14 June 2008

Treasure Island

Ok, this is the Pirate House, another great Savannah landmark, now a familly restaraunt. The history, as typed from their placemats: "Situated in Trustees Garden, the Famous Pirates' House is the most historic spot in Georgia. When General Oglethorpe and his band of colonists arrived from England in 1733, Trustees Garden, named in honor of Oglethorpe's men, was established as an experimental garden. The garden was modeled closely after the Chelsea Botanical Garden in London. Consisting of ten acres, botanists hoped Trustees Garden would provide ideal conditions for grapes for the wine trade as well as Mulberry trees for the production of silk. Both of these crops failed due to weather and soil conditions. From this garden, however, were distributed the peach trees which have since given Georgia a major crop and also the upland cotton which later comprised the greater part of the world's commerce. Flax, hemp, indigo, olives, and medicinal herbs were also grown on Trustees Garden, but to no avail. The Herb House, located inside the Pirates' House, is said to be the oldest house in Georgia. The Herb House was erected in 1734 to house the gardener for Trustees Garden. His office and tool room were in the front section, while his stable occupied the back room and his hayloft upstairs. The bricks used in construction of this old Herb House were manufactured only a block away under the bluff by the Savannah River where brick making was begun by the colonists as early as 1733. The Old Pirates' House first opened in 1753 as an inn for seafarers and fast became a meeting point for bloodthirsty pirates and sailors from the seven seas. Here seamen drank and discoursed, sailor fashion, on the exotic high seas adventures from Singapore to Bombay and from London to Port Said. Stories still persist of a tunnel extending from the old rum cellar beneath the Captain's Room that led to the river through which men were carried unconscious, to ships waiting in the harbor. Indeed many a sailor drinking in carefree abandon awoke to find himself at sea on a strange ship bound for a port half aworld away. A Savannah politician, so legend has it, stopped by the Pirates' House for a friendly drink and awoke on a four masted schooner sailing to China from where it took him two years to make his way back to Savannah. The feel of those exciting days still hangs in the air. Even though every modern restaraunt facility has been installed, the atmosphere of these exciting days of wooden ships and iron men have been carefully preserved. Notice the hand hewn ceilings joined with wooden pegs in the Captain's Room, and the original brick walls and heart pine floor of the Herb House. The historic validity of the Pirates' House has been recognized by the American Museum Society which lists this tavern as a "House Museum."
In the classic Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Savannah is mentioned numerous times. 'Tis said, old Captain Flint, who originally buried the famous treasure on Treasure Island, died at the Pirates' House in an upstairs room. In this story, his faithful mate, Billy Bones, was at his side when he breathed his last muttering "Darby bring aft the rum." Even now, many employees and guest alike swear that the ghost of Captain Flint haunts the historic Tavern."
As a personal note, the food here is very good, and they have excellent microbrewed beers.

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