Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Union Society And Bethesda

Marker ID: GHM 025-82
Location: Located at Bethesda, Ferguson Ave. off Whitfield Ave., Savannah, GA
County: Chatham
Coordinates: N 31° 57.595    W 081° 05.763
  31.959916    -81.09605
Status: The marking is missing.
Waymark: None


In 1750 the Saint George´s Club, a benevolent organization, was founded in Savannah. Of its 5 original members Peter Tondee and Richard Milledge had attended Bethesda. At some time prior to 1765 its name was changed to the Union Society. The organization from its beginning took a deep interest in Bethesda.

The Union Society continued in existence during the American Revolution. While prisoners of the British at Sunbury 4 members of the Society, Mordecai Sheftall, Josiah Powell, John Martin and John Stirk, held a meeting April 23, 1779. The Union Society was incorporated by the Legislature in 1786.

After Bethesda was discontinued in 1805, the Society carried, along with other charitable work, a considerable share of the burden of educating orphan children in the community. In 1854 it purchased 125 acres of the original Orphan House Tract for $2500.00. Building were erected and furnished at a cost of $4700.00. The children under the charge of the Society were removed to Bethesda that year.

Past Presidents of the Union Society include Mordecai Sheftall, George Houstoun, Noble W. Jones, Joseph Clay, Joseph Habersham, David B. Mitchell, John Macpherson Berrien and Richard D. Arnold.