Isaiah Davenport left Massachusetts to start a new life in Savannah in 1808. Known as a skilled carpenter, he built the Davenport House in 1820. The Federal Style home is a showcase to Isaiah’s skill as the boards of the hardwood floor run the length of the room. The home has twelve fireplaces, four of which were likely used for cooking.
Legend has it that Isaiah lived in the building we know today as Laura’s Cottage while he built the Davenport House for his family. Laura’s Cottage was only sixty yards away from the Davenport House.
He lived in the home with his wife, nine children, and nine slaves until his death in 1827. The slaves lived in the basement of the home but sometimes slept in the attic or at the foot of the children’s beds. Only six of Isaiah’s children survived childhood. One of his daughters was rumored to have died from falling down the stairs. It’s not known how the others died, but it’s very possible that Yellow Fever could have been the culprit since it also led to Isaiah’s death.
One month after Isaiah died, his wife had her tenth child. Without Isaiah there to earn a living, she turned the home into a boarding house to earn extra money. She would eventually sell it to the Baynard family in 1840 who owned the property until the mid 20th century. It was then threatened to be demolished from being unkempt and run-down. The Historic Savannah Foundation interjected in 1955 and began restoration on the home. It opened as a museum eight years later.
Strange things happen at the Isaiah Davenport House even though it is now a museum. Check it out in our app to find out more and see the building (and maybe the spirits inside) for yourself.