Posts Tagged ‘Plum Orchard Mansion’

Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum Better Than Ever

September 27th, 2017 by Mary

Cumberland Island Museum Entrance on Osborne Street

The Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum (CINS), which is located in the historic district of St. Marys, Georgia, reopened their doors in July 2017 after being closed for nearly nine months. Hurricane Matthew caused flooding to the park’s mainland museum in October 2016. Although there was minimal damage to the exhibits, the storm prompted a major overhaul of the entire first floor of the building. New and returning visitors are greeted with new flooring, reconfigured exhibits and new artifacts in the main gallery, plus the newly restored and expanded Carriage Room.

Painting of the Stafford Plantation

 

 

The museum showcases the island’s 4,000 years of human history which began with the Timucuan Indians and later included Spanish missionaries, British settlers, early American patriots and enslaved African Americans. When the industrial revolution swept the country, wealthy families like the Carnegies sought solace on the island both as land owners and vacationers. Now visitors to the museum will find wonderful treasures like the fully-restored statue of the god Mercury which once stood on the lawn at Plum Orchard, antique carriages, steamer trunks, fine china and period clothing, all belonging to the Carnegie family members who lived and played on their island paradise. One of the most influential female family members was Lucy Coleman Carnegie, wife of Thomas Carnegie – a strong woman who fought for women’s rights by choosing to enter through doors that read “Gentlemen Only”. One such barrier she broke through was at the New York Yacht Club, where she became the first female member in 1894. She commandeered her own steam yacht named “Dungeness”, which was usually moored at Cumberland Island. One of the family mansions on the island was also named “Dungeness”, the magnificent ruins of which still remain and are one of the main attractions for visitors to the island. 

Statue of Mercury originally stood at Plum Orchard

The other part of the main floor houses an exhibit about the War of 1812. One of the final battles of the war was fought in St. Marys at Point Peter. The exhibit goes into detail about that battle and the impact it had on the town. Visitors can watch a short film on how the battle played out.

The next phase of renovations to the museum will be in the back hallway. One wall will showcase hanging displays, the other will feature artwork. Seven pieces of art were recently sent off for restoration. Another piece that had originally hung in Plum Orchard and was originally slated to go back to the mansion after restoration will now likely be on display at the museum due to needing a climate-controlled environment.

A trip to the CINS is a delight for visitors to St. Marys who are planning a day trip or camping on Cumberland Island. It gives people a great sense of appreciation for the pioneers who settled on the island and gave us such a wonderful rich history that remains encapsulated on our neighboring Cumberland Island. Even if you have visited the museum in the past, it is a delight to return and see what’s new! The museum is open 7 days a week, from 1-4 pm, and admission is free for all.

Lucy Carnegie's Carriage

Lucy Carnegie’s Carriage

Gown worn by one the the Carnegie women, now on display in the Main Gallery.

Gown worn by one of the Carnegie women

Miniature of Plum Orchard Mansion 

Exhibits about Timucuan Indians

 

 

Take a Tour of the Plum Orchard Mansion

June 2nd, 2011 by Seth

The Plum Orchard Mansion

This Classical Revival style mansion on Cumberland Island was completed in 1898 for George Carnegie as a wedding gift from his mother. When she spoke with the architects who were designing Plum Orchard, she told them that she envisioned a “simple house.” However, Plum Orchard is nothing short of magnificent.

Tours of this wonderful home are offered on the 2nd & 4th Sunday of each month. You will be able to see how the Carnegie’s spent their time on Cumberland Island, how they entertained, how they relaxed, and how they have influenced the area’s rich history. You may even see one of Cumberland Island’s many wild horses on the lawn.

Cumberland Island Ferry

February 4th, 2011 by Seth

Cumberland Island Ferry on the St. Marys River

Spring is the perfect time to take a trip to Cumberland Island. It is not too soon to start planning your Spring Vacation or Spring Break. The phones at the ferry office have been very busy with calls for reservations for March and April. There are even a few days that are completely full! Call now to get your spot on the ferry. If there are no spaces available for the day you would like, check back often with the ferry office.

Beginning March 1st, the ferry will resume its 7 day a week schedule. A 2:45pm return ferry will also be offered Wednesday – Saturday. The tour of the Plum Orchard mansion is still being offered on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of each month.

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