{ History of the Trustees’ Garden }

trustees_signFrom 1733 to 1748 Trustees’ Garden was set aside from Savannah as an experimental farm where peaches, rice, cotton, grapes, flax, hemp, indigo, olives, and the mulberry trees essential to silk culture, were grown. Silk was an early promise, and the town’s largest structure was the filature where the cocoons were unwound into silk thread. Queen Caroline was clothed in Georgia silk. However, large-scale silk production did not happen, so interest waned and the garden closed.

In 1757 Royal Governor John Reynolds was granted title and laid out small residential lots — that did not include the squares. In 1794 a tavern for seamen was opened and become known as “The Pirates House.” The high bluff on the northeastern corner overlooking the river was a succession of fortifications until designated Fort Wayne in 1812. Today the brick and stone fortifications can be seen arising from General Macintosh Boulevard.

About 1830 an iron foundry, later known as Kehoe Iron Works, opened at Broughton and Randolph Streets. In 1849 Savannah Gas Company was built as a coal gas generation plant that was in continuous operation until natural gas was introduced in the mid-twentieth century.

In 1945 H. Hansell Hillyer and his associates acquired Savannah Gas Company. Coal gas production ceased and shortly thereafter Mr. Hillyers’ wife, Mary McClaren Hillyer, began to restore the area with a project known as the Trustees’ Garden Village, which was successful as a commercial and apartment rental area. In 1966 the Atlanta Gas Light Company merged with the Savannah Gas Company. In 1998 the 10 acre Trustees’ Garden site was sold to developer Alan Beal, who in turn sold it to Robinson Callen.  In 2004 Charles H. Morris acquired 6.3 acres from Robinson Callen.

trustees_north_view.gif  Trustees’ Garden is the last large parcel of land in the Historic District.  Charles Morris has completed phase I which is the Charles H. Morris Center (the former Hillyer building) and has plans to restore  several other historic buildings on the site that include the Three Gables Building, and Keyhoe Iron Works.

If you are interested in renting part or all the of the Center, you can request a reservation, or please contact Tom Palmer at 912-443-3277 or email Tom at tpalmer@trusteesgarden.com, or call Kathy Kurazawa at 912-233-1281 or email Kathy at kathyk@morrismultimedia.com.

We welcome calls from interested individuals and businesses alike.

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