Cumberland Island National Seashore, St. Mary's, GA, May 24, 2013
24.05.2013 83 °F
This morning we went into town to get the ferry to Cumberland Island. Our plan was to take the 5 1/2 hour tour, but it was full, so we came early to put our names on the standby list. Luck was with us and they put on another tour! We were in! The 45 minute ferry ride was very nice with Florida on the south side and Georgia on the north side of the St. Mary's River. Before we even landed we saw dolphins, wild horses and a deer. Our National Park guide, Roy, was excellent and we learned much more about the area and Cumberland Island than we could possibly remember!
The island was originally inhabited by American Indians, then the Spanish, then the English. Finally Revolutionary War hero, Nathanael Greene purchased land and started to build. Unfortunately, he died soon after, but his widow continued and built the tabby house she named Dungeness. This house burned down after she passed away and the land was eventually purchased by the Carnegie family of Pittsburg. They removed the ruins and constructed their own Dungeness on the same spot. This was to be the winter home for them and their 9 children. Once again, he passed away before the house was completed. Lucy Carnegie had homes built for each of her children on the island, some of which remain. Dungeness again burned and the ruins still stand. Plum Orchard, which was built for her son George, is available for tours.
The island has lots of wildlife, most well-known being the wild horses. There are about 130 of them and about 400 wild hogs! We saw many of each, along with turkey, deer, gators and others.
The weather was perfect, being sunny and in the 80s, with a beautiful breeze.