Monday, October 13, 2008

Jekyll Island, the Cottage and gardens

Part 2 of my 3 part series on Jekyll Island will consist of history, the cottages and gardens on the island.

The Island had many different occupants over the years. The Creek Indians and Spanish were coexisting until the British attacked the island, destroyed the mission and drove off the Indians and Spanish.

Pirates such as Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard roamed the sea lanes to prey on coastal shipping.

In 1736 General James Oglethorpe established Fort Frederica on St. Simon's Island to the north. He named the island Jekyll in honor of one of his sponsors, Sir Joseph Jekyll.

During 1742-1886 the island had a working plantation farming cotton, rye and indigo. The cotton was called Sea island and was in high demand for its long strong fibers. Frenchman Christophe Poulain duBignon was the islands owner.

In 1886 the island was purchased for $125,000 by a group of northern millionaires with names such as Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan and Goodyear. The Club was formed and the island became their winter homes from New Years until Easter. Their Club House opened Jan 21, 1888 and was basically their hotel while enjoying mild winters. Here is the Club House today after extensive renovations. Visitors can stay at the hotel today.

Accommodations in the Club House became popular so members decided to create their own accommodations. Sans Souci, a building of 6 apartments believed to be the first condominium in the nation were built.

The olive color of the wood was really pretty against the blue sky.

In time each millionaire constructed a cottage for their family and friends. The cottages were considered simple with each one having 15-25 rooms! To us common folks, that would be a mansion! ha....

Here you see the Macy Cottage owned by the George Macy family. Mr. Macy was the president of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company which became the A & P grocery store chain.
The Mistletoe Cottage was owned by US Congressman Kirke Porter from Pennsylvania whose company built locomotives.
William Rockefeller owned Indian Mound Cottage. This 25 room house has exhibits for the Island museum. Many of the original furnishings have been left in place.
du Bignon Cottage was owned by Eugene du Bignon. This was his home during his prosperous plantation era before he sold the island to the Club.

The Crane family was in the plumbing fixture business so their Crane Cottage had 17 bathrooms! Glad I don't have to clean those suckers. Today the Crane Cottage is used as a hotel having 13 guest rooms.
We did not stay there but the entire historic district is open to foot traffic so we checked out the garden in the back of the Crane Cottage with it's Italian Villa look. Reflecting pools are at either end of this beautiful patch of grass.

Guest of the Crane Cottage had fresh flowers on each table on the patio over looking the above garden. Ah, a nice touch don't you think?
Faith Chapel is in the Gothic style. Two more chapels almost identical to this one are located in Lake Placid, NY and Mare Island, CA. The chapel has stain glass from Louis Comfort Tiffany. Only the best for the elite you know...

As you stroll along the winding paths of the cottages, you cannot help but notice all the beautiful plants and flowers because they are everywhere! Ah, what beauty to a gardeners eyes. What is that funny looking thing below? A coconut?
Nope, just the center of this plant. I don't really know my Tropical island plants so I will not even try to guess, well, maybe a palmetto of some type. Eve, you are near the coast, can you tell us this pretty plants name?

Here is a scary gargoyle that I should save for a Halloween posting as it is so scary looking. He is guarding Faith Chapel and believe me with him and his 5 siblings, they surely keep the evil at bay.

More beautiful tropical foliage in lush colors of green.

Small gardens can be found in nooks and crannies along the pathways of this beautiful historic area.

Pretty pink blossoms were trailing up a light pole. Maybe Mandevilla blooms?

Ah, what pretties do we have here? Lets go in for a closer look...

Aren't they just lovely?

I have shown you a hand full of the many renovated cottages and beautiful plants and flowers on JEKYLL ISLAND. Tomorrow, I will show you a bit of the wilder side of things along with a few interesting facts, thus ending our 3 part series...



    The Saint and I are headed into the Georgia Hill country this morning to see if we can spot some color in the trees...

    I hope everyone is out enjoying this beautiful day...

  2. Good Morning Skeeter & Happy Columbus Day! What a wonderful post today of that beautiful island with the architecturally interesting cottages. You found some gorgeous gardens. I love the hedges trimmed in that crisscross pattern and the vibrant blooms tucked in everywhere.

  3. Hi Skeeter - That is a lovely tour of those 'cottage' homes and gardens. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  4. Cottage indeed! Ha! Sure wish I had that type of cottage on an island somewhere. Looks like a great time. I think it all quaint and I would love to tour them and the gardens. What was the Saint's favorite part?

  5. Wow, those cottages are wonderful. I love the old architecture.

    The spanish moss on the previous post is awesome. It is both beautiful and eerie.

  6. What beautiful cottages, my fave is Mr Macy's, got to love the color. Have fun today, kind of drizzle up here today.

  7. Hi Skeeter,
    Enjoyed going on a tour...the cottages and gardens are so beautiful. But the images of the trees in your earlier post will stay in my mind for a long, long time. Thank you for the wonderful tour!

  8. Great article and photos! I'm really wanting to go for a visit. Those "cottages" are really beautiful. Looking forward to part 3...Cameron

  9. A beautiful island and rich with history! Thanks for the tour. Hope you had a good scouting trip!


  10. Hi Skeeter, hope you 2 had a great day. Happy Columbus Day.
    I loved the tour of the cottages. My what cottages. I'd like to see their other home.
    Great post--anxious for part 3.

  11. Your tropical foliage plant with the fuzzy center is called a Sago Palm or King Sago Palm. Though it is not a palm horticulturally, but a cycad. I have only been to Jekyll once and loved it. Thanks for the tour.

  12. Perennial G, I liked that zig zag pattern also! I always liked those type hedge gardens and had dreamed of one some day. That dream has vanished since this house with a long hedge that I must clip in the heat of the summer... argggg...

    Cindy, it was a great place to visit so much that we plan to go back again and soon!

    Tina, you will just have to bring yourself down to GA sometime when you have time for us to take you there! The Saint was impressed with the history and also the Clubhouse.

    Marnie, the moss is impressive and I have never seen so much in one place before! We liked that each cottage was unique in its own way...

    Dawn, I could not pick a favorite as I liked the all! The day started out cloudy but the skies cleared up and sun came out but not much color in the trees yet. The dogwoods were beautiful with red leaves but that is about all. We had a great day though...

    Kanak Hagjer, thank you for your kind words on the pictures. It was such a spectacular view to my eyes. I wish everyone could see them with their own eyes as it was awesome...

    Cameron, we were not able to go inside but one of the cottages but do plan to get back soon to tour more and learn more about this great treasure of Ga...

    Gail, Being a nature lover, you would love this place! It is full of history more of which I must learn with future visits. Scouting trip was a bust for color but we had a good day together all the same. Saw some of the largest Trout we have ever seen swimming in the stream! I took video! Yoohoo...

    Lola, the entire time we were strolling around looking at the cottages, we kept saying, "Wow, wonder what their house's look like" I cannot even begin to imagine how large they must be! The other thing we kept thinking was, these cottages were built during the late 1800's just imagine what they would build today!

  13. Les, Thanks for naming our mystery plant! We wonder if it was a sego or what type of palm. But we were not sure with that thing in the middle. lol... I am so glad you were able to experience this beautiful place! It is a jewel that I hope remains the same for many generations to enjoy...

  14. What a great tour!!! Sure looks like a great place to visit to me. The Rockefeller "cottage" looks a lot like President Roosevelt's "cottage" on Campobello Island in New Brunswick. Cambobello is an island off the coast of Maine and New Brunswick and is now an international park. You can drive over a bridge to it from Eastport, Maine or take a ferry from the New Brunswick side. It was where he was stricken with polio.

  15. Jean, I hope to get up that way at some point and learn about your area. Maine sounds like such a great place to explore!