Sunday, Feb. 14th - Sunday, Feb. 21st
We spent the night in the Cummins parking lot, so we could be there first thing Monday morning for an RV check-up. Everything was okay, so we headed on down the road to our next stop at Walkabout Campground near Woodbine, Georgia just over the Florida line.
Tuesday we drove over to Amelia Island and started our day in the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina. This Penny-Farthing was the first machine to be called a bicycle. Its name comes from the British coins a penny and a farthing (1/4 penny) because one was significantly larger than the other. Mounting required great skill and balance and it was prone to tipping and accidents. Its popularity was replaced by the safety bicycle (similar to today's bikes) in the 1890s.
A local wood pulp factory, Rayonier, started in 1939 making pulp for the rayon industry. During WWI they produced nitration pulp, an ingredient in smokeless gunpowder. After the war they returned to making specialty pulps for consumer products. Their current technology produces performance fibers used in tooth paste, film, pharmaceuticals, tool handles, tire cord and more. They plant nearly 50 million seedlings each year, about 5 for every tree harvested. They manage nearly 700,000 acres in Florida.
Antique Soda Fountain.
We had lunch at the Salty Pelican (shrimp for me, yummy and oysters for John, yuck) and grabbed a walking tour map and explored the town. The Palace Saloon started as a shoe store and haberdashery in 1878. In 1901 it was purchased and reopened as a "gentlemen's bar" where locals mingled with tourists, sea captains and celebrities. It is the oldest continuously operating saloon in Florida. Check out the stamped tin ceiling.
This was a very wealthy area back in the late 1800s and the homes are just fabulous. You can't see all of this one in the picture. It has another huge addition around the corner on the right just like the one on the left. Most of them also have carriage houses in the rear with two stall garages and servants apartments above. Incredible fortunes were amassed during the 19th century Industrial Revolution creating homes of unequaled excellence. By the 1920s the Gilded Age was ending due to changes in taste, economic upheaval and WWI.
Fernandina Beach is the county seat and the oldest city in Nassau county. It covers about one third of the island and has an average year round temperature of 70 degrees. In 1880 Fernandina became Florida's first tourist destination, known for its elegant hotels, mild climate and natural beauty. A steamship line ran weekly from New York City, so guests could enjoy the "Newport of the South".
The Port of Fernandina is the deepest natural port on the South Atlantic Coast with more than 550,000 tons of forest product exports and containerized cargo handled annually. The channel depth is maintained at 36 feet for submarines.
Amelia Island is the northernmost of Florida's islands and is named for the third daughter of King George II of Britain. Fernandina was named for King Ferdinand VII of Spain and was the last town platted by the Spanish in the western hemisphere. The Spanish governor challenged President James Madison to a duel because he thought the U.S. was behind the "Patriot's" rebellion on Amelia Island.
Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day little brother. My sweet hubby brought me chocolates. Will wonders never cease?
Wednesday we went to St. Augustine which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the nation, over 450 years old. St. Augustine was one of only three walled cities ever made in North America. The other two were Charleston and Quebec City. This was originally Alcazar Hotel built in 1889 by Henry Flagler as a companion to his 1888 Hotel Ponce de Leon across the street. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the interiors. The facade was modeled after a Moorish palace in southern Spain and was built to provide activities for wealthy winter visitors. It was the center of social activities until it closed in 1931. It is now the Lightner Museum and City Hall.
This is the central court and gardens as you walk in. Otto Lightner is buried here in the left corner. He was from Chicago and was the founder of Hobbies Magazine. He purchased the hotel in 1947 for $150,000 to house his collections of 40,000 to 50,000 antiques, art, etc., which he had gathered from Chicago estates after the crash of 1929. He left the building and collections to the city in 1950.
The hotel originally had a casino, salons, steam rooms, bowling alley, gymnasium, tennis courts and the largest indoor pool in the world at the time. It was 120' x 50' and 3' to 12' deep. The pool is now a cafeteria and all the little side rooms that you could originally swim into are now little boutique shops. The next floor above is the 15,000 sq. ft. ballroom surrounding the pool where the band sometimes played from a floating stage on the water. The two hotels hosted 50,000 guests a year, including the rich and famous. The Hotel Alcazar Inaugural opening in 1889 was the most extravagant affair of its kind ever given in the South, with 1,200 people jammed in the casino. The band performed from a decorated gondola floating in the pool. There was a clear glass sun roof that could be vented and the place was lit with a thousand electric lights. The 70 degree water from a 1,400 foot artesian well smelled of sulphur (rotten eggs), but was constantly circulating, entering from a flume on the south side and draining from below. There were semi-circular pools connected on the east and west ends. The men's east end was completely open to the pool. The women's west end was partially partitioned for private swimming. Anyone could enter the casino for 25 cents and it was fashionable for bathers to use the pool at noon when the hotel band would present its first of two daytime concerts. Evenings they would have weekly pool entertainments scheduled with daring dives from the ballroom balcony, water polo, races and comic events topped off with dancing and refreshments in the ballroom. What a life!
They had a Turkish bath room with dry heat set at 160 to 180 degrees and a Russian bath steam room set at 112 to 120 degrees.
After a stint in the incirculator shower, it was back to the steam room and then a quick dip in the cold plunge pool. And, of course, all kinds of massage treatments, where you would get a glass of the healing spring water.
Oak grandfather clock mid-1800s England. The clock dial shows minute, hour, day of week and month, as well as phases of the moon. It plays songs on a music box six minutes after the hour, except between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM. Four weights totaling 315 pounds provide power.
The music room was amazing. An elderly gentleman gave demonstrations on the mechanics of these old machines, most of them over 100 years old and still in perfect working order. This one wasn't working at the moment, but plays the violin or fiddle mechanically.
This one played music as he cranked it. It is the only disk music box that changes its own sheet music automatically and cost $7.00.
This large black piano had sheet music that folded its pages up kind of like an accordion. It played through the pages and kept folding them together again as it played. The smaller one to the right is a street piano and you had to turn the big round wheel to make it play.
The huge copper disc in the bottom of this one rose to the top automatically and played a song and then lowered again. The CD player of yesteryear. These are amazing machines and now we just have a tiny little gadget wired to our ears, so we can't even enjoy sharing our music with others.
Otto Lightner was a collector of collections. These are individual shaving mugs that became popular in the 1800s when a rash called barber's itch was feared to be contagious. Each customer had a personalized soap mug with his initials and sometimes paintings of their occupations.
The Lambert typewriter was an American invention that took 17 years to perfect.
By the time it came out in 1896, cheap keyboard typewriters like these were already providing stiff competition. It's a long ways from texting on a smart phone.
Rota, Winston Churchill's V Lion, presented to him and his wife, Clementine, by the Zoological Society of London in 1943 as a war mascot and to commemorate the magnificent victories in North Africa. She had 40 cubs and there was a picture of the Churchills holding two of the cubs, named Monty and Ike, after the generals.
Early 1900s mechanical novelty machine. Leaded glass dome and curved glass protect a stuffed chicken. When a coin was dropped in the slot, an egg was produced in the side pocket with candy or trinkets. Forerunner of the gum ball machine.
These are 19th century newel post finials, relics of an era when houses had elegant staircases with carved banisters beginning with a decorative newel post. The post was topped with a finial as expensive and decorative as the family could afford, sometimes carved of wood or cast in brass, but often made of glass.
Cimon and Pera. Cimon was an Athenian general and statesman responsible for defeating the Persian fleet in 468 B.C. According to legend, as an old man imprisoned and condemned to die, only his daughter Pera was allowed to visit him and she was always searched. His captors did not realize that Pera had just given birth and she was able to keep her father alive by secretly nursing him. When Cimon continued to live seemingly without nourishment, his captors became convinced he was favored by the gods and found it reason to release him. This is the subject of well over 200 paintings, engravings and etchings. There was another reference in the museum to the Canadian Indian practice of nursing the grave of an infant. What strange things you learn in museums.
This Grand Escritoire 1810 with ivory and ebony inlay is believed to have belonged to Louis Bonaparte, appointed King of Holland by his brother Napoleon. The cabinet is in the form of a pipe organ. It has 200 drawers with mother-of-pearl drawer pulls resembling organ stops and a clock in the form of a miniature pipe organ.
Otto bought other people's collections of just about anything you can think of. Crystal, salt shakers, dolls, fancy 3-D greeting cards, hats, lanterns, sea shells, beer steins, canes, spoons, coins, paper money, buttons, match boxes, the stickers on bananas and other fruits, cigar bands, even toasters. There were several floral arrangements like this, all made out of sea shells. In the 1800s sailors brought home rare examples of foreign birds starting an interest in taxidermy. Bird mounts became so popular, handbooks for ladies were published with complete directions for do-it-yourself creations. The desire to trap nature in a glass case and make it everlasting was a strong Victorian theme. How would you like to gut a bird to decorate your parlor? Yuck! I'll stick with pictures.
There were thousands of different kinds of buttons. This is a sample of button art.
1860s Bentwood cradle.
Samplers were framed showpieces that were hung in a young lady's home to show off her domestic skills.
They were used to teach youngsters sewing skills and to teach them to read and spell and write poetry, it seems.
Teddy Roosevelt helped fuel the fad for furniture made from long horn cattle, elk and deer for private libraries, trophy rooms and hunting lodges in the 1890s. The man cave!
This is an early 20th century hooked rug. I hope you can read the saying. I included it especially for Claude and Jodi who so graciously pretend to be glad to see us each summer, or should I say glad to see us leave?
Leaving the museum, this is our view of Henry Flagler's masterpiece, the Hotel Ponce de Leon. He caught Florida development fever in 1885 when he decided to build his two dream hotels here in St. Augustine. He soon bought a short line railroad to bring guests from Jacksonville, which put him in the railroad business. He was 63 when he started laying tracks to Palm Beach and Miami. He continued his hotel developments and railroad expansion south for the next 19 years, ending in 1912 with the opening of the overseas railroad to Key West, capping one of the greatest American railroad construction efforts ever attempted. By the 1920s patrons chose to stay on the train and go to his Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach where they were guaranteed warmer weather. The trend resulted in the closing of the Alcazar Hotel in the 1930s.
This is just inside the main gate in the courtyard. Flagler's American Riviera Dream. Besides the two lavish hotels, he built lots of other buildings in St. Augustine, including several churches, a two-story depot, hospital, city hall, a jail designed like a hotel, newspaper building, his home and others.
This is the foyer just inside the main entrance. The 450-room Ponce de Leon Hotel was Flagler's masterpiece. The Spanish Renaissance Revival structure has 19th century murals in the ballroom. Straight ahead up the steps, the dining hall boasts the largest private collection of Tiffany stained glass windows in the world. The Edison Electric Company designed the electrical generator system, one of the first in the nation.
Looking up at the 3-1/2 story dome, spectacular murals and brilliant gilding, and around at the ornate wood pillars, mosaic tile floors, imported marble, dark oak base boards, large fire places and gilded walls. The hotel entertained celebrities from around the world, including several presidents. During WWII it served as a Coast Guard training center. In 1968 it was converted to Flagler College and you can't go beyond here, except on special tours. The college has invested $30 million to restore the campus. Students now dine in the elegant dining room and the private guest room wings are now student residences. Makes me yearn to go back to college.
Leaving the hotel, there is a fountain in the center of the courtyard with frogs and turtles.
There are several rental places around town where you can rent bikes, scooters and these little three-wheel cars. We had lunch at Chick-fil-A in the Student Union.
Then we did the free tour of the St. Augustine Distillery that used to be the Ice Plant. The Ice Plant was built in 1905 and produced power and ice for the city.
They do small batches of specialty vodkas, gins and bourbons. In the 1940s moonshining was still prevalent in the South. Illicit dealers in Florida did an estimated $100 million in sales. The "Everglades Dew" was defrauding the government of millions of dollars in taxes. The State Beverage Department's Flying Squad was created. In 18 months the squad's 35 war veteran members destroyed over 1,100 stills with a weekly capacity of 200,000 gallons and arrested 3,700 moonshiners, enriching the state treasury by a quarter of a million dollars in fines.
Bottling and labeling room. Jerry Thomas (1830-1885) known as the "Jupiter Olympus of the Bar" was an inventor and showman who laid down the principles for formulating mixed drinks. He established the image of a bartender as a creative professional. He published the very first cocktail manual The Bartender's Guide in 1862. Of course we got to taste a couple of special cocktails made by their bartender, but I have to say I much prefer wine.
Aging in oak barrels. Henry Flagler made his first fortune as a co-owner of a distillery and grain business in Ohio. He got to know a grain broker named John D. Rockefeller. Flagler was a lifelong tee-totaler and now that he had made a fortune, it compromised his morals to be a distiller, so he sold out and co-founded Standard Oil Company with Rockefeller.
St. Augustine's Plaza is the city's heart and soul. It has been the center of the city's social and political growth since the 16th century. Dominating the west end of the plaza is this bronze statue of Ponce de Leon overlooking the plaza and the harbor. He discovered Florida and landed near here in 1513. There is a replica of this statue near his grave in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The plaza is the oldest public space in America. The first public market was established here in 1598 with the first system of weights and measures introduced in this country for the protection of the consumer. It is the site of the first permanent settlement by the Spanish in 1565 and under British rule became a market and place of public auction, ever since called the slave market. Hopefully, they don't call it that anymore. The plaza has markers about Florida's 67 counties, memorials to a Catholic priest who was an independence leader for Cuba in 1788 and for prisoners from the American Revolution and the Confederacy and soldiers killed in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Three signers of the Declaration of Independence were kept here by the British in a floating prison, Thomas Heyward Jr, Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge.
March 19, 1812 the Spanish Parliament wrote the first Spanish Constitution and issued a Royal Decree that all Spanish towns throughout the empire build a monument in their main plazas and rename the plazas La Plaze de la Constitucion in commemoration of the new constitutional government in Spain. This monument was built in 1813 and in 1814 the Spanish constitutional government was overthrown and returned to a monarchy. A second Royal Decree was issued to destroy all the monuments in the empire worldwide. St. Augustine officials refused to tear down what they had sacrificed so much to build. It is the only surviving, unaltered monument in the world from this campaign.
We saw several of these smaller current versions of the constitution monument with sayings on them having to do with themes about compassion for others.
Andrew Young Crossing. June 9, 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. sent a group to St. Augustine to organize a peaceful protest. Andrew Young led the march to the plaza. They were met and beaten by a large, white mob waiting for their arrival. It was one of the pivotal events broadcast on nationwide TV that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Press coverage of the protests helped break Congress' filibuster and LBJ signed it on July 2, 1964.
One of the many old homes on campus that serves as a dormitory.
Memorial Presbyterian Church built by Henry Flagler in 1890 in memory of his daughter, Jennie, who died tragically in 1889.
He had his first wife and daughter and her baby exhumed in New York City and their tombs are inside the small, domed mausoleum next to his tomb behind a wrought iron partition.
This is the west wing inside the cross-shaped church. The 5,000 pipe organ purchased in 1968 for $165,000 is one of the largest in the southeastern United States.
Pier from the restaurant at St. Mary's where we ate lunch on Thursday, blackened shrimp, sweet potato, hush puppies and clam chowder for me and flounder and fries for John. We really do enjoy all the fresh seafood down here. Guests at the 1916 hotel here included Carnegies, Rockefellers and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. When President Washington died, like many other communities, they had a local ceremony. Citizens marched to the dock to meet a boat baring an empty flag-draped casket and bore it down the street with all due ceremony and firing of guns and buried it in the square. They planted four live oak trees around it and drove a well next to it, known as Washington's Pump. The trees are all gone now, but the pump is still there and a sign honoring the spot.
After lunch we did a walking tour around town. The First Presbyterian Church built in 1808 was originally an interdenominational meeting hall and school. During the Civil War Union troops piled brush soaked with tar around the base and torched it. Citizens prayed and a violent thunderstorm erupted and saved the church. It was the most southern port of America before we bought Florida from Spain, a ship building center with ships from around the world, a thriving tall ship harbor with more than 300 vessels in harbor at times. The "forgotten battle" of the War of 1812 took place here when the British attacked Point Peter five days after the Battle of New Orleans.
This is the Major Archibald Clark home built in 1801 by a Revolutionary War soldier. It was purchased in 1804 by a customs agent for coastal Georgia, Major Clark. He entertained the third vice president, Aaron Burr, who was fleeing after a duel with Alexander Hamilton. He also entertained General Winfield Scott, both were friends from law school.
The Peacemaker was built in Brazil in 1989 to be a charter vessel. It is 150' long with a 33' beam. The mast height is 126' above the water. Sail area is 10,000 sq. ft. It's an Osprey II, a class of Royal Navy screw-driven sloops built from 1874 to 1877, and is currently for sale. They give tours on the weekend.
Then we stopped in at the little local museum where we learned all about the Thomas Carnegie family, brother to Andrew Carnegie. They owned most of Cumberland Island which you can ferry out to from St. Mary's. Only 300 visitors a day are allowed on the island. It is currently Cumberland Island National Seashore established by President Nixon. This carriage belonged to Mrs. Lucy Coleman Carnegie (of the Coleman camping equipment family) back when the family estate covered most of the island. After her husband died in 1886 she built a mansion on the island for each of her 9 children as they grew up. When we were down on Amelia Island we were told that a couple of her sons like to come down there on the weekends to party and regularly ended up in jail. So she went on down to Amelia Island and decorated a jail cell just for them, so they could be more comfortable.
Lamb's horn inkwell. Letter writing was an important social skill in the early 1900s. Letters of apology, introduction, expressed interest and business all carefully crafted, judged by their content, style, penmanship and choice of stationary and fancy wax seals. Do kids even know how to read or write cursive today?
Friday we went back to St. Augustine and went to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. It's one of those kitchy touristy kind of things, but we just had to do it. It is on the original site where Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and you can actually have a drink from the Fountain of Youth. It is the oldest tourist attraction in Florida with guest books dating back to 1868. They have a Navigator's Planetarium show and a Discovery Globe show, a reconstructed 1587 mission and a Timicuan Indian village with an actual Indian burial grounds (late 1500s) discovered by accident by the gardner in the 1930s.
They fire off the cannons every half hour. Plug your ears.
And the musket demonstrations every half hour. Plug your ears again.
Replica of a Caravel Down like they used to explore up the rivers.
A 600 foot River Walk looking back at the village and replica of a 16th century watchtower.
Check out the clusters of oysters in the muddy river bank. Oysters can change their sex. Oh well, who can't these days? Seriously, Atlantic oysters release sperm as a male in their first year, but the next 2 or 3 years they release eggs as a female. Today the oyster population is reduced to 1% of its historic level. All oysters can make pearls, but only pearl oysters make commercially valuable ones. Native Americans, Georgia's earliest settlers, left enormous piles of discarded shells, millions of oysters, clams and mussels. Some of these middens covered several acres and rose to 25' tall.
Maybe the Fountain of Youth did make him immortal. There are statues of him everywhere. It didn't seem to do much for my gray hair and wrinkles. Oh well. Who wants to be young forever anyway?
Peacocks are so beautiful. They were my favorite part of the park. The peafowl are native to India, but are now found all over the world. They nest on the ground, but roost in the trees. They eat seeds, small mammals, insects, fruit and reptiles. Only the males have the distinctive train of feathers. The trains develop in the third year and are molted annually.
White peafowl are not albino, but have a condition called leucism. It is a melanin deficiency causing pale or colorless skin. It causes a reduction in all types of pigment and can effect skin, fur, feathers or any combination. The white peafowl lack nearly all pigmentation, except for the eyes, which are generally blue. I was just about to leave when the one in the rear spread his fan. I was so excited.
Then a couple others spread their fans.
Then this guy spread his. They were so fun to watch. They kept turning around in slow, graceful circles like models on a runway, to make sure everyone got a really good look. And they quivered in their courtship display as they circled around. The lady in the gift shop said they normally don't do this until May, as they loose their fantail feathers and they are not grown back in until then. But this year it was so warm, they got confused and didn't molt.
There is a pea hen in the center rear trying to compete with the peacocks, but the hens just don't have the long feathers. They lack the train and the greenish/blue neck and just have a duller brown plumage. But you can't blame them for trying when they see how beautiful the males are. I hated to leave. They were so much fun to watch.
We saw this as we walked along the street looking for a place to eat lunch. We settled on the White Lion where I had blackened chicken super nachos and John had a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad.
Then we walked across the street to Castillo de San Marcos, the tenth fort built at St. Augustine. The first nine were wood. This one is the oldest masonry fortification in the U.S. It was built by slaves, Native Americans, Spaniards and a few convicts of cocina quarried from nearby Anastasia Island that was pulled to shore and ferried to the mainland. It was shaped while soft and left to cure for a year. It took 23 years to build the fort. It was so strong it merely absorbed the impact of cannon fire and was never taken by force.
This replica of Ponce de Leon's ship, Santa Maria de la Consolacion, takes cruisers out on the bay.
Among the prisoners kept here were Geronimo and his three wives. One gave birth to a daughter, which the soldiers named Marion after the fort. Spain sold Florida to the U.S. in 1821 and it was renamed Fort Marion after Revolutionary War hero, Frances Marion. The army left the fort in 1900 and it became a tourist attraction and a national monument in 1924. The National Park Service took it over in 1933 and restored its name in 1942. Both Union and Confederate troops served here.
Lots of different kinds of cannons around the top walkway.
The bunks from 1763 to 1783 slept four soldiers called messmates, a basic unit in the British Army. There was a place at the end of the bunk for 4 guns, 4 coats and other gear on the shelf below. Worse than living in an RV.
We drove 14 miles south to check out Fort Matanzas, but it was closed for the day when we arrived. So we enjoyed a nice little walk down to the beach instead.
Saturday we went to Jekyll Island State Park and really wished we had brought our bikes. It's a really lovely place for biking. This is the ruins of the Horton Plantation Home. He was the first European to occupy the island. He was granted 500 acres by the British Crown to bring 10 indentured servants for each 50 acres and have 20% in cultivation within 10 years. His nearest neighbors were at the settlement of Frederica on St. Simon Island to the north. He became a major in the British Army, second in command to General James Oglethorpe at Fort Frederica.
A Frenchman named Poulain du Bignon bought Jekyll Island in the 1790s and his family owned it until 1886. This is their family cemetery.
View of Sidney Lanier Bridge over Brunswick River.
This fine fellow was just patiently waiting to take some nice folks for a jaunt around the island.
This was the Bignon family home while they lived here on the island after the Revolutionary War 1791 until 1886 and the trolley that takes folks for a ride around the island. Now it is one of the many original plantation buildings being used for commercial services, as they were during the time of the Jekyll Club.
The Jekyll Club was a group of millionaires like J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, Andrew Carnegie, Goodyear and the Vanderbilts who bought the island from the Bignon family. They made it an elite hunting club and managed it as a country estate. It was founded for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, yachting and trap shooting from galleries over the marsh. There were nearly 120 buildings in the 1920s mostly service oriented, like dining hall, commissary, laundry, stables, machine and carpentry shops, chauffeurs dorm and other employee housing. The original members had luxurious apartments in this lodge. Each set of double windows is one of the apartments. The lodge is much bigger than it appears in the picture. Notice the croquet lawn out front.
View from the pool. There were also tennis courts and a casino with a bowling alley and a game room. The Club House was completed in 1886 for $45,000 with 60 guest rooms and was by no means ostentatious compared to clubs in the north like the Union Club. I imagine that is based on their definition of ostentatious, not mine.
Walkway from the pool down to the wharf. The most luxurious pleasure crafts in the world anchored here. The Club owned vessels to transport seasonal inhabitants, but some members had their own private yachts. Large steam powered vessels delivered Club staff including personal items, carriages, horses and hounds. J.P. Morgan owned several yachts, his last too large to dock, had to be anchored in the channel. They were escorted ashore by a flotilla of small crafts after a cannon sounded off at his arrival. When asked how much his new yacht cost, he gave his classic remark, "If you have to consider the cost, you have no business with a yacht."
I couldn't resist an old fashioned selfie in the lobby.
There were 50 large plots of land laid out around the club house. Some of them found their apartments at the club to be just too small, so they built their own homes.
The club era lasted from 1886 to 1942. The club could only be reached by boat and only club members, their invited guests and employees were allowed on the island.
Edwin Gould bought one of the homes on the island and built this one for his in-laws. We know how children like to have the in-laws have their own home when they come to visit, so they can send them home when they get tired of them.
In 1929 his son, Frank Gould, built Villa Marianna for his daughter. I guess it was a tradition to keep the in-laws at a comfortable distance.
Indian Mound Cottage was the winter home of the William Rockefeller family, Standard Oil.
Moss Cottage 1896. Named for the moss that hangs from the trees all over the island. The French called it Spanish Moss. The Spanish called it French Beard. The Indians just called it tree hair. I guess they weren't trying to insult anyone. The first owner was William Strothers, owner of Philadelphia Marble Works. It was later a winter home for George Henry Macy, a tobacconist from Hudson, New York who became president of Union Pacific Tea.
Just one of the back yards of the many little winter vacation cottages on the island. Frank Henry Goodyear also built a cottage here. He started out as a bookkeeper making $35 a month and ended up as head of a vast lumber, coal, iron and railroad empire. He took every opportunity during afternoon drinks of scotch to discuss business with empire builders like J.P. Morgan. His unceasing toil caught up with him in 1887 and he had a nervous breakdown. He went to Europe to recuperate, but was back to work in six months. He built his cottage in 1906 and died in 1907 at age 58 worn out by ceaseless activity and worry. He left his heirs a $10 million estate. I'm sure they appreciated it.
The Crane Cottage was the largest most expensive cottage on the island. He was the president of Crane Company, valves and plumbing fixtures, so it had a swimming pool and fancy fountains.
When we left Jekyll Island we drove over to St. Simon to see the remnants of Fort Frederica and the town of Frederica. They had some awesome examples of Spanish Moss here.
This was an interesting place. There is not much left here, but they have the town plat and have excavated the foundations of lots of the houses and have labeled the streets by name and the homes and businesses by name. So it's kind of like walking around on a blue print of a town about to be built.
Fort Frederica National Monument is an unearthed ruins. A series of transports from Salzburg between 1731 and 1755 carried several waves of persecuted Lutherans from Austria to Georgia. It was a thriving military town at its peak with 1,500 people. After the Great Fire of 1758 it became a ghost town.
There are just a few remnants time has spared of the citadel of the town and fort built in 1736 by General James Oglethorpe as an outpost against the Spanish in Florida.
Unknown graves of the early settlers of Frederica. Oglethorpe was the governor of the colony of Georgia and passed this cemetery often enroute to his plantation. John and Charles Wesley also came over with Oglethorpe and presided at funerals here. A visitor in 1839 said, "This Frederica is a very strange place; it was once a town--The Town--, the metropolis of the island." The brick tombs were said to be already crumbling by 1859. Burgers, onion rings and clam chowder at Brogen's North in Brunswick and back to camp to rest our weary bones.
Some homemade lawn furniture at our campground that I thought was kind of interesting. Sunday we went to see the movie Lady in a Van. It's based on a true story and was very good. We had supper at Sonny's BBQ and tomorrow we head a little further north, but not too far. We will be at The Oaks at Point South, South Carolina for two weeks between Charleston and Savannah, Georgia. A few of the flowers are starting to blossom on the trees and I can tell, because my eyes are starting to get itchy from the pollen already. We've had a little trouble with our computer, so I'm behind getting this posted. We have already been here in South Carolina for two weeks and will be leaving on Monday for Myrtle Beach.