Forsyth Park Inn History
Circa 1893 - Savannah, GA
The Forsyth Park Inn, standing at 102 West Hall Street, truly represents the gracious and romantic qualities’ of the South. Originally built as a private home in the 1890’s, the mansion was acquired early on by a celebrated sea captain from Nova Scotia, Captain Aaron Flint “Rudder” Churchill. Churchill’s fame rests on an extraordinary voyage that took place in 1866, when he was first mate of his uncle’s ship Research, sailing from Quebec to Scotland. A violent storm struck the vessel a few days out, tearing the sails to shreds and unshipping the rudder. Young Churchill battled to secure the rudder. He repeated the feat again and again during the next few weeks, until the Research finally limped into Greenock harbor, Scotland; In 1874 Captain “Rudder” Churchill married a distant cousin, Lois Churchill. They moved to Savannah, where he founded the Churchill Steamship Line, and acquired what is now The Forsyth Park Inn, as their winter residence. The Churchill's lived in the house during the early part of the 20th century with their two nieces, Miss Mary Churchill and Miss Lottie Churchill.
The mansion typifies what is known as the Queen Anne or Victorian style of architecture, with its ornate window and roof pediments, elaborate porch and deep verandah. Some additional features mark it as a sea captain’s home, particularly the “rope” motif around the main entrance door and in the carved “twisted rope” balusters of our grand staircase. The interior is also remarkable for its spectacular woodwork, which includes 12’ high oak doors, oak paneling, and the beautiful parquetry floors, all of which are original to the house itself.
On June 10, 1920, Captain Churchill died in his Savannah home. Mrs. Churchill died here in 1929, and the Churchill home was subsequently sold. For some years, the house was operated as a boarding house and then converted into a multi-unit apartment house. In the mid 1980’s, the house was purchased by a group of investors and renovated into The Forsyth Park Inn and again purchased in 1988 by the Sullivan family.
In May 2014, Alain Roy and Michael Zimmer acquired the Inn. Being Canadian, Alain takes the Inn back to its original owner’s roots (the Churchill’s were Canadians from Nova Scotia, after all). Alain and Mike have traveled extensively over the years, including time spent living in New England, Singapore, and Chicago. In the course of these travels, they have experienced many world class inns and hotels. Our goal is to retain the traditional history of the Inn, while taking the Inn to the next level as it relates to the food, comfort and the overall enjoyment of our guests.
Our historic inn is located across from the most famous Forsyth Park. This was the site of the Union troops’ camp following the surrender of Savannah during what is still known by true Savannians as “The War of Northern Aggression”. Now the park is lovely and charming, filled with azaleas, live oak trees, and crepe myrtles; all which typify a truly Southern surrounding. Theatrical and musical events are held throughout the year in the park.
Forsyth Park Inn featured in Spring/Summer 2010 Georgia Edition of The Knot Magazine!
Forsyth Park Inn is listed as one of the "top spots for photo ops" Our lush, vibrant courtyard garden and Savannah style fountain are pictured with a beautiful bride and groom!
Check us out in Paula Deen 's magazine "Cooking with Paula", January/February issue. The inn is featured in a full page article!