The Waving Girl – Savannah, Georgia - Atlas Obscura
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Savannah, Georgia

The Waving Girl

A statue honoring 44 continuous years of greeting passing ships.  

The Waving Girl statue, located at the east side of the Savannah River, commemorates Florence Martus, who took it upon herself to become the hostess of the Hostess City.

In 1887, Martus, daughter of an ordnance sergeant at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island, decided to greet each ship entering the Port of Savannah. Florence welcomed visitors by waving a handkerchief during the day and holding a lantern at night, and according to legend, not a ship entered or departed Savannah without her greeting or farewell for the next 44 years.

Some stories say Florence, inspired by love, was patiently waiting the return of a particular sailor who’d captured her heart, while others imply she simply enjoyed welcoming people to the city and receiving gifts from sailors. In addition to this monument, sculpted by Felix de Weldon, a Liberty ship, SS Florence Martus, was named in her honor in 1943.