The children of the Kehoe House Inn

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, there will be plenty of talk about Irish ghosts. The Old Fort District where many Irish immigrants first lived in Savannah will be discussed on tours, as will the ghost of Alice Riley, the Irish indentured servant who is said to haunt Wright Square.

Somewhere there William Kehoe may be mentioned.

Columbia Square sees plenty of walking, hearse, and trolley tours every night that all talk about the childhood ghosts that haunt the Kehoe House Inn. Legend has it that during a game of hide and seek, the young Kehoe twins crawled down a chimney only to get trapped and die. Now you can hear their ghosts playing in the hallways at night.

The ghosts are given a backstory and much speculation, but William Kehoe, the man who built the house and lived there for many years, usually only gets a passing mention. That’s a shame, because he was a central figure in shaping Savannah.

The Kehoe House Inn, located at 123 Habersham St.

Kehoe was born in Ireland in 1843 and moved to Savannah with his parents as a child. As a young man he started working for Savannah Machine and Boiler Works. He was able to work his way up to foreman at Phoenix Architectural Works. The owner named his wife, Ellen Monohan, and William Kehoe as the owners in his will in 1878. Shortly after, William was able to buy Ellen’s share of the company and renamed it Kehoe Iron Works.

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