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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - King of Sweden turns down the first Savannah
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Roger Allen

    The first steamship Savannah was a 350-ton ship built by the Fickett and Crocker Shipyard in New York for the new Savannah Steamship Company.
    The Savannah had two innovations: wrought-iron paddlewheels which could be folded up and stored on deck and a seventeen foot tall smokestack that could be rotated in any direction.
    Departing Savannah on May 22, 1819, the S.S. Savannah was the first steamship to successfully cross the Atlantic. Before she left Europe the Savannah was offered for sale to both the Emperor of Russia and the King of Sweden for cash. They weren't interested.
    She returned to Savannah on Nov. 30. After her engines were removed, she was employed as a sailing packet between New York and Savannah. On Nov. 5, 1821 she was wrecked at Fire Place, Long Island, NY.
    The second ship the S.S. Savannah, was a 152-ton steamship owned by the Steamboat Company of Georgia. Built in 1828 in Savannah, she plied the Savannah River exclusively.
    The third ship S.S. Savannah, owned by the Macgregor Steamship Line, sailed between Savannah and Liverpool. The Macgregor Line's ships are said to have carried more Scottish immigrants to America than any other passenger line.
    The first ship to be named “S.S. City of Savannah” was built in 1877 by the Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding & Engine Works in Pennsylvania for the Ocean Steamship Company of Savannah, Ga.
    Caught in a hurricane off of Tybee Light on Aug. 27, 1893, the ship was beached by her crew on Hunting Island to prevent her from sinking.
    The second "S.S. City of Savannah” was built in 1896 as the 6,000-ton passenger vessel "La Grand Duchesse," by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry-dock Company for Henry Plant's steamship line.
    After the U.S. Navy leased her as “Troop Transport #30” in 1898, the Ocean Steamship Company purchased the Grand Dutchess in 1901 and renamed her the “City of Savannah.”
    Sold again, this time to the New York and Porto Rico Steamship Company and renamed the “Carolina,” she was sunk by German submarine U-151 off of New Jersey on June 2, 1918 with a loss of thirteen lives.
    The third steamship named the City of Savannah was a 5,654-ton ship built in 1907 by the Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding Works. When the International Light Car Race was held in Savannah on Nov. 25, 1908, she served as the American Automobile Association headquarters. 
    Owned by the Ocean Steamship Company, she was chartered during both World Wars by the U.S. Army as a troop transport ship. Laid up at Mobile, Ala. in July 1946, the City of Savannah was sold for scrap in September 1947.   
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at

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