Haunting drone footage of an abandoned castle in the woods, known as the Savannah Powder Magazine!
If you wanted to blow something up about a century and a quarter ago, you’d head down Ogeechee Road to a path in the woods between Lumber Liquidators and Sonic – perhaps they’re older than they look? – where the Savannah Powder Magazine must yearn for young boys with stick rifles to duck behind her windows and leap from her battlements. “Let’s build a moat,” you can hear them scheme wielding spoons and shovels around the small castle said to be Chatham County’s sturdiest building. With her three foot walls and rock and steel reinforced roof the medieval-looking structure has stood down hurricanes and 8 year olds since 1898. “1898?” you say. But wasn’t that the year of the Spanish American War, the year that saw 13,000 troops camp out in Forsyth Park en route to engage the Spanish in Cuba1? Hence the plausible need on the outskirts of Savannah for the tools of war.
I thought so too, but a text to Powder Magazine impresario Tommy Holland spoiled the romance of southern knights in armor ready to do battle with the invading Europeans. “It’s a municipal Powder magazine as opposed to a military magazine,” Holland wrote. “Built for the City, by the city, to store explosives that were used for construction and farming at that time.”
Doubtless a prosperous business through the early part of the 20th century but in the 60’s the blowing-things-to-smithereens business dried up and the magazine was abandoned though some, including Holland, have argued for its restoration.
That’s one option, but rather than having another stuffy monument in the decidedly un-touristy environs of Ogeechee Road perhaps we’d be better off turning it over to 8 year old boys and girls armed with a little history and a lot of imagination.