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Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site This beautiful plantation represents the history and culture of Georgia’s rice coast. In the early 1800s, William Brailsford of Charleston carved a rice plantation from marshes along the Altamaha River. The plantation and its inhabitants were part of the genteel low country society that developed during the antebellum period. While many factors made rice cultivation increasingly difficult in the years after the Civil War, the family continued to grow rice until 1913. The enterprising siblings of the fifth generation at Hofwyl-Broadfield resolved to start a dairy rather than sell their family home. The efforts of Gratz, Miriam and Ophelia Dent led to the preservation of their family legacy. Ophelia was the last heir to the rich traditions of her ancestors, and she left the plantation to the state of Georgia in 1973. A museum features silver from the family collection and a model of Hofwyl-Broadfield during its heyday. A brief film on the plantation’s history is shown before visitors walk a short trail to the antebellum home. A guided tour allows visitors to see the home as Ophelia kept it with family heirlooms, 18th and 19th century furniture and Cantonese china. A stop on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, this is an excellent spot to look for herons, egrets, ibis and painted buntings. A nature trail that leads back to the Visitors Center along the edge of the marsh where rice once flourished.
 
 
 
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ALICE RICHARDS BOTANICAL TRAIL
ALICE RICHARDS BOTANICAL TRAIL The Alice Richards Botanical Trail connects to Frederica Park, located north of the Lawrence Road roundabout. When Frederica Park opened in 2009, it was the first new park on St. Simons Island in 50 years and was made possible by the Sea Island Company, members of the St. Simons Land Trust, and a generous donation from the estate of Alice Richards. St. Simons Land Trust partnered with island garden clubs to reintroduce native plant species to the Alice Richards Botanical Trail, such as the East Palatka Holly. Starting in 2014, the Trail will feature 13 interactive signs that highlight the plant life and species on view as one meanders through the woods. These signs will each have a QR code which, when scanned by a smartphone, will take visitors to an online site with more in depth information about the trail's special ecology. The Alice Richards Botanical Trail also features a labyrinth, gazebo, and faerie houses - all perfect for a nature hike with the whole family!
 
Address:
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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Battle of Bloody Marsh Monument
In 1742, during the War of Jenkins' Ear, English and Spanish forces fought in an encounter later known as the "Battle of Bloody Marsh". The name came from old tales claiming the marsh "ran red with the blood of Spaniards". However, official Spanish records indicate that only seven grenadiers died during this battle. Due to the efforts of Lt. Patrick Sutherland of the (old) 42nd Regiment of Foot and the Highlanders from Darien, the battle was a British victory, ending the Spanish claim to Georgia. The Bloody Marsh Unit is located on St. Simon's Island, off of Demere Road. It is open 8:30 am to 4:00 pm 7 days a week, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. *NOTE: new traffic pattern merges Demere onto Airport Road. At first traffic light before the airport, turn left to get back onto Demere and proceed to Bloody Marsh. For GPS purposes Bloody Marsh is located at 11806 Old Demere Road. However most GPS units will not reflect the latest traffic pattern.
 
Address:
11806 Old Demere Road
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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CANNON'S POINT PRESERVE
EXPLORE CANNON'S POINT PRESERVE Planned Public Opening in 2014 Click to enlarge Cannon's Point Preserve will be open to the public in 2014 and will be integrated into the St. Simons Land Trust's existing Greenprint and trail system. Activities available to the public in 2014 will include biking, hiking, kayaking, picnicking and enjoying the scenic expanse of the property. The Land Trust will also offer educational opportunities and tours for those visitors who wish to immerse themselves in the historical depth and ecological uniqueness of the property. The tentative Site Plan for the South End of Cannon's Point Preserve is depicted (right) which details the various structures, infrastructure, and trails to be put in place by the Land Trust in phases over the following years. All parking areas are contained within the South End of the Preserve as the North End will be limited to only foot or bike traffic. Check out our latest Summer 2013 Newsletter for more information on Cannon's Point and stay tuned for our “We're Open” announcement in 2014!
 
Address:
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins
Hamilton Plantation, owned by James Hamilton, a native of Scotland, was located on Gascoigne Bluff near Fort Frederica. The Bluff was named for Captain James Gascoigne, commander of the British sloop “Hawk.” The Bluff became a storehouse for marine supplies, ship repair facilities and in effect, was Georgia’s first naval base. Hamilton Plantation was a working plantation, producing long staple Sea Island cotton along with oak and pine timbers. Of the several tabby slave cabins built on the plantation, two remain today. They were constructed of tabby, which is a concrete-like mixture of lime, sand, water and oyster shells. The mixture is poured into wooden frames to harden. The cabins were divided in the center by a fireplace, thus creating two rooms that housed two families. Glass windows and wooden outside doors indicate that these cabins were probably living quarters of slaves that were high in the privilege hierarchy. Cassina Garden Club began meeting in these cabins in 1932 and was deeded the property in 1950. As owner of this beautiful historic site, the Cassina Garden Club has carefully restored and preserved the integrity of the cabins and displays many artifact and graphical histories. The cabins are located adjacent to Epworth-by-the-Sea, a Methodist Conference Center. General Oglethorpe’s secretary, Charles Wesley and his famous Anglican clergyman brother, John, considered by many the founder of the Methodist Church, trod these grounds. All of this property was formerly part of Hamilton Plantation. Not surprisingly, this beautiful historic property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior in 1988.
 
Address:
100 Arthur J. Moore Drive, Next to Epworth By The Sea,
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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Fort Frederica National Monument
Centuries old conflict decided on St. Simons Island. Georgia's fate was decided in 1742 when Spanish and British forces clashed on St. Simons Island. Fort Frederica's troops defeated the Spanish, ensuring Georgia's future as a British colony. Today, the archeological remnants of Frederica are protected by the National Park Service. In the early 18th century, the land lying between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida was known as the debatable land. This land (today's Georgia) was the epicenter of a centuries-old imperial conflict between Spain and Britain. Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavor. Named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales (1702-1754), Frederica was a military outpost consisting of a fort and town. The entire area was fortified with a palisade wall and earthen rampart. The fort's location on the Frederica River allowed it to control ship travel. Oglethorpe's foresight in establishing Frederica was rewarded in 1742 during the War of Jenkins' Ear. Spanish forces from Florida and Cuba landed on St. Simons Island. Oglethorpe's attack on a Spanish reconnaisance party at Gully Hole Creek led to the battle at "Bloody Marsh". Despite the name, casualties were light and the Spanish continued their campaign on St. Simons. Clever deception on Oglethorpe's part convinced the Spanish to retreat from Georgia seven days later. This British victory not only confirmed that Georgia was British territory, but also signaled the end for Frederica. When peace was declared, Frederica's Garrison (the original 42nd Regiment of Foot) was disbanded, and eventually the town fell into decline. Today the archeological remains of colonial Frederica are protected by the National Park Service.
Phone: 912-638-3639
Fax: 912-634-5357
 
Address:
6515 Frederica Rd.
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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Gascoigne Bluff
Historically, Gascoigne Bluff was the first possible landing area for a ship entering the harbor. The site of an Indian settlement long before the Wesleys landed here with James Oglethorpe, Gascoigne Bluff has been headquarters for a military invasion, a Sea Island cotton plantation, the site of a lumber mill and a shipping point for timber. Live oak timbers milled here in 1794 were used in building “Old Ironsides,” the U.S.S. Constitution. In 1874, timbers were cut here for the Brooklyn Bridge. At Gascoigne Bluff, you can visit the Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins from the Plantation Era, a Southern Red Cedar tree that is the second largest of its kind in Georgia, a fishing pier, and a beautiful stand of live oak trees. Across the Frederica River, you will see three “ballast hammocks”, small islands formed from ballast dumped by European ships before taking on cotton or lumber. In addition to being a historic site, Gascoigne Bluff features a public fishing pier, a floating dock, a picnic pavilion, two grills, a disc golf course, a fitness trail and restroom facilities. The park is free, open year round and host to numerous events such as the annual Kingfish Tournament. The 6-hole disc golf course is spread throughout the live oak grove. Along the Southeast side of the live oak grove you will see the entrance to the Southeast Georgia Health System Fitness Trail which is a paved fitness trail with signs along the way educating visitors about the “Fit-Trail” balanced program of total fitness conditioning. Gascoigne Bluff is a great place for a family picnic/BBQ under the pavilion and provides easy access to the pier for fishing or boating. Since Gascoigne Bluff is the location for many annual events and fishing tournaments, it is a good idea to check our events calendar before you visit. Restrooms are on-site near the Pier.
 
Address:
100 Arthur J. Moore Drive, Next to Epworth By The Sea,
St Simons Island, Georgia 31522
 
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Historic Brunswick Courthouse
The mainland, port city of Brunswick is laid out in a formal grid similar to Savannah's, with city streets and squares still bearing their colonial names. Docked at the wharf, the array of shrimp boats are ready to trawl the local waters—evidence of the area’s rich seafood industry. Watch the ocean vessels come into port, see the shrimpers unload at the docks along Bay Street and then sample the catch of the day at one of the fine restaurants. Mary Ross Waterfront Park and the adjacent Brunswick Landing Marina play host to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the annual events include: the Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee, the Rhythm on the River concert series, and the Blessing of the Fleet. Historic Downtown Brunswick, also known as the Old Town Brunswick, is enjoying a renaissance, with the ongoing renovation and restoration of historic buildings and public squares. Old Town Brunswick is centered at the intersection of Newcastle and Gloucester Streets, the traditional commercial corridors of the city. Newcastle Street is anchored on the south end by Old City Hall (1888) with its distinctive clock tower. At the north end of Newcastle Street is the Historic Ritz Theatre. Built in 1898 as the Grand Opera House, the Ritz Theatre is Brunswick’s center for quality exhibits and performances by local, regional, national and international artists. The historic restoration of the Ritz Theatre is still underway with the most recent addition of the restored, original Ritz sign. Additional restoration is being done by a local preservation group, Signature Squares of Brunswick, who have restored many of the local squares in the downtown. Homes in Old Town reflect a variety of styles dating from 1819, including Queen Anne, Jacobean, Eastlake, Mansard, Gothic and Italianate architecture. The Brunswick Landmarks Foundation works to educate the public and protect and enhance the special historic character and charm of Old Town. The downtown district features a growing mix of antique shops, specialty shops, art galleries, theatres and restaurants. During the First Friday of each month, take a stroll through our beautiful downtown district. Galleries and shops will be open and serving wine & snacks, with live music in the pocket parks. With ideal weather conditions throughout the year, Brunswick also supports an active and healthy outdoor life. The beautiful natural scenic landscape invites jogging and walking, from the challenging Sidney Lanier Bridge to the Old Town Brunswick National Historic District and from Mary Ross Waterfront Park to the Howard Coffin Park. By day, you can try your hand at shrimpin’ aboard the Lady Jane, the only shrimp vessel on the entire east coast that has been certified by the USCG to carry 49 passengers offshore, or fish with any of Brunswick’s local charters. By night, catch a show at the historic Ritz Theatre or enjoy a unique dinner experience on the Emerald Princess II casino cruise ship sailing seven days a week from Gisco Point near the entrance of Jekyll Island.
 
Address:
Brunswick GA 31520
 
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Historic Ritz Theatre
Originally, the Grand Opera House, a three-story Victorian building featuring ornate brick and stone work, was built for the legitimate stage. Later, it served as a theatre for vaudeville. In the 1920's, as motion pictures became the rage, the Opera House was converted into a movie palace. To give the building a more modern art deco look, the first story brickwork was covered with carrara glass and an elaborate marquee and cascading signs were added. Thus, the Grand Opera House became the Ritz Theatre. In 1956, the world premiere of "A View From Pompey's Head," filmed primarily at the Oglethorpe Hotel (the grand hotel that used to sit across from the Ritz), was introduced by the film's star, Richard Egan, at the Ritz Theatre. The Ritz Theatre (and single movie houses in general) fell into decline in the 60's and 70's. In 1981, the City of Brunswick purchased the Ritz, and again, the theatre was modernized and substantially altered; however, the Ritz sign was left intact. The extensive reconstruction was due in part to the collapse of the roof over the auditorium. This phase was completed in 1983. In 2008, the Ritz became part of the Fox Theatre Institute (FTI), the only comprehensive theatre preservation organization in the U.S. and the premiere resource for historic theatre restoration and revitalization in Georgia, offering mentoring programs, preservation expertise, operational counseling, and educational opportunitites. In 2010 Golden Isles Arts and Humanities applied for and received a restoration assistance grant, matched by the City of Brunswick, to restore the building's 58 original windows, which were loose and in danger of falling.
 
Address:
1530 Newcastle St., Corner of F Street
Brunswick GA 31520
 
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Horton House Historic Site
he second in command of Oglethorpe's regiment, Major Horton cleared fields, built a barn and engaged in other activities on the northern end of Jekyll Island. He is credited with cutting the first road across the island, a sandy lane that can still be traveled today. The house was built of tabby, a unique material commonly used along the Georgia coast during the 18th and 19th centuries. To create tabby, Horton burned oyster shells to obtain lime. He then mixed the lime with equal parts of sand, water and water. The thick mixture was poured into forms to create the walls that stand today. The Horton House once again fell into ruin and today only the time-scarred walls stand as a reminder of the thriving activity that once buzzed on the north end of Jekyll Island from around 1740 to 1886. The ruins have been designated as the Horton House Historic Site and are maintained by the Jekyll Island Historic District. The site is open to the public daily and includes the ruins, historical plaques and markers and the historic DuBignon Cemetery across the road. The paved path near the cemetery offers beautiful views of the Marshes of Glynn, made famous during the 19th century by the poet Sidney Lanier. Horton House Historic Site is located on North Riverview Drive north of the main historic district. There is no cost to visit other than the admission to access the island.
 
Address:
North Riverview Drive
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
 

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