At approximately 1:00 am on Saturday, April 3rd, 1926 the first owner of the house, Richard Martin Lester ended his life, his death certificate simply states, “Cause of Death: Strangulation by hanging, suicide. Duration: few minutes”.
He grew up on Drayton St. across from Forsyth Park, got his law degree from Yale, was 50 years old and lived in the house with his wife Victoria and their two adult daughters, Margaret and Myrta. The funeral was held at the house at 4:30 pm on Monday April 5th and burial at Bonaventure Cemetery immediately afterwards.
The only clue I’ve found as to a possible motive might be that his father, Daniel B. Lester, who was also an attorney, was due to arrive in Savannah 2 days later from the Oklahoma Territory. On Monday morning his father’s train arrived, he was met by friends, told the terrible news and that afternoon attended his only child’s funeral.
The eulogy delivered by W. L. Gignilliat closed with the following,
No friend of his can view his untimely end without profound sorrow-some may be too quick of speech, but those who have looked death squarely in the face and have pondered most on the eternal verities will leave this tragedy as all else which the finite mind cannot fathom with Him who is infinite Love and Wisdom and will only say softly to his own soul “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.”
We’re often asked “Is The Galloway House haunted?” while some guests would say no there are some would say definitely yes!
May 2008 a guest wrote the following, “Our first night here, we heard the front door or back door close (4:30 am) No one was there. The second night the dog crate was turned 90 degrees, my purse was on the floor upside down and my clothes were out of the suitcase and on the floor. We decided to set up a video camera. An hour after recording had started, the camera was shut off and then restarted. The second video is only 6 minutes long. My computer was also shut off.”
In 2015 a carpenter doing work on the 3rd floor claims to have seen the same man three times.
A guest from Michigan saw a man standing at the foot of her bed.
Guests from Tampa woke up to find the bedroom door knob was in the bathroom sink.
Two paranormal researchers from Lexington, KY said they contacted Mr. Lester by plaing music popular in 1926. They asked three questions; did he like the restoration work, he replied yes, did he like so many people in his house, he replied yes and why did he hang himself and there was no reply.
In 2011 a local antique collector found a box with numerous documents and one photograph, all had the same name, Richard Martin Lester. Included were his diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University and documents related to his position of Past Master, Freemason, Solomon’s Lodge.
I was working in the front yard and a man walked up and said he once worked at the house. I asked what he’d done, expecting him to say painting but he said he delivered bodies to the back door when it was a funeral home. At first I didn’t believe him, he said the back bedroom is where they had done the embalming, where the office was and the dead were laid out in the dining room bay window because the light was “soft”. A few years later I met a woman who worked in the house when it was an answering service in the late 70’s. She said before that it was a funeral home, about that same time a previous owner named Futrell was a professional mortician.
Rated 4.9 of 5 for VALUE because our guests all enjoy…
- Complimentary secure Wi-Fi
- Complimentary breakfast; unlimited coffee, tea, O.J., bottled water, bagels, muffins, yogurt & granola bars
- Complimentary off-street parking, lighted & 24/7 HD video surveillance
- Beach bikes
- Complimentary chilled bottle of pino grigro on arrival
- Savannah maps, guide books and magazines
- HDTV with 250 channels including HBO
Today The Galloway House is our home and was built as a single family home in 1895. In 2005 and 2006 between 20 & 25 people worked a year and nine months to completely restore the main house and carriage house. Today the house is stronger, safer and more comfortable than the day it was built so it should easily stand for another 120 years.
Every apartment has a guest book and we have begun to transcribe the what our guests have written, we hope our future guests will find them helpful.
Thank you for the great bed and breakfast to stay during my vacation! Savannah is a great city and everything was easy to get to. Having a working kitchen was perfect and I hope others enjoy their stay. The Bonaventure Cemetery is well worth the drive and the Gallery Cafe on Bull St. has great tea, scones and atmosphere. If you walk or ride around the city you do not need to go on a guided tour. Stop by the Jepson Museum for a few modern pieces of art and a relaxing area. I enjoyed my stay and thank you!
Nealy, N. - CA
It is our first visit and our first vacation in the States. We could have picked NY, SF, Miami or LA but thought that here in Savannah was a great start. We thank Keith for his warm and friendly welcome and for this wonderful apartment. We like the green Southern gardens, the friendly people and of course the beach! Our young son Paul (1 year) enjoyed everything! A day at Tybee Beach is a must! Cheers and warmest regards,
Antja, Jan and Paul, Zurich Switzerland
P.S. Paul loves your dogs and the squirrels and cardinals who make party in the back yard in the morning.
WOW! We LOVE Savannah! We consider ourselves "Southerners" but the hospitality and ante bellum southern atmosphere reign true here! Keith is a gracious and magnanimous host. We enjoyed his affable conversation on the porch and adored his three 'kids' Charlie, Moose and Scooter - the Great Danes. His home / bed and breakfast is opulent and the plants are an amazing embellishment. We felt like we were staying inside "Southern Living Magazine". This bed and breakfast was the perfect getaway. Pizza Rustica was phenomenal and we had Kilwin's ice cream EVERY night for desert. Make the trip to Tybee Beach, it was worth it! Don't forget to take the 9pm walking ghost tour with Margarite at the corner of York and Bull. There is so much to do here that we feel we must return! Thanks and God Bless!
Jennifer and Clint, Walton, KY P. S. Keith, we're glad you ditched NYC!
Brought Spike, our dog, and he loves Savannah and Moose (one of Keith's three Great Danes). Liked A. J.'s on Tybee and ate lunch at Uncle Bubba's, much easier to get into than Paula Deen's Lady and Sons, food was okay and view was terrific. Do the ghost tour, even in the rain it was fun! Best was coming back to this bed and breakfast, a tropical paradise, genial hosts, wonderful bed and plentiful air conditioning! Had a great time!
Linda and Tom C.
Dear Keith, I don't want to go home! It would be impossible to delineate highlights as everything was perfect. The new Jepson Center for the Arts was especially wonderful. The joint ticket they offer with the Telfair and Owens Thomas House saved beau coup bucks. Thank God for long morning walks up to the Savannah River . The food would have blown me out of my britches other wise - tres yummy! Hope you let us visit the Galloway House Bed and Breakfast again! Thanks,
Jess and Scott
Keith, We truly appreciated your "Southern Hospitality" It's wonderful to have a host who is willing to take the time to sit down and just talk. Your place is much more relaxing, comfortable and surprisingly cost efficient . We will definitely recommend your bed and breakfast to friends and family. We thank you again,
Wes & Sarah - Blount Springs FL
Dear Keith, (Our hero!) We can't say enough about you, your beautiful home and those beautiful dogs. You have been a spectacular host and we are in love with the house. This was the BEST place to stay and we are already thinking about a return trip. You were so great with suggestions, advice and directions. We are in love with your city. We also felt very comfortable staying with a fellow "Yankee" down here. Please, please look us up when you come to New York and we'll meet you in the city for drinks! Kiss the dogs goodbye for us! We love you,
Barbara G. and Ellen C. - Long Island NY
Dear Keith / Jim, Sorry - a hurried note, but want to thank you so much for the "homey" accommodations so far away from our Seattle home. You have created a little lush tropical piece of heaven which we have th roughly enjoyed. And we have also loved watch the birds and squirrels romp in your garden. Give Scooter, Moose and Charlie a good chest rub for us! Take care,
John and Shirley B.
Keith, Jim and Tori, This bed and breakfast is a piece of heaven! We are so glad we are here for our mini-vacation Each of us decided to tell you our favorite parts: Andi (age 13) - I like the living room best. Perry (age 12) - I really like everything. You don't get to know our ages but just know we loved the comfy bed, the wonderful shower, the delicious bagels and muffins, etc.
The K. Family
Keith and Jim, We can not say enough kind things about you b'n'b, we had a fabulous time here and will be back! We loved having access to the bikes and getting to explore Savannah, what a special place, we will certainly be back for many more anniversaries! She said YES!!! (Moose proposed to Brandy while staying at the Galloway House)
Love, Brandy and Moose Orlando, FL P. S.
Thanks for the rescue! The information helped a great deal to enjoy this wonderful place. Your bed and breakfast is great!
James H. - Washington DC
Keith, We truly enjoyed our stay in the carriage house of your beautiful B and B. We were very comfortable and it's quite home like. Our visit to you city of Savannah was so much fun we hope to get back one day. Thank you for your hospitality,
Ray and Leslie B. Marietta, GA
Keith, Thank you so much for this great vacation rental. The carriage house is a fantastic place to come back and rest after a long day of tours, eating and enjoying the beautiful city of Savannah. This really was another home to us for these few days and we really appreciate it. We hope to come back and visit the Galloway House Bed and Breakfast and the fine city of Savannah. Thanks again,
Ryan M. and Brian C. Atlanta GA
June 6, 2011 Had a wonderful experience at The Galloway House! Beautifully appointed bedroom, living room and gardens. Will recommend to friends when they are planning to come to Savannah! Thank you!
November 4, 2011 Our stay at the Galloway house bed-and-breakfast has been wonderful! Savannah is more charming than I could've ever imagined. If we only had a few days to enjoy more restaurants and take in the beautiful sites. Our favorite night was at the Old Pink House, downstairs at the bar, wine, music, and delicious food! For a good cup of coffee go to the Sentient Bean next to Forsyth Park, it's in walking distance. Keith is been a perfect host as I'm sure you will see! Thanks to Keith,
Sandra and Laura San Francisco California
September 14, 2008 Dear Keith, Scooter, Moose and Charlie, Thank you so much for letting us share your lovely home our visit to Savannah, it was all the more special because of our stay at the Galloway House Bed-and-Breakfast! Spending cocktail hour on the front porch and the garden was relaxing beyond words. I feel sorry for the Big Apple because the Peach State caught a major score!! Take care,
Leah and Justin Mission Viejo, CA
January 18, 2010 Dear Jim, This is a cute place! We enjoyed it a lot; it's perfect for our visit to Savannah. We will be back!
Charles, Miriam and Chloe
January 12, 2012 Dear Jim and Keith Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous house. It was everything I could possibly want. I'm not one for traveling, I hate leaving my house, but I felt very at home here! Your love for your house really shows. I totally admire and respect men who take pride in their prosperity. We will definitely be back! I hope someday you can visit our home in PA and stay and enjoy our little paradise!
Teresa, Billy and Bella
June 12, 2011 We had an awesome time enjoying your home! After long day of sightseeing and shopping it was nice come back to "home" instead of the stuff in the hotel room. The pitter-patter of little paws made us laugh as we to have three children, although ours do not have fur! We will be back next! P.S. People need to know that the wait at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House is worth the wait!!
Michael and Ursula, Dallas, NC
June 10, 2011 Dear Keith, Jim and all the Great Danes, Thank you for a great time and your beautiful house, it has been a very authentic experience of Savannah.
High regards from four other Great Danes, Hilde, Lars, Anders and Magnus
August 20th–22nd, 2008 As a single male traveler this was the perfect place for me to stay for my first visit to Savannah! The warm welcome by Keith made a real difference. He told me what to do and what to see and how to enjoy this town at its best. Very cool! I'm sure most of you would disagree, but I think Savannah is a great city to explore solo. I ate the best food, saw amazing art, history, culture and found serenity. I was never bored! I was happy! Thanks Keith for making me feel welcome as a solo traveler. It meant a lot to me. This place is way better than a bed and breakfast for that reason!
Dave R. New York, NY
June 5th - 10th, 2008 We thank Keith and Craig's List for the connection that brought us to the Galloway House Bed and Breakfast. This was quite a home for the week... top of our list was the bike riding around Savannah. Such a great town - the squares, beautiful homes, the history, restaurants and of course the boys - Scooter, Charlie and Moose, Keith's easy smile and conversation! We have truly experienced "Southern Hospitality"! We felt so comfortable in our "low country" home away from home! Good thing no one else wanted to ride the bikes, loved waving to passers-by from the porch, walking through the garden to our cottage, biking through the squares, meeting SCAD students and chatting with Keith! We hope to return! ALSO - Mercer House tour was good! Dinner at the Pink House, lunch at B. Mathews and shopping at Parker's Market.
Bruce and Jayne K. Cambria, CA
January 31, 2012 Thank you Keith and Jim for a wonderful Savannah experience! Katie had the best time and if it wasn't for places like yours she wouldn't of been able to come with us. Old Savannah Tours was awesome! Katie was treated like royalty! We hope to be back soon,
Tim, Barb and Katie
August 3, 20013 Howdy Keith and Jim! Lee and I had a wonderful night stay here, the bed and the pillows were unbelievable! I slept very well, Lee however dreamt about a ghost, Mr. Lester? It could have been the beer she had... AnyWho we are on our merry way and wish you both, and the children and most wonderful weekend!
Kia & Lee Charleston, SC
January 12, 2013 Jim and Keith, We had a great time hear in your home, thank you for being so hospitable. The bed sheets and pillows were beyond comfortable! We didn't want to get up! Betsy also enjoyed her stay, normally she would be stoked to be able to play in the fenced in backyard without a leash but here at the Galloway House Bed and Breakfast she made her bathroom breaks very quick – LOL! As far as ghost experiences we didn't have any in the apartment we both agree the courtyard has a vibe to it! Thank you for the great recommendation – Blowing Smoke. It was delicious and we brought that leftovers! Breakfast in the morning was delicious too – thanks! We will be back!
Love, Lynette, Bernard and Betsy Brooklyn, New York
September 7, 2013 Keith, We love the apartment! Very comfortable and enjoyed all the extras you provided. You didn't great job restoring this magnificent house and turning it into a superb bed-and-breakfast.
Mike, Beth, Carrie and Ron
June 30, 2011 Thank you Keith and Jim for a wonderful home to stay in while in Savannah. We felt right at home. Til we meet again!
Stuart, Scott, Jeff and Megan Walnut Creek, Ca
29 October 2008 After several visits and several nights at the Galloway house I can say that home isn't always where your heart is! Now I long for Savannah when I'm gone and the Galloway House is Savannah! Next important; food Screaming Mimi's – steak Stromboli. Six pence Pub - beer and shepherds pie. J Christophers - breakfast. Bobby's Diner on Habersham – this is a must do folks, go for lunch and get the blue plate special!. Galleria Espresso – great coffee shop. Firefly Café – atmosphere is the main plus here. Have fun y'all!
Greg Birmingham, Alabama
July 4, 2013 What a wonderful place to celebrate the Fourth. Your home is truly beautiful. Thank you both Keith and Jim for sharing it with me! With sincere appreciation,
Gerry Kansas City, MO
Keith, Thank you so much for letting Greg and I into your beautiful home. Traveling for business isn't always the thing I look forward to but having the Galloway House apartment and breakfast as a place to call home makes the trip worth it! I hope my fiancé Stacy and I can make a trip to Historic Savannah and can return here, I know she would love it! Thanks again and hope to see you again soon! Auf weidersehen!
Jonathan Berlin, Germany
July 16, 2011 Thank you so much for letting our family stay in your lovely home! Thanks to the Galloway House and your great tips we were able to make it through the very rare Savannah rains and still enjoy our trip. It was lots of fun for the whole family, including our dogs. Thank you,
Anne, 32 years old, from New-York.