Students Share More of Savannah’s History

Georgia Southern graduate students create self-led walking to share the city’s less-often-told stories
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 12:51 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Every year, tourists from around the world visit Savannah to learn more about its history. Now, students at Georgia Southern University are working to make sure both tourists and locals are exposed to even more of the Hostess City’s story.

Four graduate history students researched topics they believe are missing from the current historical and tourism offerings. Then, they applied those findings to create “Savannah History Remix” a collection of historic walking tours.

“We wanted to give people stories that would make them think of Savannah as a city made up of common people who are making history all the time,” Assistant Professor of History Alena Pirok said.

Because of the pandemic, the walking tours have moved to a virtually self-guided format, and only two are being offered. Graduate student Lauren Hartke was inspired to create a tour called “A Seat at the Table: A Social History of Savannah Foodways.”

“Savannah has a couple different food tours, but they mostly take you to bars, or they’ll take you to various history sites and kind of mix in some food spots as well, but what I really wanted to do is do a tour of Savannah’s culinary history,” graduate student Lauren Hartke said. “I wanted people to understand that what we call Southern food is actually a combination of West African, Native American and English and British foodways, and how these combined with regional practices.”

That tour and second one called “New Horizons: Immigration to Historic Savannah” are now being offered as a self-guided walking tours through Emory University’s OpenTour program. To start one of these tours, all you have to do is scan a QR code with your phone. You can find those QR codes at the bottom of this page.

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