Wormsloe – Savannah, GA
Wormsloe’s mile-long entrance avenue lined with live oaks is a classic image from the moonlight and magnolias Old South. However, this grand drive following the historic road leading to Noble Jones’s fortified house was not planted until four decades after the Civil War. In the 1890s, Wymberley Jones De Renne laid out the live oak avenue, and later a massive concrete and iron entrance gate, to celebrate the birth of his son. Family tradition records that De Renne took the idea from an old French custom.
Whether in the French tradition or not, De Renne envisioned the live oak avenue as a key component of his plan to transform the plantation into a country retreat where he could escape the hustle and bustle of his business in Savannah and the Northeast. The avenue was also part of a concerted effort to celebrate Wormsloe’s history, as it took visitors to the ruins of the colonial fort rather than directly to the De Renne residence. The avenue’s modern visage differs from its planner’s vision. During its first four decades of existence, open agricultural fields planted in fodder crops and sweet potatoes flanked the oak-lined drive, resulting in a landscape feature that stood out even more than the still impressive avenue of today.
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