One of the finest examples of Regency architecture in America is Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters - it's also a hugely important historic site in Savannah, where kids can learn all about the property's past, and those that lived there including the little-known stories of the enslaved people who worked behind the scenes.
Work began on the Owens-Thomas House back in 1816, as it was to be the new home of Ricahrd Richardson - a shipping merchande, banker, and slave trader. The property itself was built by both free and enslaved men.
Over the next few years, the property changed hands until it was opened as a museum in 1954, and today families just like yours can take a guided tour through both the main house and the slave quarters, to really gain an understanding of the area's history, and way of life.
In the Orientation Gallery (formerly the horses stables), you'll find exhibits that help put the story of the site into the larger context of local, regional, and even national history.
Then you can make your way up to the north half of the building, where you can actually visit the original slave quarters. This two-story structure had three rooms on each level, and 9 to 15 enslaved people (about half were children), lived and worked on the site between 1819 and the end of the Civil War.
Don't miss walking through the Paterre Garden. The style is appropriate for an early 19th century English Regency villa, however the space originally housed a work yard, which very likely included a small kitchen garden, hanging laundry, and even housed small livestock.
Then, you can explore the main part of Owens-Thomas House! The public areas include the drawing room, front hall, and dining room where the families would entertain, and then you can explore the private rooms including bedrooms, library, and family dining room.
What's fascainting as you explore these rooms, is how the economic elite and their enslaved servants interacted on a daily basis.
A truly must-visit historic site and museum in Savannah, offering an invaluable lesson on a history that we can all learn from.
$22 (Ticket includes all 3 Telfair museums)
Ages 6 to 12: $5 (Ticket includes all 3 Telfair museums)
Senior, active military and student discounts
They often offer Free Family Days so keep an eye out on the website!
Your admission is valid for all 3 Telfair Museums, so it's 3 for the price of 1! The others are the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center.
Grab something to eat in the area before or after your visit!
In addition to street parking, the Robinson parking garage is right next to the Jepson Center and Telfair Academy, and the State Street garage is just across the square from the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. Please view the map above to locate these and other parking options.
They love to educate students so make sure you give them a call about bringing students on a field trip through history. They offer youth classes, family programs, scout group tours and more!
The gift shops is open during regular museum hours, and museum admission is not required for you to browse the store! Pick up a product from a local artist, or a one-of-a-kind souvenir special to Savannah
Keep in mind it is a historic property, so give them a call about the accessibility if you have any questions
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Open 10am - 5pm daily (3pm close Christmas Eve and New Years Eve)
Open year round, but closed a number of major holidays including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, and Easter
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Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters