Pirates' House

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Pirates' House
Pirate's House, Savannah, Georiga, US.JPG
Pirates' House northern façade, which faces onto Trustees Garden
General information
LocationSavannah, Georgia, United States
Address20 East Broad Street
Coordinates32°04′42″N 81°05′02″W / 32.07827°N 81.08393°W / 32.07827; -81.08393
Completed1734; 287 years ago (1734)
OwnerThe Savannah Gas Company
Technical details
Floor count3

Pirates' House is a historic restaurant and tavern established in 1753 located in downtown Savannah, Georgia, United States. A portion of the structure was built in 1734, making it the oldest standing building in the state of Georgia.[1][2] The modern restaurant was founded by Herb Traub and Jim Casey in 1953,[3] and is one of Savannah's most popular tourist attractions.[4]


Pirates' House, from East Broad Street, in 1984

Pirates' House was built on a plot of land located on the east side of James Oglethorpe's original plan of the city of Savannah. The plot of land was assigned to become a botanical garden that modeled the Chelsea Botanical Garden in London, England. The garden was dedicated to Oglethorpe's trustees. Oglethorpe recruited botanists from around the world to acquire plants for the project, such as cotton, spices, indigo, and medicinal herbs. The garden was hoped to bring success in the wine and silk industries and was centered on growing mulberry trees. The soil and weather conditions of Georgia were not compatible with the mulberry trees and it was not successful with wine or silk; however, it did distribute peach trees, which Georgia is now renowned for. The garden was also highly successful in growing cotton, which later became a staple of Georgia's economy.

A small building, which later became the starting structure of Pirates' House, was built on the plot of land in 1734 to house the gardener who worked there. This building was deemed the Herb House and is said to be the oldest building in the state of Georgia.

In 1754, the people of Savannah decided the need for the botanical garden was no longer relevant. Savannah was quickly becoming a port town and the Herb House was transformed into an inn and tavern for seamen visiting from abroad.[5]

Pirates' House is home to some rare early edition pages of Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The pages can be seen hanging on the walls of the captain's room and the treasure room.

Renovation and ownership[edit]

In 1948, Pirates' House and the surrounding land was acquired by The Savannah Gas Company. The building soon caught the interest of Mrs. Hansell Hilyer, wife of the president of the company. She renewed the house museum into the restaurant of the present day. Pirates' House has fifteen dining rooms, can hold up to 120 guests, and serves a variety of southern dishes.[5]


  1. ^ McCarthy, Kevin M. Georgia's Lighthouses and Historic Coastal Sites. Pineapple Press, 1998, p. 9.
  2. ^ Brown, Alan. Haunted Places in the American South. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2002, p. 77.
  3. ^ "Beneath the Surface - Savannah Magazine". Savannahmagazine.com. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  4. ^ Hustmyre, Chuck (13 September 2010). ""The Pirates' House"". Crime and History.
  5. ^ a b "The Pirate's House". Thepirateshouse.com. Retrieved 30 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°04′42″N 81°05′02″W / 32.07827°N 81.08393°W / 32.07827; -81.08393