Glynn County, on Georgia's southeastern coast, was created on February 5, 1777, as the state's seventh county. It now comprises Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, and Sea Island, as well as the mainland between the Little Satilla River to the south and the Altamaha River to the north. The county's largest communities are the town of Brunswick, along with Jekyll, St. Simons, and Sea islands. Of these, only Brunswick, the county seat, is incorporated. Glynn County borders Brantley, Camden, McIntosh, and Wayne counties.
Before European colonization,
The 422-square-mile county was named for John Glynn, an English lawyer and member of Parliament who was friendly to the colonies. Sparsely settled before the American Revolution (1775-83), the area saw most of its few inhabitants flee to Florida and inland Georgia during the war. After the war, however, veterans established homesteads in a number of Glynn communities.
Mark Carr, an English planter, lived in the area that became Brunswick. Carr, who arrived in the colony with General James Oglethorpe's regiment in 1738, set up a tobacco plantation, named Plug Point,
Jekyll Island, now owned by the state of Georgia and managed by the Jekyll Island Authority, passed through the hands of several nations before coming to American hands. After the Creeks ceded it,
St. Simons Island was the site of Spanish missions in the seventeenth century. Seventy years later Oglethorpe chose the island for one of his first military settlements, establishing Fort Frederica in 1736 as a buffer against Spanish incursion from Florida. After Spanish invaders were defeated in 1742 at the Battle of Bloody Marsh, Oglethorpe's regiment left the island and the fortress-town went into decline. Although St. Simons saw little action during the American Revolution, timbers for the U.S.S. Constitution (known as "Old Ironsides"), part of the new country's first naval fleet in the 1790s, came from the island.
Beginning in the 1780s St. Simons planters produced high-quality cotton, but for multiple reasons the cotton
The College of Coastal Georgia is located in Brunswick.
Among the local attractions are the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, the historic St. Simons lighthouse, Fort Frederica, the Sea Island Singers, the Sea Island Golf Club, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. The annual Blessing of the Fleet takes place in Brunswick each May, and the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition hosts the Georgia Sea Island Festival each summer.
Notable residents of Glynn County have included the nineteenth-century politician Thomas Butler King; writers Tina McElroy Ansa, William Diehl, Fanny Kemble, Jack McDevitt, and Eugenia Price; architect John Portman; golfer Davis Love III; and artist Maxfield Parrish.
James E. Bagwell, Rice Gold: James Hamilton Couper and Plantation Life on the Georgia Coast (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2000).
Susan R. Boatright and Douglas C. Bachtel, eds., Georgia County Guide (Athens: Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, University of Georgia, annual).
Margaret Davis Cate, Our Todays and Yesterdays: A Story of Brunswick and the Coastal Islands, rev. ed. (1930; reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1972).
William Barton McCash and June Hall McCash, The Jekyll Island Club: Southern Haven for America's Millionaires (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989).
Elizabeth B. Cooksey, Savannah
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