Tag Archives: Georgia Tabby

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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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Jekyll Island GA

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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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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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Jekyll Island GA

Jack Nelson Ford, Darien

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This has been remodeled and now serves as the Darien firehouse. Its Streamline Moderne architecture suggests it was likely built from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. The ‘modern” tabby walls have been replaced by stucco. In transferring materials from one website to another, I have lost the comments, but someone noted that the dealership had another owner besides Jack Nelson. I’ll add that information, as well as photo of its present appearance, as soon as possible. (These photographs were made in 2011).

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Ashantilly, Darien

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Now known as The Ashantilly Center, a non-profit educational and cultural historic site, the focal point of this property is “Old Tabby”, which was the mainland home of early Georgia planter and legislator Thomas Spalding. Originally built around 1820, the home burned in 1937. The present structure was built by William G. (Bill) Haynes, Jr., incorporating what remained of the original structure. I made these photographs in 2011 at the invitation of Harriet Langford, Ashantilly’s most ardent advocate and chairman of its board of directors.

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This is a section of the original tabby.

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Bill Haynes worked hard to preserve the historical integrity of the property, though additions were necessary to make the house livable.

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Period furniture collected by Haynes over the years can be seen in the parlor and in other areas of the house, like the dining room, seen below.

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Bill Haynes was a man of many talents. He made the oil painting below in which Old Tabby can faintly be seen in the background, as it appeared before the fire of 1937.

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His interest in Southern subjects is evident in this watercolor of a sweet potato harvest.

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An avid bibliophile, Haynes’s collection fills library shelves throughout the house.

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The attic served as a workshop for Haynes. It’s presently being cataloged and organized.

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Because the house faces Black Island Creek, the rear elevation is what many people see first.

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National Register of Historic Places

http://ashantilly.org/blog/?page_id=2

 

 

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The Visitor’s Club, 1930, Brunswick

Brunswick Visitors Club Francis L Abreu Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coasatal Georgia USA 2015

When US 17, the Coastal Highway, was the main artery on the Atlantic seaboard from Virginia to Florida, the Brunswick Board of Trade & the Sea Island Company commissioned Francis L. Abreu to design this welcome center at the entrance to the St. Simons Causeway. Abreu, a famous architect in his own right, had collaborated with Addison Mizner on the original Cloister Hotel.

Brunswick GA Visitors Club Francis L Abreu Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

It was originally advertised as “Brunswick’s Greeting to Vacationists-Georgia’s Gateway to the Road to Romance and Recreation”. The building is in immediate need of preservation. We can only hope that Brunswick will recognize its importance and not have the same dismissive view of it that they’ve had of the historic Dart House, just down the road.

Brunsiwick GA Board of Trade Visitors Club Francis Abreu Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Abreu was born into a privileged Cuban-American background in 1896. His parents owned a sugar plantation and also kept a home in upstate New York. He was a member of the track team at Cornell University and served in the U. S. Navy in World War I.  After earning a degree in architecture, he moved to Fort Lauderdale, where his parents had relocated, and was one of the most active early builders in the city’s first real estate boom. He met his future wife, May Patterson on Sea Island in 1938. They later settled in Atlanta where they were active philanthropists.

Brunswick GA Visitors Club 1930 Mediterranean Revival Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

This is arguably the most prominent public building he designed still standing in Georgia. It should be preserved and National Register of Historic Places recognition sought.

Brunswick GA Board of Trade Building Side Elevation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

http://abreufoundation.org/history/

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, Glynn County

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Main House Antebellum Vernacular Architecture Old Days Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl House, Circa 1851

In 1806, Charleston merchant William Brailsford purchased the “Broadface” property on the Altamaha River between Darien and Brunswick and set about creating one of the most prosperous rice plantations in 19th-century Georgia. He renamed it Broadfield. Upon his death, it passed to his son-in-law Dr. James M. Troup, brother of Governor George Troup. When Dr. Troup died, in 1849, Broadfield included 7300 acres and a community of 357 slaves. Around 1851, Troup’s daughter, Ophelia, and her husband George Dent built the plantation house still standing today and christened it Hofwyl House, after a school Dent attended in Switzerland.

After the Civil War, mounting taxes led to the selling of most of the original lands and by the 1880s when George & Ophelia’s son James took over management of the plantation, Broadfield’s dominance was over. Rice was cultivated until 1913, but without slaves to make up a cheap labor force, it was hardly a profitable venture. When James died in 1913, his son Gratz established a dairy on the site, which was operated until 1942 by his sisters Miriam and Ophelia Dent. When Ophelia died in 1973, she left the house and grounds to the state of Georgia. Unlike most historic homes, Hofwyl House retains the original family antiques and possessions of the Brailsford, Troup and Dent families from five generations.

Hofwyl House Rice Plantation Rear View Wisteria Arbor Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The rear of the house features a wisteria arbor along the back porch, as well as an attached kitchen.

Hofwyl House Rice Plantation Attached Kitchen Live Oak Tree Spanish Moss Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Interior Views of Hofwyl House

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Entryway Door Doorway Fanlight Palladian Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The entryway is highlighted by a Palladian fanlight over the main door.

Hofwyl House Glynn County GA Antebellum Rice Plantation Dining Room Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

A dining room is located to the right and a parlor to the left.

Hofwyl House Glynn County GA Antebellum Landmark Architecture Parlor Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Bedrooms are located upstairs, arranged around a large open hallway.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Landing Hallway Wardrobe Chaise Lounge Attic Ladder Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Master Bedroom Study Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Bedroom Canopy Bed Chaise Lounge Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Second Floor Guest Bedroom Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Dairy & Outbuildings

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Barn Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The open-air dairy barn is where a herd of around 35 Jersey and Guernsey cows were milked daily. Just next door is the bottling house, where milk was produced for customers in Glynn and McIntosh counties.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Board and Batten Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Board and Batten Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Dairy Bottling House Gas Refrigerator Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Central to any plantation operation was the commissary, where laborers were given credit for necessities and staples, though much of their income went to repaying debts incurred here.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Commissary Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Commissary Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Servants were housed in a basic “cabin” like the one seen below. Furnishings were spartan and utilitarian.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Bedroom Chenille Spread Chamber Pot Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Servant Quarters Parlor Wicker Chair Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The pay shed served an obvious and important purpose.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Pay Shed Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Ruins of the Broadfield Rice Mill

Tabby Ruins of the Broadfield Rice Mill Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The marshes of the Altamaha River delta at Broadfield Plantation are very similar in appearance today to what they were in the early 19th-century. These tabby ruins are all that remain of a once thriving rice mill.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Rice Field Atlantic Coastal Marsh Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Trees of Broadfield Plantation

While Hofwyl House and its related outbuildings are a significant resource, the real attraction for many is the large number of Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) located all over the property. Some are estimated to be between 500-800 years old and two are members of the Louisiana Live Oak Hall of Fame.

Live Oak Tree Growing Sideways Grove Canopy Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

As is common with many Live Oaks on the coast, several appear to have been uprooted but continue to live and prosper nonetheless.

Fallen Live Oak Tree Alive Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

The grove of oaks leading into the property is a landmark in its own right.

Live Oak Trees Grove Canopy Spanish Moss Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Glynn County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Two state champion trees of other varieties are to be found on the grounds, as well, including this Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum clava) or Hercules-club, located beside the pay shed.

Hercules Club Toothache Tree Zanthoxylum clava State Champion Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georia USA 2014

Hercules Club Toothache Tree Zanthoxylum clava State Champion Pay Shed Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georia USA 2014

The largest Sweetbay Magnolia known in the state is located near the rice fields but I was unable to get a good photograph of it.

For more about the plantation:

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/hofwyl-broadfield-plantation

 

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Broadfield GA