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Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island, the southernmost of
the Golden Isles, was purchased in
1886 by a group of wealthy families
for a private retreat. The Jekyll Island
Club was formed and members built
a clubhouse and a neighbourhood of
“cottages” to be used for a few months
during the winter.
By 1900, The Jekyll Island Club mem-
bership included the Rockefellers,
Morgans, Vanderbilts, Goodyears,
Pulitzers, Goulds and Cranes and
represented more than one-sixth of
the world’s wealth (Mr. Crane’s cottage
boasted 17 bathrooms).
These vacationers came by train to
Brunswick and crossed the river to
Jekyll, or arrived in their yachts with
family members, servants and sup-
plies aboard.
The men relaxed and hunted, while
the ladies had tea, planned parties
and went to the beach.
By 1942, most of these elite vacation-
ers departed the island, never to re-
turn. The SecondWorldWar and the
economy had taken their toll. Some of
the wealthy families left their homes
fully furnished, and the buildings fell
into disrepair.
In 1947, the state of Georgia bought
the island for $650,000 and set a
provision that 65 per cent of it must
always remain undeveloped. Some
of the wealthy families’ cottages have
been restored and are open for tours.
Today, this era of Jekyll Island’s his-
tory can be dramatically revisited with
a tram tour of the National Historic
The mainland city of Brunswick and a series of barrier islands are nestled on
the Georgia coast, midway between Savannah (Georgia) and Jacksonville
(Florida). In the spring 2014 issue, we detailed St. Simons and Sea islands.
Jekyll and Little St. Simons islands, along with Historic Brunswick, offer the
visitor numerous unique experiences.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel