Owens-Thomas House

124 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA, United States




Owens-Thomas House

Savannah Historic Town

The Owens-Thomas House occupies an entire full block in the Savannah Historic District. The structure boasts a columned entrance, an impressive double stairway and majestic second story arched windows.

The house was designed by William Jay, an English architect and it was originally built for Richard Richardson, a cotton merchant and banker from Bermuda. But Richardson suffered financial hardship after the home’s completion in 1819. Three years later, he lost it to the Bank of the United States.

Mary Maxwell ran the beautiful lodging house for eight years.  In 1825, Marquis de Lafayette, a revolutionary war hero, was one of the more renowned guests at the home. Some say that he addressed thousands of cheering town residents who gathered below from the South balcony of the house.

In 1830, former Savannah Mayor George Welshman Owens purchased the home for a mere $10,000 and thereafter the Owens family owned the Owens-Thomas House. Finally, in 1951, Owens granddaughter, Margaret Thomas, turned the house over to the Telfair Museum.

Behind the main house of the Owens-Thomas House, sits the Carriage House, which used to be the slave quarters. It is believed that this one of the earliest urban slave quarters in the South. This is where the house slaves would have spent their time when not assisting family members.

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Today, the Owens-Thomas House, which was once a residence, is now a historic house museum. It contains an invaluable art collection made up of Owens family furnishings and American and European objects from 1750-1830. There is also a beautiful garden on the premises and an original carriage house known to be one of the first slave quarters in the South.

Tours are daily, every fifteen minutes, with the last tour starting at 4:30 pm. For more information on the tour days and times, or for group tour reservations please call the Telfair Museum of Art at 912-790-8800. The tours begin at the Carriage House, which is one of the earliest urban slave quarters in the South. There is also a gift shop.

The Owens-Thomas House is a National Historic Landmarks in Georgia. It is on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Chatham County, Georgia.

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Official site of the Owens-Thomas House

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Posted in Historic Sites and Museums