Jekyll Island. During a scouting expedition to St. Augustine in 1736, Georgia founder James Edward Oglethorpe stopped to investigate the island that was identified on Spanish maps as Whale Island. Jekyll Island, as he named it for his friend Sir Joseph Jekyll, is the smallest of Georgia’s coastal islands and is located in Glynn County, just southeast of the city of Brunswick.
In 1886 fifteen men from New York bought the Jekyll Island to use as a winter resort and shooting preserve incorporated as the Jekyll Island Club. This wealthy group built an enormous clubhouse and winter cottage, many of which may be toured or reserved for lodging.
On October 7, 1947, the state of Georgia purchased the entirety of Jekyll Island through a condemnation order for $675,000. The island became the Jekyll Island State Park.
Remains of Major William Horton’s tabby house are located on the north end of the Jekyll Island. He was a member of Oglethorpe’s Regiment and was the first English resident on the island. He succeeded Oglethorpe as commander of the military forces of the Colony of Georgia. Tabby, a blending of shells, sand, lime, and water, was often used in building construction on the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Horton’s tabby house is one of the most substantial tabby ruins on the coast of Georgia.