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The Sorrel Weed House - Savannah, GA

Dear Travel Diary,
 
When Nick and I explored Savannah a few years ago, we passed the Sorrel Weed House.
 

We never went inside, which is regrettable.

This picture I took inspired a lot of Internet sleuthing as I sought out its story. It's an interesting one.

The property represents one of the finest examples of Greek Revival and Regency architecture, often attracting world-renowned architects to Savannah to study its design. It's a historic landmark and a museum, holding the distinction of being the first home in Georgia to be named a state landmark in 1954.

Located on the corner of Bull Street and Harris Street, the home's 16,000-square feet tell a remarkable tale.

It was the boyhood home of Brigadier General Moxley Sorrel, who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee is said the have visited the house in the early 1860s, as he was friends with Francis Sorrel.

Also, the opening scene of Forrest Gump was filmed from the home's rooftop.

Immediately those with an interest in Civil War history and iconic films consider the Sorrel Weed house a major tourist draw.

Savannah, with its hanging Spanish Moss and historical ties to major American conflicts, is considered the most haunted city in the country. If you land on Runway 10 at the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport, there are marked gravestones in it. A runway extension during World War II placed the path directly through a family plot, and whether visitors pursue it or not, they are immediately thrust into the city's culture for embracing the afterlife.

Here's the thing: I'm skeptical. But I cannot deny the energy in this city.

Have you read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? I bought it as a souvenir of our travels, and have read and re-read the book time and time again.

Back to the house. It was built by Francis Sorrel in the 1840s, and after the passing of his first wife a few years later, Sorrel married his wife's younger sister, Matilda. But Francis had his vices, including a long-time affair with one of his slaves, Molly. She was given preferential treatment, and her own private quarters above the carriage house beside the main home.

When Matilda found her husband in bed with Molly, she leapt from a second story balcony in a fit of rage, killing herself.

Weeks later, Molly's body was found hanging in her room. Legend states she was driven to suicide by Matilda's ghost.

Often I wonder if people assign the word "haunted" to a historic property due to its documented timeline of events. The Sorrel Weed House has suicides, slaves were kept there and the Civil War tore through Savannah, so understandably, these events add to the home's intrigue.

Plus, historical records indicate the home is located next to or possibly above the site of The Siege of Savannah. This 1779 assault during the Revolutionary War is considered to be one of the bloodiest, with over 1,000 casualties recorded.

Whatever belief you hold, the Sorrel Weed House is a direct link to the past.

If you go:
6 West Harris Street, Savannah, GA 31401
sorrelweedhouse.com

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