Tag Archives: Landmarks of Coastal Georgia

Ruins of Wormsloe, 1740s, Savannah

Noble Jones was one of the original settlers of Georgia, coming to the colony with General James Oglethorpe in 1733. He applied for a land grant on the southern end of the Isle of Hope but the grant wasn’t formally approved by George II until 1756. Construction on the fortified tabby-and-wood house began around 1739 and was completed around 1745. The fortifications were seen as a necessary foil for a potential Spanish invasion.

Jones named the plantation Wormslow. It was originally thought that this was a reference to the silkworms that optimistic early colonists hoped would make Georgia a leading producer of silk, but in fact it was a prominent place name in the English-Welsh borderlands from which the Joneses came to the New World.

Noble’s son, Noble Wimberly Jones (c. 1723-1805) was the next owner and spent little time at the estate, preferring life in the city of Savannah. His sister, Mary Jones Bulloch also had a life estate in the property. The ruins of the first house remain today as material evidence of Georgia’s earliest days.

In contrast to his loyalist father, Noble W. Jones was a Whig, and after service in the provincial and state legislature pursued a career in medicine. He was elected to the Continental Congress but was unable to serve. Still, his dedication to the cause of revolution earned him the moniker “Morning Star of Liberty”.

George Jones, son of Noble Wimberly, was the next owner, and his son, George Frederick Tilghman Jones changed the spelling from Wormslow to Wormsloe. He also changed his own name to George Wymberly Jones and then added the surname De Renne. He was an active builder of improved structures on the property and was a large slave owner. De Renne was also an important collector of early Georgia documents and manuscripts, reprinting many rare items. The family is still involved in these pursuits to this day. A later descendant, Wymberly Wormsloe De Renne fell on financial hard times just before the Great Depression and opened the estate, with the fine gardens he had developed, to the public. Wormsloe Gardens became a prominent tourist attraction. Wormsloe House remains in the family but the surrounding grounds became a state historic site in 1979. One of the best events in Savannah, the annual Colonial Fare & Muster is staged here each year.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under -CHATHAM COUNTY, Isle of Hope GA, Savannah GA

ARCO Administration Building, Circa 1919, Brunswick

This was the main office of the Atlantic Refining Company/Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), which operated an oil refinery in Brunswick from 1919-1935. it was one of the largest employers in Brunswick and built an entire village to support its operations, albeit a segregated one. Subsequent owners of the property were Georgia Power, Dixie Paint, and two chemical companies, and years of unchecked pollution led to the classification of much of the property as a Superfund site. Honeywell, the present owners, are involved in ongoing cleanup and reclamation of the property and surrounding estuary.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA

Folk Victorian Cottage, Circa 1910, Brunswick

This Folk Victorian cottage is located in the ARCO (Atlantic Refining Company) neighborhood but was not part of the workers village.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Brunswick GA

Sinclair Warehouse, Sterling

This warehouse was part of the Sinclair Oil distributorship in Brunswick and was later moved to Sterling, where it has been a familiar landmark for many years.

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Filed under -GLYNN COUNTY, Sterling GA

Kenan-Fox House, Circa 1865, Darien

The date given for this house would make it one of Darien’s oldest. I have encountered the date on several resource surveys, so I’m assuming it has been validated. It was likely built as a smaller house that has been expanded over the years.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA

James Walker House, 1890, Darien

This Folk Victorian was built for James Walker, who I understand at the time was chairman of the McIntosh County Commission. The architect/builder is identified as James Gone. Other owners have been the Fox, Valenti, Fishburn, and Bramlett families.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA

Tidewater Commissioner’s Office, Circa 1875, Darien

This was originally a small office building. It was later expanded and has been a residence for many years. I believe Raymond Clancy, whose Georgian Cottage still stands across the street, was the Tidewater commissioner in question. I’m still trying to track down a history of the Tidewater Commission.

West Darien Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Darien GA