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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  • Rita A
    60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great job providing a balanced tour
    We visited on the weekend of Juneteenth. Our tour guide provided the history of the Owens-Thomas family and the house as well as the stories of the enslaved people in the home. The stark contrast between the lives of the wealthy family and their enslaved subjects was described factually and dispassionately by our tour guide. Interestingly, the group only had questions and comments about the architectural details of the house. I thought our tour guide did a great job!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 21, 2023
  • PH G
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss it!
    We were the 11:45 group this June 28th. Our tour guide was wonderful and all the employees were extremely gracious. This amazing museum showcases the period and has many original pieces of furniture and art. A must see!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 28, 2023
  • Rebecca S
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    House tour is worth your time. Ask for Jordan!
    This tour was a highlight on our wonderful trip to Savannah. Our tour guide, Jordan, was an absolute gem. Her arsenal of information and her kind demeanor had everyone completely engaged. This house tour should be a stop on your vacation.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Laura C
    Mansfield, Massachusetts28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    a great tour
    Very good tour - if your only going to tour one house in Savannah, this one is the one to see. We arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon and had to buy tickets for a self guided audio tour. You scan a code and pull the tour up on your cell phone and can walk at your own pace. I think we arrived too late for the guided tour but regardless it was well worth it and very interesting.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 7, 2023
  • Anja000_11
    Oslo, Norway4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    interesting guided tour
    Very interesting house. We learned quite a bit. Our guide was very knowledgeable, but a little fast speaking for us foregneirs. We enjoyed the premises outside just a bit, do to extreme heat. The inside was very nicely kept and interpreted to acknowledge this history of the time
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Illinois1
    Illinois City, Illinois230 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Historic Home
    This house and property are beautiful. We had a great tour guide, Kate. Being able to tour the home and slave quarters are every interesting. We were encouraged to peruse the lower level after the tour ended and learn more about the inhabitants and history of this beautiful home.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2023
  • Carol Ann J
    Germantown, New York2,726 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historic Home and Slave Quarters
    Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is an example of a period home and quarters where their enslaved lived. The slave quarters sits opposite the home across a courtyard once full of activity and animals. The courtyard today is a lovely garden. One will tour the slave quarters on the first and second floors with an example of basic period furnishings. Inside the house one will see the first and second floors of a nice home as well as the basement where the kitchen was located.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 3, 2023
  • Lea M
    The Villages, Florida36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great tour - very informative
    By buying a ticket to this tour we also got access to the Jepson Museum and the Telfair Museum. All three were terrific. I love tour old homes, mansions and plantations and in some recent tours, this one included, I found there is a focus on brining back the importance of the role the enslaved people played in the success of these homes. I think it is really important not to lose our sight on how difficult of a life these enslaved individuals had. The tour was very informative.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 5, 2023
  • Joan S
    Pawcatuck, Connecticut6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must See Property
    Jordan provided an excellent tour. She encouraged and answered questions about the house and different periods. The house has areas both restored and conserved. If visiting only one historic house in Savannah, recommend this one.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 11, 2023
  • Dina H
    84 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent historic home tour explaining lives of owners and their slaves
    This was one of the best Southern historic home tours I’ve ever taken. I so appreciated how equal time was spent explaining the lives of the owners as well as the enslaved people. Very, very interesting. The home is beautifully renovated and has a number of very unique features. Well worth the admission!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,419 reviews
Excellent
1,456
Very good
650
Average
205
Poor
50
Terrible
58

Matt M
Smyrna, GA4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
I was excited to tour this house as it was one of the few options we found that offered self guided tours. I found this to be misleading. No audio player is provided- you are directed to use your phone to listen to each synopsis which drained my battery quickly. You are not allowed the ability to wander at your pace and are forced to wait for the party ahead of you to move on.

The staff seemed to be only concerned with making sure all of their rules are followed to the T, regardless of how practical they are. After walking through the garden, we made the unfortunate mistake of choosing the wrong stairway to walk up. An employee stormed out of the house, berated us for failing to notice the direction of the arrows under our feet, and forced my partner and I to walk up the other stairway. At this point, we were outside, there was no one behind us, and both stairways were under 10 steps (you can see what I am referring to in the pictures linked to this museum). I understand the severity of COVID and appreciate that efforts have been made to ensure everyone's safety, but the museum took their efforts too seriously and ruined our visit.

In addition, the staff were not welcoming and did not provide any information on the structures themselves. Instead you are constantly reminded to keep away from the party in front of you and quizzed on your intentions ("Are you following the audio tour? If so, go ahead. If not, you'll have to wait.") It got tiring fast. When we decided we had had enough, we went to leave and were told that we would have to go though all of the rooms on the floor. It was extremely unsettling to be told I couldn't leave an enclosed space. At this point, we had just made it to the second floor of the main building and the stairway we took up was the same one used to exit. Again, no one was behind us. I politely pointed this out and left.

I would recommend skipping this museum until COVID subsides as the restrictions in place do not allow for an enjoyable experience.
Written November 16, 2020
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.
We understand the frustrations of having to focus so much on the safety of our visitors instead of solely enjoying live engagement -- such a challenging time where we face a potential life or death matter. Thank you for giving us a try and for your feedback. We are constantly trying to seek a balance in providing visitors a great experience while maintaining the safety protocols in this most unusual time. If you have the name of a particular staff member or members that you felt were inappropriate, please email me at daughtryc@telfair.org.
Written December 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mike K
Southampton, PA198 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
On the first day of our trip, we visited the Telfair Academy museum which currently houses the Bird Girl statue from Bonaventure Cemetary. We purchased the ticket because it included passage to the Owens Thomas House and Telfair Museum any day over the next week, and we really wanted to see the Owens Thomas House.

We were told that the OTH opened at 10am daily at which time you sign up for a scheduled tour.

Two days later, we got to the OTH just after 9:30am, where there was a line down the street. This was expected. Staff came out to explain to the crowd how the process worked. We waited in line and finally got to the ticket counter around 10:20am, after spending 50 minutes waiting in line.

The lady at the ticket window said the next available slot was 11:15am. We had brunch reservations and asked for the 12:30pm tour since everything after 11:15am was completely open. She said she could not do that, we had to take the 11:15am. We explained that we had reservations for brunch, and she said we could go to the end of the line, wait again, and hope that by the time we got back to the ticket window, there would be a more suitable time available for us.

This is an AWFUL process and there is absolutely no reason why she couldn't just have written 12:30 on our ticket (that's how it works). Please note that we had already paid the entrance fee two days earlier - we were paid customers.

This was one of the attractions we were most looking forward to, and it's a shame we were treated in this manner and did not get to see it.

We did find out later that this current process is in place due to the pandemic and that you can normally sign up on their website for specific times. It's a shame they couldn't make a minor accommodation to current practices.
Written May 24, 2021
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.
On May 27, adjustments were made and we have been able to add to our tour group sizes. This has made a major difference in time in line and getting a time slot earlier to your arrival time. Thank you for your patience. The staff is doing all we can to accommodate visitors while upholding current COVID protocols. Safe travels!
Written May 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NormLWat
Waterloo, Canada842 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
This is part of the Telfair Museums three museum ticket package and for us, it was the highlight. The only way to tour this location is by a guided tour that runs roughly every 20 minutes. Tours are limited in size so either take the tour early in the morning or stop by to pick up a ticket for a tour later in the day before they are all gone. Tickets can be purchased at any of the three locations.

The guided tour starts in the carriage house and then moves through the gardens to the into the mansion and slave quarters. Nicely restored, interesting and informative commentary during the tour. Keeping history alive.
Written April 12, 2020
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.
Thank you for sharing your experience at the Ownes Thomas House and Slave Quarters. We are glad you enjoed your visit and wish you safe travels!
Written July 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anne P
42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
This is a busy attraction but did not have any issues with the tickets as other reviewers have noted. I recommend buying a ticket in mid-morning when they open and then allowing some flexibility in your PM schedule for when you get the assigned tour. Got there around 10am and waited in line for just a few minutes; got assigned the 1pm slot so was able to grab lunch and shop in the meantime.
The house is really interesting from an engineering and plumbing perspective. It's fascinating to see the cut-outs in the second floor exposing some of how this was done. You're allowed to go at your own pace and use an app on your phone for the audiotour.
Written March 29, 2021
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.
We're glad you enjoyed your visit! We appreciate your patience and understanding with our COVID protocols. The house is indeed unique! Safe travels!
Written April 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LoriLogic
Alvin, TX154 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
The tour cannot be purchased individually..it is on a ticket with 2 other places..which we did not have time for..but had to pay for anyway. Then there is the issue of scheduling. You have to go at 9am and wait in line till they open at 10 and hope you are close enough to the front of the line to get a time slot (which they assign you) for your self guided audio tour that you play on your own phone..draining your battery. The museum iteself was under construction in the main house and the slave quarters were not "set up" for a real museum type experience. I mean really people..at least add one of those wax figures or a little video or something even mildly interactive. The main house was slightly better but still lacked some of the features that generally makes a tour like this memorable like short videos or little details that make you connect with the subject matter.
Written May 18, 2021
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.
Your ticket is good for 7 days, so if there is a chance you are around another day we'd love to see you. We do our best to offer time for people to enjoy all three sites. Our Owens-Thomas House is the only one of the 3 sites that have restrictions in capacity due to the house having small rooms. The other two sites are available for people to walk up and in without any wait or appointments. There is also a lovely cafe in the Jepson Center and the gift shop. Hopefully on your next visit you can make time for more than one site or be here more than a day. The other two sites are only 2 squares away from the house you visited. We wish you safe travels and enjoy the rest of your time in Savannah!
Written May 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Barbara K
84 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
Would have had 5 stars but after buying online tickets due to only 1 day in Savannah expected to wait in a line to get a time. Instead had to wait in same line as people with no tickets. Then got our time. This wastes almost 3/4 of our day when we could be seeing the lovely city. I nicely chatted about it to 3 of their assistants and they said preaching to the choir. Go online and complain. Tension in line, many people leave and never come back and those of us who bought online to save time feel cheated. We had no benefit since there was only one line. We also asked for a later time to try to have some time to get on the trolley and they would not accomodate that either. They had my money so take all of this or leave it. Poor accomodation to Covid times, could be handled so much more efficiently.
Written March 25, 2021
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.
We sincerely regret your experience. Where you bought your ticket online has not released the money to us yet and even if it has, you may request a refund. Please go online and request a full refund. If you have problems, please email me directly at daughtryc@telfair.org with your full name and booking # and I will take care of it. Yes, we do share your frustrations and our entire leadership team has been working on correcting this issue. COVID has been a struggle for many institutions and visitors in many ways. We regret your experience caught one of these moments in transition and I encourage you to request a refund immediately. Safe travels and enjoy the rest of your stay in this beautiful city.
Written March 27, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

babbette12
Augusta, GA90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Friends
I've been here a few times over the years with guests who visit Georgia, and this museum has matured and developed in a wonderful way. Right now, I would say this is the historical museum I'd most recommend in Savannah. The tours by docents are done in the mornings, and you cannot book a time slot in advance. They take 12 people at a time. Afternoons are audio tours (so recommend bringing headsets if you go in the afternoon). We got there half an hour before opening and were still 25 people deep in line. The docent tour was fantastic. The docent was clearly passionate about history, and inclusive of the history of the enslaved people in the home and what life was like for them.
Written December 30, 2022
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.

franjam19
Cambridge, Ohio, United States41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I was so over the moon for this house!! Our guide was a true Southern woman who was no nonsense and so very informative. The house can be viewed from top to bottom, nothing is off limits. Our guide gave us plenty of time to geek around the rooms and take in the unbelievable decor as well as answered any questions (you could really tell when someone asked a dumb one! LOL!!) If you're on the hunt for a house tour that actually allows you to see the entire house then this is the tour for you!!
Written February 20, 2020
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.
We are glad you enjoyed your tour at the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters.
Written February 21, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Life2Travel
Charlotte, NC1,623 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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.

Savannah M
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Absolutely the best tour we went on in Savannah!! The tour ran about 45-60 minutes long and took us into all different parts of the house. It was super factual and I completely appreciated the time they took to explain the architectural details, the history of the home, and the owner's and enslaved people's way of life. It was a breath of fresh air after we had toured the nearby plantation the day before that didn't seem to mention enslaved people at all. Also, shout out to our tour guide (Gina?) who really took the time to explain everything and listen to our questions.

Side note, with the purchase of your ticket, you also get entry into 2 other art museums. So, that said, because the tour groups are small (about 12 ppl, I believe), I recommend buying your ticket earlier in the morning/early afternoon and then using whatever time you have in between to explore those other nearby museums or the nearby squares.
Written March 27, 2022
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 (2024)

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