Begun in 1875 by the Sisters of Mercy at Mrs. Mary Lama's summer home on White Bluff Road (9 miles outside the city of Savannah), the orphanage was moved to the 1600 block of Habersham Street until it settled at its final location on Victory Drive in 1938. The building was designed by Savannah architect Cletus W. Bergen and housed girls until a 1967 renovation (by Savannah architect Ben Ritzert) to make space for boys. The Sisters of Mercy faithfully served children in need, collaborating with the state of Georgia from the 1980's until changes in federal and state laws governing child care agencies reduced placement at St. Mary's Home and limited funding made residential services no longer feasible.
In 2015, at the opening of the Catholic Pastoral Center, the Diocese of Savannah honored the work of the Sisters of Mercy with a Georgia Historical Marker commemorating their ministry.
Upon its closure, the records, photos, and artifacts from St. Mary's Home were deposited in the Diocesan Archives. Most records are not yet ready for public research; however, the Diocesan Archives is honoring requests for access to residential client files from former residents. Please review our policy before completing a Client File Request Form. We will schedule an appointment with the former resident and a support person of their choice to view their file. No copies of the file will be sent to requestors. We are only honoring requests from the former residents themselves, not genealogy requests from third parties or non-residents such as family members. Please check back on our website for policy updates.