"Florence Martus, The Waving Girl" Waiving Girl Statue Tip by Dutchnatasja

Waiving Girl Statue, Savannah: 5 reviews and 7 photos

  Waving Girl
by Dutchnatasja

The ships come in, the tide rolls out
She's there again by the old light house
The waves crash in, the winds they whirl
And still she waits, the waving girl

The sailors they don't call her name
Her lantern shines for them the same
A good luck charm, an ocean pearl
Known only by the waving girl

But in Savannah all alone
There she waits till he comes home
Beneath the waves the sea weed curls
Around the love of the waving girl

And in her place here in this world
Will always be the waving girl

The Story

The sculptor has portrayed her in the act of waving a piece of cloth. The cloth, flows over her, and on clear days it catches and reflects the sun's rays which might attract the notice of passing sailors. This story is one of Savannah's favourite legends.

The Waving Girl was born and raised on Elba. Her brother assumed charge of the lighthouse, and Florence stayed on the island for much of her life. When the ships came in the night, Florence hoisted a lantern, and sailors took notice and returned her greetings with their own. She also was a lifesaver: When a nearby river-dredge caught fire, Florence and her brother struck out into the river in their skiff, rescuing thirty men imperilled by flames.

A part of her legend has arisen from speculation that Florence fell in love with a sailor who came to port in Savannah, a man who promised to return for her but who vanished into the ocean's vast horizon. The veracity of the legend is in doubt, but it casts a romantic light over Florence. However, every ship that passed, though it did not carry her beloved, did bring dozens of sailors thrilled by her attention and wrote letters to Florence, though they did not know her name. By that time, though, her legend had spread, and the postman knew where to bring the messages addressed to "The Waving Girl."

She waved for forty years. It was said that she never missed a ship. She died in 1943. Florence Martus is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, in Savannah.

Address: The eastern end of River Street
Directions: The eastern end of River Street, overlooking the Savannah River from the bluff.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2005
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