Chippewa Square, at the intersections of Bull and McDonough Streets, was laid out in 1815 and named in commemoration for the Battle of Chippewa in the War or 1812.
At the center of this famous square is a statue of colonial founder General James Oglethorpe, a social reformer and military leader. Oglethorpe conceived the idea for the colony of Georgia through his work as a prison reformer in England, and hoped to create a place of opportunity for working class people.
In 1732, King George II was persuaded to grant a charter to Oglethorpe to create the colony as a military buffer between the wealthy English Carolinas and wild Spanish Florida in the present-day areas of Jacksonville and St. Augustine. The Oglethorpe statue now standing in Chippewa Square is thought to be facing south to keep an eye on the Spanish hostiles.
Chippewa Square is also known as “the Forrest Gump square,” for its use as the backdrop of the scenes where the title character sits on a bench as he waits for a bus, a box of chocolates in his lap, and narrates his life story for the other characters who sit down beside him. The scene was shot on the north side of the square with Oglethorpe in the background, using a bench that was brought in for filming. A replica of the prop bench can be found at the Savannah History Museum, and also at Georgia’s I-95 Welcome Center, where visitors can sit next to a life-sized Forrest to have their picture taken.
While visiting Chippewa Square, you may want to stop in to The Savannah Theatre, The Foley House Inn, First Baptist Church, and the 1847 Moses-Eastman House.