Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:15 PM
About
Built as a beautiful Regency style mansion in 1819, the Owens-Thomas House, along with its adjacent gardens, carriage house, and slave quarters, allows visitors to explore the complicated relationships between the most and least powerful people in the city of Savannah in the early 19th century. Only a seven-minute walk from Telfair Museums’ other two sites, this historic home offers a completely different experience. Telfair Museums’ Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters has paused all docent led tours indefinitely due to COVID-19. Guests may independently navigate the historic home with an audio tour available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or our website.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Lsipka
    McKinney, Texas151 contributions
    Fascinating !!!!
    My friend and I loved this tour. Very well done, and a fascinating look at the disparity between the classes of society in the antebellum south. I have to address the (few) reviews that complained that this tour was too “woke.” I am trying to think of the words to respond to this and frankly - I can’t. If you are offended by an accurate depiction of history, and seeing how others were forced to live without basic freedoms, that sounds like a You Problem. I’m aghast at a comment that basically stated “these slaves didn’t have it so bad” ? What ?? These people were owned by other people ! They had no say in any aspect of their lives and their families were torn apart . Not so bad ?? I just can’t. This tour is called “Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters” - it’s obviously going to discuss how enslaved people lived and were treated. It should bother you!
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written February 25, 2023
  • delligill
    Radlett, United Kingdom54 contributions
    Fascinating and beautifully restored and preserved house
    We found this tour really fascinating and informative. The way that the house and the slave quarters have been restored and, in some areas, preserved as they stand, is excellent. You could really imagine how people lived in the house and what life might have been like for both the white occupants and their enslaved men, women and children. Really worth a visit.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 25, 2023
  • Catherine N
    Charleston, South Carolina96 contributions
    Profound memorial to the Enslaved people
    This is a great experience. The house has been - or is still being - returned to how it would have looked when it was first constructed. But the most compelling part for me was at the start of the tour. During the orientation the guide stood in front of a wall which was a memorial to the people who were enslaved by the former owners of the home. The Name Wall. Each person represented by a wooden plaque engraved with their name. In many cases the plaque is blank as the names are not all known and they continue to research and try to find them. Highly recommend this tour.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 27, 2023
  • lewseph
    Boston, Massachusetts77 contributions
    Unmissable experience
    This was a memorable, fascinating experience. Erica, tour guide, you gave a wonderful presentation. Seeing the perspective of the enslaved is incredibly important and difficult to underplay (re: criticism of woke-ness). There is plenty of information on architecture and historical technology. Two worlds are presented objectively- one being an aesthetic triumph and the other being of human tragedy.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written March 3, 2023
  • carolhubb
    New York City, New York154 contributions
    Moving Experience
    Interesting site and history of the building, the family and the enslaved people who worked there. Our guide was really great and very knowledgable about the house and the slave quarters. it's also part of the Telfair museums so you can visit all 3 sites for one price. Definitely recommend.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 8, 2023
  • Kerri C
    Chelsea, Alabama10 contributions
    Cool and interesting house.
    The house is very pretty. The tour is self guided with the use of a QR code. This is one of three of the Telfair properties. Your admission into this property gets you also into the others. The tour was informative and interesting though seems to be more about the slaves and indentured servants that lived there. This house has a very cool invention for the time indoor plumbing.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Anne N
    Basking Ridge, New Jersey6 contributions
    Interesting Tour
    This tour provided a good overview of the house and its various inhabitants, both enslaved and owners. And put it all within the historical context of Savannah at the time. Joint ticket with 2 art museums in Savannah.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 16, 2023
  • trever sandra S
    5 contributions
    Rich History
    This tour was amazing! Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the tour. The house and grounds were amazing with so much detail and features. It was eye-opening to view the slave quarters and the basement where they completed their work compared to the owner and his family! It is a real-life history lesson that everyone should see and learn from. I can't stress enough that this is a must-see tour!
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 5, 2023
  • A_Davis14
    Fort Worth, Texas132 contributions
    Savannah History
    Renee, our tour guide, made this whole experience for us. Do not wait until the audio tour in the afternoon to do your own thing. You will get so much of the knowledge from the guided tour-everything from the family to the architecture and even other families in the area. The only bummer, but not a huge deal, is that most, if not all of the furnishings, are not originals to the family or house. Only timepiece relevant. Same with some of the house details Like the wallpaper and carpet. Tour lasts about an hour.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written April 13, 2023
  • John L
    Fairfield, Connecticut443 contributions
    A glimpse of old Savannah
    Owens-Thomas provides a snapshot of early Savannah gentry living. Beautiful gardens and house. We had a very good docent that brought the house to life. The slave quarters are really a large empty space that has been redone. You get an idea of what life was for a slave but not actual living conditions.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written April 30, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
2,398 reviews
Excellent
1,442
Very good
650
Average
204
Poor
48
Terrible
54

Chris G
2 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
Thirty dollars for not much. The house is not in very good shape- there is no wow factor. The guide was ok but you could tell she had done this too many times. Just a tourist trap. Go eat some oysters.
Written February 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DeeEllThr33
Albany, NY56 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
The house is a remarkably restored piece of history. Honestly our tour guide was not very good and that detracted heavily. She was rushed, seemed disinterested, and offered jargony word salad in every room such as “in this room they performed wealthy woman expectations such as hosting musical instruments.” What?
Written February 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen K
Corpus Christi, TX1,847 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We were lucky to get Harris Hoin as our tour guide; as a former high school civics teacher, he is an excellent person to lead this tour of an antebellum urban home with slave quarters. This home is well-preserved. It is not a particularly upscale home with lavish furnishings, but does appear to have furnishings typical of the upper middle class turning the antebellum period. Harris did an excellent job providing historical context for the period.
Written February 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary B
9 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
This was great, worth every minute. There aren't many places in Savannah where you can see actual rooms or buildings where enslaved people lived, and this is one. They do a good job explaining the structure of daily life for slaves, and describing their lives when they weren't slaving away. We learned about Haint Blue paint here. Our guide was excellent, he had a lot of info to give when our group asked deeper questions. The other house was quite beautiful with period furnishings, and good stories. This was an excellent choice for which of the many house tours to do when visiting historic Savannah.
Written February 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jodie PM
Wurtsboro, NY204 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
I have always loved to tour Southern Homes, but this tour really changed the viewpoint. You still got to learn about the people who owned it and the architecture, but now you are also learning about the enslaved people who were very much a part of the house's history. Of course, the information on these members of the household is not as detailed as the folks who owned them, but the historians have uncovered some of the information about their lives. It is so satisfying to know that these people are no longer lost in history. I really enjoyed the different focus!
Written January 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

betteskid
Boston, MA1,328 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We really enjoyed our tour of this home. The docent who did the tour was very knowledgeable and helped us really get a feel for the history of the home and the relationship between the owners and the enslaved people who served the household. The ability to see where the enslaved people lived and worked was also an important part of the tour. I would definitely try to fit this into your visit to Savannah.
Written December 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kimberly H
New York City, NY5 contributions
Dec 2023 • Solo
Detailed and enthusiastic staff and tour guide He never rushed us and happily answered all our questions
Written December 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Casey C
40 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
We had a 3 year old and infant in carrier. They had a little scavenger hunt for our toddler to find things throughout the house. Unfortunately he was still a little antsy so he played in the courtyard with Dad while we finished our tour. I found our guide, Harris, very knowledgable aboit the family, architecture, and artwork. Its also the first time touring a slavery era museum or home I've encountered more appropriate terminology used consistently- enslaved people and enslavers- rather than slave and master. Tour takes about an hour and they run every 15 mins, not stroller or wheelchair friendly so bring a carrier for little ones!
Written October 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Life2Travel
Denver, NC1,574 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This was my favorite house tour of our trip and I would say not to be missed. I would recommend arriving early, there is usually a line when you arrive even before it opens. You aren't able to reserve ahead of time and they only take 12 people at a time. There is a covered tent area with benchesto wait to keep you out of the sun or rain and there are bathrooms. Guided docent tours are only in the morning and only audio tours are available in the afternoon. Harris was our guide and he was outstanding. He provided history of Savannah as well as all areas of the house. The pace was just right, the tour moved along without feeling rushed. This house is a must do in Savannah!
Written October 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dawna
Sacramento, CA48 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The day we wanted to visit, it was closed. We went the only other day available to our itinerary & it happed to be a free family day, so our tour was abbreviated. I'm sure it could be a full 5 star rating, if you get the entire tour. Note that the tour does fill up, so plan to arrive early.
Written October 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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OWENS-THOMAS HOUSE & SLAVE QUARTERS - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

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