the solitude of cumberland island
the world of cumberland island took me by surprise. i clinged to the romantic stories told by everyone i knew of galloping horses moving along the beach with manes billowing in rhythm. something out of a romance novel. in fact, i'm not sure what i expected. whatever it was, i was not disappointed.
for along the southern coast of georgia is a story of people that you've only heard about in fairy tales. a life of opulence. an existence that included slavery and love stories, of discovery and survival. of many whose lives ended in their prime, many before they got to see their dreams built or fulfilled.
it's a history lesson for the ages, one that children and adults should see first hand.
we hope that these images will whet your appetite for knowledge and discovery.
when planning your trip, visit the national park service website and only rely upon their postings for the most accurate information.
currently [june 2013], they are taking reservations for november for camping. day trips are possible if there is availability. call the park visitor's center and inquire about reservations. the most popular and busy time of year is from early march until early june. these dates ensure best weather and few bugs.
[left] grand avenue. the road that takes visitors from the south end of the island to the north. once filled with carriages, the vehicles of residents and rangers are the only ones allowed. walking [and biking to some parts] is the only mode of transportation. to see the entire island, it's a 17 mile walk, one way. ferrys dock at two places: dungeness and sea camp. there are camp sites at sea camp [water, toilets, cold showers], stafford beach [flush toilets; 3.5 miles from sea camp]; backcountry sites [water but must be treated; no campfires]- hickory hill [5.5 miles], yankee paradise [7.5 miles], brick hill bluff [10.6 miles]. waste must be buried. trash must be packed out. the dungeness ruins are located on the south end. plum orchard is 8 miles north. the first african american church [17 miles] is on the northern end of the island.
plum orchard. built by lucy carnegie for her son george upon his marriage. he was also given a cash gift of $10,000. the home was completed in three stages at a total cost of approximately $56,000 in 1906. today, the national park service maintains the property. there are replicas of period furniture. none of the original contents remain. after george's death, his widow margaret sold all the furnishings. she was immediately denounced by the family and ownership of plum orchard was given to george's sister, nancy.
this the most northern point of grand avenue accessible by tourists. once called high point [late teens], it was the location of a hotel and a wharf where people would dock and be carried by carriages to the hotel. it was considered one of the the "hip places" for people to travel from brunswick. [see the stumps rising from the beach - this is all that remains of the dock] there is no hotel today and it is a private vacation retreat for its owners. this is approximately 11 miles from sea dock.