Wright Square

  • Wright Square
Gordon Monument in Wright Square

Gordon Monument. Photo by Andrea Six.

Wright Square has two of the most impressive monuments in all of downtown – a towering statue and an enormous boulder – set amid some great shops. When the square was laid out in 1733, it was originally named Percival in honor of Viscount Percival, who became the Earl of Egmont. The square was later renamed after Sir James Wright, Georgia’s third and last Royal Governor.

The central monument honors William Washington Gordon, the founder of the Central of Georgia Railroad, and the boulder in the southeast corner memorializes Tomochichi, the leader of the Yamacraws, a friend of General Oglethorpe and ally of the English.

Tomochichi negotiated a treaty that gave General Oglethorpe the land that became Savannah and was a key part in establishing the military outpost against the Spanish invasion. After he died in the Yamacraw Indian Village in 1737 he was brought back to Savannah to be buried among his English friends, at his request. He was buried in the center of the square and a pyramid of rocks was placed over his grave at General Oglethorpe’s orders.

Over the years the pyramid was damaged and speculation grew as to the specific burial site of Tomochichi. The mound was removed in and the Central of Georgia Railroad and Banking Company erected the memorial to honor Gordon in 1882, thus destroying the original grave of Tomochichi. But in 1899, Nellie Kinzie Gordon, Gordon’s daughter-in-law, made it a priority to erect a new monument to honor Tomochichi.

Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Savannah on Wright Square

Lutheran Church of the Ascension. Photo by Andrea Six.

With help from other members of the Colonial Dames, a piece of granite was taken from Stone Mountain and placed in the square for Tomochichi, even though his grave is still under the Gordon Monument.

Van Brunt and Howe of Boston designed the Gordon Monument, which consists of four red granite columns with Corinthian capitals supporting four winged figures that hold a globe. The four figures represent agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and art symbolizing that together they make the world prosper.

The square is also the site of the Lutheran Church of Ascension, which was built in 1843. After extensive remodeling which finished in 1879, the building was dedicated as “The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension,” because of the stained glass window behind the altar, which depicts Christ’s ascension into heaven.