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Chatham County Historical Markers

The Waving Girl

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Waving Girl
  • Location: Located in the parking lot near the visitor center of Fort Pulaski National Monument, off U.S. 80 east of Savannah


For 44 years, Florence Martus (1868-1943) lived on nearby Elba Island with her brother, the lighthouse keeper, and no ship arrived for Savannah or departed form 1887 to 1931 without her waving a handkerchief by day or a lantern by night. Throughout the years, the vessels in return watched for and saluted this quiet little woman. Few people ever met her yet she became the source of romantic legends when the story of her faithful greetings was told in ports all over the world. After her retirement the Propeller Club of Savannah, in honor of her seventieth birthday, sponsored a celebration on Cockspur Island. A Liberty ship, built in Savannah in 1943, was named for her.