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“A Great House and a Wonderful Tour”

Davenport House Museum
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Historical Square Segway Tour in Savannah
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Savannah Trolley and Historic Walking Tour Combo
Ranked #21 of 220 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Federal-style home of master builder Isaiah Davenport restored to its early 19th century beauty. Owned and operated by Historic Savannah Foundation.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The Isaiah Davenport House, located on Columbia Square,is a Federal Style house that was built in the early 1820s. Some of the items in this house belonged to the Davenport family, and the rest of the house is furnished with period appropriate pieces. The docent who provided us with a tour, a charming lady by the name of Pamela, did an exceptional job of making our time in the house educational and enjoyable. We were made to feel welcomed. Photographs are not permitted inside the house. This house is worth visiting.

2  Thank CJTravelerTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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502 - 506 of 577 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2012

The Living History presentations offered are fun as well as educational. It's a beautiful historic home.

1  Thank Robin N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

I am a museum professional and truly hate to give this museum a poor rating, but based on my visit last week, I feel that I can't give the museum more than a poor. My husband is not a museum person, so this was my only museum that I toured. I wish I had picked somewhere else or spent my $16 elsewhere. My disappointment began as soon as we entered the building. The woman at the cash register clearly had no interest being at work and didn't greet us. She put the chips down for our tour and told us to wait by the steps. I took the time while we waited for the tour to read the wall displays; however, I didn't have the time or know that I should really look at the inventory list on the table by the cotton. When the museum tour began, our very young docent told us to look at the list but gave the entire group (4 couples) less than one minute to peruse it. If this was as important as she made it out to be, the woman at the register should have spoken up or the museum needs to clarify the exhibit. I picked the Davenport Museum based on its being awarded a Preserve America Presidental Award in 2005, I expected the docent to make at least a reference to this prestigious honor; however, I was wrong. She never once mentioned the restoration process beyond giggling about how she liked the faux brick wallpaper. I did notice a small display (maybe a photo and two papers) in the basement; however, there was nothing to explain what it meant. Having trained docents and run docent programs at multiple museums, I know some docents are better than others. I know that our docent received training and wasn't supposed to have memorized her tour, but it was very obvious that she had memorized what she wanted to say. She had no clue what to do when she realized a prop was in the room from the prior evening's Yellow Fever program. It threw her for a loop and you could see her trying to figure out how to get back to her tour. I consider myself a social historian, so I wanted to hear about the family, why Davenport moved to Savannah, what buildings he built in the area, how their slaves lived, etc. I didn't get any of that. Instead, I heard the "this piece of china", "that doll", etc. Our docent spoke very quickly and was hard to understand. I know I wasn't the only one who had trouble understanding, because I saw several others trying to figure out what she was saying. Our tour ended in the garden. I know that the museum board chose to landscape in a manor that lends to weddings, teas, and other rentals, but I found the backyard very disappointing. There was absolutely no link to the Federal style yard that the Davenports would have known. Our docent didn't understand when I asked (three times) if archaeology had been conducted in the garden to determine the former location of the privy and any out buildings. She kept giving me a completely different answer and appeared to have no clue why archaeology would have been done at the site. All in all, I was very disappointed in our visit.

5  Thank tntraveler2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DHDirector, Manager at Davenport House Museum, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2012

Thank you for spotlighting an unfortunate tour experience. We have investigated the date and time of your experience, have identified the staff involved and taken corrective measures to insure that another such episode does not happen again.

You are correct in being disappointed. I am disappointed. As a discerning authority intent on casting doubt on the DH’s stance as a professional museum, please know we do not take untrained teenagers and cast them on the public. We train our docents. As part of our community outreach, we train high school students to be docents and on the whole they have been successful ambassadors and future museum stewards. However, this was not the case in your experience and we are mortified. We will use your critique as a training tool.

We relish it when colleagues visit and make their concerns known with regard to our interpretation, preservation and management. Being challenged and corrected is important to our growth as a cultural institution. However, if time had been taken (if it was available) we could have made things right before you left the building.

All guests need to know, we have never refused a refund to unhappy guests. Our assistant director was on duty on the day in question and offered the group (with members of your tour party) the opportunity to return to the museum exhibits with him for a recap or an entirely new tour. We have explanatory panels in the lobby and “while you wait” notebooks filled with information about the museum – including archeology. We have a 3-color brochure on our re-interpretation. There is a comment book as well as a stack of post cards for questions with room for a full critique (anonymous if you like). We have a professional staff person on duty to handle issues when they arise. A committed museum professional investigates and seeks a dialogue with hopes for a positive outcome.

We hope you will return to Savannah one day and visit our fine museum. We would be happy to see you. Until that time there is ample information on our website about Isaiah Davenport’s inventory, our Preserve America Presidential Award, our garden, etc. We hope you will avail yourself these materials as they are there for the taking.

Happy Touring!

Jamie Credle
Davenport House Museum

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

My husband enjoyed the tour more than I did however I can say I was so tired from walking I think I was to tired to enjoy anything at that point. The tour was informative but the house was very well kept.

Thank Larjly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We recently attended the Davenport House interpretive tour of the time Yellow Fever decimated Savannah. An excellent educational and informative performance by all. Programs like this only add to the beauty of the city. Wish we could have seen more of the residence, but an evening well spent in an amazingly historical city.

Thank SavannahNewcomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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