Morrell Park is the only Savannah park that’s right on the river.
Morrell Park is located on the east end of River Street next to the Olde Harbor Inn. It’s about 236 feet x 26 feet long, and unofficially boasts the softest grass in the city.
The park is home to two monuments.
The first Savannah’s famous Waving Girl statue honoring Florence Martus. It was said that Martus greeted every ship that came into the Savannah port. Between 1887 and 1931, she would faithfully wave them in with a white handkerchief or lantern. Martus was the daughter of an ordnance sergeant at Fort Pulaski. She lived on Elba Island with her brother and border collie. There are several speculations as to why she waved down every boat. One theory is that she was waiting for a sailor she fell in love with to return. The true reason is still a mystery.
Another monument in Morrell Square represents the cauldron, lit for the 1996 Olympic yachting events held in Savannah. Ivan Bailey created the monument. There are five columns that pay tribute to the the five Olympic rings. The style of the columns pay homage to the Greek heritage of the games. Sometimes Morrell park hosts yoga events. It’s a perfect spot to take a rest from the hard cobblestones and crowds of River Street.
Morrell Park was established in the mid-1960s during the time of an extensive River Street revitalization process.
It was part of the work of the then chairman of the Park and Tree Commission, William Goodrich Morrell, Jr. Mr. Morrell became a member of the commission in 1942 and served as chairman from 1955 until 1972. In 1974, the city named the waterfront park Morrell Park to honor him for his service and vision.
Under Mr. Morrell’s leadership, the sidewalk to the Forsyth Park fountain was widened to create the spectacular visual everyone enjoys today. Mr. Morrell fought against those who wanted to remove live oaks from the park. Mr. Morrell also worked tirelessly to prevent Emmet Park on Bay Street from being turned into a parking lot and close the downtown squares to traffic. (At that time, vehicles drove through the squares, instead of around them.)
Information on Mr. Morrell, courtesy of his granddaughter, Susan Driscoll Verell.