Open Monday-Saturday. Adult admission $15.
See below: full visitor information
Of all Savannah’s citizens, past and present, few have had the reach and influence of Juliette Gordon Low. Known the nation over as the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, her former homes and her grave are visited annually by thousands of Girl Scouts. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, now operated by the Girl Scouts as a National Program Center and historic house museum, presents an insight into Low’s life and achievements, and an image of upper class life in a southern city in the later 19th century.
Born to Savannah’s wealthy Gordon family on the eve of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low (then Juliette Magill Gordon) spent much of her childhood in this home.
Juliette, known as Daisy to her friends, married William Mackay Low in the 1880s. The Lows traveled extensively during the course of their marriage, mostly in England. Later, Gordon Low returned to Savannah, spending the remainder of her years in the present Andrew Low House; its carriage house would become the Girl Scouts’ first meeting place.
Juliette Gordon Low established the Girl Scouts in 1912, the organization growing in only a few years from its small Savannah base into a national movement. She came by the idea during her travels in Britain. A meeting with Robert Baden Powell, whose Boy Scouts and Girl Guides aimed to promote practical and life skills through a variety of activities, camps and games, inspired Low to implement a similar program for Savannah’s girls.
One troupe became several, and the Savannah organization became a national one, with girls in cities across the United States eager to take part in activities intended to promote the domestic skills of household economy and homemaking but also to encourage independence, resourcefulness, patriotism and high character. Low worked hard to promote the movement nationally, and a decade after she brought it to Savannah, there were almost 100,000 American Girl Scouts.
Though Gordon Low had given up the presidency of the Girl Scouts by the 1920s to promote the movement on a national and international scale, she retained her ties to the Savannah Scouts. Low’s death on January 17 1927 was greatly mourned in Savannah, the city’s Girl Scouts attending her funeral en masse. Juliette Gordon Low was buried in her Girl Scout uniform, in the Gordon family plot in Laurel Grove Cemetery.
What To See & Do
Guided tours Short guided tours of the Birthplace are available, taking around 30-45 minutes. Tours vary according to the guide, but will usually discuss the history of the Girl Scouts and the home, visiting the first and second floors and sometimes the basement in which the family’s slaves once lived. You can also make a self-guided visit to the upper floor of the house, where the bedrooms are located, and to the gardens.
Tickets for tours can be purchased in advance (recommended for visits in June or July); please note that occasionally, special events in the birthplace interrupt the regular tour schedule.
Gardens The Birthplace garden, in which Gordon Low played as a child, features historic and local plants referenced by the Gordons in their correspondence. A recent statue depicts the Girl Scouts founder and her dog.
Architecture The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, otherwise known as the Wayne-Gordon House, was built around 1820-21 for James Moore Wayne (then recently the mayor of Savannah and later a Supreme Court Justice) and his wife Elizabeth. The original house is constructed in the Regency style, the design attributed to the Englishman William Jay, one of Savannah’s most noted antebellum architects.
In 1831, the house passed into the Gordon family, purchased from the Waynes by Sarah Anderson Stites Gordon and William Washington Gordon I (whose monument in Wright Square commemorates his contribution to the development of Georgia’s railroads). The Gordons were Juliette Gordon Low’s grandparents.
Gordon senior’s son, William Washington Gordon II (Low’s father), inherited the house in 1842. He would later extend the house, adding an additional story and covered side gallery in 1886, according to the plans of New York architect Detlef Lienau.
In 1952, the Girl Scouts of the USA purchased the property, which they preserved and later restored.
Artworks and artifacts The restored Birthplace is home to many period and original furnishings and items, including paintings and sculpture produced by Juliette Gordon Low herself. The house’s decorations and artifacts serve the dual purpose of illuminating the life a family such as the Gordons would have lived in this period, and Juliette Gordon Low’s experiences and achievements through displays of her personal possessions and of Girl Scout memorabilia.
The house’s library, once typical of the collection a 19th-century southern gentleman would have possessed, has recently been transformed to emphasise women’s contribution to literature and knowledge. The library also displays artifacts and publications from the history of the Girl Scouts.
The following is correct at the time of writing. Please verify details before planning your trip. For additional information, call 912-233-4501 or visit the official website
Opening hours Open Monday-Saturday, 9am-4:15pm. Please note that Girl Scout troop tours are usually offered in the mornings, with tours open to the general public available in the afternoons, 12:15pm-4:15pm. Morning tours for the general public are available seasonally.
The Birthplace is closed on St Patrick’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Please note that the house may also close for other events, and for stretches of time in the off-season for cleaning and maintenance; visit the website or call ahead for more details.
The gift store, which can be visited without purchasing admission to the Birthplace, is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.
Admission Adults $15, children (5-18)/students/seniors/military $12, Girl Scouts $10, young children (0-4) free.
Address 10 East Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401
GPS coordinates N 32.077091, W -081.092496
The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is in the center of Savannah’s Historic District, at the intersection of Bull Street and Oglethorpe Avenue. It is a block and a half south of Bull Street’s Wright Square. See on map
Parking Parking is not available at the Birthplace. Metered street parking should usually be available within a few blocks; the nearest parking garage is the State Street Parking Garage (entrance at State and Drayton Streets). More information about public parking in Savannah
Public transport The nearest stop on the free downtown shuttle is three blocks away, on Telfair Square. The house is also accessible by CAT buses. Get public transport directions or read more about riding the bus or shuttle in Savannah.