Category Archives: Jekyll Island GA

DuBignon Creek, Jekyll Island

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Sunset on Fancy Bluff Creek, Jekyll Island

 

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Maurice Road, Jekyll Island

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DuBignon Cemetery, Jekyll Island

Three members of the duBignon family are buried here, along with two unrelated laborers. The tabby wall was placed around the cemetery by the Jekyll Island Club.

The duBignon graves are brick-and-marble tombs.

The slabs were carved by William T. White, a prominent marble cutter from Charleston, South Carolina.

Two are signed “Wm. T. White. Marble Cutter. Ch. So. Ca.” The other is unsigned, but likely White’s work, as well.

The two small headstones at the rear of the cemetery were placed by members of the Jekyll Island Club to mark the final resting places of two hotel employees who drowned on the island in 1912.

Burials:

Marie Anne Felicite Ruffault, Grande Dutreuilh, (14 December 1776-6 April 1852)

Anne Amelia Nicolau duBignon, (1787-5 May 1850)

Joseph duBignon, (1814-27 April 1850)

Hector “The Greek” Deliyannis, (?-21 March 1912), native of Smyrna (Greece), now in Turkey

George F. Harvey, (?-21 March 1912), native of England

 

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Horton Brewery Ruins, 1730s, Jekyll Island

This was identified as Georgia’s first brewery when the property was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, but like many of Georgia’s tabby ruins, it has an ambiguous history. Signage at the Horton House Historic Site identifies it as  the ruins of a warehouse. If it is the brewery ruins, it’s one of Georgia’s first industrial sites. Major Horton’s Brewery fueled the troops at nearby Fort Frederica throughout the late 1730s.

Specific dates for the brewery and/or warehouse are as difficult to pin down as they are for the house, but considering the connection to Fort Frederica and its likely need for alcohol from the outset, it was likely operational before 1740. Taylor Davis, who wrote his masters thesis on tabby in Georgia, also identifies the ruins as the brewery ruins.

National Register of Historic Places

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Horton-duBignon House, Circa 1736, Jekyll Island

Dates on these ruins range from circa 1736 to 1742. Built by Major William Horton, General James Oglethorpe’s second-in-command, the structure employed the preferred building material of Coastal Georgia, tabby. While Oglethorpe was at Fort Frederica, Horton kept a small military outpost on Jekyll. The vast fields around the house were planted with rye, barley and hops for use in Horton’s brewery, and the area around the house was originally known as Rye Patch. Beer was the only alcoholic beverage allowed in the colony at the time and Horton’s brewery supplied the soldiers at Fort Frederica. In 1742, after the Battle of Bloody Marsh on nearby St. Simons, Spanish troops burned the house. Upon Oglethorpe’s return to England in 1743, Horton became commander of military forces in the colony. He died in Savannah in 1748.

Fleeing the French Revolution in 1791, Le Sieur Christophe Poulain de la Houssaye duBignon and family purchased Jekyll Island and restored this house, adding wooden wings. The duBignons raised Sea Island cotton and indigo, but the Civil War brought their economic model to an end. Union soldiers destroyed most of the house, as well.

Upon their purchase of the island in 1888, the Jekyll Island Club reinforced the ruins of the Horton-duBignon House and placed a wall around the old duBignon Cemetery. Taylor Davis notes that a 2004 stabilization has resulted in the “splotchy” appearance of the structure. Like many of Georgia’s tabby ruins, the Horton-duBignon House has had multiple identities over time. As late as the 1940s, tourist postcards were identifying it as the site of an “old Spanish mission”.  This was apparently a widely held belief about most such ruins on the coast until modern scholarship confirmed historic identities in the last half of the 20th century.

National Register of Historic Places

 

 

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The Rah Bar, Jekyll Island

the-rah-bar-jekyll-island-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-coastal-georgia-usa-2017

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.

jekyll-island-ga-rah-bar-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-coastal-georgia-usa-2017

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