Little St. Simons Island
Little St. Simons was awarded as a crown grant in 1760 to Samuel Ougspourger, a Swiss colonist who had migrated to Savannah. That same year the island was surveyed by William G. DeBrahm. Several years later Little St. Simons was purchased by two brothers, John and James Graham, who had plans to develop small-scale agriculture on the tract. The Grahams, who were British Loyalists, departed the colony for England during the American Revolution (1775-83).
Little St. Simons was acquired in 1774 by Major Pierce Butler of Charleston, South Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Butler also purchased Hampton Point, across the Hampton River
Little St. Simons was the scene of a visit in the spring of 1839 by the well-known
During her four-month stay in tidewater Georgia, Fanny Kemble Butler compiled the series of letters that made up her Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, published in London in 1863. The Journal not only was a severe indictment against slavery but also provides one of the best firsthand accounts of plantation life on the Georgia coast during the middle antebellum period.
In early 1908 Little St. Simons passed from more than a century of Butler family ownership when it was sold by its absentee owner, Frances Butler Leigh, to O. F. Chichester of the Eagle Pencil Company for $12,500. Chichester was interested in the great number of red cedar trees on the island. Many of the cedars were cut in the following months, and the logs were sent to the nearby St. Simons sawmill to be sawed into small planks and used in the manufacture of pencils. Chichester built a small residence on the south end of Little St. Simons near the beach for use as a winter retreat. In late 1908 Chichester sold the island to Philip Berolzheimer of New York City.
The Berolzheimer family began taking advantage of Little St. Simons as a vacation destination
Frances Anne Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, ed. John A. Scott (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1863; reprint, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984).
Junius Rochester, Little St. Simons Island on the Coast of Georgia (Little St. Simons, Ga.: Little St. Simons Press, 1994).
Buddy Sullivan, Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater: The Story of McIntosh County and Sapelo, 5th ed. (Darien, Ga.: McIntosh County Board of Commissioners, 1997).
Buddy Sullivan, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.