Category Archives: -BRYAN COUNTY

Kilkenny, Circa 1845, Bryan County

Killkenny Plantation Antebellum Landmark Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Overlooking Kilkenny Creek (sometimes referred to as the Kilkenny River), Kilkenny (pronounced “Kill-Cainey”) was the 662-arcre property of Thomas Young (1733-1808) beginning around 1765. Young was the son-in-law of the property’s original owner, James Maxwell, Jr. As Thomas Young was a Loyalist, Killkenny was confiscated from him through the 1778 Acts of Attainder and sold to George Cubbedge. Intervention by Young’s friends returned the property to him, though he was prohibited from voting or holding office for 17 years.

Kilkenny Plantation Clubhouse Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Young’s executors sold Kilkenny to Charles W. Rogers in 1836; Rogers then conveyed the property to his son, the Reverend Charles W. Rogers, Jr., and secured a nearby plantation, Cottenham, for his other son, William M. Rogers. The plantation was used primarily for the production of Sea Island cotton. Little is known of the Rogers family today, though it is thought that Reverend Rogers spent very little time here. In 1850, although Rogers 125 slaves were enumerated in the census, he himself did not appear as a citizen of Bryan County. His plantation primarily produced food crops for the slaves. By 1860, the plantation was producing more cotton than any other in the county and the value of the property had increased five-fold, to $30,000. 153 slaves were enumerated in the 1860 census, but Rogers was still not listed as a citizen of Bryan County. By 1874, Kilkenny had grown to 3,500 acres and was sold to James M. Butler. From this date onward, the property changed hands five times. When acquired by James H. Furber in 1890 the Kilkenny Club was established. (Locally, and on some maps, the area is still known as Kilkenny Club or Kilkenny Fishing Camp). A prominent later owner was Tennessee governor John I. Cox, who sold it to Henry Ford in 1931. Ford restored the property around this time, and it was apparently one of his favorites.

Kilkenny Plantation Henry Ford Restoration Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The house is unusual in this area because it’s neither Plantation Plain nor Sandhill Cottage style. The house, built with a four- over-four central hall plan, it’s weatherboarded on three sides and features vertical boards on the front. The main gable features a small widow’s walk. The most unusual feature of the house, though, is the placement of ten small vertical (eyebrow) windows between the roof eaves and the porch roof.

Kilkenny Plantation Kitchen Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The kitchen (above photo) is among the most important remaining antebellum outbuildings on the Georgia coast. Though the exterior has been weatherboarded to match the house, the interior remains virtually untouched. Pegged beams are visible and a sleeping loft reachable by stairs ascending the chimney remains.

Kilkenny Plantation Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

An oak driveway, or alley,  is one of the most impressive features of the property, with many ancient specimens remaining.

Kilkenny GA Plantation Oak Drive Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

This is the view of Kilkenny Creek looking south from Kilkenny Bluff, in front of the house.

Kilkenny River Looking South Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

http://focus.nps.gov/GetAsset?assetID=0f3e7596-94a0-444c-ba36-0a48064f3159

 

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Kilkenny Marina, Bryan County

Kilkenny Marina Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Kilkenny Marina is small and the store quite basic but online reviews consistently compliment the friendly folks working here. And the location, at historic Kilkenny Plantation, is unbeatable.

 

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Tivoli River, Bryan County

Tivoli River Bryan County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This is the view at the Tivoli River Fishing Pier & Kayak Launch, on Belfast-Keller Road, and it’s the first public “kayak/canoe-only launch” in Coastal Georgia. The Tivoli is an 8.9 mile-long tidal river that flows into the Belfast River, just north of that river’s terminus at the Medway River. The website paddling.net calls this a “must-paddle” destination. The fishing is generally good, too, with redfish, trout, and flounder being abundant much of the year.

http://www.paddling.net/launches/showLaunch.html?lid=18697

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Demere Creek, Fancy Hall

Demere Creek GA Bryan County Wetlands Atlantic Salt Marsh Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

 

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Martha-Mary Chapel, 1937, Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill GA Bryan County Martha Mary Chapel Henry Ford St. Anne's Catholic Church Savannah Diocese Picture Image Photo © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Acquired by the Diocese of Savannah in 1955 and renamed St. Anne’s Catholic Church, this chapel was built by Henry & Clara Ford and named for their mothers (Mary was Henry’s mother and Martha was Clara’s mother). Most of the church furnishings were built on Ford’s nearby plantation. Students from the Ways Station School (Richmond Hill was known as Ways Station until 1941) and their teachers regularly attended services here.

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George Washington Carver School, 1939, Keller

Bryan Neck GA Bryan County George Washington Carver School Funded by Henry Ford Historic Marker African Americans Picture Image Photo © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

On these grounds in 1939, Henry Ford built a school to serve the educational needs of the African-American children of lower Bryan County. Professor Herman Cooper was appointed as the Principal when the school opened later that year, originally with grades one through six. Ford named the school in honor of the prominent African-American educator and agriculturist from Tuskegee Institute, Dr. George Washington Carver. In March 1940 Dr. Carver attended the dedication ceremonies here for the new school named in his honor.

The shell of a gymnasium is located at the back of the property, but I’m unsure if it was a later addition to the school, or part of the Bryan Neck Missionary Baptist Church, located next door.

 

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Filed under -BRYAN COUNTY, Keller GA

Bryan Neck Missionary Baptist Church, Keller

Bryan Neck GA Bryan County Primitive Baptist Church African American History Picture Image Photo © Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2013

Organized in 1869, this is the oldest African-American church congregation in lower Bryan County. The first structure for the church, a Prayer House, was built in 1870 on this site near the white Presbyterian Church (Burnt Church). London Harris, a freedman and spiritual leader of the local black community, was one of the organizers and first pastors for this church. The church was renovated and enlarged with support from Henry Ford at the time the nearby Carver school was built in 1939.

Text from historic marker placed by Coastal Bryan Heritage Trail

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