Chippewa Square is found right in the center of historic Savannah, Georgia. It was laid in 1815 and was named in commemoration of the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812.
The five squares along Bull Street: Monterey, Madison, Chippewa, Wright, and Johnson were meant to be Savannah’s “Crown Jewels.” And many of the other squares were intended as commons or parks, although today, most serve as memorials.
And like the others, at the center of Chippewa Square stands guard a 9-foot tall statue of General James Oglethorpe, founder of the Georgia colony. A military man committed to prison reform in England, Oglethorpe was also committed to creating better opportunities for working-class individuals.
The sculpture of General Oglethorpe was completed by Daniel Chester French after architect Henry Bacon created the monument’s base.
What’s near Chippewa Square in historic Savannah?
Due to the beautiful square’s central location, several tours and activities are held nearby for locals and tourists to enjoy.
In fact, the square lays claim to the oldest theatre in America. The Savannah Theatre was opened in 1818 and is a popular attraction for tourists to visit while in Chippewa Square. It has hosted various performances, concerts, and Broadway shows. Even the building itself is beautiful enough to attract many people to the theatre, and it displays some fantastic pieces of Savannah’s history.
While for music lovers and those with a simple curiosity for the unusual, Graveface Records and Curiosities record shop is quite the spot to visit.
Forrest Gump’s iconic bench
But Chippewa Square is perhaps most famously known for the park bench scenes in the iconic film Forrest Gump. The majority of the film is narrated from the famous square. Tom Hanks sits on a bench, waiting for his bus, with his box of chocolates. All the while, he shares American history through his personal experiences with anybody who cares to listen.
The movie prop now sits in the Savannah History Museum, but many people still visit the park where the famous bench scenes were filmed to look for that picturesque moment. Instead grab a spot on one of the stone benches and watch hundreds of people walking by looking for Forrest Gump’s bench.