City and neighborhood leaders joined together last Friday morning at the Carver Village Community Center to celebrate the proud history of Carver Village and the completion of the application process for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The people gathered here today can tell you the importance of this place,” said District 1 Alderman Van R. Johnson II, whose district includes the neighborhood. “Many have lived here their entire lives. They have raised families here, planted roots. For them, Carver Village is home, the most important place in their world. “Today we will celebrate, and say to the people of Carver Village that your neighborhood is important, it is significant, and it is a proud part of Savannah’s history.”
Carver Village, located on Savannah’s westside, was built in 1947 as one of the first places in Savannah where working class African Americans could purchase a home. Many military personnel, as well as workers at Union Bag, Coastal Chemical, Port City Steel and Savannah Electric lived in the neighborhood, which included 600 homes and two parks.
One of them was Henry Mack, who was present for Friday’s ceremony at the Historic Carver Village Community Center. As a member of the military, he put down his $100 deposit in 1948, built his home and raised a family of five there. Mack hasn’t left.
“I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” Mack said. “It’s got the best people in the entire world.”
City Manager Stephanie Cutter celebrated Mack and other residents at the ceremony, and recognized their importance to the larger community.
“I see a great reflection of history in this room,” Cutter said. “Just like it was years ago, it takes a village. We need to let our children see and understand this rich history.”
For the past three years the City of Savannah, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, and the Carver Village Neighborhood Association have worked to document the historic resources of Carver Village. The City and MPC have now taken the next step and completed its submission to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for inclusion of this neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places. The State will review the application in August.
“When that happens, we will celebrate the designation,” said Neighborhood Association President Chester Ellis. “Today, we simply celebrate the richness of the history of Carver Village.
“Y’all have a lot to be thankful for,” Mayor Eddie DeLoach said. “This place is home not because of the houses or buildings. This place is home because of the people.”