Giving children an opportunity to learn historical facts while having fun is part of our mission here at Family Time Travelers. These kid activity sheets for the Juliette Gordon Low home, will help children learn the history of the home and have them looking for a few things when visiting the home. Most of the answers can be found on our history page and within the pictures on the page. You can also find the answers by visiting this wonderful historic home!
The goal of Family Time Traveler is to make history fun for kids. We have created activities for children of all ages to complete to enforce the major historical facts of each location. All of the answers for the Word Find and Crossword puzzle can be found on the corresponding historical page in the “Just the Facts” section. This section highlights the key historical facts for the location.
What better way to get children “hands on” with history than some fun activities they can complete while eating at the Pirates’ House Restaurant. For the Pirates’ House, we have two word find games, one crossword puzzle, and a general activities sheet to complete while at the restaurant. To download each activity, click on the “Download PDF” link that is below each preview image. Need to go back over the facts for the Pirates’ House Restaurant, click HERE.
As you enter the front door of the Pirates’ House Restaurant in Savannah, GA, you step back in time. The multiple dining rooms bring you back to the times of seafarers and pirates, eating, drinking, and at times waking up out to sea on a ship without knowing how they got there! All of this history can be experienced while you dine on southern cuisine at the Pirates’ House Restaurant.
The Trustees’ Garden
The history of this famous restaurant began in 1733 when General Oglethorpe and the colonists arrived in what is now known as Savannah. The idea for an experimental garden was put into action on the plot adjacent to the current restaurant structure. The garden was an attempt to grow all types of plants from around the world to see what would grow in the new area. It was modeled after the famous Chelsea Botanical Garden in London, England and named the Trustees’ Garden.
Everything from fruit trees, vine cuttings, herbs, spices, cotton, and hemp were just some of the crops they tried to grow. Not everything would grow, especially the grapes to produce wine and the Mulberry trees to produce silk. However, it was from this very garden that the peach trees that Georgia and South Carolina are so well-known for were distributed as well as a type of cotton crop.
The small house that is adjacent to the restaurant was built-in 1734 and was for the caretaker or gardener of the Trustees’ Garden. It is known as The Herb House. It is one of the oldest houses in the State of Georgia, if not the oldest. The experimental garden however, only lasted about 20 years until 1753 when it was determined it was no longer needed. The garden site and surrounding land became a residential area.
One of the first residential type buildings constructed on this available land was an Inn for those seaman visiting the area. The second floor hosted the rooms and the first floor hosted a tavern for sailors visiting from abroad. The reputation of the restaurant was of a place to be avoided. It hosted pirates and drunken sailors, some who went missing from the tavern, never to be heard of again!
Savannah is known for having an extensive underground tunnel system. The true use of the tunnel system has many origins. Some of the tunnels were built during the yellow fever endemic to conceal the bodies of the dead. Other portions of the tunnels are said to have been used as part of the Underground Railroad. Some areas of the tunnels, under the hospital, were said to have been used as a morgue.
The tunnels under the Pirates’ House is said to have a more criminal use. Legends have it that captains needing men for their ships would watch sailors drinking at the tavern. Once the sailor was drunk, they would be hit over the head and knocked unconscious. The sailor would then be taken through the tunnel to the port and wake up on a ship out to sea! This fate, though enslaved on a ship, is much better than the torture and murders that have been rumoured to occur in the cellar of the Pirate’s House. Some say that trap doors were installed in the tavern floor. Drunken sailors were chained and then dropped through the doors. If they sustained injury and were no longer “fit” for working, they were killed. Those fit to work were taken off to ships!
Modern Day Restaurant
In 1948, the Pirates’ House and the surrounding land became the property of The Savannah Gas Company. The building was taken under the wing of Mrs. Hansell Hilyer who happened to be the wife of the president of The Savannah Gas Company. She transformed the buildings into what is today the Pirates’ House Restaurant.
The restaurant consists of 15 different dining rooms, all very different, and serves a variety of southern cuisine. The entrances to the tunnels are still visible within the restaurant and give it a wonderfully spooky vibe!
Just The Facts!
James Oglethorpe and the early colonists established the Trustees’ Garden on the site in 1733.
The garden was modeled after the famous Chelsea Botanical Garden in London, England.
The First structure, the Gardener’s Home known as The Herb House, was built-in 1734.
Peaches and Cotton were two important crops that came from this experimental garden.
Garden abandoned in 1753 and the area was turned into a residential area.
The Inn that is now known as the Pirates’ House Restaurant was opened in 1753 with a tavern for sailors and pirates!
Drunken sailors often went missing from the tavern only to wake up enslaved on a ship out to sea.
Part of Savannah’s extensive tunnel system runs underneath the restaurant and takes you to the port.
1948 the buildings were turned into what is now known as the Pirates’ House Restaurant by Mrs. Hansell Hilyer.
15 Dining rooms make up the restaurant that serves a variety of southern cuisine.
Let’s have some fun! We have some great activity sheets for children to help reinforce the facts above. Check out our Kids Activities page!
An 8 year old child helping in the blacksmith shop, children making toys out of wood, pretending to be animals when they play, and watching the mill grind corn in to cornmeal. These scenes would be out of place by today’s standards where our entertainment options are high tech and we buy anything we need. A 20 minute experience for our children in a blacksmith shop, got them involved and they learned what it was really like to live 150 years ago. The Junior Ranger Program through our National Park System often provides hands on learning opportunities to bring history to the modern age without the use of computers, television, or e-books.
I learned of this great program through our National Park System, the Junior Ranger program, while I was researching for several trips we are planning. Each National Park publishes booklets that can be picked up for free or a small charge. These booklets contain age appropriate activities to get children involved and learning about the particular park they are visiting. Upon completion of the activities, children can go back to the visitor center and answer a few questions to earn a Junior Ranger badge, patch, and certificate.
We literally drove back in time upon entering Cades Cove. We started by looking at some of the preserved buildings; then we made our way to the visitors’ center half way through the loop. We were fortunate in that the Park Rangers were having special hands on activities for the children to earn their Junior Park Ranger badges. The Park Rangers hold these sessions throughout the summer months on most weekends. The times are available both at the visitors’ center and at the map location prior to entering the Cades Cove loop. For other national parks, check at the visitors’ centers to find out about the special hands on activities.
On this day, rangers were talking about how the children of Cades Cove did not “enjoy” our modern entertainment. Toys were homemade, simplistic, and sparked creativity. So the first activity was to create a toy with a wooden disk and string. On display were other toys for the children to explore. This activity provided a unique souvenir for the children to bring home to remind them of how children played over 100 years ago.
Animals are an important part of the park and it was important for the residents to be aware of the animals and their habitats. They had to coexist with these animals and also rely on them at times for food. The second activity provided the children with hands on activities to learn about the animals of the park. They hopped like frogs, jumped like deer, ran like coyotes, and learned about the incredible eyesight of a hawk. Upon completion of “Animal Olympics”, the children were presented with a wooden medal.
Blacksmiths were important members of the Cades Cove community. They focused on repurposing and creating the items necessary to build and maintain homes, barns, and even items like hooks and dinner bell triangles. In groups of 8, the children were invited into the Blacksmith building. After putting on an apron, gloves, and goggles for safety, the children learned about the history of the blacksmith and how they made everyday items for the settlers. The children were able to help with the fire, bend steel to create their own triangle, and hammer out their striker for the bell. This activity made the greatest impression on Big E and Little E. They were so excited about getting to make their own dinner triangle to bring home. They talked about it for days and wanted to go back and do it again.
Upon completion of all three activities, the children returned to the Park Ranger and were given their certificates and “sworn in” as Junior Park Rangers. They also received a badge to wear and a patch. Overall, it was a wonderful experience for the kids to get up close and hands on with history. They remember much more about what they learned than if I had just told them about toys, animals, and blacksmiths.