Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jekyll Island, GA

Just north of Cumberland Island is another even more famous barrier island, winter home of millionaires in the early 1900s. We made a day trip from our campground in the Brunswick area.
Crossing the bridge over the Brunswick River.
We parked in the historic district next to Jekyll Wharf where those millionaires arrived and docked in their yachts.
Names like J. P. Morgan, Vanderbilt, Astor, and Pulitzer, and Andrew Carnegie, whose family owned the nearby Cumberland Island.
 They were all members of the exclusive Jekyll Island Club. This is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. where members stayed and/or dined. Notice the white-clad croquet players on the lawn.
 Today's events at the hotel….and you no longer have to be a member of the club to stay here. (But you still have to have some money, lol)
 A stained-glass window in the hotel.
 Where the wealthy relaxed on one of the shaded porches.
 The Vanderbilt private dining room. There were others...
We started out on a walking tour of the historic district. Many of the millionaires built "cottages" here.
But it soon got too hot for walking and we had to sit and rest.
So we went inside the old boiler house, now Sweet Shoppe, to ask directions to the horse and carriage tours.
That may have been a mistake...
 We found the carriage house and looked over the various carriages used.
 This one was being used for our tour.
 And so we were off on a very relaxing and informative tour.
The azaleas were a little past peak, but still blooming.
We learned that all residents of the island pay an annual fee to pay for the upkeep of the landscaping on the island. They're doing a great job because it's lovely.
We rode by the "cottages and heard stories about the owners…way too many to include them all in this post. You'll just have to plan a visit of your own. 
The 1896 date on this one was made with sea shells.
 The first international phone call was made from the island to Alexander Graham Bell in New York and then to the west coast and somewhere overseas…I forget the details.
The guide said you will never see a lawn mower during business hours. The landscape people come and do all that in the wee hours of the morning.
 Setting up for a wedding outside the Crane Courtyard.
This mansion was torn down after the owner's only son was killed in an accident on the island.
 A few of the other mansions/cottages.
 The pit outside this home was an outdoor laundry for washing the women's many undergarments. A high fence enclosed the area so the clothes could be hung to dry. Of course all that work was done by servants. Homes and dormitories were also built on the island to house the staff.

 Faith Chapel is a non-denominational church built in the historic district. Notice the gargoyles under the steeple…to keep out evil spirits.
 Stained glass by Tiffany.
 Ancient Live Oaks grow all over the island. I love how the huge branches take root on the ground.
 We went back to the wharf for dinner. 
It was Carol's birthday celebration.
The shrimp boats dock here…can'y get much fresher than that!
 Tide was coming in. This Great Egret is fishing.
Good birding here, but I didn't have much time to devote to it. 
 Boat-tailed grackle

 Nan tried on some fancy sunglasses at the gift shop.
 We continued our tour by car around the north end of the island where there are ruins from the colonial days. The Horton House was first built by William Horton who came here from England in 1736. This was his plantation house built of tabby. The first English resident on Jekyll Island, he succeeded Oglethorpe as the commander of the British troops in the colony of Georgia.
 Later, after the Revolutionary War, Poulain du Bignon of France became owner of Jekyll Island. He repaired the Horton House and made it his home. Members of his family are buried in a small cemetery across the road.
 Jekyll Creek
 As evening fell other island residents came out to dine.
 The ocean side of the island has nine miles of pristine beach. Many motels and villas line this side of the island.
 We ended our circuit on the souther tip at the Wanderer Memorial.
The Wanderer was a ship that carried an illegal cargo of slaves from Africa to the island. 
Sign posts detailed the story of it's arrival and what happened to the slaves later on.
 Here's a portion of the story.
 I learned some more about the plantation owner duBignon:

The park today is a great place to watch the sunset.

 As we drove back to the campground, a full moon rose.
 As the sun did it's final display.
 Full moon rising.
 It was a great ending to our day.

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