Jekyll Island National Historic District
At first, it was the farm and home of John Eugene duBignon. But, with the help of his brother-in-law Newton Finney, it became what Munsey’s Magazine called "the richest, most inaccessible club in the world" – the Jekyll Island Club.
Club members included men such as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt, and Marshall Field, to name only a few. Members prized the island for its "sense of splendid isolation," as well as its beautiful landscape and moderate climate. At a time when the idea of a modern seaside resort was still a novelty, members experienced levels of luxury and service that were remarkable, even by today’s standards.
Members and their guests enjoyed hunting, horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf, tennis, biking, croquet, lawn bowling, picnics, and carriage rides. Several members built "cottages" which were simple in comparison to structures in their urban areas or Newport, Rhode Island. Though designed simply and somewhat eclectically, they certainly met the comfort levels that the members were accustomed to on Jekyll Island.
In 1972, the Jekyll Island Club was designated as historic by being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Jekyll Island Club House is now the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, a Historic Hotels of America member. Additional recognition was gained in 1979 when the National Park Service awarded Landmark status, creating the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District. By placing the 240-acre site and 33 historic structures into the National Historic Landmark program, the importance of Jekyll Island’s place in American History was recognized.
Today, the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District is a one of the largest, ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States. The work to preserve the site has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions including Jekyll Island named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 12 Distinctive Destinations and receiving the 2008 Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Marguerite William Award for Preservation.
The Jekyll Island Museum is your port of entry to the extraordinary stories of the Jekyll Island National Historic District and the entirety of Jekyll Island’s rich history. At the Jekyll Island Museum you can embark on a journey of discovery, through exhibits, tours and programs that are adventures into a bygone era.
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