Monday, August 24, 2015


Last weekend, we were able to visit the island where we lived for a few years after I was born.  Sapelo is owned by the state and, historically, you had to work for the state or be a descendant of the slaves that used to work on the plantation to live there.  Dad worked for the Department of Natural Resources from the time I was 6 months until I was about 3.  

The island is nearly undeveloped and reachable only by boat.  When Mom was pregnant with Levi, she spent her time before he was born on the mainland so there were no surprises.  

They have a few vacation homes there now so we rented the Sapelo Island Birdhouse Cottage.  It was amazing to be back and see the people and places that make Sapelo so special.  We went back a few times when I was in middle school with some of Mom's students on camping trips but that was a long time ago.

On the ferry

The boat used to be called the Sapelo Queen but they sold that a long time ago.  We did get to see the old captain, Tracey, though!

Finally figured out a way to control this wild child

We have arrived!

We got to see Cornelia!  She was our babysitter (we called her 'cornina') and has become the most vocal of Sapelo's residents about preserving its land and heritage.  She has written a book and was in Garden & Gun a few months ago.  She talked about how much Levi loved mac & cheese and how much Mary Van looked like me at that age.  

Dock on the creek across from the post office

I am going to apologize in advance for all the tree pictures.  I mean, they are amazing!  Live oaks and spanish moss are a beautiful combination.

The house where we used to live.  The creek above runs behind it.  

Population: 70!!  This is less than when we were there.  It is hard to get the young residents to stay because there is not much work on the island and taking the ferry all the time is not very convenient.  

Cornelia's nephew played football at UGA and is now with the Chiefs.  

The boardwalk to Nannygoat beach

This girl could sit in this tidal pool all day!

Those pillars in the background were used to hold a net that a previous island owner installed to keep jellyfish, sharks, etc out of his swimming water.  

I have no idea where she got the idea to do this.  She was very deliberate in rubbing me down with the mud.  She went all the way down one leg and then moved to the other.  Too funny.  

Some marine lab employees shrimping

The Big House.  There are some signs later on that give details on dates and owners.

The front.  They had a one-mile drive straight shot driveway right to the beach.

We were living there when President Carter came to visit.  There was a big cookout at the Big House for him.  We took a lot of family pictures with him and he kept feeding me Ritz crackers.  At one point, I took one out of his hand and fed it back to him.  Ha.  I will have to get those pictures on here at some point. 

looking back at the big house

looking down to the beach

the skeleton of the big house greenhouse

UGA has a marine institute on the island.  Mom worked for them some while we lived there.  

There is a crazy story out there about RJ Reynolds getting drunk and shooting one of these turkey statues.  

loving the golf cart rides

cabretta beach

lots of little crabs.  mary van loved them but could never get very close.  ha.

sea oats

raccoon bluff

house at the chocolate ruins.  what a view.


more tabby ruins

shell ring.  indians would toss oyster shells during their ceremonies and a huge ring was built over the years.  

the porch of our 'birdhouse'

the boat that mom used to go out for research with UGA.  in the early 80s!

on sunday afternoon, the current island manager took us to most of these places (raccoon bluff, cabretta, chocolate, shell ring) because they aren't accessible to guests.  

Thank goodness we were in his suburban when we ran across this guy.  He was afraid we'd see hogs but we didn't.  

this used to be a little general store but it has since closed

we wore this little lady out!

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