Built in 1904, a non-denominational chapel for the use of the Morgans, Astors, Rockefellers and other Jekyll Island Club members. We mistimed our walking tour of the Historic District, or we could have viewed the interior of the chapel during its regularly scheduled visitor hours (from 2-4 daily). Most notable feature of the chapel is the pair of stain glass windows, one by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Another example of the extravagant riches on display in Jekyll Island's Historic District, this Italian Renaissance mansion was merely a get-away cottage for the Crane family of plumbing fixture fame. It is perhaps for that reason the "cottage" has 17 bathrooms, most unusual for a vacation cabin built in the early 1900s. It is now an annex of the adjacent Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Its gardens and courtyards serve as wedding and/or reception sites for the social elite.
A long boardwalk through a variety of wild, natural dunes allows visitors to view the beach on which the closing battle scene was filmed for the movie, "Glory." The 1989 film, starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman dramatically recounts the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the US Army to be made up entirely of African Americans, in a full-out nighttime attack on Confederate-held Fort Wagner.
Our visit was in mid-February, an unusually cold, damp and windy day on Jekyll Island, which is obvious in the photos shown.
Major William Horton, second in command to British General James Oglethorpe, built this two-story "tabby* house" in 1740, and it served as the center of a plantation for 140 years.
The web site listed below provides an excellent history of the home, but contains errors in the listing of ingredients used in the making of tabby.
Across the road from the house is the cemetery of the DuBignon Family, which owned Jekyll Island from 1790-1886.
* Tabby: building material commonly used along the southeastern coast prior to the mid 1800s. Tabby consists of equal parts lime, water, sand, oyster shells, and ash which serves as the hardening agent. It is poured into molds, dried, then covered with stucco. In the Horton House, and other tabby structures, the oyster shells are easily visible when the stucco falls off or is removed.
For the "photographer me" - the best part of a visit to Jekyll Island.
At the northern tip of the island is a long stretch of beach that is strewn with driftwood and downed oak trees in most interesting shapes and textures, as you see from the attached set of photos. The day of our visit was quite cool and foggy, not pleasant for walking, but one that adds atmosphere to photos of this type of subject matter.
I might mention that there were a number of jellyfish washed onto shore by tide which should not be touched, as I was reminded by a naturalist with whom I had an interesting chat.
This is the place where injured turtles come to get repaired. A number of people come here to see them and watch the various states of bringing them back to health to go back out to nature. It closes at 2PM on Sat & Sundays. Admission is $6
The the north end of the island is a stretch of beach that has driftwood form eroded beach area where there once was large oak and other indigenous trees. They now lie in death like a sad epic tale of evolution the earth works. This driftwood spans about 2+ miles from what we noted
There area about 6 preserved servant homes that now are occupied for shopping. Some of the shops have goodies to eat, and others trinkets to take home, or valuable gifts; like jewelery. These homes are from early 1900's, and still in good condition, even though they were renovated extensively.
They have a nice 15 minute film of the island history and also a unique museum that has a lot of artifacts and mural pictures of old times. The museum tour takes maybe 1/2 hour or so to see. It is located on Stable Road, and also where you get tickets for the homes tours.
This is one way for people to see the homes and get a ride. It costs $28 for this mode of transport, and may be for the less able tourists. They ride/drive you around the island, and apparently can get on and off for stops.
This church was erected as a monument to those wealthy families that came, and needed to go to church. It was built in 1904, and two stained glass windows are the works of Louis Tiffany, and only one of five pieces to exist like this.
Entry is free and it opens at 2PM, and closes at 4 or 5PM.
This hotel was completed in 1888, and initially was used for the 53 club members and family. Over the next 40 years most of the families built their own homes, and the hotel was used for guests. Club membership to begin with was $600 a share of stock and annual dues of $300-400. The Dubignon family started to crop the island in 1792, and had control even after the Civil War. There is 2400 acres, and it sold to the club members for $125,000. The club hotel was built for $45,000. The island and homes got electricity in 1904.
A hotel tour at 2PM daily is $10 for 3/4 hour. My opinion is it is not worth the money, but we asked.
There is a great tour of about 1 1/2 hours to tour 2 to 3 homes inside and describe the history of the island and the wealth that came here to hunt in the winter and enjoy peaceful life. I believe it is one of the best tours we have experienced in US for quite some time, and the detail is well worth the listening to it all. They enjoyed the environs for 56 years, and then the heirs had less interest in coming down here for visits. The homes were built over 1888-1928, and then the Depression slowed up visits here, and wealth waned. Ironically after some years that disinterest led to decline a many homes, and others delinquent in taxes, and the club in debt. After threats by the Governor to pay the taxes or lose the island, it was taken over by the state.
Tours are daily and cost $16 for adults. The home region is 240 acres, and includes 33 structures and the Jekyll Club hotel.
You can drive down Riverview Dr and not pay for the vehicle tour, but cannot get inside homes.
When we came to Jekyll Island, we wanted a good way to explore the natural areas of this beautiful place. We found the perfect way to do this is by kayak. My sister had kayaked before, but my mom and I had not. We had an experienced guide show us how to get around in the kayaks well, and then he took us out around the salt marshes, giving us a lesson on the local ecology while allowing us to explore where we wanted. It was a great experience and we have since went kayaking in other places we've traveled to. I recommend kayaking for anyone who doesn't mind getting a little sun and getting wet to see the natural side of Jekyll Island.
Jekyll has had a sea turtle monitoring program since 1972 but this center, which is dedicated to marine turtle rehabilitation, research and education, opened only in 2007. I never realized how many sea turtles are stranded by injury or illness along the Atlantic beaches, but here many get treatment which, if successful, allows them to be returned to the sea. There are a number of displays with information about the turtles and how to be ecologically friendly to them (like not tossing stuff into the ocean), but probably the most interesting thing here is the rehabilitation center where you can see the turtles which are being treated and become more personally connected. In the main center there is even a public window into the treatment room where you can view the vets treating the turtles if it is happening that day. The center also runs numerous educational programs and a summer turtle camp.