Golden Isles of Georgia

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Golden Isles
Golden Isles, Georgia
Coordinates: 31°09′32″N 81°29′21″W / 31.158889°N 81.489167°W / 31.158889; -81.489167Coordinates: 31°09′32″N 81°29′21″W / 31.158889°N 81.489167°W / 31.158889; -81.489167
Country United States
State Georgia
County Glynn
Elevation 1 ft (0 m)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 31520-31525, 31527, 31561
Area code(s) 912

The Golden Isles of Georgia are a group of four barrier islands and the mainland port city of Brunswick on the 100-mile-long coast of the U.S. state of Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean. They include St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Historic Brunswick.

Mild winters, together with natural beaches, vast stretches of marshland, maritime forests, historical sites, and abundant wildlife on both land and sea have made the Golden Isles a popular travel destination for families, nature-lovers, fishing and water sports enthusiasts, golfers, and history buffs.

All the islands are located within Glynn County and make up the lower middle section of Georgia's eleven barrier islands. Annual mild temperatures average 68 °F, with July highs of 90 °F.[1] St. Simons is the largest of the four, with a permanent population of 12,743 residents as of the 2010 census.[2] Curled around its north end and accessible only by boat is Little St. Simons Island—privately owned and maintained in its natural state with a small capacity guest lodge and cottages. Jekyll Island is owned by the state of Georgia and operated as a state park, with limited residential areas. Sea Island is owned by Sea Island Acquisitions, LLC, and is home to the world famous Cloister resort and residential homes valued in the millions of dollars.

The City of Brunswick traces its history back to early Colonial times, and the founding of the Georgia colony by General James Oglethorpe. From its earliest days, the port of Brunswick was important to the growth and economy of the new nation. In 1789, George Washington named Brunswick one of the five original ports of entry for the thirteen colonies.[3] During World War II, Brunswick hosted an important construction site for Liberty Ships, and NAS Glynco, a major operational base for blimps.

Tourism is the most important economic driver in the Golden Isles, with an estimated 2.4 million visitors in 2014.[4] Other key components of the local economy include the Port of Brunswick, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, aviation support services, and manufacturing. Travelers to the area arrive primarily via Brunswick Golden Isles Airport and Interstate 95. McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport serves general aviation.


Glynn County[edit]

Main article: Glynn County, Georgia
Map showing Glynn County

Glynn County, on the Atlantic coast south of the Altamaha River, is one of Georgia’s original eight counties. The county was created February 5, 1777 from 423 square miles of land formerly held by Creek Indians. Glynn County is named for John Glynn, a member of the British Parliament and a friend of the colonies who once held the position of Sergeant of London.

The islands of Glynn County, Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons Island, make up the Golden Isles, so named because of their vast marshes that turn a beautiful golden color in the fall.

The 2010 Census reported Glynn County’s population at 79,626.[5]

City of Brunswick[edit]

Main article: Brunswick, Georgia
Brunswick montage

The City of Brunswick is located at the apex of the bight of the Georgia coast, the westernmost point on the Atlantic seaboard, and is naturally sheltered by barrier islands. Brunswick uses the city commission model of municipal government. The City of Brunswick was named in honor of England’s King George III, who was of the House of Brunswick. The city commission consists of five individuals elected on a plurality-at-large basis. Commissioners constitute the legislative body of the city and, as a group, are responsible for taxation, appropriations, ordinances, and other general functions. Individual commissioners are assigned responsibility for a specific aspect of municipal affairs. One commissioner is designated to function as mayor.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,383 with a metropolitan population of 112,923.[6][7] The city's metropolitan area is the twelfth-largest in the state of Georgia and includes the counties of Glynn, Brantley, and McIntosh.

The city traces its roots to its 1738 settlement as a tobacco plantation by British colonists and a southern buffer to Spanish Florida. It came under provincial control in 1771 and was founded as Brunswick after the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in Germany, the ancestral home of the Hanoverians. It was officially incorporated in 1856.

Chamber of Commerce[edit]

The Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization of business enterprises, professional firms, educational institutions and individuals who are committed to the continued economic growth and prosperity of Brunswick and the Golden Isles.

The Chamber does not operate as a department of the city, county or state, as it is a membership organization. Membership investments and expenses are tax deductible as a business expense rather than a charitable contribution, and businesses of every size and description are part of the Chamber. It is more than 1300 businesses, 80 percent of which are small businesses with 10 employees or less, working together to enhance the economic climate and reduce the impediments to the flow of commerce in our community. The Chamber of Commerce is a unified voice for Glynn County businesses.

Economic development[edit]

Ongoing economic development of the community is managed by the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority. The purpose of the Development Authority is to promote new industry and existing industry expansion. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the Development Authority engages in various economic development activities that include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting an aggressive marketing campaign for industrial and commercial prospects
  • Developing industrial parks and freestanding industrial sites for use by expanding and new businesses
  • Maintaining legislative liaison with local, state, and national legislative delegations

The Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority works to package appropriate incentives to recruit new industry including the following:

  • Issuing bonds to finance loans for industrial development.
  • Offering tax exemptions for unfinished goods that move through the Port of Brunswick. Working with the State Department of Economic Development to package local and state incentives together – with the state providing tax incentives for new or existing industries that generate job growth.

Historical landmarks and attractions[edit]

A.W. Jones Heritage Center[edit]

April 2008 marked the opening of the 10,000-square-foot A.W. Jones Heritage Center. The center includes an entrance gallery, a museum shop and a 1,400 square foot event hall which is available for rent. The second floor includes the Society’s administrative offices, a research library and the Society’s vast collection of objects, artifacts and archival materials from hundreds of years of coastal Georgia history. The Heritage Center offers a large selection of collectibles and keepsakes. Local artists and writers are featured in the gift shop.[8] 610 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum and Library[edit]

When the property was purchased in 1949, it was Bishop Moore’s vision that it would one day become a retreat center and a place of inspiration for people of all ages. Moore was Bishop of both North and South Georgia conferences of the Methodist church as well as a leader in world wide missions for over 20 years. The Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum was dedicated in June 1966 began as a small library containing many volumes from the Bishop's personal collection. The museum in the beginning had a distinctly southern Methodist focus, containing principally oriental porcelains and other artifacts gathered by Moore during his travels.

Dr. Charles Layman, noted theologian, writer, and professor of Bible at the University of Florida, graciously offered to the museum items from his extensive Wesleyan collection. The Wesleyan grew rapidly. Later, North Georgia clergyman, Rev. David Ogletree, began making generous gifts from his substantial collection of Wesley historical artifacts.

The research library consisting of over 6,000 volumes has also expanded greatly through the years. In the spring of each year, thousands of youth from churches across the Southeastern jurisdiction gather on weekends at Epworth by the Sea as part of their confirmation class training.[9]

This modern building holds within it a wide array of treasures that range from the history of St. Simons Island to the Wesley family including the Wesley brothers landing here with General Oglethorpe in 1736. The museum also illustrates the start of the Methodist church and the changes it underwent to get where it is today.

The museum has a new interactive kiosk where people of all ages can learn more about the history of the circuit rider and early Methodism in Georgia. There is also a fun game where you can ride along with a circuit rider to share the experience of bringing faith to the frontier. The museum houses a wonderful collection of nativities. 100 Arthur J. Moore Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Avenue of the Oaks[edit]

Avenue of oaks

From 1760 until the outbreak of the War Between the States, cotton and rice plantations flourished in this area. The Sea Island cotton grown here became famous the world over for its outstanding quality. Retreat Plantation was one of the most prosperous plantations and was located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island.

Anna Page King, who inherited the land in 1826, planted the famous Avenue of the Oaks. It is said that Anna grew such an abundance of flowers at Retreat Plantation that sailors nearing St. Simon's Island could smell the flowers' fragrance before they saw the Island shores. Once the entrance to Retreat Plantation, the Avenue of the Oaks is now the grand entrance to the Sea Island Golf Club. There is a drive around the double row of live oak trees which create the Avenue of the Oaks, most dating to around 1830.

Bloody Marsh Battle Site[edit]

Bloody Marsh

At the Bloody Marsh Battle Site on July 7, 1742, an outnumbered force of British troops ambushed and defeated Spanish troops, halting a planned attack on Fort Frederica. Markers and information panels at this outdoor observation site explain the battle, which once and for all ended Spain's claims to the Georgia territory.

The Bloody Marsh Unit is located at 1810 Demere Road, St. Simons Island, GA 31522. This site is managed by the National Park Service as part of Fort Frederica National Monument.

Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins[edit]

Hamilton Plantation slave houses (river view side)
Main article: Gascoigne Bluff

Hamilton Plantation, owned by James Hamilton, a native of Scotland, was located on Gascoigne Bluff near Fort Frederica. The Bluff was named for Capt. 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.

Christ Church, Frederica[edit]

Christ Episcopal Church, established in 1736

Christ Church, Frederica is located in a serene setting formed by native live oaks, holly and cedar trees. On the site of Christ Church, nestled among huge oak trees on the scenic north end of St. Simons Island, John and Charles Wesley preached before returning to England to help found the Methodist Church. In addition to being credited with founding the Methodist Church in England, the Wesley brothers also played a major role in the development of the Episcopal Church.

The first church structure was built in 1820 but was partially destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1884, the Reverend Anson Phelps Dodge, Jr., built the present structure in memory of his wife, Ellen. Christ Church is constructed of wood in the cruciform design with a trussed Gothic roof and steeple. The grounds contain a cemetery with graves of early settlers and many famous Georgians. One famous Georgia author, Eugenia Price, who wrote many novels including a series on St. Simons is buried here along with Lucien Knight, the first state historian of Georgia. Still another famous Georgian, a plantation owner who owned the point on St. Simons where the lighthouse was built, is buried at Christ Church cemetery. A little known fact is that the cemetery’s oldest tombstone is from 1803.

Today, the beautiful church and its magnificent stained glass windows are home to an active Episcopal congregation on St. Simons. Christ Church is one of St. Simons Island’s most treasured landmarks.

Epworth By The Sea[edit]

Main article: Epworth by the Sea

Epworth by the Sea is a world renown, comprehensive conference and retreat center owned by the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Accommodating up to 900 persons, Epworth offers a range of motel rooms, family apartments and youth cabins. Auditoriums seat from 300 to 900. Meeting rooms and classrooms have audiovisual equipment. An in-season swimming pool, athletic field, covered basketball courts, tennis courts, bicycle rentals and fishing piers provide sports activities for all ages.

A hospitality ministry serving guests from around the world, Epworth is open to all denominations, state and local agencies, groups and individuals whose goals are consistent with Epworth’s purpose, “To provide a Christian place for worship, study and fellowship.”

The 100 acre campus is located on Gascoigne Bluff, the one-mile riverbank tract stretching from the causeway bridge to the bend in the Frederica River. More than 200 years after the Revs. John and Charles Wesley labored on St. Simons, South Georgia Methodists agreed that this was the perfect location for a conference and retreat center.

Assisted by influential businessman Alfred W. Jones, Sr., president of the Sea Island Company, the Methodists purchased part of the Hamilton Plantation in 1949 and named it Epworth in honor of the Wesley’s boyhood home in Epworth, England.

Lovely Lane Chapel, the oldest standing church building on St. Simons hosts Sunday services and is available for weddings. Constructed in 1880, it is named after the site of the 1784 founding conference of American Methodism in Baltimore, Maryland. 100 Arthur J. Moore Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Fort Frederica National Monument[edit]

Remains of Fort Frederica

In the early 1700s, Georgia was the epicenter of a centuries-old conflict between Spain and Britain. In 1736, three years after the founding of Savannah, James Oglethorpe established Fort Frederica to protect his southern boundary. 44 men and 72 women and children arrived to build the fort and town, and by the 1740s Frederica was a thriving village of about 500 citizens. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Frederica to support the endeavor. Georgia's fate was decided in 1742 when Spanish and British forces clashed on St. Simons Island. Fort Frederica's troops defeated the Spanish in the Battle of Bloody Marsh, ensuring Georgia's future as a British colony. However, the declining military threat to the Georgia coast saw the Fort's regiment disbanded in 1749. Today, the archeological remnants of Frederica are protected by the National Park Service. 6515 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Gascoigne Bluff[edit]

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.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center[edit]

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Through sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a hospital for ill and injured sea turtles. It is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia. The Center is open to the general public and offers an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion with a number of viewable sea turtle patients.[10] 214 Stable Road (Corner of Hopkins and Stable Road), Jekyll Island, GA 31527

Historic Brunswick Courthouse[edit]

The Historic Brunswick Courthouse is situated in a grove of live oaks within Magnolia Square—one of the historic parks and squares used to house livestock as a community pasture. The parcel was purchased in 1905 from the City for $1.00. Today it is still surrounded by moss-hung live oaks in addition to trees of foreign origin including Tung and Chinese pistachio.

The courthouse was designed by New Jersey architect Charles Alling Gifford of the New York firm Gifford & Bates. Gifford’s work is notable within the National Historic Landmark District on Jekyll Island, principally Sans Souci Apartments (1896), Mistletoe Cottage (1900), and Jekyll Island Clubhouse Annex (1901). The cornerstone was laid on December 27, 1906 and construction was completed on December 18, 1907 at a total cost of $97,613. Restoration work began in the early 1990s.

Noted as a fine example of Neoclassical Revival style or Beaux Arts (fine arts) architecture that flourished, 1885-1920, this impressive building is still widely known for its exceptional beauty. Beaux Arts combines ancient Greek and Roman forms with Renaissance ideas and is an eclectic Neoclassical style. Design suggests interlinking philosophy of justice: four identical entrances complement interior columns leading to justice; an intricate iron stair rail suggests delicate balance and the frailties of man.

The new Glynn County Courthouse is located immediately north of the structure. Opposite the Courthouse at 1709 Reynolds Street, the Mahoney-McGarvey House is known as one of the finest examples of Carpenter Gothic architecture in Georgia.

Historic Ritz Theatre[edit]

The 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 1920s, 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 sign 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.

Under FTI's guidance, local craftsmen James Taylor and Taylor Davis, partnering with the Association for Preservation Technology and the Jekyll Island Restoration Team, restored the windows using the original glass and much of the original wood. FTI and the city then supported the repainting of the building. In 1899, the Grand Opera House was built of unpainted brick, then painted white by the movie company in the 1920s for a more modern feel. Because it would have been damaging to remove decades of paint from the surface, the theatre was painted a brick red when the city restored it in the 1980s. Local contractors Peninsula Painting were hired to refurbish the exterior using the same basic color scheme. When the work was completed in the summer of 2010, new curtains were made for the windows by Brunswick resident Jennifer George.

The original Ritz sign was the final exterior element needing restoration. The sign had not been fully operational for years, so FTI once again stepped in to provide assistance. In May 2011, local company Fendig Signs undertook extensive restoration work, including painting, rewiring, and the crafting of new neon letters by Ray Tanner. The beautifully restored sign was returned in the fall and on November 4, 2011, during Downtown Brunswick's First Friday event, Golden Isles Arts and Humanities held a grand re-lighting celebration.

The Ritz Theatre, located within the "Old Town Brunswick" National Register District was built in 1899 to house the Grand Opera House, retail establishments, and the general offices of the Brunswick & Birmingham Railroad. Today, downtown Brunswick's historic theatre and arts center features year-round live performances, films, exhibits, educational programs and more. Programming and management by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association, coordinating arts council for the City of Brunswick and Glynn County. 1530 Newcastle Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation[edit]

The main house of the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository 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 leads back to the Visitors Center along the edge of the marsh where rice once flourished.[11] 5556 U.S. Highway 17 North, Brunswick, GA 31525

Horton House[edit]

Main article: Horton House
Horton House remains

Major William Horton was granted Jekyll Island by the Trustees of the colony of Georgia in 1738, and he constructed this home in 1743. The Horton House is one of the oldest standing tabby structure exteriors in the state.

Horton was one of General James Oglethorpe’s top military aids and was in charge of troops garrisoned at Fort Frederica on nearby St. Simons Island. Horton farmed the island, producing crops to aid with supplying Ft. Frederica. This included hops and barley to produce Georgia’s first beer. Eventually, Horton added a warehouse to the site, of which remains still exist. His brewery, whose remains lie just down the road, supplied ale to troops and settlers at Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. Today, the tabby ruins of Georgia’s first brewery have mostly fallen into DuBignon Creek.

The site also includes the cemetery of the DuBignon Family, which owned Jekyll from 1790-1886 and occupied the house as their home from 1790 until sometime in the mid-1800s. There you can see the grave of John Eugene DuBignon, who sold Jekyll Island to the Jekyll Island Club in the late 1800s.

The Horton House is one of the oldest buildings in Georgia, and the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation work on the site was made possible by a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, and received an Excellence in Preservation award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Horton House historic site is open to the public. North Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

Jekyll Island National Historic District[edit]

Main article: Jekyll Island Club
The Jekyll Island Club in the historic district

The Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District is one of the largest ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States. The work to preserve the site has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions including Jekyll Island named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 12 Distinctive Destinations and receiving the 2008 Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Marguerite William Award for Preservation.

The Jekyll Island Museum is your port of entry to the extraordinary stories of the Jekyll Island National Historic District and the entirety of Jekyll Island’s rich history. At the Jekyll Island Museum you can embark on a journey of discovery, through exhibits, tours and programs that are adventures into a bygone era.

Lovely Lane Chapel[edit]

The oldest standing Church building on St. Simons Island, Georgia is Lovely Lane Chapel. Formally named St. James Union Chapel, it was built by Norman W. Dodge in 1880. Repaired following a hurricane in 1897, the chapel was deconsecrated in 1911 to be used as a recreation center, and was re-consecrated in 1949 after the Methodist purchased the property. Lovely Lane is named after the site of the 1784 Founding Conference of American Methodism in Baltimore, Maryland.

The chapel is currently open to the public for Sunday Worship Service as well as wedding ceremonies. 100 Arthur J. Moore Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Maritime Center[edit]

The historic Coast Guard Station now houses the Maritime Center.

The Maritime Center makes its home in the Historic Coast Guard Station. Filled with interactive exhibits and galleries, this interesting museum offers an exciting look at coastal Georgia’s natural assets, maritime and military history. Explore seven galleries featuring a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities.

The historic U.S. Coast Guard Station at East Beach on St. Simons Island was one of 45 U.S. Coast Guard Stations built around the country by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Work on the East Beach Station began in Fall 1935. It is believed to be one of only three surviving stations from that era.

The station and boathouse had its “First Watch” on April 1, 1937. When the station first opened, the original beachfront was just a few feet from the front door. Today the station is separated from the beach by a large parking lot.

On April 8, 1942, German submarine U-123 sank two merchant ships, the SS Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge, off the coast of St. Simons Island. Joined by local residents, the coast guardsmen mounted the rescue.

In 1995, the East Beach Station was decommissioned and all local Coast Guard operations were moved to mainland Brunswick. A brand new Coast Guard Station was completed in 2005, just to the east of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. 4201 1st Street, St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Old City Hall[edit]

Old City Hall

This part-time city courthouse doubles as Brunswick's new venue of choice for everything from class reunions to wedding receptions.

Built at a cost of $33,000, Old City Hall was fully restored with special purpose local option sales tax dollars and reopened in 2004. Its gleaming heart-pine and marble floors, original vintage fireplaces and newly refitted gaslight fixtures lend an air of old fashioned elegance to any gathering.

Construction on Old Brunswick City Hall began in 1886 from an architectural design by Alfred Eichberg, and was completed in 1889, with the installation of the clock/bell tower in 1893. The architectural style is Richardsonian Romanesque, with Queen Anne parallels.

Massive in stature, with the unusual addition of Italianate brackets, Romanesque Revival architecture was the style of choice for the majority of public buildings built in the United States during this period. Elaborate terracotta friezes decorate our Old City Hall clock tower and side entries, while the corner columns are adorned with gargoyles. 1229 Newcastle Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum[edit]

Lighthouse and keeper's house (now the museum)

In 1965, a strong group of 10 citizens formed the Coastal Georgia Historical Society and began to successfully gather support from the community of Glynn County to preserve the early coastal heritage. When the Keeper's Dwelling was threatened with commercial development in 1975, the Society undertook the restoration of this 1872 building. As a result of this work, the dwelling was opened in 1975 as the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum and has been administered by the Society since that time.

In 1984, the St. Simons Lighthouse was leased by the United States Coast Guard and became part of the museum complex. Today, the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum is a recognized and viable part of the rich cultural history of the area. The lighthouse, which still lights the entrance to St. Simons Sound, adds the historical significance of the evolving pre- and post- Civil War navigation. In 2004, the deed to the St. Simons Island Lighthouse was transferred to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. In April 2006, the Maritime Center at the Historic Coast Guard Station opened.[12] 610 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522



  • The Port of Brunswick is an Atlantic seaport located in Brunswick, Georgia, United States, in the southeast corner of the state. It is one of four ports operated by the Georgia Ports Authority. The Port of Brunswick is one of the nation's most productive ports on the Atlantic coast. Imported products include wood pulp, paper products, wheat, soybeans, and heavy machinery. Brunswick is the primary U.S. port of automobile imports for manufacturers Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Mitsubishi and Volvo. Ford, GM and Mercedes export vehicles through Port of Brunswick. Other exports include agricultural products such as barley malt, corn and oats; other bulk cargo includes cement, gypsum, limestone, perlite, salt and sand.
  • The Glynn County Airport Commission was formed in 1980 to manage and develop opportunities at the county's two airports: Brunswick Golden Isles Airport and McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport. Made up of community leaders, its nine members serve rotating four-year terms.[13]

Health care[edit]

Southeast Georgia Health System's Brunswick campus
  • Southeast Georgia Health System

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder - Community Facts". Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  3. ^ Seabrook, Charles (2013). The World of The Salt Marsh. Athens, GA: A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book; Reprint edition. University of Georgia Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0820345338. 
  4. ^ Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau
  5. ^ "State & County Quick Facts - Glynn County, Georgia". Unisted States Census Bureau. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  7. ^ "Cumulative Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011". United States Census Bureau. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  8. ^ "A. W. Jones Heritage Center". Bluemoon Website Design. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "History". Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sea Turtle Rehabilitation, Research & Eductation". The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Jekyll Island Authority. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site". Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "About The Coastal Georgia Historical Society". Bluemook Website Design. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Brunswick Golden Isles Airport and McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport". Glynn County Airport Commission. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 

External links[edit]