Tag Archives: –MCINTOSH COUNTY GA–

Lorillard Fountain & Pool, Harris Neck

Fountain at Lorillard Estate

The following history of the site is taken from the interpretive panel at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge: Various plantations occupied this site from the 1740s through the 1870s. One of the earliest Harris Neck landowners was a man named Dickinson, and his property was known as Dickinson’s Neck. John Rutledge owned fifty acres on neighboring Bethany Plantation. He sold the tract to Ann Harris, who married Daniel Demetre in 1752. Her son, William Thomas Harris (Demetre’s stepson), acquired 350 acres on Dickinson’s Neck in 1758, and in 1759 he inherited an additional 750 acres on the “Neck” from his stepfather. Demetre’s will identified Williams’s residence as Bethany. This reference is the first documentation of a white landowner’s dwelling on the “Neck”.

Ruins of wading pool at Lorillard Estate

Early in the 1830s, another family gained prominence on Harris Neck. Jonathan Thomas acquired most of the Demetre-Harris holdings. Thomas’s 3000-acre Peru Plantation covered the eastern half of the present Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. The plantation produced sizeable cotton crops.

Ruins of wading pool at Lorillard Estate

The Civil War ended the plantation era on Harris Neck. The Thomas family subdivided Peru Plantation. Many small tracts were sold to former slaves or their descendants. From the 1870s through the 1930s, a community of primarily African-American developed on and near the current refuge land. By the 1940s, 171 tracts existed in the area now managed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Details of a painting of the Lorillard Lodge: Courtesy Leftwich D. Kimbrough

 

During the 1880s, several large tracts bordering the South Newport River (the site of one Peru Plantation home) were acquired by Pierre Lorillard, the tobacco magnate, Eleanor Van Brunt Clapp, and Lily Livingston. Lorillard’s estate featured a lavish lodge, an indoor swimming pool filled from an artesian well, and formal gardens with reflecting pools and fountains.

Fountain at Lorillard Estate

The lodge was used during World War II as the officers’ club for Harris Neck Army Airfield. The deteriorated building was sold at auction, when Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1962.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

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Harris Neck Army Airfield Bunker, 1942

This structure served as the munitions bunker for Harris Neck Army Airfield. Earthworks surround three sides. A review of contemporary U. S. Geological Survey maps indicates that this was likely the only one ever built on site. It’s a fascinating relic of World War II.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

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Ferrell House, The Ridge

The Ridge Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ridgeville GA, The Ridge GA

Blount House, 1880, The Ridge

This home has been expanded over time but is typical of the Georgian Cottage style so popular in Darien in the late 19th century. It is known as the Blount House and the old Methodist parsonage for a minister active in Darien over a century ago. I believe nearby Blount’s Crossing is named for him.

The Ridge Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Ethington-Harp House, Circa 1849, The Ridge

The Ridge Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Carneghan Emanuel Baptist Church, McIntosh County

This church was constructed between 1979-1983. Set in a beautiful grove of moss-draped oaks, its of a style typical among African-American congregations in Coastal Georgia. [“Carneghan” is likely the original spelling of the community, but it has been changed to “Carnigan” on modern maps.]

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Carnigan GA

Gable Front Cottage, Carnigan

Vernacular housing of the early 20th century, much of it related to the Gullah-Geechee community, is growing much rarer on the coast. Survivors are important links to the cultural history of the region, though I know of no effort to preserve them or their history.

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Carnigan GA

Manufactured House, Carnigan

Manufactured kit houses, like this well-preserved side-gabled example, proliferated in McIntosh County (and much of America) from the 1930s to the 1960s. Such structures were improvements over earlier vernacular structures and afforded more convenience to homeowners than was previously available.

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Carnigan GA

Hip-Roof Cottages, Meridian

Hidden on the edge of the road by thick woods today, these utilitarian hip-roof/pyramidal cottages are some of the last surviving examples of a vernacular style that was once widespread among the African-American communities of the coastal counties, as well as many areas of the state.

Because of their isolation, there is not a good way to photograph them other than showing them in their present state. They will eventually succumb to the ravages of time, but I think they are very important examples.

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Johnson House, 1924, Meridian

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Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Meridian GA