The Ghosts of Tin City Savannah

You can look for the location of Tin City on a map of Savannah, but you won’t find it. Like the ghosts that haunted it, the whole place just up and disappeared.

Tin City used to be east of Savannah nestled in overgrown grassland and abandoned rice fields. It was established in 1929 by an impoverished African-American man, Louis Ellis, who was granted permission to settle there. He built a home with discarded tin and scrap metal. He made a little garden for growing his own foods. Soon other African Americans joined him and they also built homes constructed of tin and junk metals. Soon Tin City became a little self-sufficient community and they even had a Mayor to represent them.

And of course they had a few ghosts

The Mayor, Nathaniel Lewis, had a short creepy annoying ghost that waited at his gate. If he talked to the spirit it would attack him, but if he ignored the spirit it wouldn’t do him harm. Naturally the Mayor pretended the ghost wasn’t there… but it was.

There were three ghosts that stood watch over what everyone believed was buried pirate treasure. The community made an attempt to dig up the gold, but just when they saw it at the bottom of the pit, the treasure fell deeper and out of reach. The three ghosts laughed and howled. Nobody went treasure hunting after that.

And of course Tin City had the usual dead folk who float around a few feet off the ground and don’t do much of anything at all. Except maybe when they fly in on a whirlwind and cause all sorts of trouble.

Tin City is gone, but what about the ghosts? Are they still there? Have they moved into Savannah and taken up residence in better accommodations?

Who knows what happens to places and people when they’re forgotten. Perhaps they linger on… waiting to be remembered.

Books By JK Bovi
www.wickedhaints.com

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There’s a basement bar in City Market known as Pour Larry’s. Not only is this popular pub known for featuring local musicians and cheap drink specials, it’s also known to be haunted by an usually stinky ghost.

The unforgettable nauseous smell of burnt flesh is often combined with unexpected flying drinking glasses aimed at employee’s heads by unseen forces. The overall ‘bad vibes’ experienced in Pour Larry’s, and the unexplainable stench can only mean one thing; it’s haunted by a previous owner, John Montmollin.

John Montmollin was a wealthy plantation owner who owned the brick building at 206 west Jullian Street. He also operated a slave trade business out of this location and kept slaves in the basement. He was an evil sinister man who didn’t treat people fairly and had a devious reputation for crooked dealings. He financed the building of the sailing vessel, The Wanderer, to import slaves. Since it was illegal to bring Africans directly into Georgia The Wanderer secretly wandered up and down the coast with its human cargo. But eventually the ship was confiscated and his lucrative business ended. He was not sent to prison or fined, but instead confined for a week to his luxurious apartment above his business office in City Market. He continued other distasteful rat business ventures for many years after.

And here is how John Montmollin became Savannah’s Stinky Ghost. On June 9th 1859 he was aboard the steamer, J.G. Lawton, 20 miles up the Savannah River when the ship’s boiler exploded and he was killed. He was found two days later with his head and upper body stuck in pluff mud and his legs sticking up like stiff boards. He was burned to a crisp and, after rotting in the Georgia sun for two days, he stunk to high heaven.

But heaven is not where John Montmollin went. Instead he went back to his place of corrupt business to stink up the basement with his rotten burnt flesh smell. He’s not a very happy bar patron (a disgruntled business owner gone mad) and makes his presence known by busting up glasses, stinking up the place and giving off some really ‘bad vibes’.

If you visit Pour Larry’s for a drink and you get an uneasy feeling, and your nose is accosted by the disgusting odor of burnt flesh then perhaps John Montmollin is sitting on the bar stool next to you, or maybe somebody just farted.

In Savannah ya just never know.

It’s all in what you believe …