History is like Frankenstein's monster. All it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two tickets to the Davenport House Museum on East State Street (up to a $16 value). Children younger than 6 are free and other discounts may apply, so be sure to check the admission rates.
As the inaugural landmark preserved by the Historic Savannah Foundation in 1955, the Davenport House Museum boasts an architectural structure dating back to 1820 and interior furnishings modeled after the fashion of its master builder, Isaiah Davenport, and his family. Embark upon a 30- to 40-minute guided tour through the Davenport House’s domestic history and peruse a collection of some 500 items highlighting the house’s most populated years from 1820 to 1827. Knowledgeable house savants can fill in any history gaps throughout your visit as you take in the house’s carefully wrought furniture, beautifully renovated architecture, and conspicuous lack of floor-sized vinyl keyboards.
Davenport House Museum
In 1820, an upwardly mobile carpenter named Isaiah Davenport designed a 6,800-square-foot Federal-style home to live in with his wife, children, and slaves. After his death, Davenport’s wife turned the stately brick house into a boarding house, though it later devolved into a run-down tenement—until the Historic Savannah Foundation saved the landmark when it was threatened with demolition in 1955. The organization’s award-winning preservation, their very first effort, jumpstarted an organized preservation movement that spread across the entire port city.
Today, the Davenport House Museum’s rooms are filled with antique furniture from the 1820s, acquired after careful research relying on estate inventories and detailed artist renderings of long-ago games of musical chairs. These period-accurate tables and chairs join ceramics, textiles, and books to form the museum’s collection of about 500 historical items. Behind the home, where a carriage house, garden, and privy once stood, a garden designed by renowned landscape artist Penelope Hobhouse flourishes. After walking among its flowers, visitors can drop by the museum shop to pick up jams and jellies, books about Savannah, and reproductions of early 19th-century items.