The Mercer Williams House was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer, great grandfather of Johnny Mercer. Construction of the house began in 1860, was interrupted by the Civil War and was later completed, circa 1868, by the new owner, John Wilder.
In 1969, Jim Williams, one of Savannah’s earliest and most dedicated private restorationists, bought the then vacant house and began a two-year restoration. This house is one of the more than 50 houses Mr. Williams saved during his thirty-year career in historic restoration in Savannah and the Lowcountry.
Throughout the Mercer Williams House you will see furniture and art from Mr. Williams’ private collection including 18th and 19th century furniture, 18th century English and American portraits, drawings from the 17th century and a wide collection of Chinese export porcelain.
Previously open only to benefit local historic and charitable organizations, this is the first time the mercer williams house has been open to the public since its restoration was completed.
Dorothy Kingery’s History
Dr. Kingery, sister of the late Jim Williams, is a native Georgian. She graduated from the University of Alabama, has a master’s degree in history and received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Georgia where she was a member of the faculty, a Fellow of the Institute for Behavioral Research and, for five years, was Director of the university’s Survey Research Center. Author of more than one hundred academic papers, articles and research reports, Dr. Kingery was a faculty member at Armstrong Atlantic State University and is now a consultant with the Public Service Center there.
Mercer Williams House has been Dr. Kingery’s primary residence since 1990. She and her daughters, Susan and Amanda, Jim Williams only nieces, continue to enjoy the house and her brother’s tradition of sharing it with others. Active in community activities, the author is a trustee of the Telfair Museum of Art, a board member of the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home and a member of Historic Savannah Foundation.