Tag Archives: Slave Construction in Georgia

South End House-Reynolds Mansion, 1810 & 1925, Sapelo Island

Built of tabby as South End House by Roswell King for Thomas Spalding in 1810, this grand mansion has weathered many changes in its history. The skill of the slave laborers who constructed it was put to the test during the Hurricane of 1824, which it survived.

It was damaged and looted during the Civil War and fell into a state of ruin.

Automobile magnate Howard Coffin purchased the property in 1911 and Detroit architect Albert Kahn completed a reconstruction of South End House in 1925, transforming it into one of the grandest residences on the Georgia coast. During Coffin’s ownership of the island, many prominent visitors were guests in the home, including President Herbert Hoover and Charles Lindbergh.

Coffin sold the home to tobacco heir R. J. “Dick” Reynolds, Jr., in 1934. An expansion of the house was undertaken by prominent architect Phillip Trammell Shutze in 1938. Shutze commissioned Athos Menaboni to paint a series of murals and a “circus room”. When Reynolds died in 1964, the process of selling the house to the state of Georgia, as well as the vast majority of the island, was initiated.

Owned by the Department of Natural Resources today, it serves as a lodge and event venue for small groups.

 

 

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