Located just under 10 miles from downtown Savannah sits one of the state’s most popular historic sites with one of the longest filmographies of any location in our area. Wormsloe Historic Site is Savannah’s only standing remnant from the founding of the State of Georgia and one of the first plantations created outside of the city’s center. Wormsloe’s founder, Noble Jones was an English physician and carpenter who arrived with James Oglethorpe and the first colonists of the State of Georgia in 1733.
Originally conceived as a strategic guard post as a part of General Oglethorpe’s defensive plan against the Spanish, Noble Jones would construct a fortified house overlooking the Skidaway river on the southeastern tip of Isle of Hope. The structure was built between 1739 and 1745, and was made of wood and tabby, an early type of concrete made of oyster shells, lime, water, ash, and sand. The ruins of this tabby house still stand today and give account to the home’s footprint. By 1745 Jones was granted a lease of 500 acres north of the fort house, and the Wormsloe estate began to take shape.
Believed to be named after the English township of Wormslow Hundred in Herefordshire, from which the Jones family originated, Wormsloe Plantation would evolve to grow corn, rice, fruits, and vegetables. The plantation relied on indentured servant labor until slavery was instituted in 1749, but never proved profitable despite Jones’ amassed wealth from other endeavors. Upon his death in 1775, the plantation and estate would be inherited by his descendants who eventually built an even larger plantation home in 1828. Jones’ great grandson George Wimberley Jones De Renne would expand the plantation’s garden and plant the first oak-lined avenue to the property.
By the 1960s the family had divided the property, retaining 45 acres around the family home while donating 822 acres of the estate to their non-profit, which eventually transferred to the state of Georgia in 1973. The modern-day decedents of Jones are the ninth generation and fourteenth owners of the family property. The Department of Natural Resources has been managing the historic site as a state park since it opened to the public in 1979.
Today Wormsloe’s mile-long oak avenue has been captured by both professional and amateur photographers alike. Entering under the grand masonry archway at Wormsloe’s entrance lays the breathtaking view of the live oak lined driveway. Planted in the early 1890s, over four hundred majestic oaks create a spectacular moss-covered canopy over the main road that cuts through the property. While the oak avenue has been featured in films for over 60 years, the expansive property’s marsh views and maritime forest’s trails have also been used by productions over the decades. The most recent production to film at the property was the musical adaptation of The Color Purple, due out in theaters in 2023.
The Color Purple (2023)
Ilumya Commercial (2021)
Council of Dads (2020)
Ralph Lauren Photoshoot (2020)
Yelawolf Music Video (2020)
Love to the Rescue (2019)
Love Takes Flight (2019)
Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress Catalogue Shoot (2017)
Magic Mike XXL (2015)
Anthropologie Catalogue Shoot (2016)
Belk Commercial (2013)
Lyn Avenue Music Video (2013)
Last Song (2010)
General’s Daughter (1999)
Claudine’s Return / Kiss of Fire (1998)
The Lincoln Conspiracy (1977)
The Last of the Belles (1974)
The Three Faces of Eve (1957)