Walter Charlton Hartridge Fund

Walter Charlton Hartridge, Jr., was born in Savannah on February 9, 1914, the son of Walter Charlton Hartridge, Sr. (1870-1932), a distinguished Savannah attorney, and his second wife, Catharine Honoria McIntire Hartridge (1879-1949). Mr. Hartridge had a number of illustrious forbears, including his grandfather, U.S. Representative Julian Hartridge (1829-1879), and his great–grandfather, Robert Milledge Charlton (1807-1854), a judge and U.S. District Attorney.

Mr. Hartridge attended Pape School in Savannah, then Loomis Academy in Windsor, Connecticut, and received his B.A. in History, cum laude, from Harvard in 1936. In 1938, he received his masters degree in Architectural History from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Among his civic activities and accomplishments, Mr. Hartridge was president of the Georgia Historical Society from 1952-1961; chairman of the Chatham-Savannah Historic Sites and Monuments Commission; historian for the Society of Cincinnati; a fellow of the American Genealogical Society; a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Parish Council of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (where he was a lifelong communicant), and the Oglethorpe Club. He organized Savannah Restorations, Inc. and was active in the efforts to develop the Revolutionary Battle Park, and to save the Scarborough House. He was heavily involved in preservation of the Olde Pink House, the Davenport House, and a number of other buildings.

Hartridge was a popular and charismatic speaker, and he was influential in the preservation movements in Athens, Augusta, Milledgeville, and Jekyll Island. He received the 1964 Gignilliat Award from the city for outstanding contribution to Savannah culture, particularly for his work with the Historic Savannah Foundation and the Savannah Symphony.

Mr. Hartridge’s knowledge of southern families was encyclopedic, and he helped preserve a number of significant collections of family letters, as well as documents in both government and private archives. In addition to editing collections of letters by Robert Mackay, Don Juan McQueen and Michael Wallace, he wrote the text for Savannah: Etchings and Drawings, by Christopher Murray, published in 1947. He published a number of genealogical articles in historical journals, and the Walter C. Hartridge, Jr., Collection at the Georgia Historical Society contains a number of his other articles and speeches.

Mr. Hartridge married Susan L’Engle McMillan, the daughter of Thomas Hasley McMillan, Jr. and Helen Sandwich Hartridge McMillan, on July 7, 1956, in Orange Park, Florida. They had one son, Walter Charlton Hartridge III, born February 21, 1958.

Walter Charlton Hartridge, Jr., died on August 19, 1974, at age 60. His wife, Susan McMillan Hartridge, died on December 12, 2015, at age 90. They are both buried in Savannah’s Laurel Grove Cemetery.

The Walter C. Hartridge, Jr. Fund at the Georgia Historical Society was begun in 2003 by friends of Mr. Hartridge, who wanted to ensure that his lifelong dedication to Georgia and Savannah history will continue in perpetuity.