200 former slaves from Jacob Waldburg’s plantation on St. Catherines Island first settled in the White Bluff area between the Little Ogeechee and Vernon Rivers in 1868. After purchasing 200 acres from John Nicholson in 1878, the community was first known as Nicholsonboro, then Nicholsonville. A church was established here by 1883 and the original (not pictured) still stands in poor but stable condition. The present structure, dating to circa 1890, is the most significant remaining landmark of the historic community.
National Register of Historic Places
Moved in 1970 to save it from demolition, this ornate Victorian cottage was built by W. W. Aimar. It is known today as the King-Tisdell Cottage for Eugene and Sara King, and Mrs. King’s second husband, Robert Tisdell. It is now home to the Museum of Black History and is an integral part of Savannah’s most historic 19th century African-American neighborhood.
These Queen Anne rowhouses have recently been restored.
Savannah Historic District, National Historic Landmark
Penny Butler Rossiter writes: This was the home of Ronster Johnson (1913-1994). It is in Johnson Hammock. He was the famous “storyteller” of Sapelo Island. Hopefully it will be restored one day. It is a “supporting structure” in Hog Hammock and is on The National Register.
Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
The Katie Underwood is the main ferry serving Sapelo Island. Its namesake, Katie Hall Underwood (1884-1977), was born on Sapelo and began working as a midwife in the 1920s. She assisted almost every birth on the island until retiring in 1968 and was among its most beloved citizens. She was the last in a long line of midwives who served Sapelo from slavery days onward. Mrs. Underwood lived in the north end at Raccoon Bluff but carried her black bag all over the island, to the scattered communities of Hog Hammock, Shell Hammock, and others. A story is told of her delivering a baby on the north end one morning and walking seven miles to the south end to deliver another in the evening. She is said to have never lost a child during delivery.
The ferry was dedicated on 28 October 2006. It was built by Geo Shipyard in New Iberia, Louisiana.
The interior has seating for 102 passengers.
The boat is 70’9 3/4″ in length and has a maximum speed of 26.6 knots. It’s powered by two Caterpillar C-18 engines rated 700 hp.
A covered upper deck provides open-air seating for 48. 10 additional seats are located on the bow.
At the north end of Sapelo Island is Cabretta Beach, sometimes referred to as Cabretta Island for its isolation at high tide. If you can imagine a place more isolated than Nanny Goat Beach, Cabretta might come to mind.
The only land-based point of access is the Cabretta Campground, which requires reservations. It’s a pristine natural area with a small comfort station and a canopy of Live Oaks.
A short walk through the dunes provides access to one of the most undisturbed beaches in Coastal Georgia.
Sea Oats are dominant here, as they are on all of Georgia’s Sea Islands.
Like Nanny Goat Beach, Cabretta is a prime example of a barrier island environment that has never been developed.
It remains a favored fishing and crabbing spot for the Gullah-Geechee people who call the island home.
Donated and built by John Walt, this was the meeting place of the International Free & Accepted Masons and Order of the Eastern Star, known as Johnson Lodge No. 37. It was an African-American lodge. A list of Walthourville’s historic resources in the most recent Liberty County Joint Comprehensive Plan dates it to circa 1845, but I believe this to be an error. If it was originally a white lodge, it could date to the antebellum era, but the style of construction doesn’t support that date. Furthermore, its African-American association precludes that date as such organizations and gathering places for blacks were illegal at the time. My guess is that it was built in the late 1800s. Whatever its history, it’s an important landmark and should be preserved.