Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Main House Antebellum Vernacular Architecture Old Days Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl House, Circa 1851

In 1806, Charleston merchant William Brailsford purchased the “Broadface” property on the Altamaha River between Darien and Brunswick and set about creating one of the most prosperous rice plantations in 19th-century Georgia. He renamed it Broadfield. Upon his death, it passed to his son-in-law Dr. James M. Troup, brother of Governor George Troup. When Dr. Troup died, in 1849, Broadfield included 7300 acres and a community of 357 slaves. Around 1851, Troup’s daughter, Ophelia, and her husband George Dent built the plantation house still standing today and christened it Hofwyl House, after a school Dent attended in Switzerland.

After the Civil War, mounting taxes led to the selling of most of the original lands and by the 1880s when George & Ophelia’s son James took over management of the plantation, Broadfield’s dominance was over. Rice was cultivated until 1913, but without slaves to make up a cheap labor force, it was hardly a profitable venture. When James died in 1913, his son Gratz established a dairy on the site, which was operated until 1942 by his sisters Miriam and Ophelia Dent. When Ophelia died in 1973, she left the house and grounds to the state of Georgia. Unlike most historic homes, Hofwyl House retains the original family antiques and possessions of the Brailsford, Troup and Dent families from five generations.

Hofwyl House Rice Plantation Rear View Wisteria Arbor Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The rear of the house features a wisteria arbor along the back porch, as well as an attached kitchen.

Hofwyl House Rice Plantation Attached Kitchen Live Oak Tree Spanish Moss Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Interior Views of Hofwyl House

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Entryway Door Doorway Fanlight Palladian Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The entryway is highlighted by a Palladian fanlight over the main door.

Hofwyl House Glynn County GA Antebellum Rice Plantation Dining Room Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

A dining room is located to the right and a parlor to the left.

Hofwyl House Glynn County GA Antebellum Landmark Architecture Parlor Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Bedrooms are located upstairs, arranged around a large open hallway.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Landing Hallway Wardrobe Chaise Lounge Attic Ladder Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Master Bedroom Study Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Bedroom Canopy Bed Chaise Lounge Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Guest Bedroom  Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Dairy & Outbuildings

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Barn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The open-air dairy barn is where a herd of around 35 Jersey and Guernsey cows were milked daily. Just next door is the bottling house, where milk was produced for customers in Glynn and McIntosh counties.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Board and Batten Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Board and Batten Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Gas Refrigerator Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Central to any plantation operation was the commissary, where laborers were given credit for necessities and staples, though much of their income went to repaying debts incurred here.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Commissary Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Commissary Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Servants were housed in a basic “cabin” like the one seen below. Furnishings were spartan and utilitarian.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Bedroom Chenille Spread Chamber Pot Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Parlor Wicker Chair Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The pay shed served an obvious and important purpose.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Pay Shed Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ruins of the Broadfield Rice Mill

Tabby Ruins of the Broadfield Rice Mill Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The marshes of the Altamaha River delta at Broadfield Plantation are very similar in appearance today to what they were in the early 19th-century. These tabby ruins are all that remain of a once thriving rice mill.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Rice Field Atlantic Coastal Marsh Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Trees of Broadfield Plantation

While Hofwyl House and its related outbuildings are a significant resource, the real attraction for many is the large number of Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) located all over the property. Some are estimated to be between 500-800 years old and two are members of the Louisiana Live Oak Hall of Fame.

Live Oak Tree Growing Sideways Grove Canopy Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

As is common with many Live Oaks on the coast, several appear to have been uprooted but continue to live and prosper nonetheless.

Fallen Live Oak Tree Alive Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The grove of oaks leading into the property is a landmark in its own right.

Live Oak Trees Grove Canopy Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Two state champion trees of other varieties are to be found on the grounds, as well, including this Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum clava) or Hercules-club, located beside the pay shed.

Hercules Club Toothache Tree Zanthoxylum clava State Champion Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georia USA 2014

Hercules Club Toothache Tree Zanthoxylum clava State Champion Pay Shed Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georia USA 2014

The largest Sweetbay Magnolia known in the state is located near the rice fields but I was unable to get a good photograph of it.

For more about the plantation:

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/hofwyl-broadfield-plantation

Broadfield, Georgia

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Crooked River

Fog Bank on Crooked River GA Atlantic Salt Marsh Habitat Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Heavy fog dominated the landscape when I arrived at Crooked River, so thick that it was nearly an hour before I was able to get a photograph.

Oak in Fog on Cliffs of Crooked River Surreal Magical Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The easiest access to the river is via Crooked River State Park, situated on Elliot’s Bluff, near St. Marys.

Atlantic Shell Midden Forest Palmetto Thicket Crooked River GA Camden County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Ancient shell middens characterize many of the forests along the river. Oaks and palmettos are the dominant plants.

crooked river ga camden county photograph copyright brian brown vanishing coastal georgia usa 2014

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) can be found in abundance in the forest understory in early March. It’s also known as firecracker plant.

Crooked River GA Camden County Atlantic Coastal River Salt Marsh Shell Middens Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Marshy banks are found below the high bluffs.

Crooked River GA Camden County Twisted Branches of Old Tree Bizarre Formation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Crooked River GA Ancient Cedar Twisted Trunk Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Twisted trunks and branches like the ones seen above are common along Crooked River.

Saw Palmetto Thicket Banks of Crooked River GA Camden County Salt Marshed Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

http://gastateparks.org/CrookedRiver

Camden County, Georgia

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Houston McIntosh Sugar Mill, Circa 1825

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure Camden County GA Interior View Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Built circa 1825, this sugar mill and arrowroot starch factory was the industrial component to John Houston* McIntosh’s New Canaan Plantation. McIntosh was born in 1773 in what is now McIntosh County. After living for a time in Florida and involvement in a plot to annex East Florida, McIntosh came back to Georgia. He acquired two plantations in Camden County. Marianna was one and New Canaan, site of the sugar works seen here, was the other. Thomas Spalding of Sapelo Island is thought to have been his mentor in this enterprise. It’s located across from the entrance to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in a publicly accessible park on Charlie Smith Sr. Parkway (Georgia Highway 40 Spur).

*The Georgia Historical Society marker placed on the site over 50 years ago uses the spelling Houstoun for McIntosh’s middle name. I’m not sure why the discrepancy exists, but Taylor Davis has done more recent research, notably exposing the long-held “Spanish mission myth”, so I will defer to his his spelling.

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure Camden County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Taylor P. Davis writes in his thesis, Tabby: The Enduring Building Material of Coastal Georgia (Athens, 2011):”The Houston McIntosh Sugar Mill, built during the 1820s, contains probably the most intact and expansive plantation era tabby ruins in this…area. This two-storied, sprawling complex, complete with columns, is the remainder of John Houston McIntosh’s sugar processing mill in connection to his New Canaan Plantation sugar cane production. The mill consisted of three main sections: a milling room, a boiler room, and a curing room. This sugar mill also led local and visiting authors and intern local historians to reinterpret this area’s history. It was here that W. J. Hoxie, contributor to the Savannah Morning News, wrote of his imaginative thoughts of the harrowing tales of Spanish friars defending themselves against a “great siege” or fiercely battling off “pirate bands” all while trying to save the souls of the “savage natives”. It was hard for him to believe that such a well-built structure could have been used for agricultural purposes. In his article, Hoxie is quoted as saying “I have yet discovered any published work that throws any light on the origin and history of this building.” But the damage was done. Savannah Morning News readers were taken by this fictional idea. This helped to start and spread the “Spanish Mission myth” regarding tabby construction. This myth was perpetuated by James T. Vocelle’s book, History of Camden County, where he states as fact that these tabby ruins were that of the Spanish missions. For decades it was thought that all of the plantation era tabby ruins were that of the lost Spanish missions. Later this error in the chronology of tabby would be corrected, and the literature on the subject from then on would reflect the annotation.”

Images of the Sugar Mill & Arrowroot Starch Factory

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Architecture Beam Support Ruins Camden County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure Camden County GA Columns Posts Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure St. Marys Camden County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure Camden County GA Interior View Ruins Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure Arches Camden County GA Doorways Portals Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tabby Sugar Works and Arrowroot Starch Factory of John Houstoun McIntosh Early Tabby Structure St. Marys Camden County GA Posts Supports Columns Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/davis_taylor_p_201112_mhp.pdf

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St. John Missionary Baptist Church, St. Marys

St. John Missionary Baptist Church

This small vernacular chapel, retaining its original steeple, is located near the entrance to Crooked River State Park.

St. Marys, Georgia

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Tarboro Mercantile

Tarboro Mercantile General Store Feed Seed Country Store Camden County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Tarboro is an isolated community in Camden County’s interior, near White Oak.

Tarboro, Georgia

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Filed under -CAMDEN COUNTY, Woodbine GA

Camden County Courthouse, 1928

Camden County Courthouse Woodbine GA One of Two Gothic Revival in Georgia Palm Tree Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Though it’s extremely difficult to photograph with the palms crowding out the facade, this courthouse is worth checking out when you’re in the area. It’s one of only two Gothic Revival courthouses in Georgia. The other is in Barrow County. This style is rarely found in public buildings in Georgia. Julian de Bruyn Cops of Savannah was the architect.

Camden County Courthouse Woodbine GA One of Two Gothic Revival in Georgia Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Woodbine has an excellent website, especially in regards to historic structures:

http://woodbinegeorgia.net/hishomebuild.html

Woodbine, Georgia

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Historic Dart House in Danger

Historic Dart House Brunswick GA In Danger of Demolition by Chamber of Commerce Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

William Robert Dart House, 1877, Brunswick © Brian Brown

I hate to say it, but here we go again! Yet another historic home, integral to the story of its community, is in danger of being lost. Taylor Davis, co-owner of Low Country Preservation in Brunswick, recently alerted me to the uncertain future of this house. The very people who should be standing behind it are the ones contemplating destroying it. Shame on the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce and anyone who would suggest it should be torn down!
From the “Save the Historic Dart House” Facebook page:
After serving as a historical landmark in Brunswick, GA for 137 years, the Dart House is in danger of being destroyed.
The house was built in 1877 by William Robert Dart, son of Urbanus Dart, a founder of the city of Brunswick. The house has historical significance, overlooking the famous oak tree where Sidney Lanier penned his world-famous poem “The Marshes of Glynn.” After withstanding two hurricanes and numerous development projects, the house was completely restored in 1983 with the generous donations of the community to serve as the headquarters for the Chamber of Commerce and a landmark for the gateway to Brunswick. After 30 years of serving as a steward of the house, the Chamber of Commerce has changed course and is considering razing this historic gem to build a new office building. But there are options to save this house. The community is galvanizing around this cause and is in the process of presenting several options to the Chamber. Help us raise awareness and encourage the Chamber to choose a path that both respects and honors our town’s historical legacy while also meeting their needs“.
The easiest way to get involved is to join the Facebook group and let your voice be heard:
You can also contact the Chamber by calling them at 912-265-0620, or visiting them online at:
Brunswick, Georgia

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA