Tag Archives: Barrier Islands of Coastal Georgia

Club House, Circa 1886, Ossabaw Island

The Club House was constructed during Philadelphia department store magnate John Wanamaker’s ownership of Ossabaw Island. Some sources state it was originally built for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 and moved to Ossabaw and reconstructed; other accounts suggest that it was simply a kit house, without the Philadelphia history. Either way, it’s the place where most visitors stay on the island today.

National Register of Historic Places

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Tabby Smoke House, Circa 1820, Ossabaw Island

Besides the tabby slave cabins, this is the only surviving structure from North End Plantation. It has been expanded with brick veneer.

These days, it’s popular with the Sicilian Donkeys.

National Register of Historic Places

 

 

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Tabby Slave Cabins, 1820s-1840s, Ossabaw Island

Modified for residential use in the 20th century and restored in the late 2000s, the three extant tabbies on Ossabaw Island represent the most significant surviving cluster of slave dwellings on the Georgia coast. They were part of the Morel family’s North End Plantation, which was among the most successful such operations in early Georgia. Though exact construction dates for the tabby row can’t be determined, extensive archaeological research has determined they were built between circa 1820-1840s. Various Ossabaw employees lived in these structures into the early 1990s and they were modified to accommodate modern needs. Nearly all traces of those modifications have been removed and restoration work has been done.

Tabby Slave Cabin No. 1 -Like the other two cabins, this was originally a saddlebag though the central chimney has been removed.

Tabby Slave Cabin No. 2 – This cabin retains its central chimney.

Tabby Slave Cabin No. 3- This cabin has been stabilized and will eventually be restored. Past modifications are still visible.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Boarding House, 1918, Ossabaw Island

This structure, also known as the Bachelor’s House, was built for partners of the Strachan Shipping Company who purchased Ossabaw Island from Henry Davis Weed in 1916. During their ownership it was used primarily as a hunting plantation and at least one superintendent (Hinely) and his family lived here.

National Register of Historic Places

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Buckhead Creek, Ossabaw Island

Buckhead Creek can be viewed from the site of the Genesis Project at Middle Place.

 

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Genesis Project Ruins, 1970s, Ossabaw Island

The Genesis Project was an interdisciplinary artists’ colony launched by Ossabaw Island owner Sandy West in 1970.

It was centered at the site of an antebellum plantation known as Middle Place and was a starkly primitive affair.

Project members paid a nominal fee to be here and contributed a couple of days of manual labor per week.

The earliest participants constructed these utilitarian dwellings. Abandoned since the early 1980s, they’re slowly going back to nature.

 

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Hell Hole Road, Ossabaw Island

The trip to South End Beach takes you down Hell Hole Road. Full of potholes and the occasional hog wallow, it’s quite rough.

I can understand why early settlers thought it hellish but it was paradise to me, an undisturbed maritime forest highlighted by numerous swamps and bogs.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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