Savannah’s Waving Girl

Greetings, nani kanaka!

I remember when I lived in the south how southerners would go for weekend getaways to the historically beautiful Savannah, Georgia. I decided to see what all of the fuss was about.

Specifically, I headed to River Street.

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The historic buildings here now house souvenir shops, restaurants, tours, and parks.

Morrell Park is home to a few historic items, including the original Olympic Games torch when the Yachting events took place in Savannah in 1996.

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An older piece of history is shown in SAVANNAH’S WAVING GIRL- Morrell Park, 486 E. River St., Savannah, GA.

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This bronze statue is a depiction of Florence Martus, a resident of Elba Island on the Savannah River. For 44 years (from 1887-1931), Florence was the unofficial greeter of all the ships that came through the Savannah port; she waved a handkerchief or large cloth during the day and a lantern by night (both are in the statue). The ships would return the greeting with three blasts of their whistles, despite the fact that they never knew why she was waving, much less her name beyond their nickname of “The Waving Girl.” Despite all of the romantic legends, reports say she claimed she just got lonely living on the island and liked waving to ships.

She waved to ALL ships… for 44 years. She must have had awesome tricep muscles!

This memorial statue of her was erected in 1971, having been created by Felix de Weldon. Felix de Weldon is best known for his United States Marine Corps War Memorial aka Iwo Jima Memorial (the statue of a bunch of guys pushing an American flag up, yeah, that one).

Despite the seeming insignificance of her actions, it was significant enough to those involved for them to erect this statue and for the Liberty Ship, the USS Florence, to set sail shortly after her death in 1943.

While visiting Savannah, take a moment to stop by Morrell Park and consider this joy-giving part of the city’s history.

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Until next time, dahlings…

 

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