Wright Square in Savannah
Wright Square is one of the original 4 Squares to be laid on in 1733 by General Oglethorpe. Originally, Wright Square was named Percival Square after the Right Honorable John, Lord Viscount Percival (1683-1748). In 1763 Percival Square was renamed to Wright Square. The name comes from James Wright, the 3rd and last of Georgia’s royal governors. Wright Square originally served as the square which housed the Courthouse, as it does today, and a Market.
The ward on which Wright Square sits on is Percival Ward. Percival Ward was one of the first four Wards that were established in Savannah.
Things to do and see in Wright Square
The Hanging Square
Wright Square was the location of the Gallows in Colonial Savannah. The hanging which took place in Wright Square were public hangings, lessons for wannabe criminals for sure. One of Savannah’s famous ghost stories involve Alice Riley and her death at the gallows. Do you wanna read more about Alice Riley and her hanging?
The Old Savannah Jail
At the edge of the north end of Wright Square sits a CVS drug store. Back in the 1700’s and 1800’s there was no CVS there (obviously, ha) but there was a jail. At this location was one of the first jails in historic Savannah. The criminals and less savory members of society were kept in the jail. If any of the prisoners were sentenced to death they would often be lead to the gallows of Wright Square. After they were hung their bodies were simply buried right behind the gallows, where the present day Courthouse stands.
Tomochichi's Burial Site
When General Oglethorpe and the colonial settlers landed in Savannah they were met by Tomochichi, a leader in the Creek Indian nation. Tomochichi became a friend and trusted adviser to General Oglethorpe. He was instrumental in helping the English establishing the city of Savannah.
Tomochichi was laid to rest in Wright Square. Today a massive piece of granite sits on the southeast side of Wright Square to honor Tomochichi. The granite was mined in Stone Mountain. This monument was purchased and planned by William Gordon’s widow and other members of the Colonial Dames of Georgia.
The William Washington Gordon Monument
In the center of Wright Square stands the monument to William Washington Gordon. In 1883 the citizens of Savannah decided to replace the stone monument on Tomochichi’s grave with this monument.
The idea of removing the memorial to Tomochichi and replacing it with a monument to someone else didn’t sit well with many people, including Gordon’s own widow. She was a member of the Colonial Dames of Georgia. Her and other members planned a new monument to Tomochichi. To read the whole story