United States Customhouse
- Source: Ed Jackson
- Marker: United States Customhouse
- Location: Corner of Bay St. and Bull St., Savannah
UNITED STATES CUSTOMHOUSE
The U.S. Customhouse stands on historic ground. In a house
on this site James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of
Georgia, lived for a time, and in 1736 John Wesley preached his
first sermon at Savannah in a building which stood on the rear
of the lot.
The cornerstone of the Customhouse was laid in 1848. The
building was completed in 1852 at a cost of $146,000. Built of
granite from Quincy, Mass., the structure is one of the most
handsome and substantial public buildings erected in that era.
The magnificent fluted columns have tobacco leaves as capitals
instead of the traditional decorations. The columns, each
weighing fifteen tons, were brought to Savannah by sailing
vessels. The unusual inside stairway divides at one-half height
forming into circular stairs with no perpendicular support.
Although the building is used primarily by the United States
Customs Service, it houses several Federal agencies. In earlier
years it also served as a Post Office and Federal courthouse.
In 1859-1860 the celebrates cases growing out of slave-running
by the yacht “Wanderer” were tried here before Justice Wayne
of the U.S. Supreme Court.
025 - 57 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1957