I’ve Got Georgia On My Mind: Part One – Jekyll Island

In May of 2019 we left Jacksonville, Florida and drove north up the east coast on Interstate 95 about 75 miles to Jekyll Island, Georgia. Jekyll Island is where the rich and famous, built their winter mansions in the late 19th through early 20th centuries.

Wealthy business men including Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt families. came to hunt, go horseback riding, play tennis and frolic on the beautiful beaches on Jekyll Island from 1896-1942, they called themselves the Jekyll Island Club. The Jekyll Island Club was founded in 1886 when club members bought the island from its owner John Eugene du Bignon for $125,000 (today about $3.1 million) and the massive club house was completed in 1888. (Ref. Wikipedia – Jekyll Island Club)

The first trans-continental telephone call was made here on Jekyll Island in 1915. The call was from the president of AT&T to Washington DC speaking to President Woodrow Wilson and then his second phone call was to Alexander Graham Bell in New York and his third call was to Bell’s assistant in San Francisco.

The Jekyll Island Club closed down in 1942 at the start of rationing during World War Two. The Island was bought by the state of Georgia in 1947.

The road to Jekyll Island, Georgia.
The bridge to Jekyll Island.
Jekyll River.
The entrance to Jekyll Island.
The road into Jekyll Island.
The entrance to the historic district.
One of many Mansions on Jekyll Island.
Jekyll Island mansion.
Mansions of the historic district.
Some of the people who built winter homes here on Jekyll Island included the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Vanderbilts.
The members of this exclusive Jekyll Island Club spent their winters on the island participating in activities such as hunting, biking, horseback riding, and tennis.
The telephone used to make the first trans-continental call in 1915.
The club house was built in 1888.
From Jekyll Island we continued north another hour and a half to Fort McAllister State Park, Georgia to camp for the night. MaryAnn standing next to our tiny house.

Today Jekyll Island is home to resorts, beautiful beaches, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center as well as these beautiful mansions from the past in the historic district.

Next time we will continue this series, “I’ve Got Georgia On My Mind.” Come along as we visit Fort McAllister, a Civil War era fort used by the Confederate army to defend Savanah, Georgia.

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