Savannah's oldest hotel: The Marshall House Then and Now | In 1851, businesswoman Mary Marshall, noting that Savannah was woefully in need of visitor accommodations, built the four-story Marshall House Hotel. It served as a hospital for soldiers during the Civil War. It was also home to Joel Chandler Harris, author of the famous Uncle Remus stories. By 1956, the hotel had closed and the first floor was used for businesses. In 1999, 12 million was invested in its spectacular restoration.