Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jekyll Island Historic District - Jekyll Island, Georgia

One of the most remarkable historical settings in the United States can be found at the Jekyll island Historic District on Georgia's beautiful Jekyll Island.

The historic district preserves the structures and grounds of the Jekyll Island Club, once the most exclusive private club in the world. The Jekyll Island Club was formed in the 1880s by a group of America's most wealthy and powerful individuals. Among the original founders of the club were J.P. Morgan, Marshall Field, Joseph Pulitzer and William K. Vanderbilt.

For decades, the Jekyll Island Club was one of the focal points in the social lives of America's rich and famous. It was from here that the president of AT&T placed the first international telephone call and it was on Jekyll Island that a group of the nation's top financial leaders crafted the outline of what would eventually become the Federal Reserve.

The turbulent years of the first half of the 20th century, however, spelled an end to the Jekyll Island Club. The World Wars, Great Depression and the dramatic progress realized in means of transportation and communication made the beautiful isolation of the island on the Georgia coast a thing of the past for America's elite. The State of Georgia purchased the entire island during the late 1940s for less than one million dollars.

Jekyll Island today is a playground for people of all walks of life and the former clubhouse and "cottages" of the millionaires who once vacationed there are preserved for future generations. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/jekyllislandclub.

2 comments:

rsfreeland said...

Jekyll has an even richer history going back to when coastal Indians and pirates used the island. It also played a part in the Civil War.

Dale said...

Absolutely true. I'll discussing some other points of interest on the island over the coming week or two, including the historic Horton House ruins (colonial era), DuBignon Cemetery, the Confederate earthworks, etc. It is one of my favorite "get away from it all" places.