more than sandy avenues and virtually all residential, commercial, and public structures were wood. As sailing vessels arrived to discharge and take on cargos, the cobblestones they carried as ballast were often deposited along the Savannah River shoreline. For the city, cobble ballast became an inexpensive, durable, and fireproof building material. Cobble ballast also provided excellent material for paving Savannah's sandy streets. Today, cobblestones used for paving and construction contribute to the charm of the city's waterfront.
Ship Ballast for Paving and Construction in Savannah
[ Picture included ]
A brief examination of the cobblestone that pave Savannah's waterfront streets reveals their diverse nature. This diversity reflects the broad spectrum of ports of call for ships entering Savannah beginning with Oglethorpe's arrival in 1733 to the last days of sail early in the 20th century. That pattern connected Savannah with convenient sources of river cobble and quarried stone in the American northeast, the Maritime Provinces of Canada, the British Isles, France, Spain, Portugal and Madeira.
Ballast Streets, Buildings and Retaining Walls
[ Picture included ]
Not only were some of the structures along Factors Walk constructed with ballast, the retaining
Paving Savannah's Cobble Streets Photo, Click for full size
By Savannah's Cobblestones Marker, May 24, 2009
2. Paving Savannah's Cobble Streets
walls along the bluff above River Street also employed ballast.
Paving Savannah's Cobble Streets
[ Picture included ]
Because ballast streets wer rough surfaces for carriages and later for automobiles, they were frequently paved with brick, macadam or concrete. The photo on the left shows one of Savannah's streets being repaved in the 1930s.
Cross Section of Merchant Vessel
[ Picture included ]
See below
( Far left side pictures )
Basalt , Sandstone, Chert, Granite, Limestone, Quartz
 
Erected 2009 by U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Georgia Dept. of Transportation. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Location. 32° 4.87′ N, 81° 5.3′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on East River Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. East of Abercorn St. Ramp, at the riverside. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Christmas in Savannah 1864 (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Savannah (within shouting distance of this marker); Salzburger Monument of Reconciliation
Cross Section of Merchant Vessel Photo, Click for full size
By Savannah's Cobblestones Marker, May 24, 2009
3. Cross Section of Merchant Vessel
Ballast stones made ships more stable under sail and reduced the likelihood of capsizing by lowering the vessel's center of gravity. When heavy cargos were loaded, ballast was deposited on shore. In many colonial American ports, laws were passed to prevent ballast from being dumped into the harbor to prevent filling the harbor and hindering navivation. When ballast had been in the hold for long periods, it became fouled with waste and jeopardized the health of the crew. Ships with fouled ballast were unloaded, the hull cleaned, and new ballast was stowed.
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Savannah's Wharves (about 300 feet away); Shipping in the Port of Savannah (about 400 feet away); The Georgia Hussars (about 400 feet away); Savannah Marine Korean War Monument (about 500 feet away); Solomon's Lodge No. 1 F.& A.M. (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Savannah.
 
Categories. Colonial EraMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Savannah's Cobblestones Marker, seen waterside along the Riverwalk Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, May 24, 2009
4. Savannah's Cobblestones Marker, seen waterside along the Riverwalk
Savannah's Cobblestones Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
5. Savannah's Cobblestones
Savannah's Cobblestones and brickwork , near Factors Walk, as mentioned Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
6. Savannah's Cobblestones and brickwork , near Factors Walk, as mentioned
Savannah's Cobblestones used as building materials, as mentioned. Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
7. Savannah's Cobblestones used as building materials, as mentioned.
Retaining wall at left as well as the building and the roadway
Savannah's Cobblestones, here on Barnard St .Ramp . Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
8. Savannah's Cobblestones, here on Barnard St .Ramp .
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,832 times since then and 346 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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