Do you have a source for the private ownership? It appears in the Park Service inventory, which implies public ownership, but the Park Service has been known to be wrong. In general, private inholdings would not appear on such a list, but it's possible that a life estate might. The "governing body" in the NRHP form is also listed as the NPS, rather than "private". Regards, Acroterion (talk) 18:29, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
- The current owner has rights to the property until their death. Perhaps this is the definition of "Life Estate"? Perhaps my use of "privately owned" is not as accurate? Cumberland Island is covered with properties in similar situations like this due to the nature of emenant domain procedings in the last quarter of the 1900s. Lucy Foster (nee Sprague) owned the property until her death in January 2008. Her daughter Lucy Flight currently owns ("controls"?) the property and will do so until her death, upon which it will revert to the NPS. I gained most of this knowlege when I was invited to stay at Stafford around Labor Day 2008. Lucy's brother, Whit Foster, owns a house nearby.
- I deliberately left the names above off of my entry as a courtesy to current owners.
- As most of my knowledge is not "in the public domain", do you have any suggestion as to where we could find a listing of "life estates"? I will review my books on Cumberland Island and online searches in the meanwhile.
- Just so: that's a life estate, the owner retains most property rights until death, when it reverts to the Park Service, which already technically owns the land. Much of Grand Teton National Park was assembled in this manner, and there are many other examples in the Park Service. Many parks look like patchwork quilts if you look at the right maps. I agree, there's no need to name names, but I would probably say in the article that the property is privately held under a life estate
- You have excellent taste in friends, to be invited to such a retreat. By chance, do you have any pictures you'd be willing to contribute? The HABS images are rather undistinguished.
- The only thing I've found online is a park service map showing that the area around Stafford Plantation is a "Private/Retained-rights property". I will create a link to this PDF from the page. As to photographs, I will see if I have any good ones from the exterior, as I don't think I'd want to post the interior... Will let you know. Thanks Phinmak (talk) 19:30, 27 January 2009 (UTC)