Thursday, May 3, 2007

History & Nature On Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island, Georgia
30 45.7N 81 28.4W

We have had a great few days here at Cumberland Island. The island is just over the border from Florida and has quite a colourful history, having featured in battles between the British and Spanish for control of the south, the War of Independence and the Civil War. The island has been used as a Plantation and most recently was home to the wealth of the Carnegie family, as Thomas and his wife Lucy built a huge retreat here for their family.

The Island is under the control of the National Parks Service now, and they have begun to preserve the ruins of the mansion the Carnegie's built called Dungeness. It must have been quite a place in the late 1800's and early 1900's, each of the children had also built homes here for their families and the island was just a pleasure palace for them all with horse riding trails, hunting lodges, swimming pools, squash courts, etc etc and all with over 200 staff to provide the food and service that people in that position require. They entertained the Rockefeller's etc of the American elite and sailed the big yachts on the river and sea here, it's like a scene from Jeeves and Wooster.

As well as the man made stuff there are stunning forests of oaks hung with spanish moss and a 16 mile long white sand beach, I will add some photos when we get near the internet.

We head back to Fernandina Beach tomorrow to meet Will Padman who is taking some time out from his work trip, and then Josette, Christian and Julia arrive for a two week holiday with us.
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