Step back in time with a visit to the Andrew Low House, an exquisitely preserved, 19th century house museum. The mansion was home to wealthy cotton magnate Andrew Low and his family, which included Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.
Andrew Low came to Savannah from Scotland in the late 1820s to work in the cotton exporting business. He did well, becoming a partner in the business, and then director of operations in Savannah. After inheriting his uncle’s cotton business, he took advantage of the cotton boom to become Savannah’s wealthiest resident.
Renowned architect, John Norris designed the 1848 Andrew Low House. In fact, the New York architect is responsible for a number of buildings in Savannah from this period.
The Italianate-style, stucco-over-brick Savannah mansion facing Lafayette Square has always been a stunning showpiece. Its design is detail rich and featured numerous unique innovations, including one of Savannah’s earliest indoor plumbing systems.
Andrew Low hosted many important guests at the house during his lifetime, too. Including such 19th century luminaries as General Robert E. Lee and novelist William Makepeace Thackery.
The house stayed in the Low family until 1928. Then it was purchased by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia, who cared for the home until it was opened as a house museum in 1950.
Visitors to the Low House Museum will tour portions of the first and second floors. Rooms on the tour include the formal and informal parlors, dining room, library, parlors, bathing rooms, and bedrooms.
A wealth of period pieces furnish the richly detailed rooms. Gorgeous antiques, sparkling silver, Duncan Phyfe furniture, and wonderful family portraits.
The house, itself, is the real star of the show, however. Ornate ironwork surrounds the home and a pair of cast iron lions guard the sandstone-trimmed entrance. You may be surprised to see that the first story of the house is actually below street level and surrounded by a dry moat.
The double-hourglass, brick-walled garden behind the house is the only original, 19th-century Savannah garden open to the public. In fact, it’s only one of three such Savannah gardens still in existence!
The Low House is also famous for being the birthplace of the Girl Scouts.
Juliette Gordon Low and the Girl Scouts
Andrew Low’s daughter-in-law was Juliette Gordon Low, known as “Daisy” to her friends.
Daisy met and became friends with General Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, during a trip to England. Inspired, she decided to create a similar group for girls.
The “Girl Guides” group was formalized in 1912, with meetings in the mansion’s remodeled carriage house. The name of the group was later changed to “Girl Scouts” and, as you well know, went on to spread across the world.
Today, the carriage house, located at 330 Drayton Street, is a known as the Girl Scout First Headquarters. The museum includes a shop and displays fascinating, Girl Scout memorabilia.
While in Savannah, you can also visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, located at 10 E Oglethorpe Avenue.
The Andrew Low House
The Low House Museum is located at 329 Abercorn St. Lafayette Square, Savannah GA 31401 – less than half a mile from our Savannah bed and breakfast, McMillan Inn. You can walk there in under 10 minutes, assuming you’re not distracted by all the amazing shops, galleries, dining, squares, and history in between, that is!
Daily tours are offered on the hour and half-hour. Reservations are not necessary for individual guests and the last tour begins at 4pm.