The uses of the historic vaults along Factors Walk remain a mystery after the completion of an archaeological study last year.
Savannah Research Library and Municipal Archives Director Luciana Spracher presented the Savannah City Council with some findings discovered through a partnership with Georgia Southern University during a workshop Thursday morning.
There was no evidence that the four Cluskey Embankment Stores, built in 1842 as part of an erosion prevention project, were used to house slaves, a common belief spread by local tour companies, Spracher said.
The only documentation regarding the vaults indicated they were simply used as storage with no further details. The city was also unable to find any historical photos of the vaults to see what they looked like at the time.
The archaeological dig found evidence that some vaults were used as a horse stable and for coal storage, however. There were also artifacts dating back to 1864 discovered — such as buttons, wine bottles and cast iron pots — that indicated one vault was occupied by Union forces during the Civil War.