Historic Markers Across Georgia


Marker ID:  
Location: Located across from Troup Square, Habersham and Macon Sts., Savannah, GA
County: Chatham
Coordinates: N 32° 04.354    W 081° 05.384
  32.072566    -81.08973
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM2DQ9


James L. Pierpont (1822-1893), composer of "Jingle Bells", served as music director of this church in the 1850s when it was a Unitarian Church located on Oglethorpe Square. Son of the noted Boston reformer, Rev. John Pierpont, he was the brother of Rev. John Pierpont, Jr. minister of this church, and uncle of financier John Pierpont Morgan. He married Eliza Jane Purse, daughter of Savannah mayor Thomas Purse, and served with a Confederate cavalry regiment. He is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery. A prolific song-writer, his best known "Jingle Bells" is world famous.


When Savannah erected this marker commemorating the composition of "Jingle Bells" in a city church, it ignited a controversy when the city of Medford, Massachusetts also laid claim to the song.