Tag Archives: Houses of Coastal Georgia

Patterson-Brown House, Circa 1870, The Ridge

William Henry Patterson came to Darien after the Civil War and purchased the land on which he built this house from the Blount family. The neighborhood on the Old Shell Road (Georgia Highway 99), known as The Ridge, was an exclusive retreat for river pilots and timber brokers who worked in Darien, three miles to the south. Captain Patterson was a successful bar pilot who guided timber in and out of Darien.

The house was originally a Georgian cottage with a central hallway, two rooms deep, and featured a detached kitchen and shed veranda porch. Captain Patterson lived here for just two years before building a more formal house across the street.

The Redding family later owned the home and “modernized” it in 1938, adding the bay windows, an attached kitchen, front and rear foyers within  the central hallway, and hardwood flooring over the heart pine. Hannah deSoto Brown and Andy Tostensen purchased it in 1973 and restored many of the original features, including the hallway, high ceilings, and rough plaster walls. It’s a very welcoming space and I’m grateful to Hannah for sharing the history.

The Ridge Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, The Ridge GA

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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Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Ossabaw Island GA

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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Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Ossabaw Island GA

Slave Cabin, McIntosh County

I was recently contacted by some friends in McIntosh County about the opportunity to photograph a slave cabin on their property. Of course, this immediately piqued my interest and when I learned it was of wooden construction, I was even more intrigued. Most slave dwellings on the coast are of tabby construction and nearly all are documented, so to have the opportunity to see an undocumented wooden example was extraordinary. The owners have shared its history, which I will update soon. The property is not publicly accessible.

The structure has been preserved by a couple families for at least 150 years and likely housed black domestics well into the late-19th/early-20th centuries. It’s presently in vulnerable condition, but the owners have expressed an interest in having it properly restored to historical specifications.

Since stories of slave cabins are nearly as abundant as those relating “Sherman’s troops slept in Granddaddy’s barn” and “George Washington slept here”, it’s important to “read” the structure to validate its age and history. There were myriad variations as to style in slave dwellings, so that alone can’t be used to confirm such a structure’s use. Most were very simple single- or double-pen cabins. Some were saddlebags, with a chimney in the middle, while others had the chimney located on one side (as in this example). Nails are a good way to make general assumptions as to age, and this one features Type B cut nails, which were in common use between the 1810s and 1900. The lack of glass windows is also a good indicator, though not definitive.

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY

Floyd House, St. Simons Island

Located next door to the iconic Hazel’s Cafe, this was the home of Hazel and Thomas Floyd. Thomas was a descendant of Wanderer survivor Tom Floyd, who was brought to America when he was 17. Tom himself may have built this house.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, St. Simons Island GA

Hamilton Plantation Slave Cabin, Circa 1806, St. Simons Island

Built for servants working in the main house of James Hamilton’s Gascoigne Bluff plantation, this slave cabin is one of four surviving on St. Simons. Two more survive on the lands of the former Hamilton Plantation. As evidenced by this authentic restoration, house slaves were generally kept in nicer dwellings than field hands and other laborers. Popularly known as The Tabby House, it was restored by Eugene Lewis in 1931 and again in 1995 by master tabby craftsmen J. Felton Tate, Sr., Renaldo Tate, Sr., and Renaldo Tate, Jr.. After the plantation house burned in the 1890s, a lumber mill was located on the property for many years. The cabin served as a doctor’s office during that era. Today, it is part of the Epworth By The Sea campus of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and is used as an event space.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, St. Simons Island GA

Central Hallway House, Brunswick

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA