Gascoigne Bluff

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Gascoigne Bluff

Gascoigne Bluff is a bluff next to the Frederica River on the western side of the island of St. Simons, Georgia which was a Native American campground, the site of a Franciscan monastery named San Buenaventura, and the site of the Province of Georgia's first naval base.[1]

It was named for Captain James Gascoigne of the sloop-of-war, HMS Hawk, which led some of the first British settlers to the coast of Georgia.[2]

Timber harvested from 2,000 Southern live oak trees from Gascoigne Bluff was used to build the USS Constitution and the five other original US Navy frigates, under the Naval Act of 1794. The Constitution is known as "Old Ironsides" for the way the cannonballs bounced off the hard oak planking.[1]

This area was one of several St. Simons Island plantations owned by John Couper (father of James Hamilton Couper, see below) who lived at Cannon Point, St. Simons Island, and who donated his library of 20,000 volumes to the Library of Congress.

Hamilton Plantation[edit]

Hamilton Plantation Slave Cabins
Hamilton Plantation slave houses, St. Simons, GA, USA.jpg
Hamilton Plantation slave houses (river view side)
Gascoigne Bluff is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Gascoigne Bluff
Nearest citySt. Simons Island, Georgia
Coordinates31°10′16″N 81°24′28″W / 31.17106°N 81.40771°W / 31.17106; -81.40771
Area1.7 acres (0.69 ha)
Built1832 (1832)
ArchitectCouper, James Hamilton
NRHP reference #88000968[3]
Added to NRHPJune 30, 1988

The remains of this antebellum-era plantation contain two surviving slave cabins, which were part of a set of four built before 1833. Among the better examples of surviving slave cabins in the South, they are composed of tabby, a cement consisting of lime, water, and crushed oyster shells. The cabins have built-in windows and a central chimney.[4]

James Hamilton Couper, namesake of the owner and manager of the plantation, was an architect and a builder. He designed and built the cabins to house the slaves who served in the plantation's main house. Utilizing a duplex plan to house more than one family, the cabins were originally part of a planned community of slave dwellings.

The Cassina Garden Club owns the cabins and offers tours in the summer. The cabins are near Arthur J. Moore Drive.[5]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gleason, David King (1987). Antebellum Homes of Georgia. Louisiana State University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8071-1432-2.


  1. ^ a b, LARRY HOBBS. "Isles history has plantation intrigue, Old Ironsides". The Brunswick News. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  2. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 91. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  4. ^ News, HANNAH KICKLIGHTER The Brunswick. "Cassina Garden Club gives tours of tabby slave cabins". The Brunswick News. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  5. ^ "4 homes, bed and breakfast inn and community garden on Saturday Garden Walk on St. Simons". Retrieved 2017-08-17.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°10′01″N 81°24′41″W / 31.16694°N 81.41139°W / 31.16694; -81.41139