Homeowner finds historic streetcars in backyard

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new homeowner found a blast from the past found on his property and now a group of preservationists are working to share it with everyone.

A big part of our transportation of the past has been under wraps in more ways than one on Isle of Hope until now.

“So it’s truly a streetcar, and they started back in the late 1800s, 1869 and was the first trip from Savannah to Isle of Hope”

Tiffany Alewine of the Isle of Hope Historical Association explains a little of how two street cars wound up in someone’s backyard.

“Some newlyweds actually took up residence in these street cars approximately 193, but you know they were fully functional as a home as a cottage,” said Alewine.

In a recent photo, you can see the nose of the Birney Safety Car, the brand of the streetcar, peeking out the front door in what the cottage looked like before being deconstructed.

“Honestly as a preservationist and obviously as an organization, the historical organization that we are, we could not be prouder, to be the stewards of these streetcars and look forward to obviously many more generations enjoying them,” Alewine says.

After the homeowner notified the Historical Association a crew came in and decluttered the cars Katie Fitzhugh of Repurpose Savannah helped.

“And there was a lot of excitement. This is nothing like any of the other jobs we’ve ever done,” Assistant Director of Repurpose Savannah Katie Fitzhugh said.

Repurpose Savannah usually salvages building materials. In this case - they were saving the buildings, aka the cars.

“I feel like their my baby because, well they’re Savannah’s baby, but it’s fantastic because who would expect to find these street cars just in the middle of Isle of Hope built into a home,” Fitzhugh said.

The streetcars will go to Savannah Trolley, get some TLC and eventually one will come back to the island for public display.

“It’s definitely going to be a long term project, but the end result is well worth it,” Alewine said.

After restoration one of the cars will find a more public home back on the island.

“You find everything there is to find in Savannah and this falls in your lap,” Alewine said.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.