Coastal Georgia

Our week “off” is coming to an end! It has been a great break, but of course, no sitting around!! There is so much to see! As an adult, I have become more interested in history as I see the places where events took place.

We have been in the coastal area of Georgia now for 5 days; in the morning it will be time for us to leave and go up to Flovilla for our February job.

The time here went fast, and the highlight had to have been on Sunday, when we attended a Missionary Baptist Church close to our campground. Paul had seen it coming in, so we drove by it on Sunday morning to see what time it started. Being in the south, we were a little apprehensive, as it appeared to be a black congregation, and we did not know how they would accept us. We found another church, but it started at 10:30, and it was already 10:45. Okay Lord, we’ll go to the one closer to the campground.
There were about 400 in the congregation. The singing started, there was lots of hand clapping, we got hugs, were introduced and able to share about MMAP. It was the friendliest church we have been to on our travels! The sermon was great, (on Ist John 1) and we just immersed ourselves praising the Lord, by singing and listening! When the service ended, we were really hungry, looked at the time, and my goodness, it was 1:45!! Almost three hours long, and it did not seem like it was more than an hour and a half!!

We visited St. Mary’s, a coastal town, in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen on hard times. But it is a beautiful setting, and have great historical homes

We enjoyed a walk along the bay, where they have a beautiful park.

It is across from Cumberland Island, which was formerly owned by the Carnegie family in the 19th century as a retreat. After Thomas Carnegie died, Lucy Carnegie raised her children there, building each of the nine children a home. One of them, built for daughter Margaret, Greyfield Inn, was converted to an inn during 1962 and is still managed by the family. It was too late to take a boat over, so we did not see the island, but the history was interesting nonetheless!

On Monday, we toured St. Simons Island (made famous (to me) by author, Eugenia Price’s books)
The lighthouse, is 104 feet tall and uses Fresnel lens that rotated to flash a beam of light every 60 seconds. The original lighthouse was built in 1811. During the Civi War, Confederate forces destroyed it in 1861 to prevent its use by Union forces. It was rebuilt in 1872, electrified in 1934, and automated in 1954, and is still operational. Fantastic views from the top!

Fort Frederica was the military headquarters of Georgia during the colonial period. It served a buffer against Spanish in Florida. It was built with Tabby, which is a mixture of equal parts lime, sand, oyster shell and water.

During the 18th century, St. Simons was part time residence for John Wesley. He was minister to the colony and used the third story of the storehouse (this is the foundation)

He later returned to England where he founded the Methodist church. His brother also did missionary work on St. Simons in the 1730’s.
General Oglethorpe brought folks from England, based on their skills, to form a town to service the fort. It was built just outside the fort, and several foundations from the buildings remain. This appeared to be the largest, and still has bricks from the fireplace and oven. It was the candlestick makers home.

During the Battle of Bloody Marsh on July 7, 1742, the British ambushed Spanish troops marching single file through the marsh and routed them from the island. This battle marked the end of the Spanish efforts to invade Georgia.

The 100 acre piece of land for Christ Church was given by the State of Georgia in 1808 to be used for a church. the structure was finished in 1820 and was commandeered by Union troops during the Civil War and nearly destroyed it by using it for a stable. it was restored in 1889 and has an unsigned but authenticated Tiffany stained glass window.

Tuesday, we went to Jekyll Island.
Horton House, a two-story structure built in 1742 after his original wood home was destroyed during Spanish attacks. It is one of two remaining two-story colonial-era structures in the state. It is built of Tabby, a popular form of block which appears to stand up for centuries. (It is also seen in a lot of newer buildings around here.)

After John Horton died in 1749, and successive owners, the entire island became property of Christophe duBignon just before 1800. The property was divided among his four children when he died, and in the late 1870’s a grandnephew, John, purchased the rest of the island, some from his uncle’s estate, and the rest from his siblings. He and his brother-in-law set up the Jekyll Island Club in 1886 as a winter retreat, and hunting club for the wealthy, which purchased the Island from them for $125,000. From 1888-1942 it was open to accommodate some of the world’s wealthiest people, most notably, the JP Morgans, Rockefellers, Pullitzers, Astors and Vanderbilts.
The original part of the club house was completed in January 1888 with 53 members by shares for $600 each.

The wing to the right was added in 1901.

We could not resist eating in the same dining room as these wealthy businessmen did years ago!!

The setting up of the Federal Reserve was thought out and conceptualized here, as was the first intercontinental telephone call (since Mr. Vail, the CEO of AT&T, was a member and and was delayed on the island at the time due to a leg injury. It was made between him in Georgia, the president in Washington, Graham Bell in New York, and Bell’s assistant in San Francisco!)
Faith Chapel was built for interdenominational use and included a signed Tiffany glass window.

We walked the whole 240 acre historic area and were fascinated by the homes that were called cottages! All were built close to the club so they could enjoy and participate in all of the social activities.
Richard Crane of Crane plumbing fixtures had this house built

The Sans Souci, was the first condos in America! Six condos, with the fourth floor for servants. In order to live in one, no children, and no mistress was the criteria!

Now a bookstore, this cottage was owned by Pullitzer, then Goodyear before being donated to the club to use as an infirmary. Doctors and nurses came from Johns Hopkins for the season to serve the elite.

The Rockefellers bought this home to use during “the season”.

and duBignon, the co-creator of the club also built a house “for the season”

By the time United States entered World War II, the era was over, and the state of Georgia condemned the island in order to make it a state park in 1947 and paid the remaining members a total of $675,000.

Wednesday, we checked out Fort King George near Darien. It was the southern most outpost of the British in North America from 1721 to 1736. As at Fort Frederica, General Oglethorpe brought folks, this time, Scottish Highlanders in 1736 to form the nearby town now called Darien.

Cyprus blockhouse, 26 foot square, three stories high

Looking west from the top of the bockhouse

Fort King George cemetery

We sure got our exercise in by walking a lot!

Fun stuff – on the way back, we stopped at “The Pig” (Piggly Wiggly). This pretty little bird was on a table, inside! He acted like he was tame, but when the employees tried to get him in a box, he flew away! I think he found a new home at the store~

One thought on “Coastal Georgia”

  1. Love the pictures of the houses. As you know I love the old south homes. You look like you are having fun, but you are missed here. We went out for Mexican food with Andy Karyn and the girls toninght. Had a great time.

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