Category Archives: -GLYNN COUNTY

The Rah Bar, Jekyll Island

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I was surprised to learn yesterday that the Rah Bar is closing. Though not a landmark in the traditional sense, it’s become a bit of a local and tourist favorite for its welcoming, laid-back vibe. It’s not really a dive, but compared to many of the fancier establishments on the coast, it almost qualifies for that status. I’m saying that’s a good thing. Apparently, the restaurant with which the Rah Bar is associated, Latitude 31, is to be rebuilt. Let’s hope the atmosphere in the “new version” remains as cool as it was at the Rah Bar.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Jekyll Island GA

Hollybourne Cottage, 1890, Jekyll Island

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Superlative in appearance and history, Hollybourne is the only tabby-walled house to have been built in the cottage colony and the Maurices were the only family associated with the Jekyll Island Club from its inception until its disbanding in 1948. Charles Stewart Maurice was a Union midshipman in the Civil War, seeing service on several ships. After the war he took a job with the Lower Hudson Steamboat Company and was involved for a time in a tannery business with a childhood friend.

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Around the time of his marriage in 1869, Maurice worked as a timber supplier to the Oswego Midland Railroad for the construction of bridges. He entered into a partnership with Charles Kellogg in 1871 to build railway bridges and soon, the firm of Kellogg and Maurice was pioneering the construction of iron bridges. In 1884 the firm merged with several others to form the Union Bridge Company. Union Bridge built some of the best-known bridges of the era and made Maurice a very wealthy man. The Maurices lived in Athens, Pennsylvania, during much of this time.

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When Maurice became one of the first members of the newly formed Jekyll Island Club he enlisted architect William H. Day to build his cottage. Day’s design for the house is of a style referred to as Jacobethan. The term was coined by Sir John Betjeman in 1933 to describe a Renaissance/Tudor Revival form blending Jacobean and Elizabethan elements.

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The Maurices spent all but two Christmases at Hollybourne from 1890-1942 and had a great love for the home and the island. Joan Hall McCash notes in The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony (Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1998) that the family was generous with others on the island at Christmas, and from about 1900-1920, Hollybourne was  the center of life during the club season.

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Hollybourne is the most architecturally interesting home on the island and its preservation should be commended.Though there has always been a desire to save it, its future was uncertain for many years.

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Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark

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Villa Marianna, 1928, Jekyll Island

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Though Edwin and Sarah Gould essentially severed their ties to Jekyll after the death of their oldest son, Frank Miller Gould had fond memories of past winters spent on the island and commissioned architect Mogens Tvede to construct this cottage, among the last built during the club era. He named it for his daughter Marianne.

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Villa Marianna was one of the first large-scale renovations in Jekyll Island’s National Historic Landmark district and once housed the offices of the Jekyll Island Authority.

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The courtyard at Villa Marianna is its most inviting feature and is a great spot for quiet reflection.

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As the nameplate suggests, the house was completed in 1928, though the official marker outside the house dates it to 1929. Gould didn’t move in until 1929, but according to The Jekyll Island Club:Southern Haven for America’s Millionaires (William Barton McCash & June Hall McCash, Athens, UGA Press, 1989), the standard reference on the Jekyll Island Club, the home was “essentially complete” by October 1928.

Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark

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Solterra Dovecote, Circa 1890, Jekyll Island

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Solterra Cottage, the retreat of Frederic and Frances Baker, was built in 1890 and became known for its lavish parties, even hosting the newly-elected President William McKinley, along with his wife and the Vice-President’s family, in 1899. A fire consumed the cottage in 1914, but this dovecote survived. Over the years, it was moved several times but has finally been placed between the ruins of Chicota and Hollybourne Cottage, near its original location.

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Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark

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Gould Casino, 1902, Jekyll Island

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A multi-structure recreational complex, known collectively as the Gould Casino was built by Edwin Gould for the enjoyment of Jekyll Island Club members and guests around 1902. These structures included a conservatory, a playhouse with bowling alleys and an indoor shooting gallery, The playhouse was destroyed by fire in 1950. This structure, originally the Gould tennis courts, was remodeled in 1957 and became known as the Gould Casino Auditorium. It’s now in a serious state of disrepair.

Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark

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Chicota Cottage Lion, 1897, Jekyll Island

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A pair of Corinthian lions guarding an empty foundation are all that remain of Chicota Cottage, the beloved retreat of Edwin Gould, son of railroad financier Jay Gould. After Gould’s son Edwin II was killed in a hunting accident on Jekyll in 1917, Mr. Gould rarely returned to the island (his wife never returned). Frank Miller Gould used the house occasionally but when he built Villa Marianna, Chicota went into decline. The cottage was eventually razed.

Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark

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Surf Fishing, St. Simons Island

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