Explore Living History on Jekyll Island, Once a Millionaire's Retreat During America's Industrial Age.
Jekyll Island was once an exclusive winter retreat for some of America's wealthiest families. Their exclusive Jekyll Island Club, a collection of "cottages" and a variety of support structures are now a National Historic Landmark, the Historic District is open to the public. Today, owned by the State of Georgia, the island retains much of its natural beauty and offers a wealth of amenities and activities including 63 holes of golf, tennis, beaches, 20 miles of bike paths, mini-golf, nature tours and Summer Waves Waterpark. Be sure to take in the abundant history programs at Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum, located at 100 Stable Rd.
Jekyll Island is rich in history and legend. Native Americans, Spanish missionaries, English settlers, French planters, millionaires, modern residents and tourists have all played a part in the evolution of Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island is now a family resort with ten miles of public beaches. The Jekyll Inn is the largest oceanfront resort on the Island, with 15 acres of oceanfront property.
After a period of private plantation ownership ending with the DuBignon family, the Island was sold to a group of very wealthy individuals who formed the Jekyll Island Club, including such family names as Rockefeller, Pulitzer, Vanderbilt, Crane, Goodyear, Macy, J.P. Morgan and others. One-sixth of the world's wealth vacationed on Jekyll Island at that time. The conferences leading to the development of the Federal Reserve Bank were held at the Jekyll Island Club. Jekyll Island was also a participant in the first transcontinental telephone call on January 25, 1915. In 1946, Jekyll Island was purchased by the State of Georgia and is currently maintained as a state park.
The Crane Cottage was built for Richard T. Crane, Jr., whose father founded the toilet company. It was in this cottage that the Federal Reserve System was crafted by John. D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and other members of the Jekyll Island Club.
The grounds and landscape throughout the Jekyll Island Historic District have been lovingly maintained to capture the essence of how the priviledged lived during Jekyll's halycon days.
Jekyll Island is renowned for its landmark Historic District, termed the "Millionaire's Village" long ago, with its 240-acre site containing 33 historic structures, including the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and surrounding cottages that were once home to some of America's most wealthy and prominent citizens.
Wealthy and notable Jekyll residents included the Crane family, the Pulitzers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Goodyear clan to name but a few. These privileged few used Jekyll Island as a hunting and golf retreat, escaping cold winters here and building these historic homes that have been lovingly restored to their former glory.
Side view of the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel showcases the restored architecture and pristine grounds that have earned this place a spot on the Historic Hotels of America.
The grounds of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel offer a fabulous spot to enjoy a leisurely game of croquet. It was in this building that telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell made the first transcontinental phone call between Jekyll Island, Washington D.C., New York City, and San Francisco.
The inner courtyard of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel features plenty of shade and a variety of tables for eating or resting for a spell. Lovely fountains and manicured landscaping offer visitors a trip back in time to a more relaxed way of life.
Stepping away from the Hotel you'll find the Jekyll Harbor Marina, offering overnight docking, fuel and snacks. This was once the spot where America's wealthy millionaire industrial barons arrived to spend their summers at the Jekyll Island Club.
You never know what you'll find while strolling the grounds in the Jekyll Island Historic District. On this hot summer day, we stumbled upon a classic automobile driving through the narrow pathways that traverse the 240-acre site.
Historic Faith Chapel Experience
Admission included with purchase of any historic district tour. Walk-up tickets available.
Horton House Historic Site
Built in 1743 by Major William Horton, this structure is one of the oldest tabby buildings in Georgia and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1145 Riverview Drive
Wanderer Memory Trail
An interactive exhibit remembering the voyage and historic events of the landing of the Wanderer - one of the last slave ships to reach the shores of Georgia.
St. Andrews Beach Park
Jekyll Island offers a variety of dining options to choose from, from casual to fancy, as well as places to grab a quick bite or take the whole family. We've compiled a complete directory of all the local restaurants on Jekyll, along with contact information and an interactive map so you can easily find the one you're looking for.
View Jekyll Island Restaurants »
Terrapins are the only turtle species in the world known to live their whole life in brackish water (a mixture of salt and fresh water, common in the Golden Isles). Found in the marsh habitat of Georgia's Barrier Islands, they have webbed feet with claws on each toe, allowing them to swim well and also walk on land at low tide.
Diamondback terrapins are one of the most common turtles to see along the causeway. Female terrapins are almost twice as big as the males. Because of their hard shell, female terrapins can't expand their bodies to accommodate eggs. A female terrapin grows to about 8 to 10 inches long in comparison to a male and she lays 8 to 10 eggs which take about 65 days to incubate.
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