Savannah, GA 31401
Monday - Saturday: 10:30a - 3:40p
Sunday 12:30p - 4:00p
Since the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the Mercer Williams House has become one of the ‘must-see’ attractions for many people visiting Savannah.
The story of the Mercer Williams House started in 1860. The country was in turmoil and on the brink of Civil War. The house was constructed for Hugh Weedon Mercer who was the great grandfather of Johnny Mercer and also a General in the Confederate Army. The construction on the house began in 1860 but was postponed because of the Civil War. After the war, General Mercer was tried for the murder of two army deserters. He was eventually acquitted but decided to sell the home to John Wilder, who completed the construction in 1868.
For much of the early 1900′s the Mercer Williams House was used as the Savannah Shriners Alee Temple.
Jim Williams bought the house in 1969 and began a 2-year renovation of the run-down property. This was one of fifty homes that Williams would be credited with saving and restoring. The elegant Italianate red brick mansion with tall arched windows and ornate ironwork balconies is considered one of the most beautiful in all Savannah. The house is filled with 18th century portraits and beautiful antique furnishings from Jim William's private collection.
Accused of shooting Danny Hansford in the study of the Mercer House in 1983, Jim Williams was found not guilty of the murder after his fourth murder trial, but his victory would be short-lived. Williams died of pneumonia six months later at the age of 59.
The house had already been the scene of two deaths. In 1913 a previous owner tripped over the second floor banister, fractured his hip, and suffered a concussion, dying three days later. In 1969, a boy chasing pigeons on the roof fell over the edge and impaled himself on the iron fence below.