Morrell Park

You have to keep reminding yourself that this place is River Street. As in, the most visited destination in one of the most visited cities in the Southeast. As in, T-shirt shops, feather boas, Wet Willies, and all the praline samples your sweet tooth can handle.

This respite is on the far eastern end of River Street, before the Marriott, near the old Savannah Electric headquarters. Technically, it’s part of Morrell Park, home to the famed Waving Girl and Olympic Cauldron monuments, located on the other side of River Street. But this place feels separate, removed. For one, few tourists make it this far down River Street, which is blissfully devoid of retail

For another, this park is tucked back – almost hidden –  against Factor’s Walk. The wall’s stone work here, decorated with green moss, feels ancient, like a Mayan ruin. A few towering cypress trees – rare in the Historic District – enhance that feeling. A really old and cool-looking historic drainage feature, still fully operational, protrudes from the side of the wall here.

The park is long and narrow: 243 feet by 26 feet. A row of crepe myrtles shades nice benches that offer unobstructed views of the river. The benches are rarely occupied.

On the park’s edge is a bronze plaque commemorating the schooner “Liberty,” which became America’s first officially commissioned Naval vessel when she set sail from Savannah in July 1775. Soon after

departing, the “Liberty” made the Revolution’s first ordered capture in southern waters when she took the British vessel “Phillipa” off Tybee Island on July 9, 1775. Savannah’s history continues to amaze.

Located somewhat incongruously near this plaque is an oddball feature: a peace pole.

A peace pole is a hand-crafted obelisk that displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each of its four sides, written in a different language on each side. There are more than 200,000 peace poles located across the globe, serving as reminders for us to visualize and work to promote world peace.

This one was installed a few decades ago by a peace-minded Savannah group led by some local Catholic nuns. Occasionally groups rally around the pole to promote peace.

Thus, this long sliver of Morrell Park is often referred to as Peace Pole Park.

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