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118 East Waldburg Street
Tel: (800) 327-4270

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best example of High Victorian Italianate Architecture in the low country and Savannah!

The Catherine Ward House is located on a quiet street in the Victorian District of Savannah, Georgia. This wonderful 19th century inn, under new ownership in April 2005, has had its rooms, its amenities, its policies, and its personality updated.

The inn is located ½ block from magnificent Forsyth Park (known for its formal gardens, elegant fountain, civil war monuments, open spaces, public tennis and basketball courts).
You will find Historic District shopping, restaurants, museums, and over 250 years of history are within a few minutes stroll. We offer a host of unique ideas and stand ready to make your stay in Savannah memorable.

My staff and I are dedicated to meeting the expectations of each and every guest who stays at the Catherine Ward House Inn.

The Catherine Ward House is one of the most elegant and comfortable inns in Savannah. Each of our nine specially appointed guestrooms has either a queen or a king size bed and its own private bath with shower. A couple of baths have a two person Jacuzzi and one room even has a two-person shower. All of the rooms have beautiful old fireplaces and mantles. In some rooms, the fireplaces still work and in others, we have allowed them to retire. Most rooms open onto porches and balconies leading to our quiet, green courtyard with a fishpond and fountain. All of our rooms have complimentary robes and hair dryers for you to use during your stay. There is cable television, a small refrigerator with free water and soda, and CD/clock radios in every room.

High-Speed Wireless Internet

Each morning, you are served a full breakfast in our dining room. We try to be ready for the early birds who get up at the crack of dawn and we keep the frying pan warm for the sleepy heads that just can't pull themselves out of bed. We understand that not everyone is on the same schedule. Since most of our guests are on vacation, we try to be flexible. Also, let us know when you are making your reservation if your have any dietary restrictions or preferences and we will try to accommodate them.

Inn History

The Catherine Ward House, built in 1886, is considered by many to be the best example of High Victorian Italianate Architecture in the low country and Savannah.

In 1846, James Ward emigrated from Ireland to Quebec at age 13. Having grown weary of the seafaring life, the Sea Captain moved to Savannah in 1869. Captain Ward was attracted to the large Irish community and to the opportunities in the new South during Reconstruction.

In the early 1880's, Captain Ward's first wife died. He married Catherine, fifteen years his junior. It was for Catherine that he planned to move his residence to the developing Victorian District and to build her a modern home on Waldburg Street east of Forsyth Park.

The Italianate carpenter house, completed in 1886, is a unique union of traditional Savannah architecture with the modern conveniences of the Victorian Age. Like so many older row houses, the house is built over a full brick basement with the parlor floor found on the second of its three floors. The house had piped gas for cooking and lighting, piped water, and indoor plumbing.

Captain and Mrs. Ward rose to prominence in Savannah’s Irish circles. They were members of the new and impressive Cathedral of John the Baptist. The Captain stood as a standard bearer in the Hibernian Society.

After Captain Ward’s death in 1891, Catherine continued to live in the house on Waldburg Street. She took in two boarders, the Misses Jessie and Nellie Lynch, who maintained the house while Catherine made frequent visits to her second home in New York City. Catherine died in New York in August 1929.

In 1913, Catherine sold the house on Waldburg Street to Michael Gainey, proprietor of the Cosmopolitan hotel in Savannah. He and his wife, Kate, and their family lived in the house until 1935. The house was sold to John M. Trapani where he and his family resided in the home until 1965. The home was then sold and divided into rental units.

Jim Williams, featured in both the book and movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, and a member of the Historical Savannah Foundation, recognizing the architectural significance of the Catherine Ward House encouraged the foundation to purchase the house. In 1983, the Historic Savannah Foundation purchased the house. The renovation was completed in 1986.

Alan Williams purchased the Catherine Ward House from the Savannah Historical Society. In 1998, he completed renovations turning the Catherine Ward House into a bed and breakfast inn. Those renovations gained recognition from both the Savannah Historical and the National Historic Commission.

In the summer of 2005, the inn received a complete updating from its new owners. New paint, wallpaper and floor coverings went into all common areas and all of the rooms. Furniture was upgraded. New, guest-friendly policies and programs were instituted. Wireless high-speed internet was made available to every room, the courtyard, the porches and the parlor. Catherine Ward with all her charm was given a new personality and brought into the 21st century!