Coastal Heritage Society begins management of Harper Fowlkes House

Starting on April 1st 2019, Coastal Heritage Society, a local non-profit with more than forty years of museum management experience, began managing operations of The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia’s Harper Fowlkes House, an 1842 Greek Revival mansion located on Orleans Square.

“We are delighted to be a leading this new era of growth and programming expansion at the Harper Fowlkes House,” said Sandra Baxter, Chief Executive Officer at Coastal Heritage Society. “We are looking forward to creating more frequent educational engagement opportunities at the museum to benefit the Savannah community.”

The Harper Fowlkes House was thought to be designed by Charles B. Cluskey and is noted for its unique “Temple of the Wind” columns, richly furnished interiors, important oil portraits and original details to the home, such as converted gasoliers and period antiques.

The home remained in the Champion/McAlpin family from its original purchase in 1843 through 1939 when it was purchased by Alida Harper Fowlkes for $9,000. Alida was a female entrepreneur who owned a restaurant, antique stores and restored several historic houses downtown during her lifetime.

When Alida died in 1985, she willed the house to the Society of Cincinnati of Georgia, a hereditary society with branches in the United States and France. The Society was founded in 1783, to preserve the ideals and fellowship of officers of the Continental Army who served in the American Revolution. She also wanted the house to showcase the lifestyle of the mid-1800s, and stipulated that her collection items would remain intact and stay with the home.

After years of repairs and renovations, as well as the addition of a new garden, the Harper Fowlkes House opened in 2008 as a museum to share the vision and mission Alida saw for the future of the home. Now, under the leadership of Coastal Heritage Society, that vision will be even further realized through more diverse educational programming, tours, and events. The Harper Fowlkes House will also be included in the Coastal Heritage Society brand, along with the five other museums CHS operates, and will offer special discounts and Coastal Heritage Society membership perks.

To learn more about the new management of the site, and future plans, we invite the public to a Harper Fowlkes House “Open House,” held at 230 Barnard St. on Sunday, May 12th from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. Light refreshments and beverages will be served in the garden. The event is free to attend, though donations are welcome.

About Coastal Heritage Society

The mission of Coastal Heritage Society is to provide educational experiences to the public through the preservation and presentation of the historic cultural resources in coastal Georgia and adjacent regions. Coastal Heritage Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1975 which operates five historic museums including Georgia State Railroad Museum, Savannah Children’s Museum, Savannah History Museum, Old Fort Jackson and Pin Point Heritage Museum.