River Street Old Town Trolley Tour Stop
Stop 10 on the Old Town Trolley Tour is River Street. Appropriately named since it’s the street beside the Savannah river. This was probably the first street built in Savannah since it was used to deliver commodities to the city from the ships that sailed up the river from the Atlantic ocean. The Atlantic is only 18 miles from Savannah’s River Street. The city sits up high with a significant drop off to the river. This created a major problem for the sailing crew to get their products and supplies from the ship to the city above. Because it made a good look out point for the military Savannah was built at this location
Originally, they tried to carry supplies up the cliffs to the city. That failed. Another attempt was to make some sort of a hoist system with ropes and pulleys. Because of the sandy soil, everything kept coming loose and that failed also. They couldn’t get any leverage to carry anything up. One solution was to dig a tunnel which worked and I’ll write more about that later. Another solution was to use the stones they had used for ballasts on the ship and make a road up the hill. The pictures below are ones I took showing the ballast road, some street views and some of the steep crooked steps.
This street now still has most of the original buildings and consists mostly of gift shops, souvenir shops and restaurants. You can also get on one of the river cruise ships here. They offer dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises. I believe the tour guide said originally the river was about 14 feet deep, but now is 42 feet deep and there is a plan to make it deeper. It is now the 5th busiest port in the U. S.Read more