St. Marys, Georgia

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St. Marys, Georgia
Montage St Marys GA.JPG
Location in Camden County and the state of Georgia
Location in Camden County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 30°45′23″N 81°34′17″W / 30.75639°N 81.57139°W / 30.75639; -81.57139Coordinates: 30°45′23″N 81°34′17″W / 30.75639°N 81.57139°W / 30.75639; -81.57139
Country United States of America
State Georgia
County Camden
 • Total 20.3 sq mi (52.6 km2)
 • Land 18.8 sq mi (48.6 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (4 km2)
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 29,986
 • Density 677.9/sq mi (261.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 13-67984[1]
GNIS feature ID 0356510[2]

St. Marys is a city in Camden County, Georgia, United States. The city is the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest of the Georgia Coast's barrier islands. The National Seashore's visitor center and boat access are both located at the St. Marys waterfront. The city is also home to the annual St. Marys Rock Shrimp Festival, the St. Marys Submarine Museum, the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, and to eight Ohio-class submarine. The population of St. Marys was 17,121 at the 2010 census.


St. Marys is located at 30°45′23″N 81°34′17″W / 30.75639°N 81.57139°W / 30.75639; -81.57139 (30.756264, -81.571287)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.3 square miles (53 km2), of which, 18.8 square miles (49 km2) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (7.54%) is water.

The closest major city is Jacksonville, Florida, 39.8 miles south.


The St. Marys area was first explored in the mid 16th century as part of the settlement of Spanish Florida with nearby St. Augustine as established capital. Settlement for Georgians became legal after the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

Local inhabitants of Camden County gathered on Cumberland Island and signed a charter for "a town on the St. Marys" on November 20, 1787. There were twenty charter members who each received four town lots and one marsh lot (outside the boundary of the town on the east side in the marshes); each lot was four acres square, with the total town acreage being 2,041. The original boundaries of the town correspond to the modern waterfront, Bartlett St., North St., and a block east of Norris St. There were also two public town squares.[4] However, in the original deed the town was unnamed, and for several years afterwards in public documents it was referred to as either St. Marys or St. Patrick's, and colloquially as simply "the New Town."[5] St. Marys was recognized by an act of the Georgia legislature on December 5, 1792, with the result of incorporation in November 1802.

Oak Grove Cemetery is included in the National Register of Historic Places and was laid outside the western border of St. Marys during its founding in 1787.

St. Marys was made a United States port of entry by act of the U.S. Congress March 2, 1799. The first Collector was James Seagrove. During the antebellum period, Archibald Clark served as the U.S. Customs Collector from 1807 until his death in 1848.

After the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves took effect in 1808, St. Marys became, along with Spanish Amelia Island, a center for smuggling especially during the period between 1812-1819 when various rebel groups held Ameilia Island.[6]

During the War of 1812 the Battle of Fort Peter occurred near the town, at the fort on Point Peter and along St. Marys River. The British captured the fort and the town and occupied it for about a month.

The United States Navy bombarded the town's shore side buildings during the American Civil War.

St. Marys served as Camden County's seat of government from 1869 until 1923.[7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 13,761 people, 4,837 households, and 3,758 families residing in the city. The population density was 733.8 people per square mile (283.4/km²). There were 5,351 housing units at an average density of 285.3 per square mile (110.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.78% White, 19.99% African American, 0.47% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.46% of the population.

There were 4,837 households out of which 47.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 16.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.4% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 15.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,087, and the median income for a family was $46,065. Males had a median income of $35,419 versus $24,449 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,099. About 9.6% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Gallery of Photos[edit]

St. Marys, Georgia
Orange Hall c.1838
Jackson-Clark-Bessent-MacDonell-Nesbitt House
Jackson-Clark-Bessent-MacDonell-Nesbitt House c.1801 within St. Marys Historic District 
First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church c.1808 within St. Marys Historic District 
Plum Orchard
Plum Orchard c.1898 on Cumberland Island 
wild (feral) horses
Missile Display
Missile display from Submarine base Kingsbay 
Flag display
Flag display from Submarine base Kingsbay 
USS Tennessee
Ohio-class submarine from Submarine base Kingsbay 
St Marys Memory Garden
Memory Gardens 
St Marys Waterfront Gazebo
St Marys Waterfront Gazebo 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ John H. Christian. The Founders of St. Marys. 1990.
  5. ^ Camden County Deed Book A. Original in Clerk of Courts office, Woodbine GA.
  6. ^ Niles' Weekly Register, Volume 13. 1818. 287-293.
  7. ^

External links[edit]