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City-commissioned archeological study determines proposed shelter is not on the Weeping Time site

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 12:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Savannah-commissioned phase 1 archeological study of the proposed homeless shelter property at Augusta Avenue has determined that the land is not the site of the former Weeping Time Slave Auction.

That’s according to Brockington & Associates, the firm hired by the city to conduct the survey.

The memo to city council states, “The report has been submitted to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to allow for the State Archaeologist to review this determination. It is anticipated this process will take 30 days to complete once documentation is received by the state Historic Preservation Division.”

The more than 100 page study says the property is historically separate from the site of the Weeping Time. A map, from the Chatham County Engineer’s Office archives from 1890, was also included in the report.

Read the full report below:

The land outlined in blue is where the Salvation Army wants to build a homeless shelter. The land in green is the site of the old Ten Broeck Race Course. That’s where the Weeping Time Slave Auction happened, back in 1859.

A second image we found in the study shows the 1859 property lines, superimposed over a present day map. Again, you can see in blue, the property in-question, off Augusta Avenue.

You can also see the old race course property, north of Louisville Road, outlined in green. The two plots are close but do not quite border each other.

It’s now up to State Archaeologists to review these findings and verify them. Once that happens, the Salvation Army is free to build a homeless shelter on the land.

On April 8, city council approved the Salvation Army’s plan to build a homeless shelter off Augusta Avenue. But it came with a catch. The city had to do an archeological survey to definitively prove that the land was not part of the historic Weeping Time auction. City records indicated the sale happened just south of the proposed shelter site.

This is a developing story. Continue to check back for updates.

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