St. John the Baptist cathedral – continued…
I am adding the pictures my husband took inside this cathedral, which came out better than mine. These photos show the stained glass windows, organ and frescoes on the wall.
After our trolley tour, we drove around in our own car to visit some places we saw on the tour that we wanted to explore. We were particularly interested in seeing the Mercer-Williams house, the scene for much of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, located on Monterey Square.
We had learned on the tour that the way the squares were designed, residences were to occupy the north and south sides of the square, while businesses, places of worship and other structures were located on the east and west sides of the square.
This house is named Mercer-Williams (sometimes just “Mercer House”) because the house was at one time owned by singer Johnny Mercer, one of Savannah’s most famous citizens, but in fact Johnny had never lived there. Later it was purchased by Jim Williams, a self-made man and antique dealer who is the central character in the book. The house is currently occupied by Williams’ sister and her family, so tours are currently not being conducted of the house.
Also on Monterey Square is the Mickve Israel synagogue. This congregation was founded in 1733. The current synagogue was consecrated in 1878, according to a historical marker in front of the building. It is the oldest Reform Jewish congregation in the United States. By the time we got there, it was after 6 pm so it was closed and we had to be content with taking pictures of the outside.