Island Wandering

A slow start to our day. I made Breakfast Burritos just like my father taught me, then Don and I sat around in our pj’s reading on our laptops. Eventually motivation set in. We needed to get in a little exercise to get the blood flowing so we headed to Driftwood Beach for a 4 mile or so walk.

Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach


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Once we got past the first 1/2 mile, we had the entire place pretty much to ourselves. We let Tucker off leash to romp in the sand and surf. It seemed to lift his spirits somewhat. As more clouds rolled in they took on a menacing appearance. It looked like rain across the way towards St. Simons Island so we hustled back to the rig where we checked our weather and radar apps. It showed clear on the screen so instead I switched to walking shoes and we made our way to the Horton House Ruins and the Bignon Cemetery.

Nary a soul in sight

Nary a soul in sight



William Horton came to Georgia from England with General James Oglethorpe in 1735 on board the ship, Symond. Unlike most of the passengers, he paid for his passage, in return he was granted 500 acres of land in America. However certain conditions had to be met. He was expected to bring 10 indentured servants, one for every 50 acres, and have 20% of his land grant cultivated within 10 years of settling. It was five years before he had established his farm on Jekyll Island after which he traveled back to England to fetch his wife and two young sons.


Horton House Ruins

Horton House Ruins

IMG_2772  L: An interior wall shows the original walls and the later improved ones. R: Where a fireplace once stood.IMG_2773


A close up of the tabby building material.

A close up of the tabby building material.

In 1736 when William Horton first arrived, Jekyll Island was very isolated. He was the first European to occupy this land. He eventually became a Major in the British Army and second in command of nearby Fort Frederica, under Gen. Oglethorpe. William Horton worked and lived on this island until his death in 1748. He made numerous improvements to the land during his lifetime. Horton completed the tabby built home in the photo around 1743. It was the second of his island homes, replacing the wooden one that was burned by Spanish troops in 1742. Tabby was the logical choice for the new home. Not only is it sturdier than wood but the building material was amply available on the island, oyster shell. Tabby is made by mixing oyster shells with sand, water and lime. It was widely used in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The Bignon family burial grounds

The Bignon family burial grounds

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After the Revolutionary War, the then owner of Jekyll Island, Poulain du Bignon, repaired the Horton house and made it his home. As the Bignon family grew, wooden wings were added to either side of the house. The Bignon family owned Jekyll Island until 1886, when they sold it to a group of millionaires that created the famous Jekyll Island Club. This exclusive club included the likes of J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller and William Vanderbilt.


Marsh views as seen from the Horton House grounds.


On another island jaunt we accidentally discovered the Wanderer Exhibit near St. Andrews Beach. The Wanderer was a slave ship and is the last documented ship to bring slaves from Africa to the United States. Prior to the ship’s landing on Jekyll Island, it had taken on 487 captives near present day Angola. Upon reaching the island only 406 captives had survived the harrowing passage. “These figures presented a slightly higher mortality rate than the estimated average of 12% during the illegal trading era.” News of the slave ship enraged the North. The federal government investigated and brought charges to the owner, captain and crew but was unable to get a conviction. The slaves who had arrived via the Wanderer achieved a celebrity status. Their stories spread beyond the South  to New York, Washington D.C., even London.They were the only group of slaves who could be identified with the ship they came to America on.


Wanderer Exhibit

Wanderer Exhibit


When our wanderings came to an end, Don suggested we take our pampered pooch out for an ice cream. After a stop at the local DQ, we made our way back home to our Suite Pea for the evening.

Here’s lookin’ at you kid………………


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Island Wandering

  1. Talk about following in footsteps…..I am loving the pictures of Driftwood Beach! It’s beautiful Gayle! Glad you had time to explore. A yummy DQ…have you seen the blizzards advertised in the waffle cones? I gotta have one of them!

    • Don did have a Blizzard in a waffle cone. I’m not crazy about cones so I went the traditional route. There is much to see & do in this area with Brunswick & St. Simon so close. Due to bad luck, I’m not sure how much we’ll be able to see. The ankle still bothers me & the old bum knee hasn’t improved which is a shame because this really is a great area for walking & biking. We just might need to make a return trip in the future.

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