Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cumberland Island, Georgia

I just got back from another trip to Cumberland Island. It is a barrier Island off the coast of Georgia. There are no road or bridges to it so you have to get there by boat. My wifes family had a small house there in 1970, unfortuneately the Federal Government established a wilderness area right where their house was. The law passed in 1972 and was retro-active to include their house but not those built 1 month before. Those were built by the Rockafeller families....go figure. Beth and I were married there in 1989 and started going back about 8 years ago and every year it is one of the highlights of that year. We go over and stay in a house behind the dunes with the greater extended family...the Van Cleves, Baumans and Weldon ( there are alot of cousins) and various friends come and bring their kids ( Inghams, Stiefels and Ely's). So much for the peace and quiet. It is an amazing place to explore the old history of the coastal south, get the kids outside and away from the books and leave my phone at home.
When they dredged the Intercoastal for the Sub base at Kings Bay they put the spoil on the south end of Cumberland. This is a great place for an amateur palentologist since you can find large sharks teeth (Megalodon) , Mammoth bones and fossilized whale, dolphin and manatee bones. Everyone else gets a kick out of looking at the wild horses....I on the otherhand look at horses for a living. I guess it would be like a Gynocologist going to a strip club.....nothin' new.
We also make a trip up to the middle of the island to see Plum Orchard, it's a Greek Revival mansion that was built for one of the Carnigee children in 1888. It is also where Beth and I were married...101 years later. There are restoring it so that people will be able to tour the entire will be worth the trip. The sad news is that virtually all of the current house owners will be kicked off by the Government in 2010. To me it makes no sense as many of these people
live there and commute to work in Fernandina and just destroying these homes is such a waste.
While I can see the taking of property for roads, ect......this is just big Government spending more money to depopulate an area so that only a limited few can see it. " Any Government capable of giving you everything you want , is also capable of taking everything you have".


Randa said...

Hello! I found your blog while looking up information about Cumberland Island.

Since you seem to be so knowledgeable in the subject, I thought I'd ask.

Do you think that camping on this beautiful island is a good idea? Would you recommend it? Is it safe for younger people?

You don't really have to respond but your pictures of the island are beautiful and your post shows significant information on it.

Thanks so much for your help!

docweldon said...

havent heard of any crime issues on the island. the park rangers can be a big help about where to stay...sea camp is the easiest since it has showers available. the other sites can be quite water...have to boil the spring water or bring your own. The hike up north is a LONG way unless you can bum a ride. You will find it a remarkable place and you will want to go back time and time again
Doc.....we go back over in Feb