Tag Archives: Sapelo Island GA

Reynolds Estate Guest House, 1934, Sapelo Island

This was a guest cottage and barn for the nearby South End House (Reynolds Mansion). It is a Sears kit house. The barn was likely built at the same time.

 

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Pine Barren Frostweed, Nanny Goat Beach

Helianthemum corymbosum

 

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Dean Creek, Sapelo Island

 

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First African Baptist Church at Raccoon Bluff, Circa 1900, Sapelo Island

Established by freedmen on Sapelo Island the year after the Civil War ended, the congregation at Raccoon Bluff built the present structure from lumber that washed ashore after the hurricane of 1898. Abandoned from 1968 until 2000, it was restored through efforts of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, the state of Georgia, and student from the Savannah College of Art & Design. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and its restoration represents one of the most significant efforts to preserve African-American history in Georgia, more importantly a tangible link to the Geechee-Gullah culture of the Sea Islands. The congregation moved into its current home, in Hog Hammock, during the 1960s.

National Register of Historic Places

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Ernest Walker House, Hog Hammock

Old automobiles are a common sight in Hog Hammock. Due to the difficulty and cost in removing them from the island, they are frequently found in an abandoned state. On my visits with a part-time resident, I’ve ridden in a wide variety of “gently used” vehicles. Gently used is putting it kindly.

The image above illustrates Mr. Ernest Walker’s garden. He was working hard to remove weeds the day before. The people of Hog Hammock are very self-sufficient and I have great respect for that; when I visited the day before with my friend who lives nearby, I learned that Mr. Walker is legally blind.

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Farmers Alliance Hall, 1929, Hog Hammock

A farmers’ alliance was first chartered on Sapelo Island in 1892 to serve the needs of black farmers. It was also used for social gatherings and community meetings. Original members were: Cuffy Wilson, President; Sipio Sams, Vice-president; Rachel Dunham, Treasurer; Reverend Joseph Jones, Chaplain; Ceasar Sams, Conductor; Sam Dixon, Secretary; other members included Glasco Campbell, Peter Sams, Ben Brown, Cato Hillery, Katie Brown, Charles Hall, and Liberty Handy. Through the efforts of Cornelia Walker Bailey and the Sapelo Island Cultural & Revitalization Society restored this important symbol of Hog Hammock in 2008 and it is the site for the Cultural Day Festival, held every third Saturday in October. It’s one of the older remaining buildings in Hog Hammock.

Hog Hammock Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Headstones of Behavior Cemetery, Sapelo Island

Sapelo slaves and their descendants have been buried at Behavior since 1805. Due to senseless vandalism in the past, the cemetery is now accessible only by permission. See Amy Hedrick’s article on the cemetery for more background.

Fleur-de-lis Marker & Headstone of Isabella, Wife of Monday Robinson

(26 September 1858 – 17 February 1889) Married 6 May 1876

Sallie Hall (15 March 1886 – 7 August 1951)

Ceaser Jackson (17 January 1893 – 7 February 1916)

(Additional Text) He. Die. In. Faith. Sleep. On. Son. Take. You. Rest.

This headstone, along with several others, features the “star” motif common in Gould’s Cemetery.

Charles Walker (1813 – 5 February 1897)

Sarah Wilson (29 July 1881 – 18 November 1940)

Peter Maxwell, Company A, 30th (?) United States Colored Infantry

Liberty Handy (1 August 1856 – 20 May 1916)

Beloved Husband of Katie Brown (1850 – 28 January 1918)

Mary Jackson (1837? – 7 February 1913)

Minto Bell (1780? – 25 August 1890)

The age, as well as the dates on the tombstone, is an estimation; Bintou (Minto) Bell was one of seven daughters of the patriarch of Sapelo Island, Bilali Muhammad (Mohamet).

Mary Wright (13 February 1873 – 29 September 1923)

Boston Gardner (1823-15 June 1920)

Philis Garnder (1839-7 December 1916)

Glasco Grovner (1856-3 November 1928)

Chloe Jacobs (1838-24 September 1893)

Reverend John Dunham (28 February 1859-15 March 1946)

Rachel Dunham (November 1865-November 1937)

Mrs. Nancy

National Register of Historic Places

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Ruins of Chocolate Plantation, Sapelo Island

Chocolate is a collection of tabby ruins, begun circa 1810, constructed by enslaved people on Sapelo Island. Most of the structures are in a state of very bad disrepair; the 1831 barn on the Mud River, restored in the 1920s, is falling to ruin, as well. The best description I’ve been able to find about the area is from archaeologists Ray Crook’s essay “The Living Space of Enslaved Geechee on Sapelo Island”, published in the March 2008 newsletter of the African Diaspora Archaeology Network: During the late 1790s, the Chocolate tract was farmed by Lewis Harrington with the labor of 68 slaves. In 1802 that property became jointly owned by Edward Swarbreck and Thomas Spalding, who leased out at least a portion of the tract until 1808. Swarbreck, a Danish sea merchant with Caribbean connections who traded in cotton and other commodities, including slaves, then directed his attention to Chocolate. His plantation layout followed a familiar and very formal design…. The Big House, built of tabby, overlooked the Mud River and expansive salt marshes. His residence was flanked by outbuildings and other support structures. Two parallel rows of slave quarters, spaced some 10m apart and separated by a broad open area 50m across, were constructed behind the Big House. Vast agricultural fields extended to the north and south. Evidence of at least nine slave quarters, typically tabby duplexes with central chimneys and finished tabby floors, each side measuring about 4.3m by 6.1m, survives today as ruins and archaeological features at Chocolate. These represent an enslaved population of some 70 to 100 people distributed among at least 18 households…

Mud River at Chocolate

Main House or Overseer’s House Ruins

The tabby barn was restored in the 1920s by automobile magnate Howard Coffin.

Tabby Barn (East Facade)

Tabby Barn (West Facade)

Tabby Barn (Interior)

Cotton House

Cotton House

Cotton House

Smoke House

Unidentified Ruins

Unidentified Ruins

Slave House

 

 

 

 

 

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Sapelo Island Ferry Katie Underwood

Boarding the ferry Katie Underwood  at Meridian

Passengers enjoying the sights of Doboy Sound on the Katie Underwood

Disembarking at Sapelo Island

Sapelo fading into the distance on the return trip to Meridian.

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Sapelo Tour Bus

This is one of numerous old school buses on Sapelo used for shuttling tourists around the island.

 

 

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