Miscellaneous
The Southeast Georgian & Camden County Tribune
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23 February 1912; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

REPORT ON ST. MARYS TRIP OR IMMEDIATE STEPS TO BE TAKEN ON RAILROAD

            Following the inspection of the properties of the Atlantic, Waycross and Northern (railroad) at St. Marys Wednesday, it is announced that immediate steps will be taken to extend the railroad from Kingsland into Waycross.
            The road now operates eleven miles, St. Marys to Kingsland, and less than fifty miles more will place the line into Waycross.  To do this work about $100,000 is needed. From the promise of cooperation and financial aid, it seems certain now that the road will be operating trains to Waycross in the near future.
            There are at least a dozen people who are absolutely positive that a railroad from Waycross to St. Marys is needed.  They found this week that traveling to St. Marys in an automobile was anything but desirable, especially in wet weather.
            Experiences such as have never befallen auto parties are told by the Waycross men who went to St. Marys Wednesday in autos.  The cars used for the trip did everything but climb trees, according to the reports made upon the return of the Waycross delegation.  Riding in an auto on a good road is one thing.
            Riding in an auto on a muddy road, getting out in the deepest of the mud and slipping and sliding about to get the wheels on a level surface is still another.  And then, the round about way some of the delegation returned calls for more experiences.  A trip at night on a small motor car, running as fast as its power would make it, rocking the inmates very much like a steamer on a rough sea, only to reach its destination in time to see the tail lights of a passenger train wanted for transportation to Waycross is but one of many happenings that will go down in memory in connection with the St. Marys meet.
            Efforts to get a special from Seaboard officials were fruitless.  Likewise, efforts to secure a permit to run Capt. Johnson's motor car on Seaboard track to a Coastline connection.  George Johnson, who is well known here, said he would run the car "clear into Waycross if they let me."
            Those who failed to go to St. Marys missed a treat they will long regret.  The mishaps along the road were nothing but pleasant features of the trip.  Without trouble of some kind the need of the railroad might not have been so strongly impressed on the travelers.  A unanimous vote of thanks was tendered Capt. Johnson and his kind friends in St. Marys for their royal entertainment, and many expressions showing the high regard in which Capt. Johnson is held were made.

 

14 May 1914; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Marcelo Ballve

KINGSLAND PAPER IS FINALLY LAUNCHED

            After some months of expectation the Kingsland and people have finally launched their little paper.  "The Camden County News," as it is styled, reached the Georgian through the post office Monday, bearing the date of Friday, the same day as the Georgian.
            At the masthead Emmet McElreath appears as the editor and A.H. Prince as the manager.
            The printer, Mr. Braswell, got out a fairly printed sheet and Editor McElreath made a good write-up of the county, with a good word for each of the towns, including St. Marys and Woodbine.
            His salutatory editorials is excellent, and we appreciate his sentiments toward the Georgian and purpose "to join hands with them in boosting and developing the county."
            The Georgian has been boosting the county lot these many years, but the development does not quite keep pace with the boosting.  Perhaps with the weight of News thrown into the scale, the two papers can be compel the people who ought to locate in Camden to come right along.
            Youth is optimistic, and the News opines "that there is a field here broad enough and fertile enough for both papers to live and prosper."
            In this the News is dead wrong in its reckoning.  The field, speaking from a printer and a publisher's stand point, is the reverse of "broad" and "fertile." the population is small, conditions rural, and there are little of industries that require much printing.  One paper, alone, does well to prosper.  We see no prospect, under prevailing conditions, for two to succeed.
            While we believe that the Kingsland undertaking can only result in regarding the advancement of the Georgian for a while without accomplishing and benefits commensurate with the cost to the stockholders and to the patrons - we grant they are entirely within their legitimate rights in making the effort.  And as their is no rule to prevent editors from being gentlemen, the Georgian will endeavor to that the Camden County News with that consideration accorded an infant in the teething stage, hearing in mind, however, that babies sometimes need spanking.

 

25 July 1915; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

HARDWOOD MILL TO EMPLOY 300 HANDS

            At the week end came the news that a group of capitalists sought to learn the purchase price of the Emanuel tract of 6,000 acres, lying between St. Marys and the Marianna River and that a price had been made them.  Without delay their representative, Mr. J.B. Phillips, came this week from Atlanta and, in company with Mr. Chas. S. Arnow, made a thorough inspection of the tract.  He told Mr. Arnow that it is the finest tract of lad in South Georgia.  But his chief concern was to ascertain the amount of hard wood timber upon it.
            In the interview with the Georgian Mr. Phillips explained there are two hard wood mill concerns both seeking a body of hard woods on the coast and at the same time a deep-water site for a mill that will cut 50,000 ft. per day, most of which is for export.  They find that if so situated they can save an expense of $3.50 on freights and $1.50 wharfage per thousand feet over what they are now paying to get their output to the seaboard from present locations.
            If it is decided that the Emanuel tract will suit, one of these concerns will buy it and will put up such a mill at St. Marys on the water front site secured of the A. W. & N.
            With the hands at the mill and in the woods it will provide employment for 300 men.
            The policy of the company will be to buy hard wood timber all over the county and as far beyond as it will bear transportation expense, and to hold its own timber in reserve for such times as the outside supply is insufficient.
            If Mr. Phillips reports favorably another man will be sent here to travel about and ascertain the amount of hard wood available in the territory and will probably consume a month's time in the search.  As there is much hard wood in the territory there is good hope of landing this industry.

 

7 June 1916; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

PARTY TO CONFER IN ST. MARYS JUNE 10th AND 11th

            Governors of Thirteen States and Secretary McAddo [sic] invited by Governor Dorsey to Investigate Project of a Ship Canal and Making St. Marys a Coaling Port.
            To make St. Marys an important coaling port and the eastern terminis [sic] of an Atlantic and Gulf canal, will result if the movement inagurated [sic] by Governor Dorsey succeeds.
            For a generation a barge canal thru St. Marys and Suwanee rivers has periodically been advocated and discussed.  It was five or six years ago that it last attracted public attention.  But the changing conditions of these war times give additional urgency to the need that the canal be built and, immediately following his recent stay in St. Marys, Governor Dorsey has taken effective steps to make it once more a very live subject.  He has invited Secretary McAdoo and the governors of thirteen states to assemble at St. Marys June 10-11.  They are to meet him at Folkston the morning of the 10th and proceed down the river by boat to St. Marys.  A thorough inspection of St. Marys and Fernandina harbors will follow.  While at St. Marys they will be the guests of the Georgia Council of Defense.
            The party will not stop at St. Marys till Monday night however, proceeding down the river and taking in Dungeness and Fernandina first.
            Tuesday morning a meeting will be held at the school auditorium which will open with an address by Gov. Dorsey, followed by other speakers.  Organization will then be effected to further the great project.
            The party will have breakfast and luncheon in St. Marys Tuesday and dinner that evening in Fernandina, where they will take train.
            Sec. McAddo has wired that he will be here in person, if possible, and if not able to come will have a representative here.
            Three other members of the Cabinet have also been invited and about fifty business men of national prominence.
            It is already known that a large number intend to come, and the gather of so many men of national fame will make another historic day in historic old St. Marys.
            While all the commercial reasons for the building of this canal that ever existed are now intensified by the overburdening of the railroads, Governor Dorsey in his letter particularly urges it as a war measure, saying in part:
            As a war measure, the importance of the St. Marys canal can hardly be overestimated.  With its opening, the bituminous coal now mined in Alabama and brought down the Black Warrior and Mobile rivers to Mobile Bay (a distance of about four hundred canal will run down that river to Charles ferry, and from that point will go westwardly to the St. Mary [sic] river, and thence to the gulf, because a greater depth is found in the gulf at this point and because this course places the mouth of the canal farther to the westward.
            The canal will cover a distance of 226 miles, of which only about 100 miles requires excavation, and the water stored in the swamp is sufficient to meet the requirements of the canal. The excavation will be cheap, because of the character of the soil.  On the Atlantic side this soil consists of sand and soft loam with a small amount of clay.  On the gulf side, it consists of sand and rotten limestone.
            At St. Marys and Fernandina are available between 50 and 100 miles of water frontage, suitable for docks and terminals.  This water frontage is practically untouched.            Moreover, the St. Mays [sic] river is reported to be the deepest river of its length in the world. It is now navigable for vessels drawing 15 feet of water for a distance of more than 61 miles from its mouth.  This 61 miles of navigable stream will furnish that amount of completed canal out of the 226 miles of total distance.
            In the southern part of Georgia there exists a large highland swamp, or combination swamp and lake, known as the Okefenokee Swamp.  This swamp covers 624 square miles, or 400,000 acres.  Its elevation above mean tide varies from 126 feet to 111 feet.  The smaller elevation is at its southern end, from which point the entire swamp drains.
            This swamp is drained principally by two rivers, vis: the St. Marys flowing into the Atlantic and the Suwanee flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.  As heretofore stated, the St. Marys river is navigable for 61 miles above its mouth and the Suwanee navigable for barges drawing 10 feet of water for a great part of its length.  The proposed canal will connect the St. Marys and Suwanee through a system of locks and canals, thus furnishing a connecting link between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.  After striking the Suwanee the miles) in barges can be carried in the same barges a distance of some 250 miles eastwardly, through an inland waterway now largely completed, to St. Mark's in the western part of Florida.  From St. Marks it can be carried through the proposed canal a distance of 226 miles to St. Marys and Fernandina, both located at Cumberland sound, and about seven miles from the Atlantic ocean.  This coal will furnish for shipping and for bunker purposes a fuel supply which is practically not now available for shipment to Europe, because it can only be obtained at gulf ports, except at an enormous increase in cost, due to a long rail haul.  With the opening of the canal, this coal can be moved in barges without transshipment from the mines in Alabama to deep-water port on the Atlantic seaboard, a distance of approximately 900 miles, more cheaply than the Pocahontas and New River coal is now moved, between 400 and 500 miles, by an all-rail route, to Hampton Roads.
            The size of the proposed canal would accommodate a volume of coal movement adequate to meet any demand that might be made upon it.  This coal would accommodate a volume of coal movement adequate to meet any demand that might be made upon it.  This coal would be secured from a source not now available for bunkering purposes for European countries.  It would be delivered at an Atlantic warm-water port, where freezing conditions are absolutely unknown, and where it would be impossible to be confronted with the cold weather, which during the winter of 1917-1918 froze solidly every harbor from Hampton Roads northwardly for a period of two weeks.  Repetition of such freezing conditions might occur at a time when our forces in France and our allies in Europe were in dire need of the supplies necessarily shipped from these northern points, because of the absence of the southern port facilities.  Such a donation might seriously affect the outcome of the war in which we are engaged.

 

27 April 1917; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES IN BUSY ST. MARYS 

            Mr. J.M. Richens, the inventor of the patent egg crate, and J.H. Shaffer were here from Jacksonville Monday.  They visited the paper mill, Brandon Lumber Co. and Banks' Planning Mill on business.  While no papers have been signed yet, from all we could learn, the inference is that St. Marys is fully decided upon for the location of the factory for the manufacture of the egg crate and a variety of paste board containers, and that ground will be broken at no distant date.  We have seen the plans for a 2-story factory building 80 X 30 ft. The company is capitalized at $10,000.
            The plant of the Southern Fertilizer & Chemical Co. is well along in construction and the group of buildings looms up large on the North River landscape.  Up to date 141,000 ft. of lumber have been used in construction, all supplied by the local mills.  Forty-seven men were on the pay roll Saturday night. The machinery is now being placed.
            Mr. Dickey has built two docks at the fish oil factory, one 110 ft. frontage, the other 70 ft. frontage.  One is for unloading fish, the other for drying seines.
            Considering additional machinery is to be placed in the paper mill and it is rumored that another building is to go up.
            Papermaking is suspended while construction is in progress.
            Another small dock is building at the paper mill.  Jones & Dickey's pile-driver is on the job.
            The A. W. & N. will extend three sidetracks into the paper mill grounds.
            Davis & Brandon have taken an order to furnish 1,000 pilings to Brunswick for the American Ship Building Co., .recently chartered in that city.
            It is reported that the National Cellulose Co. is about to expend $25,000 in enlarging the plant here, but the management is not inclined to give anything out for publication.  Hence the Georgian is not in a position either to affirm or deny this report.

 

4 April 1919; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

SATILLA RIVER BRIDGE NOW TAKING TOLLS

            The county commissioners inspected the toll bridge at Woodbine Monday and found it in fine working order.
            The 80 foot span was lifted for their benefit.  A high wind was blowing at the time but the span was lowered again against this wind in four minutes 48 seconds.
            The entire bridge is 986 ft. inches long.
            Austin Bros. have made an excellent job of it was the opinion of the commissioners.
            The bridge is now open to travel, and as the Dixie Highway is once more in good condition and the northbound travel of the tourist cars in Florida is setting in, much traffic is anticipated as soon as the fact becomes generally known.
            Fifteen dollars tolls was taken in the first day.
            The bridge has been insured, $7,500 fire and $15,000 storm risk.
            The bridge house has been insured for $500.

 

6 June 1919; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

WOODBINE COMES BACK WITH A BIGGER POTATO

Woodbine, June 2
Editor, Southeast Georgian:

Dear Sir:
            Your apology in regard to the potato contest accepted and will agree to reopen the matter.  Regarding Preacher Kemp's big potato, will say that we can set the notch two ounces higher, as Dr. Swift dug from his patch and weighed in the presence of the mayor on Uncle Sam's parcel post scales, as attested by our notary public, who ate the potato – one that weighed one pound and six ounces.
            This ends the matter as far as we are concerned as we have dug all our potatoes.  And we believe that if you report a potato larger than this one, the preacher will not be referred to verify it.
            The Board of Education met here Tuesday and transacted the usual business, the president of the board bringing his wife up to spend the day with her son.
            Mayor Hayes visited Brunswick Tuesday in the interest of the Woodbine ferry.  Mr. Hayes sold out his mercantile business in Camden Monday, has ordered an automobile that he is expecting every day and is not going to allow any business to interfere with his pleasure.
            Mr. J.C. Buie was with us Tuesday looking over his Woodbine property and incidentally signed his name to the ferry subscription list.
            Your correspondent chronicles with regret the death of "Old George," the mayor's horse.  He was a colt when Col. Clinch lived at Camden, his age not being exactly known, it having been "burnt up in de book" during the war.
            Frank Liles moved into his new home last Thursday and now has one of the best places in our city.
            Tuesday was Liles day here, we having been visited by J.H., K.W., and Hon. A.J. Liles.
            The only enjoyment Mr. Davis got out of his trip to his Alma Mater at Auburn, Ala. last week was the anticipation of it, he being recalled at Savannah account of the little blaze at St. Marys Saturday.
            Gus McKindree was much affected when he broke his best horse's leg with a rock last week.  But Willis Wright said he didn't cry when his own barn and almost everything he had but his wife and children burned several days ago, but he felt very much like it.

 

26 August 1920; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

WAVERLY AND REFUGE BARBECUES BRING OUT WARM POLITICAL DEBATES

            The barbecue and political rally held at Waverly Saturday brought together a throng of well onto three hundred people.  They came from far and near by train or automobile, and quite a number from the near by county of Wane were attracted to the scene.
            The citizens of the little community had the arrangements well in hand through their committee, Messrs. G.B. Smith, T.J. Dunlop and J.H. Quarterman, with Col. B.A. Atkinson as the active director and presider of the event.
            They were a bit nervous and apologetic, this being their first undertaking of a barbecue, but the outcome showed that there was nothing to apologize for.  One beef and two mutton were well served to the crowd, along with a profusion of dainties which came forth from bulging baskets brought in by the ladies of the neighborhood and surrounding county.
            The barbecue was proceeded by political speeches, held in the school auditorium.  This auditorium is a rather unique and a very practical arrangement for a small rural community.  It takes up the ground floor of the school building and is open on two sides and one end, so that the overflow crowd grouped on the outside could hear distinctly the heated utterances of the wrought up contenders for political honors.
            Col. B.A. Atkinson presided with grace and impartiality, and after a happy little speech of welcome, opened the way for the speakers.
            Candidates for commissioner declined to speak, and candidates for sheriff briefly acknowledged that they wanted to be elected, etc.  Then Judge Frohock got on the rostrum and the fireworks started.
            Judge Frohock spoke in kindest terms of his opponent for the office of ordinary, saying he was a good man, his life-long friend, and he had not a word to say against him.  But he had considerable to say against the parties who he declared had got together and forced Mr. Sterling into the race against his will — taken him by the nape of the neck and pulled him into it — to punish him (Frohock) because four months ago he had refused their repeated demands that he get into the race for legislature.  Finding that they could not control him, they were determined to down him.
            Mr. W.R. Smith, unopposed candidate for county school superintendent, spoke briefly on school matters.
            Col. Hendricks spoke in behalf of Hugh M. Dorsey for the United States senate.  He interested his hearers immensely and his explanations of the League of Nations cleared up some kinks in many minds.  He revealed Senator Hoke Smith's erratic course in the senate, in such strong light as to convert at least one Hoke Smith vote to Dorsey to the writer's knowledge.  And Tom Watson was flayed, drawn and quartered, while the thorough consistency of Dorsey with the Democratic platform and his good services while governor were eloquently played up.
            Having been informed that Camden county is overwhelmingly for Dorsey, Col. Hendricks shortened his speech to give time for others.
            And next came the real tug of war, as Chairman Atkinson intimated, as the rostrum was occupied by the legislative candidates, Townsend first, Vocelle following, in the alphabetical order laid down.  The weather was exceedingly hot but it was several degrees hotter on that rostrum than anywhere else before they got through, for this race has grown to be a very bitter pass.  The limits of the Georgian would not contain all that they said and it may be just as well not to.
            Col. Townsend opened his speech with a discussion of the tick eradication law, for which he said he was not wholly responsible but that he fathered the bill, introduced it and voted for it, and if sent to the legislature again would oppose repeal or any amendment, except to improve it.
            From this theme he turned his attention to his opponent, referring to the revelations at the Refuge barbecue on the previous Thursday, on which occasion Col. Vocelle had produced a letter to prove that Col. Townsend had a hand in starting anti-Catholic agitation in this campaign.
            Col. Townsend belittled the youth and inexperience of his opponent in humorously sarcastic vein, scathed his war record and launched into a lengthy and vigorous criticism of the Catholics which he would protect the Protestants against in the legislature.
            Col. Vocelle, characterizing Col. Townsend's attacks as "scurrilous," proceeded to explode his conceptions as to Catholics in general, and himself in particular, in politics.  He recounted his war record on the same lines as he has published in the Georgian.  Declared he had no opposition to the Veazy bill and had written a letter of endorsement some time ago on an educational bill, both of which Col. Townsend had mentioned as having united opposition of all Catholics.
            He again used the letter used at Refuge and invited any one interested to pursue it.
            He brought up Col. Townsend's action while in the senate in his efforts to transfer this county to the Waycross Judicial circuit and commented on it without mercy.
            He brought up the names of the two Arnow brothers to review some of their political activities, declaring that five different men had been urged to run against him before they settled on Townsend, and quoted Mr. Ike as making some statements in the past which were very much against his opponent.
            The barbecue at Refuge Plantation last Thursday was given by Mr. T.P. Rose, manager of the plantation.  It was held in the magnificent oak grove, secure from the fierce rays of Old Sol and fanned by the breezes from the river.  About a .hundred people were present and enjoyed the feast of beef, pork and lamb provided by Mr. Rose.
            At this meeting H.L. Long and I.F. Arnow spoke briefly and A.H. Prince at more length — these three being candidates for commissioner.  The two legislative aspirants were the main speakers.

 

1 September 1921; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

ST. MARYS BRIDGE CO. PERMANENT ORGANIZATION

            At a meeting of the stockholders of the St. Marys Bridge Company held at the office of J.H. Becker on Aug. 29th, an orgainization [sic] of the company was perfected with the election of Messrs J.H. Becker, J.S.N. Davis, G.W. Brandon, A.H.F. Rudulph and C.S. Johnson as directors.
            Immediately following the stockholders' meeting, the newly elected directors met and elected the following officers of the company: J.H. Becker, president J.S.N. Davis, vice president James T. Vocelle, secretary J.R. Bachlott, treasurer.
            The bridge company intends to begin immediate construction of a steel draw bridge across the St. Marys river, near St. Marys as soon as the assent of Congress has been secured.  This will be obtained soon after Congress reconvenes, as the bill authorizing the construction of this bridge has already passed the Senate and has been favorably reported by the House committee to whom it was referred, Engineers have been engaged and will be on the ground in a few days to make plans and specifications for the bridge, which will be built to comply with the requirements of the Georgia State Highway Department and the War Department, so that when the State or government desires to purchase it and make a free bridge of it there will be no critisism [sic] as to its construction.
            When completed, the contemplated bridge will supply the last missing link between Savannah and Jacksonville, which is the star route into Florida and will add to the pleasure of the tourist by permitting him to visit one of Georgia's most historic and picturesque towns without detouring.
            The business interests behind the movement insure its success.

 

5 October 1922; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

KINGSLAND SCHOOL OPENED MONDAY

            The Kingsland Consolidated School began work on last Monday but owing to the auditorium not being seated, the formal opening exercises will take place at a later date.
            Everything looks encouraging for a good school year.  The watchword for the faculty and the Board of Education is "Cooperation Effective Work".
            Kingsland deserves to have a school system second to none in south Georgia and we believe everybody is pulling that way.  The school board is pursuing a progressive policy and are determined to develop a good school system.
            This is an age of rapid progress.  What was considered the best a few years ago will no longer meet our demands.
            Good schools can be made only by the hearty cooperation of every person in the community; every man, woman and child must be a booster for the school, and those who pay the taxes must back the school if they wish to be made worthy of our respect.
            We believe that the test of a good school is the type of product that it turns out.  Our schools must not teach boys and girls text books only, but how to cope successfully with life.  Education is bigger and broader than mere scholarship.  There are many, many definitions for Education.  The Student says Books.  The Scholar says Knowledge.  The Preacher says Character.  The Artist says Beauty . The Democrat says Self-government.  The Aged Man says Wisdom.  The Child says Play.  The Maiden says Love.  The Man says Work.  But true education is all of this and much more.
            Kingsland school is going to be a workshop because our faculty is united in an ambition to make it such.  We are all good sports for athletics, but good sports must be good students.  The requirement to represent the school on bet athletic teams is that the student must make passing grades on four subjects.  This rule will be held to strictly for the good student will make the best athlete.
            Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new: new building, new faculty and new spirit.  So let faculty, students and parents unite in resolving to make this a big school year at Kingsland.

 

16 August 1923; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Marcelo Ballve

WOODBINE IS NOW THE COUNTY SEAT

            On last Friday, through the Senatorial courtesy extended to Senator Arnow by thirty-four members of the senate, the Atkinson county site removal bill was passed by the senate, this was thirty-four votes being just the necessary two-thirds which was necessary to carry the county site to Woodbine.
            Col S.C. Townsend was untiring in his efforts to hold the court house in St. Marys, and he deserves much credit from the St. Marys people for doing all in his power to keep the county site at the ancient city, even though St. Marys lost.
            The following persons also deserve commendation for their visit to Atlanta in behalf of St. Marys now ceases to be the county seat of Camden.  How soon the court house records and the different, county offices will be moved to Woodbine is not known by the writer.

 

19 April 1924; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

WOODBINE IS NOW COUNTY SEAT OF CAMDEN

            In a decision handed down by the Supreme Court last week, the action of the legislature in removing the county seat of Camden from St. Marys to Woodbine was confirmed.
            Parties in St. Marys, through Attorneys S. C. Townsend of St. Marys, and Archibald Davis, of Atlanta, carried the case to the Supreme Court attacking the constitutionality of the act of the legislature in removing the county seat on the face of the fact that the Secretary of State had previously certified to the legislature that two-thirds of the qualified voters did not vote for removal.
            This has been a long drawn out contest which has ended in Woodbine being the victor.

 

22 October 1925; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

HALLOWEEN ENTERTAINMENT BY WOMEN’S AUXLLIARY

            Friday evening the home of Mrs. S.C. Townsend was the scene of unusual festivities and High Jinks were the order of the evening.  Entering the front door where the latch string hung out offering a silent welcome to all who entered its open portals, a scene off fairy-like splendor greeted the eye, a native banana transported from its own soil graced the hail, tile lovely drooping branches waiving in a stately manner reminded one of the far off tropical forests and visions of beauty everywhere.  Skillfully hidden behind this was a dark corner where one of MacBeth's Witches bending over a seething cauldron, crooning to herself.  "Boil, Bubble, Boil and Trouble!" and fished out of its depths the fortunes of the lucky ones who peered into the depths of her pot o' luck, strange freaks of fortune were theirs, some to have one thing and one another.
            The rooms were all decorated with lovely autumn wild flowers, Golden Rod, Cat Tails and different flowers varied the plan and made a beauty spot of them all.  Black Cats, Witches on broom sticks chased one another over the walls and ceilings made one dizzy watching their perilous flight over the rooms.  The dining room table was decorated with the Halloween colors black and yellow, a large yellow pumpkin graced the center of the table, lighted candles reminded one of the Halloween season.  Marigolds filled the vases and vines twined themselves around the room.
            The evening was opened by a duet, "Overture to Zampa" by Mrs. A. Tumerell and Miss Brownson, then followed a costume song by Mrs. Sam Bealey, a witch's hat perched on her head, and a witch-like look on her face she entertained all by her music, then came the piece de resistance of the entertainment.  "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, as found to have its plot land right here in old Camden County, Georgia.  The pirates of old having been taken with this delightful old spot, romance and moonlight, and hidden treasures seem to have been incidently [sic] to this lovely nature spot and right here they hid away their loot to be found years later by a different kind of pirate.  The signal was given, the clues were given, and away bounded the pirates, all intent on finding the hidden treasures, rooms back and front, garden spots and back yards, neighbors steps were even invaded until at last appears the hidden treasures, lovely prizes awarded to the diligent, ones who chased and hunted not pirates, but their treasure.
            Then games of all kinds: Cat Contests, hot suppers, were in order, a drinking bout was indulged in, all kneeling on the floor and drinking Ginger Ale.
            Some of the more fortunate ones won a prize: Mesdames McLendon, Fowler and Yates.  A few more games then a delicious luncheonette brought to a close a most enjoyable evening.

 

11 November 1926; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Marcelo Ballve

ROAD TO BE READY WITHIN A MONTH BETWEEN KINGSLAND AND ST. MARYS RIVER

            Probably no more important announcement in connection with the Coastal Highway between Brunswick and Jacksonville has ever been made than that which was given out officially that the new road between Kingsland and the St. Marys river would be opened to the traffic December 10th.
            Not only will the road be opened on that date, but the State Highway Department on Friday opened bids for graveling of the road for the entire distance from Kingsland to the St. Marys river, four miles, and the contract awarded.  With the road bed all complete, it will take only a short time to put down the gravel and in a very short time this stretch will be completed.
            But the important feature of the announcement is that the new bridge over the St. Marys, built jointly by the highway departments of Georgia and Florida will be opened to traffic on the same date, Dec. 10, and no longer will it be necessary for automobiles to travel over the bad stretch approaching the present ferry at Wilds Landing nor will they have to cross the ferry, which, although a good one, takes considerable time and is expensive in the long run.
            The officials of the Coastal Highway have been pushing work on the road from Kingsland to the St. Marys river, in order to have it ready for use by the time the bridge was completed, and when it was announced that within a month it would be ready to open, arrangements were made to open the new road at the same time.
            The route from Kingsland to the river is entirely different from the present one, the road being all new it follows along the eastern side of the Seaboard Air Line, being a direct road from Woodbine, not crossing the railroad at any point, as the present highway does.

 

7 April 1927; Camden County Tribune
researched by Marcelo Ballve

ST. MARYS BRIDGE OPENED—EXIT OF LAST FERRY 

            Our little city, just three and a half miles from the St. Marys river, was the ideal setting for one of the most eventful incidents in paving and bridging of the great Atlantic Coastal Highway.
            That event was the formal opening to the public of the magnificent St. Marys bridge with ceremonies that were attended by distinguished citizens from both Florida and Georgia.  Figuratively the people of these states clasped hands across the St. Marys river in bonds of friendship and a closer union, all because a barrier that nature had placed had been lifted.
            The completion of this great steel and concrete span is in itself an event of moment, but equally significant is the fact that the bridging of this stream moves from the Atlantic Coastal Highway the last ferry on this historic route from the Canadian border to Key West, Fla.  And it is a free bridge, built with money provided by the two states with federal aid, and its dedication to the public use today leaves but one toll bridge on the highway the Satilla river bridge at Woodbine.  And a new free bridge will in time take the place of the one in use now.
            Just such a bridge as has been built has long been a dream of good road enthusiasts.
            Presence in Kingsland of not only scores of public spirited officials and leaders, but thousands of those who have served as privates in the cause of better highways, attended in eloquent terms the tremendous interest that finally has been aroused in Georgia and Florida in this problem, the solution of which was so long delayed.
            State officials, county commissioners, engineers, municipal officers, district highway commissioners and scores of others who have labored with shoulder to the great machine of progress, were in Kingsland for this special occasion.
            Most of the homes and business building were gaily decorated in flags and bunting, and varicolored streamers were spread across the streets.
            Thousands of pounds of beef, mutton and pork were barbecued and great vats of Brunswick stew were provided.  The improvised tables under the oaks held food enough for the thousands present.
            The formal ceremonies opened shortly before 11 o'clock with the arrival of the motorcade from Brunswick, the crowds from Jacksonville, Fernandina, Folkston, and other places having come earlier.
            The program opened with "America."  This was followed by invocation offered by Rev. C.A. Morrison.
            Here the ceremonies were turned over to Fred Warde of Brunswick, who repeatedly during the exercises which followed was given a lion's share of credit for both the construction of the bridge and the successful gathering.  Mr. Warde spoke briefly of the pleasure he felt on this occasion, touched upon the great amount of good that would result in the tremendous significance of the event, and presented Frank O. Miller of Jacksonville, president of the Atlantic Coastal Highway Association and an ardent worker in the cause for better roads, as master of ceremonies.
            Mr. Miller was given an ovation, not only from the Florida cohorts, but by the visitors generally.  He made a splendid presiding officer and very gracefully introduced the various speakers.  He spoke of the splendid work that had been necessary on the part of all concerned before the building of the bridge across the St. Marys river had been achieved, and generously apportioned credit where he felt it was due.  In its final analysis, he said, it was the fine spirit of the people of Florida and Georgia that had made the feat possible.
            Mayor McElreath welcomed the visitors on behalf of Kingsland.  In this brief welcome Mayor McElreath modestly claimed credit to Kingsland and some of its far-cited citizens for the Coastal Highway.  He said that prior to 1913 Kingsland was on a dead end of the road running north and south.  The swamp lying between Kingsland and the St. Marys river was believed to be an insurmountable obstacle to highway engineering.  Back in those days before the World War Mr. W.H. King felt differently about the swamp and to show that his judgment was not wrong he employed a colored map to cut a right of way through the swamp, and this was the beginning of the opening to the river and the establishment of the ferry which goes out of business with the opening of the new bridge.
            Kingsland people volunteered to aid in the pioneer work of cutting the original right of way through what at that time was a swampy wilderness.  A new road over a different route has since been built and surfaced with sand and gravel.  This gravel construction begins and the bridge and has now been finished more than five miles toward the north, passing through Kingsland.
            While passing around credit Mr. Mann declared that of all who had rendered distinguished service the work of Harvey Granger of Savannah stood out above the rest, and he thought there should be a monument to his efforts.  He said that Mr. Granger was entitled to any political honor he might aspire.
            At this juncture Troop No. I, Camp Fire Girls of Fernandina arrived and passed in review before the speakers' stand, being saluted by the speaker.  Mr. Holder, speaking for Georgia, followed with a dignified account of his administration, expressing pride in the progress that has been made.  "It will only be a short while," he declared, "until Georgia will have five great truck lines running north and south through the state, and three great lines crossing the state in the east and west direction.
            Dr. F.A. Hathaway, chairman of the Highway Department of Florida and one of the most popular men in public in his state, reviewed the work Florida has done, showing that his administration has received the sort of moral and financial support and co-operation that is necessary in order to successfully complete comprehensive highway projects.  He operated on the pay-as-you-go basis, and he believes it is the correct system.
            Judge H.B. Phillips, chairman of the Duval county commissioners, spoke.
            Introducing Mr. Granger of Savannah, Chairman Miller said if he had to single out one man who had been the most important factoring the promotion of the Atlantic Coastal Highway he would be forced to name Mr. Granger.  "Mr. Granger has been a pioneer in his fight for the building of the Coastal Highway," the chairman said.  "For twenty-five years Mr. Granger has been advocating this route, and he more than anyone else made the day possible."
            Mr. Granger briefly sketched the history of the Atlantic Coastal Highway, and said that while the St. Marys bridge was of great importance and value, it after all was only one of the many units of the route. He declared it the most magnificent highway in the United States, both because of its value to the country it serves and in the historic interest.
            Commissioners of the Coastal highway district here were justly proud of the achievement which the gathering celebrated.  They have given unsparingly of their time and thought and the bridges and sketches of paving that have been finished are testimonials to the effectiveness of their efforts.  The district is composed of six counties, Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden and they are represented by the following commissioners:  Chatham, Harvey Granger, Frank C. Batty, Porter G. Pierpont and Carl Mendel; Bryan, Julius Morgan; Liberty, A.F. Winn; McIntosh, W.E. Williams; Glynn, Alfred Townsend and R.L. Phillips; Camden, A.K. Swift.

 

12 September 1929; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Marcelo Ballve

MORROW AND SIMPSON ELECTROCUTED AT NOON.

            Without knowing their final petition for clemency had been denied ten minutes before preparations for their execution started, Malcolm Morrow and Homer Simpson died in the electric chair at the state prison farm here shortly yesterday afternoon for the murder of C.A. Perry, local bank cashier, in February last year.  Morrow was 31 and Simpson is 13 years old [misprint – Simpson was actually 40 years old].
            Morrow, whose home was in Jacksonville, Fla., was the first to be executed.  He took his seat in the chair at 12:15 o'clock.
            But a slight delay was occasioned after the straps had been adjusted by failure to connect one of the wires leading up to the headpiece.  As a result the circuit remained open when the switch was thrown.
            The wire was hastily connected and the switch thrown again at 12:20.  Examination after the first shock by prison physicians revealed that Morrow's heart was still beating strongly and he was given a second shock at 12:26.  He was pronounced dead at 12:30.
            Simpson, former Cleveland, Tenn., Police chief entered the chair at 12:35 and was given two shocks at 12:39 and 12:41 o'clock.  Simpson was said by prison officials to be the largest man ever executed.  He was the forty-seventh to die in the electric chair in Georgia.
            Both men went to their death with the calmness that characterized their every action since they were transferred Sunday from the Bibb county jail in Macon to the death cells here.  After eating a hearty breakfast today, they spent the morning hours talking with the prison chaplain, Dr. E.G. Atkins, who pronounced their final benediction, and in bidding farewell to their friends and relatives.
            Simpson showed his only sign of weakening when he was visited by his mother and several sisters and brothers.
            He regained his composure, however, and dressed calmly after being shaved by the prison barber.  As he entered the chair he shook hands with the chaplain and several officials and said quietly, "Thank you for all your kindness.  This is only a brief parting before we meet again.  I have made all my wrongs right with God and have no feeling of ill will toward anyone.  I pray that God will get glory out of this."
            Morrow's coolness was even more marked than Simpson's.  Following a long talk with his mother he walked steadily the seven paces from his cell to the death chamber and took his seat in the chair with a faint smile.  He was chewing a match and continued to roll it in his mouth as the straps were adjusted.
            "So long, boys, see you all again some day," were his last words.  A few moments earlier he had said: "I didn't expect to come here today without bitterness, but now I haven't a trace of bitterness for anyone.  I give all credit for that to Dr. Atkins."
            The prison chaplain spent considerable time with the two men in the past three days, and both were said to have embraced the Christian faith before death.
            The execution was in charge of J.M. Burke, warden of the men's camp, and was witnessed by twenty-six persons, including prison officials and newspaper men.  One of those present was W.S. Perry, brother of the man for whose murder Morrow and Simpson were executed.
            Simpson's body was removed immediately to Cleveland, Tenn., his former home, while Morrow's will be taken to Jacksonville.
            The death of the two men marked the end of an eighteen month legal battle, following the arrest of Simpson and Morrow in Lakeland Fla., for the killing of Perry on February 23, 1928.  Perry, who was wounded near Kingsland, Ga., during an attempt by Simpson, Morrow, and a third man, O.U. Walker, to force the cashier to open the vault of the Kingsland bank.
            Perry died in Florida after an automobile wreck as the three men were taking him to a Jacksonville hospital.
            Walker, arrested in Baltimore, was subsequently given a life sentence, while the case of Morrow and Simpson was carried finally to the Georgia Supreme Court where a rehearing was denied.
            Gov. Hardman also denied the men clemency in accordance with a recommendation of the state prison commission, which yesterday declined to grant a reprieve sought on the grounds that the state of Georgia had no jurisdiction in the case because Perry had died in Florida.
            Sentence was passed on the men three times before the final execution date was set.

 

27 February 1930; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

OLD COMMERCIAL HOTEL AND SHEFFIELD BUILDINGS WERE DESTROYED BY FIRE WED

            The Old Commercial Hotel a tin building adjoining were completely destroyed by fire which started at about 2:00 o'clock Wednesday morning.
            It has not been learned how the fire started but it originated in a back corner of the building adjoining the old Commercial Hotel, which is known to people of Kingsland as the old Central Pharmacy building but was recently used as a furniture store.
            The fire had made such great headway when noticed until all efforts made to check it were fruitless.
            The old Commercial Hotel building which was used by Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Russell before they moved to the Hotel Camden was used as an apartment house.  Several families were living in it, including Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Mack, who are seriously ill and have been so for several weeks.  They were removed to another house near by.
            When the apartment house caught it looked as if every house in that section would catch but a quiet wind prevented the sparks and fire from being blown to houses to the north and west of it.
            The house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. E.Z. Nail caught but was quickly extinguished by the heroic work of volunteers using buckets.  It was thought several times that this building would burn as it was only a short distance away.
            The other buildings threatened by the fire were the Post Office, Bottling works building and a near-by building owned by Mr. S.C. Sheffield.
            Fire Departments from Brunswick and Fernandina were notified and came but did not reach Kingsland until the first two buildings had burned completely up, but arrived in time to prevent the Post Office and Bottling works from catching.  Both came to the rescue as fast as they could, considering the heavy smoke along the way caused by forest fires.
            Brunswick making it here in 40 minutes.  A distance of 41 miles.
            Practically every person in Kingsland were at the fire offering what assistance they could.
            All furniture was taken from the threatened buildings as well as those that burned, but were scattered over a wide area.
            The fire trucks remained in Kingsland until a careful inspection of all buildings near by had been made then returned to their destinations.
            It was estimated that the loss was around five thousand dollars which was partly, insured.
            The Hotel building was the property of Mrs. I.N. Carleton and the building on the corner belonged to Mr. Robert Sheffield.

 

23 April 1931; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

POWER FOR NEW LINE TO BE FURNISHED THROUGH KINGSLAND

            After several delays the Georgia Power Company's Woodbine Extension has been completed and the current will be turned on at an early hour tomorrow.  This line was started several weeks ago and due to labor trouble it was temporarily held up for about three weeks.
            The work has been under the direction of Mr. Ed Barrett of the Allied Engineers.  The current for the new line is to be furnished through the Kingsland Generating Plant, which is one of the most up-to-date plants for a town of this size in the State.
            The people of Woodbine are rejoicing over the finish of the line.  They will have the same modern conveniences that Kingsland has enjoyed for sometime.  The filling Stations, Farms and such will also be served between here and Woodbine.
            The Georgia Power Company has spent lots of money to serve the people of this Community.
            The Georgia Power offers some real values in Radios, Electrical Appliances and Refrigerators.  These can be seen at any of their Retail stores.

 

26 September 1935; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

NEW ENTERPRISE FOR CAMDEN’S ENTERTAINMENT

            J. Nolan Wells, well known Kingsland resident, will begin a new enterprise for this section next Tuesday night, when he opens with a picture show here.  "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," will be offered the public at the high school auditorium, featuring Pauline Lord, W.C. Fields, Zazu Pitts, Evelyn Venable and Kent Taylor, also a "Popeye" comedy.
            On Thursday, October 24th, "Mississippi" featuring Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields and Joan Bennett, is to be shown at Woodbine, and also the same picture will be shown at St. Marys Friday night, 25th.  Both of these are high class pictures released by Paramount.
            Mr. Wells is to be congratulated upon his venture in this new enterprise, and he promises to give the very best pictures obtainable.  His equipment is new, and the very latest put on the market by the Radio Corporation of America.

 

29 April 1937; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

KINGSLAND BEGINS SAFETY DRIVE WITH STOP LIGHTS

            Kingsland took the lead in southeast Georgia today towards the elimination of highway accidents when it inaugurated a safety campaign with the installation of two stop lights at the corners of King and Lee and William and Lee Streets.
            Mayor Homer Edenfield led the installation ceremonies and turned the switch which immediately put the lights into action at 3:00 p.m.
            The erection of these lights is the result of two months efforts on the part of Mayor Edenfield and Police Chief L.C. Dubberly with City officials to preserve and guard the lives of school children from speeding automobiles passing through the city.
            Chief Dubberly expressed his appreciation in the efforts put forth by the citizens towards the realization of these safety devices.
            He urged Kingsland residents to cooperate fully with the Police Department in the enforcement of traffic regulations.
            Those attending the ceremony were Mayor Homer Edenfield, Police Chief L.C. Dubberly, Councilmen M.L. Hill, S.C. Sheffield, E.F. Wingate, Edmund Gross and City Clerk Julia C. Casey.

 

11 August 1938; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

NATURAL RESOURCES TO ERECT MARKER AT ST. MARYS

            The Department of Natural Resources of the State of Georgia will erect a marker at or near St. Marys, according to a letter received by Miss Ethel Brandon from Commissioner R.F. Burch of that department.
            In that communication to Miss Brandon we quote in part:
            "I note that you have located a place for the marker we are to give you and that you will advise as soon as the base is prepared.  I would greatly appreciate it if you would give me the date you wish to have the marker erected.  It isn't possible for us to have the inscription placed on the marker until you give us the date and we are anxious to have this marker in readiness at the earliest possible date.
            "The inscription proposed is 'In Commemoration of Spanish Occupation of Georgia.  Began 1566 and virtually ended 1686 when the Spanish garrisons, in the face of English intrusion from Carolina, withdrew south of the St. Marys River.'
            "And, of course, we will have a further inscription of joint erection of the marker by the St. Marys Garden Club and the Division of State Parks of the Department of Natural Resources with the date and the year, and these markers also carry the Georgia Seal on them.
            "With reference to the other historic spots in your locality that you wish to have marked, I am submitting these requests to the Division of State Parks, asking them to check fully with Dr. Coulter of the University of Georgia with reference to their dates, merit, etc., as compared with other historic sites that are in line for marking.  As soon as this has been attended to, you will be advised promptly.
            "May I thank you again for your fine cooperation as President of the St. Marys Garden Club in procuring marker site, preparing a base, etc., for the erection of the marble marker."

 

12 September 1940; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

ST. MARYS PULP MILL NOW ASSURED

            Charles Gilman announced today, upon conclusion of negotiations covering a period of five months, which negotiations were conducted by their attorney, I. Alfred Levy of New York, that the St. Marys Kraft Corporation will construct a mill at St. Marys, Georgia.
            The new southern unit which has been under consideration for a long time, will produce pulp to replace purchases previously made abroad for use in northern mills and which supplies are now shut off by the war.  The plant proposed for St. Marys is estimated, to cost several million dollars and, when completed, will give employment to more than 300 men in the mill and additional hundreds in the woods.  The development is expected to transform completely the industrial life in St. Marys and surrounding territory, as large sums of money will be expended annually in the payment of wages and for the purchase of wood and other raw materials necessary to the manufacture of pulp.  During the construction period a large number of men will be given employment for about nine months, the time estimated necessary for completion of the mill.
            The mill site chosen at St. Marys consists of 80 acres of land fronting on the North St. Marys River and approximately one mile north of the town.  The St. Marys Railroad, which connects with the Seaboard Air Line Railway at Kingsland, has been purchased, will be rehabilitated, and the finished products will be routed to markets via the St. Marys Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line Railway.  The Company also plans the construction of docks fronting on the river with accommodations for ocean going vessels, in which large quantities of raw materials and fuel will be brought in.
            The location of this industry comes as a result of the efforts of the city officials of St. Marys, the Board of Commissioners for Camden County, and the Industrial Department of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, all of whom have worked incessantly for several months past to interest the Gilman people in the location and to comply with various requirements laid down by the Gilman officials as essential to the location of the plant at that place.
            Great credit, Mr. Gilman stated, is due Mayor MacDonell, Clark Brown and Louis R. Fendig, representing the city of St. Marys, D.T. Daily, Assistant General Industrial Agent of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, and the people of St. Marys for the perfect cooperation and assistance rendered in working out the various problems essential to bringing this plant to the community.  It is stated that local business men successfully met every requirement laid down by the corporation in connection with the location of this plant.
            Isaac Gilman, of New York City, will be Chairman of the Board of the Corporation.  He first entered the paper business in 1891.  Since that time he has actively and profitably engaged in the production and selling of a great variety of paper products to not only the dense buying metropolitan areas but throughout the United States as a whole.
            The Gilman family is well known in New York City and throughout the paper industry.  They hold directorates in many corporations, including the Pennsylvania Exchange Bank of the City of New York and the Philadelphia Record.  Other officers and directors of the St. Marys Kraft Corporation are: Charles Gilman, Morris Gintzier, I. Alfred Levy, Charles Ballin, Alvin L. Blume and Irving Shapiro.
            In making the announcement, Charles Gilman stated that the present immediate goal of the St. Marys Corporation is to establish a plant in the South for the production of pulp only, but as soon as this is in operation a paper machine will be installed for the production of finished wrapping paper, paper bags and Kraft specialties.
            The coming of the St. Marys Kraft Corporation to St. Marys makes another important contribution to the wave of industrial development in the South, which continues in spite of conditions in Europe and throughout the world.  It adds an additional unit to the great southern paper producing empires which has recently taken a foremost position along with the world's other great pulp and paper producing areas.  This development will not only benefit the St. Marys area but all of South Georgia and North Florida as well.
            St. Marys has long been regarded as possessing outstanding advantages for the manufacture of pulp and paper.  Representatives of the city of St. Marys in cooperation with the Industrial Department of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, headed by Warren T. White, have made the location of a paper mill at this point a major objective and have conducted negotiations with several paper manufacturing concerns over a period of years, finally culminating in the location of this plant.  Details of the negotiations have been handled by Charles Oilman, E.A. Kendler, I. Alfred Levy, of New York City, the late former Mayor Frank Bailey, the present Mayor, A.H. MacDonnell, N.C. Brown, J.B. Miller, R.A. Lovell, P.H. Christian, J.B. Rudulph, J.H. Rudulph and Louis Reese, all of St. Marys, Louis R. Fendig of Jacksonville, and D.T. Daily, Assistant General Industrial Agent of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, also County Commissioners C.L. McCarthy, A.A. Buie, J.H. Gross and Senator Homer Edenfield.  Reconstruction of the St. Marys Railroad will start at once.  Plans for the plant have been prepared by the engineering firm of George F. Hardy, New York City, one of the country's outstanding paper mill engineers, and bids will be called for at an early date.  It is expected that construction on the mill will be started within the next thirty days.

 

20 May 1943; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

CAMDEN STATE GUARD TO BE ENTERTAINED BY RED CROSS

            The officers and members of the Camden County guard units will be entertained by the local chapter of the American Red Cross unit of the county.  The local guard units are now a party of the recently organized Georgia State Guard, which was created by the Legislature to replace the old state units called into the regular army.
            The county guard is under command of Capt. Perry, Jr. of Woodbine, with Lieut. C.M. Lucree in charge of the Kingsland unit and Lieut. C.M. McLendon of the St. Marys unit.

 

11 November 1944; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

ST. MARYS AIRPORT GETS $136,000 IMPROVEMENT

            The St. Marys airport now under the Navy Department has approved a Public Works Project providing for construction at that place according to a telegram received by Major C.A. Talor, from Congressman John S. Gibson.  In this message he stated:
            Navy Department has approved Public Works Project providing for construction of a runway beyond Civil Aeronautics Administration limit of 150 feet by five thousand feet in parking area in excess of limit of 3333 square yards at the outlying field St. Marys, Georgia, under cognizance of Naval Air Station Vero Beach. Florida, in A two-year project to compile the top news stories in Camden County for each year from this century. amount of $136,000.

 

30 November 1944; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

ST. MARYS AIRPORT GETS IMPROVEMENTS

            The St. Marys airport now under the Navy Department has approved a Public Works Project providing for construction at that place according to a telegram received by Major C.A. Talor, Congressman John S. Gibson. In the message he stated:
            Navy Department has approved Public Works Project providing for construction of a runway beyond Civil Aeronautics Administration limit of 150 feet by five thousand in parking area in excess of limit of 3333 square yards at the outlying field St. Marys, Georgia, under cognizance of Naval Air Station Vero Beach, Florida, in amount of $136,000.

 

6 October 1949; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

KINGSLAND SAW WORKS DISPLAYS ITS FIRST MODEL

            Wednesday, October 5, marks a step of remarkable progress in this deep southeast corner of Georgia.  It was on this date that a unique hand saw, manufactured by the Kingsland Saw Works, Inc., was placed on display in the lobby of the Citizens Bank in Kingsland.  The saw, which is manufactured of the highest quality materials, embraces the features of several tools, including the square and various angles.
            The fascinating tool, the first of three models, will go on sale within the next few days with the first sales being limited to the southern states.  Later sales will be expanded to all other states and many foreign countries.
            Protected by several copyrights, more than 50,000 of the saws are now in the final stage of completion.  They are being produced from "green" steel in the local plant employing about 25 persons.  Employment is expected to be tripled within a short time as the plant establishes a 24 hour production schedule.
            The corporation established only a few short months ago, represents an investment in the neighborhood of $200.000.  Ninety per cent of the stockholders are residents of this immediate area.
            The large building housing the local plant is of concrete and steel construction, and is located on busy Highway 17 on the southside of town.  It represents the only conventional saw plant in the South and is the only known plant in the world producing this type of hand saw.
            The operation of the young and up and coming plant is under the direct supervision of A.G. Sundstrum.  Mr. Sundstrum, a native of Sweden, has been a citizen of this country for a number of years, and is a top authority in the manufacture of saws.  He has had experience in the Swedish saw making industry, English mills and has been connected with several leading saw manufacturers in the United States.
            The inventor of the tool, Elmo M. Peeples, a lifetime resident of Kingsland, elected to manufacture his invention in his native town, thereby establishing in Kingsland an industry destined to grow with the community and play an important role in its economic life.

 

27 July 1950; The Southeast Georgian
researched by William Terrell

STATE THREATENS CUT-OFF OF CAMDEN MILK SUPPLY

            A storm of protest has been raised against the Georgia Agriculture Department's threatened action to cut off Camden County's milk supply from Florida.
            An order by the Georgia board halting Florida milk trucks at the state line, issued last Thursday has been temporarily stayed for 10 days, during which the matter is being investigated, it is understood.
            The milk truck of George Darlington, independent operator, was enroute here to make deliveries last Thursday morning when it was halted at the St. Marys River bridge by an agent of the Agriculture Department.  Darlington was told that he could not continue to sell milk in Camden County because there was a "surplus of milk" in Georgia.
            They relented, however, and allowed Darlington to deliver his Thursday load, telling him that no further deliveries would be allowed.
            Darlington reported the matter to local citizens, and one of them immediately called the office of Commissioner of Agriculture Tom Linder in Atlanta, who granted a 10-day stay of the order to allow an investigation of the local situation.
            Meanwhile, protests are pouring in from consumers and retailers alike from Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine, and Folkston, to the agriculture commissioner. Separate petitions asking that the present set-up be allowed to continue are being circulated among retailers and consumers in this area.
            Darlington has served Camden County, as well as Charlton, with milk since a local dairy ceased operation three years ago.  His milk is brought in from Jacksonville, and is subject to the same rigid standards of quality and __rity that regulates milk production and sales in Florida.
            It is understood that the state agriculture agency, in banning Florida milk, had intended that part of the Georgia "surplus" be channeled to Camden County via Savannah.
            It was recalled locally that several previous attempts have been made to serve this area with Georgia milk from Brunswick and other points, and none have proved satisfactory.
            Brunswick, the nearest Georgia point to Kingsland, is 42 miles away, eight miles farther removed than the Jacksonville source, which is 34 miles.

 

25 September 1953; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

HUNDREDS EXPECTED FOR NAVY GUN BOAT LAUNCHING

            A large throng composed of local citizens, visitors from surrounding areas and dignitaries are expected to converge on this thriving little city today to take part in and witness the launching of Navy Gun Boat number 33, the first in local history at the Georgia Ship Building Corporation Yards on the historic and proud St. Marys River.
            The history making event will be proceeded by a ceremonial launching program the, high-lights of which will be a principal address delivered by Eighth District Congressman Hon. W.M. (Don) Wheeler.  The invocation will be delivered by the Rev. W.R. Walker, retired St. Marys Methodist Minister and the ship will be christened by Mrs. Charles F. Henley of Jacksonville, Fla., its sponsor.
            Rep. Wheeler, who is currently traveling throughout the South with fellow members of the House Agricultural Committee, via Greyhound Bus, will arrive by plane from Valdosta at the St. Marys City Airport shortly before program time and will be transported by air to Gainesville, Fla., where he will rejoin the House Committee shortly following launching ceremonies.
            It is understood that a number of State, County and local officials will be present and take part in the festivities according to Hon. John R. MacDowell, Mayor of the City and manager of the local yard.

 

29 April 1954; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

GOVERNOR TO SPEAK AT KINGSLAND CELEBRATION

            Governor Herman Talmadge will be the principal speaker at Kingsland's 60th Anniversary Celebration on June 17, it was announced this week by members of the steering committee.
            Many candidates for state and county offices have notified the committee of their intentions to attend the affair.  The growing list includes Marvin Griffin, Charlie Gowen, candidates for Governor, Iris Blitch, Mr. Wraggs, candidates for Congress and others.
            Tentative plans call for a speech by the Governor in the morning followed by a barbecue.  The afternoon will be devoted to speeches made by the various candidates.  That night there will be a dance and during intermission a beauty contest will be held to select Miss Southeast Georgia.
            The Southeast Georgian will also be celebrating its 60th anniversary and will publish a souvenir edition which will the Progress of Kingsland and Camden County.  The edition will also serve as a program for the thousands of visitors who will converge on the city.

 

20 October 1955; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

FIRST STEP WON IN FIGHT AGAINST FLORIDA TOLL ROAD

            The first step in the fight against the proposed Toll Road through Camden County by the Ocean Highway and Fernandina Beach Port Authority was won when the Georgia Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding the verdict of Judge Douglas F. Thomas of the Camden Superior Court.
            Action was first started when the Camden County Commissioners by a vote of four to one agreed to employ the law firm of Highsmith and Highsmith to fight the toll road.  The one decenting [sic] vote was cast by Commissioner Edison Casey of St. Marys.
            Shortly thereafter Commissioner Casey along with citizens of St. Marys, Fred Miller, Clark Brown, G.W. Barker, T.E. Rowland, W.G. Gray and Robert Brooker filed mandamus proceedings against Joe Proctor as Chairman of the Commissioners and members Elmo Kelly, Lawrence McCarthy, Thomas G. Casey and Clerk J. Edwin Godley.
            They asked that these commissioners and their clerk not be allowed to spend county funds for the purpose of employing an outside law firm.  They also contended that the County Attorney Robert Harrison of St. Marys was fully qualified to carry on this fight.
            Judge Thomas on July 1st ruled in favor of the County Commissioners in that they had the right to employ the Highsmith firm and acting in what they felt was the best interest of the people of Camden County.  The petitioners then appealed their case to the Georgia Supreme Court, who heard arguments several weeks ago.
            The St. Marys people were represented by Charles Gowen of Brunswick and the Commissioners by E. Way Highsmith of Brunswick.
            Justice Carlton Mobley, in his Supreme Court opinion declared, the court "could not say as a matter of law" that the Camden County majority commissioners could not attempt to obstruct the road.  It pointed out the commissioners have the responsibility of protecting the county's interest and that the court would not say the county could not test the constitutionality of the act of the 1951 General Assembly which authorized the toll road upon the signature of the Highway Commissioner.
            The opinion added that until a suit is actually filed it would be impossible to determine whether the county would be proceeding illegally in such litigation.

 

7 December 1956; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GUTTED BY FIRE

            A fire of undetermined origin Monday night gutted one of St. Marys' most famous landmarks, the Presbyterian Church.  The church, built in 1808, was the first in St. Marys and at that time served all denominations.
            The blaze broke out at approximately nine o'clock in the evening, but due to a southeast wind carrying away the sound of the mill whistle, there was considerable delay before fire engines reached the scene and experienced fire-fighters were unaware of the blaze.  In a frantic effort to summon aid, motorists on the scene blew car horns in wild demonstration to attract the attention of volunteers.
            It is estimated that 50,000 gallons of water were poured on the blaze, which roared high into the night sky, sending showers of sparks across the street.  A constant deluge of water on the manse, where an oil line presented a hazard, saved that edifice from destruction.
            At a joint officer's meeting Tuesday night it was decided that reconstruction will follow close upon the lines of the old church.  A building committee for reconstruction will be headed by Mr. George Brumley.  Mr. Brumley will be assisted by the Messrs. Dan Miller and Tom Rowland.  Construction is already underway on the educational building and it is expected to be completed by the first of the year.
            The Rev. Mr. Billy Frank Woods, minister of the Presbyterian Church, today expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the heroic efforts of the fire-fighters.  In his acknowledgement of the many kindnesses shown at the time of the disaster, Mr. Woods also thanked the local churches for the offer of their facilities and those who have already made contributions for the restoration of the beloved old church.
            For the time being, the Presbyterian minister said, Sunday worship services will be held at 11:00 a.m. in Christ Episcopal Church.  Sunday School will be held in the manse and at the St. Marys Community Center with further details concerning the classes to be announced Sunday.
            The historic old Presbyterian Church of St. Marys is the third oldest church building now standing in Georgia.  In 1828 it was incorporated as the Independent Presbyterian Church of St. Marys, and carefully preserved church records and minutes contain many of the famous names of early Georgians.
            The main body of the church, until Monday night's holocaust, was as it was originally built, although some of the outer portions had been altered.  Originally, the main entrance was on the east side with a double staircase leading to a landing before the entrance.  The steeple was on what is now the back of the church and there also was a staircase leading to a gallery for Negro slaves.  Now the main entrance and steeple are on the south side.
            For many years the first floor of the church was used for a weekday public school for St. Marys and Camden County children and recently the basement of the church has served as a local kindergarten.
            The church was nondenominational until a young Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Horace Pratt, came to St. Marys from the Presbytery of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He reported that he found "religion in the church here in a very low and languishing state, having existence in name only."  In the church yard now lie buried the Rev. Mr. Pratt's first wife, his daughter and the wife's father and mother.
            Presently serving the. Presbyterian congregation is the Rev. Billy Frank Woods, who began his pastorate on January first of this year.

 

13 September 1957; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

CUMBERLAND ISLAND LEASE APPROVED BY SUPREME COURT

            The Supreme Court of Georgia has upheld a decision of Camden Superior Court Judge Douglas F. Thomas in his approval of a lease giving the Glidden Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, a mineral right to seven thousand acres of Cumberland Island off the Southeast Georgia coast in Camden County.
            The lease was negotiated by the First National Bank of Brunswick, Court appointed Trustee for the estate of Mrs. Thomas W. Carnegie, after the Camden Superior Court passed an order approving the Trustee's proposal to invite bids for mineral exploitation of a portion of the land.
            After numerous bids and proposals were received, the Trustee filed its petition in Camden Superior Court in which it recommended that the Court approve and authorize the consummation of a lease arrangement with the Glidden Company on the ground that the Glidden proposal was the best offer received and in the best interests of the remainder of the estate. After a lengthy and hard fought legal battle, Judge Thomas passed an order approving the Glidden proposal and authorizing the Trustee to execute the proposed lease with Glidden.
            From this order and a prior order overruling demurrers, an appeal was taken by Mrs. Nancy C. Rockefeller, Mrs. Margaret J. Wright, and Mrs. Lucy C. Rice. The appeal technically was from the order overruling the demurrers.  After reviewing the legal points raised in appeal briefs and the evidence taken by the Camden Court, the Supreme Court ruled that the trial judge did not commit error and properly overruled the demurrers.
            Under the court-approved lease, Glidden will pay the heirs $1.20 a ton for elemenite and leucoxene taken from the 7,000 acre tract and 10 per cent of the market price of other minerals.  The company guaranteed a minimum payment of $2,250,000 over the 20 year period of the lease and experts testified at the trial it should yield at least 5 ½ million to the heirs.
            Attorneys involved in the case are of the opinion that the Friday ruling of the high court in the case technically means that the Glidden Company at the present time has a good and valid lease giving it the right to mine minerals on the island.  However, overt action on the part of Glidden Company will remain stayed at the present time until another appeal is disposed of, which is now before the Supreme Court, based on the contention of dissatisfied heirs that the bidding should be re-opened.  Further, those members of the family who oppose the lease have an action pending in the Federal Courts based on their contention that the trusteeship should be ended and the property turned over the remainder, who are grandchildren of Mrs. Thomas W. Carnegie, although a daughter of Mrs. Carnegie is still in life.  The remaining two legal obstacles are expected to be disposed of in the near future.
            The fully executed lease between the Glidden Company and the Trust Bank granting the Cumberland mineral rights was recorded this week in the Office of the Clerk of Camden Superior Court and subsequent to the ruling of the high Georgia Court.

 

26 September 1958; Camden County Tribune
researched by Marcelo Ballve

KINGS BAY FACILITY LEASE SIGNED

            A Savannah shipping company has leased the Kings Bay Army Terminal in Camden County, it was announced Tuesday.
            Pep. Iris F. Blitch, Eighth District Congresswoman, reported that Army officials have executed a lease with the I Blue Star Shipping Company for the facility constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
            Col. R.C. Bahr, Savannah District Engineer, said the lease covers the Kings Bay wharf and immediate waterfront area, including modern deep water port facilities accessible to railways and highways.  The balance of the property will remain officially under jurisdiction of the Transportation Corps.
            Blue Star offered a bid on the terminal in April, offering an annual rental of $10,000.  Overall cost of the installation has been estimated at $12,000,000.  Potential users of the port include national manufacturers of explosives; Southern Nitrogen Co. and Stevens Shipping Co. of Savannah; Baker Brothers Fertilizer Co. New York; Martin Lumber Co., Brunswick and St. Marys Kraft Corporation.
            R.A. Forker, president of Blue Star Shipping Company, said his company had asked for and expects October 1st occupancy of the installation.  From 60 to 90 days will be necessary for the business set-up, he said.
            According to Mr. Forker, this will not be a big operation to start, but entirely a commercial venture.  And as such, the venture will expand with growth.
            Blue Star Shipping are agents for explosives shipments between America and South America.

 

20 April 1962; Camden County Tribune
researched by Kathryn Peterson

ST. MARYS CITY HALL DAMAGED BY NIGHT FIRE

            A fire of undetermined origin on Friday night heavily damaged St. Marys City Hall, which from 1871-1923 was used as the County Courthouse.
            The fire apparently started at the base of the stairwell at about 8:00 p.m. and because of the extremely hot updraft burned into the second floor.  The proximity of the fire truck, and quick acting by the Volunteer Fire Department, is credited with preventing the complete loss of the building.
            According to one volunteer fireman, townspeople cooperated by staying clear of hose lines and other equipment, and city officials were quick to offer whatever they could.
            The city library stated this week that approximately 80 volumes, fortunately not reference books, were destroyed by the blaze, but others were salvaged, most of them in satisfactory condition.  The books have been moved to Orange Hall, where shelves are being erected, and when the library reopens it will be housed in Orange Hall.
            The city hall is partially insured in the amount of $7,500 it is understood.  Offices formerly located in the building are temporarily located in the Carr building, above the St. Marys State Bank. 

 

23 September 1962; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

CUMBERLAND ISLAND… A STATE PARK?

            Cumberland Island, as a possible State Park, is back in the news.
            Last week, State Parks Director Horace Caldwell stated the state is investigating the possibilities of purchasing the 30,000 acre island located in Camden County, between Amelia Island, Florida and state-owned Jekyll Island, Georgia.
            "If the State of Georgia doesn't acquire the island," he said, "The U.S. Department of Interior is going to acquire it.  I hope it will be the state."
            Cumberland Island is some three times larger than Jekyll and would cost "in the millions of dollars" Caldwell said.  No definite price estimate has been made as of now he added.
            Almost all of the island is owned by the five heirs of the Estate of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie.  Caretakers reside on the island the year round, and at times the palatial homes of Grayfield [sic], Plumb Orchard [sic] and Stafford.  Grayfield, the original home of the Carnegies which saw many important visitors in its day, burned several years ago.*  The Carnegie part of the island was acquired in the 19th century by the millionaire brother of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
            Caldwell said the land will soon be available and that it could be converted into a state park and its operations linked to Jekyll Island.
            All information has dealt with the Carnegie part of Cumberland Island and nothing has been released about the northern part of the island, which is owned by the Candler family from Atlanta.
            In 1947, during the administration of Governor M.E. Thompson, the state bought Jekyll Island for about $600,000.00 and has since spent $20 million on its development.  A new $3 million building program is now under way.
            Cumberland Island, in the opinion of Park Director Caldwell, is needed for the people of Georgia because they are having more and more leisure time and the state parks need to be expanded to accommodate them.  Caldwell added, "the possibilities of Cumberland Island as a state park are unlimited."
            The director has been credited with pulling the state parks system out of the doldrums under the Sanders administration.
            Should the development of Cumberland Island as a state park come about, Camden will then have two state parks, Cumberland and Crooked River.  There will also be three others within a 50 mile radius, Jekyll Island, Laura Walker, near Waycross and Fort Clinch at Fernandina Beach.

*Actually, Dungeness was the original home of the Carnegies – it is the one that burned in the 50s, not Greyfield. – Tara Fields.

 

19 April 1963; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

THIOKOL RECEIVES ROCKET CONTRACTS

            Thiokol Chemical Corp. was awarded Tuesday long-anticipated contracts for construction of the largest and most powerful rocket motors ever built in the United States.
            Thiokol received three parts of a four-part contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration acting in conjunction with the Air Force.
            The two contracts affecting Camden County include one for demonstration firings of 260-inch solid fuel motors and another for demonstration firings of a 156-inch motor with a three million pound thrust both to be assembled and tested at the new Thiokol plant in Camden now under construction.
            The awards were announced in Washington by Sen. Frank E. Moss, Democrat-Utah.  Thiokol's main rocket plant, located in Utah, received a companion contract calling for static firings of 156-inch solid propellant motors.
            The fourth part of the contract was awarded to Aerojet General Corp. in Dade County, (Miami) Florida.  It also calls for work on a 260-inch solid motor.
            Although no notice was given of the eventual use of the large motors, Moss commented:  "It is expected that such motors will be used for deep space probes beyond the moon in firings that will take place perhaps a decade hence.  No specific applications are planned at this time for these large boosters."
            This contract marks the first time that NASA has participated in a demonstration program looking toward the use of solid propellants for space vehicles.
            Moss said the new program calling for solid propellants is of the "greatest significance" because space probes used by NASA previously have all been powered by liquid fuels.
            Thiokol expects to have between 400 and 5,00 of its own employees on the job within one year in addition to numerous employees of construction firms.  Brunswick has been established as headquarters by Thiokol.
            Already under construction in Camden is a deep hole which will extend to a depth of about 150 feet. It will serve as a pit in which the giant 260-inch motors will be cast and test-fired.
            Winning of the contract means Thiokol will bring to Georgia a number of other plants to serve as sub-contractors in building parts of the giant motor.
            In commenting on the awarding to Thiokol of the lion's share oft-he big rocket contract, Sen. Moss said.
            "Thiokol has a tremendous backing of experience in the solid propellant booster field.  The firm has been consistently ahead of schedules in the production of State I Minuteman rocket motors, and the Minuteman has an almost perfect record of successful firings."

 

17 March 1966; Camden County Tribune
researched by Pat Neleski

INTEGRATION OF CAMDEN SCHOOLS ORDERED BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES

            A federal official Thursday told Camden County School Superintendent David L. Rainer and other Georgia school officials that the U.S. government means to wipe out racial segregation in every Southern public school and a start must be made by September, 1966.
            The federal official, Stanley Kruger, of the U.S. Office of Education, was armed with new guidelines under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and said his department was operating under a "presidential directive" to wipe out all resemblances of a dual public school system in the South.
            Compliance in Camden County, Supt. Rainer stated, would mean transfer of approximately 200 Negro students into the present all-white schools and also 200 white students into Negro schools.
            It will also be necessary to put white teachers into the schools now taught by Negro staffs and Negro teachers transferred into white schools, Supt. Rainer said.
            Failure to comply, Mr. Rainer stated, would mean loss of federal funds and the system records turned over to the Justice Department for court action forcing compliance, or jail sentences for school officials in question.
            School officials asked Mr. Kruger what could be done if the attempt to comply made the present teacher shortage more acute.  Mr. Kruger replied, "That's your problem, my job is to see the provisions of Title VI are carried out."  Teachers refusing to teach in assigned positions would be subject to revocation of teaching licenses, Mr. Rainer stated.
            Supt. Rainer said that in his opinion, the guidelines are “airtight, and represent much thought and planning on the part of the Health, Education and Welfare Committee,” and that he sees “no alternative but to comply or set up private schools."
            "These guidelines for 1966 are a beginning for a total integration by 1967, Mr. Kruger said.  Mr. Kruger was asked his interpretation of total integration and he gave an example:  "If two schools now exist in a community, one for white students, and one for Negroes our goal for 1967 will be to have grades 1-3 for all students in plant number one, and grades 4-7 for all students in plant number two."  The federal official emphasized that whatever problems arise in any phase of carrying out his directives would not concern his department and possible obstacles would be accepted as a reason to delay the planned program for eliminating the dual system in the South.
            Kruger said school districts may deviate from federal guidelines only if they can determine that a different plan would more quickly expedite integration.
            The new federal guidelines place full responsibility for desegregation on the individual school system, Mr. Rainer concluded.  A copy of the federal mandate is on file at the Board of Education office in Woodbine and may be studied by those desiring, Mr. Rainer said.

 

27 July 1967; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

CAMDEN SECTION OF I-95 PLAN SCHEDULED

            The State Highway Department last Thursday announced tentative plans for two Interstate 95 projects this fiscal year.
            The two, which are estimated to cost about $6 million, are among 11 interstate projects currently contemplated by the Highway Department this fiscal year.
            One, in Camden County, would run from the St. Marys-River north to State Route 40.  The other, a dredging project in McIntosh and Liberty counties, would run between state route 131 and U.S. highway 17 adjacent to the county line.
            The Camden project, originally scheduled for 7.3 miles, but now j being cut back some, is estimated to cost $4.9 million.  The dredging job, approximately 1.9 miles long, is estimated to cost $1 million.
            The outlook for completion of the state's interstate system was discussed last week at a meeting of the State Highway Board.  Engineer M.L. Shadburn said he didn't see how enough federal money would be made available to finish the system before 1976, four years later than originally anticipated.
            At the current level of financing, it will take the state nine years to finish the job, although it could technically be done in five years if the money was available.
            As long as the war in Vietnam continues, little hope is seen for any speed-up in financing the interstate program.  Georgia, which pays 10 percent of the cost of construction has completed only half of he state's 1000-mile system.

 

25 January 1968; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

STUCKEY FAVORS TOLL BRIDGE TO CUMBERLAND

            Eighth District Rep. W.S. (Bill) Stuckey, Jr. says that he favors a toll bridge to Cumberland Island if the federal government goes ahead with plans to make the island a National Seashore Wilderness area under the Interior Department's present plans.
            "I believe Interstate 95, when completed, will carry more traffic than any other highway in the United States.  Therefore, if Cumberland Island is made a tourist visitation site, too few people would see it if ferry service were used from the mainland to the island," Stuckey said.
            He said he would not object to an island bridge with the state of Georgia at least matching federal funds for such a structure.
            "When 1-95 opens, thousands of tourists will travel the road and many will want to see Cumberland Island, but not if they have to wait an hour for a ferry boat and lose another hour waiting for them to take them back to the mainland.  We would lose too many sightseers this way, and this would mean loss of tourist dollars from those who would leave the highway to visit the island," he said.
            Stuckey of Eastman, said development of the island as a tourist attraction would not only benefit Camden County, but all of Georgia.  He said a toll bridge would eventually pay for itself, while allowing more visitors.
            He said the island should not be commercialized with motels, restaurants and paved roads but should remain in its natural condition with guided tours and access to the beach area for the visitors.

 

6 March 1969; Camden County Tribune
researched by John L. Boone

GEORGIA, FLORIDA INSPECT PROPOSED SEA BOUNDARY

            Representatives of the Florida and Georgia Boundary Committee met in St. Marys Friday to inspect the proposed seaward boundary between the two states.
            The boundary is to run due eastward from the mouth of the St Marys River, and if both states enact legislation delineating the boundary by latitude and longitude, it will be the first such boundary on the seaboard.
            The real significance of the proposed action is the extension of the states' territorial claim to include Undersea lands which house vast untapped natural resources.
            Members of the Florida committee present for the inspection included Fort Lauderdale attorney William D. Dover, a member of the Florida Commission on Marine Sciences and Technology; John Lacerda, commission director; Wade L. Hopping, former Florida Supreme Court Justice; and Prof. Dennis O'Connor, University of Miami Law School expert on maritime law.
            Representing Georgia were State Representative Robert W. Harrison, Jr. of St, Marys, Don Hartman, deputy assistant attorney general; and Dr. John Mock, Georgia Science and Technology Commission.
            Also present for the inspection were St. Marys mayor Richard Daley and C.G. Russell, chairman of the Camden County Commission.  The group began with a meeting to discuss the technical aspects of the proposal.  Harrison, giving some of the background of the proposal, told the group that Florida and Georgia have had the St. Marys River as a common land boundary but do not have a distinguishable boundary line between the two states extending into the territorial waters.
            He added that although the present rule of law defines a boundary by use of a median line (a line drawn so as to be equal distance between two given reference points), such a line is totally unsatisfactory.
            The alternative, which the committees have come up with, he went on, is the use of a line established by degrees of latitude and longitude from a common anchor point.
            The anchor point established is the middle of the St. Marys jetties and extends due eastward to the seaward limit of both states "as now or hereafter fixed by the Congress of the United States for as far as any need for further limitations arise."
            Harrison said, "In my judgment, the boundary line will extend as far as it is possible to drill or mine."
            He said the proposed legislation' would "keep our house in order" and added, "When new mineral deposits are found, we'll know who owns what."
            Dover told the committee of a need for a unified front on the part of the seaboard states defining their territorial limits for the purpose of claiming offshore mineral rights.
            Following the discussion, the group boarded a cruiser and inspected the proposed anchor point at the mouth of the St. Mary a jetties.
            Identical bills delineating the boundary are to be introduced into, both state legislatures and when approved, are expected to get the consent of the Congress to confirm the boundaries.

 

5 February 1970; The Southeast Georgian
research by John La Boone

CUMBERLAND PROPOSED AS NATIONAL SEASHORE

            A bill to enable the U. S. Department of Interior to purchase Cumberland Island as a National Seashore has been entered in Congress, it was announced this week by Congressman William S. (Bill) Stuckey Jr.
            Congressman Stuckey stated that the bill, which meets the approval of 90 percent of the landowners and in substance has the "blessing" of the Department of Interior, was expected to be filed in the House of Representatives either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.
            Stuckey stated the bill will require that a ferry or ferries capable of transporting up to 300 cars, trucks or passengers a day be installed and operated from a point in Camden County to Cumberland Island.  When this load of 300 a day rises to exceed 500 per day, then a bridge, monorail, cablecar or some other form of transportation must be provided.
            "I believe this bill has the potential to pass the House," Stuckey stated.  "We have, my staff and myself, been in conference with the owners of Cumberland and the Department of Interior."
            The bill will provide for approximately $23 million to be expended in leasing, purchase, and development of the island," the Congressman stated Monday.  "$1 million will be used for leasing.  Options are to be completed by 1975."
            Present owners of the island may retain 10 percent of their holdings for their use or for the establishment of public accommodations.  Of the 10 percent, only 15 percent may be used by the public.  The owners may develop the 15 percent themselves or sell their right to someone who does desire to have public accommodations.  The owners may retain the 10 percent as a life estate or for 40 years.
            The island will be under the jurisdiction and control of the Department of Interior; however, an Advisory Committee will be established and will consist of 10 persons.  The committee will be named as follows and will primarily be from Georgia:  One (1) will be named by the Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission; One (1) by the Camden Commissioners; Two (2) by the Governor of Georgia; Four (4) by the Atlantic Oceanographic Commission; and Two (2) by the Secretary of Interior.
            The Advisory Committee will advise on all phases of the island's development, including transportation, planning and building.  Once recommendations are made by the committee, the Secretary of Interior has 60 days with which to approve, disapprove, or to modify the recommendations.
            The Department of Interior has indicated they were highly pleased over the work which Congressman Stuckey has done in bringing practically all parties into agreement over the development of the island.
            The question of Cumberland Island becoming some kind of park has been in and out of the news since the late Congressman Russell Tuten brought Stewart Udall, then Secretary of Interior, to Cumberland several years ago.
            Governing bodies in Camden have jumped from one plan to another, first favoring private development, then a plan of "multi-use" by Charles Fraser, and the last-known resolution was for state control.
            The entrance of Charles Fraser, owner and developer of Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island, S. C., into the picture when he purchases one of the one-fifth shares, or approximately 3,200 acres, seemed to solidify the Carnegie and Candler heirs.  They employed Stewart Udall to work with them and eventually supported his views on selling to the federal government.
            The State of Georgia seems to be moving fast, with bills which were introduced in this year's session of the Georgia General Assembly.

 

16 October 1974; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Amelia Hart

KINGS BAY TO REMAIN UNDER ARMY CONTROL

            Secretary of the Army Howard (Bo) Callaway has said that the Kings Bay Terminal remains an essential installation for possible wartime use and cannot be released for commercial development.
            Callaway has agreed, however, to keep the Kings Bay matter under "virtually continuous scrutiny" and to recommend the release of the property should there be a change in military requirements.
            Callaway was responding to another request made recently by First District Representative Bo Ginn in which the Congressman repeated his call for the Army to restudy its need for Kings Bay.  Ginn noted that the use of Kings Bay by Army Reservists is declining and that the decline should mean the Army has less need for the Camden County facility.
            In a letter to Ginn, Callaway acknowledged that Reserve use has dropped off, but said, "As things now stand the simple fact is that we would need to keep Kings Bay under Army Control even if there were no Reserve requirement for it."
            Congressman Ginn said he was "disappointed in our lack of success.  I appreciate Secretary Callaway's latest study, but I have advised him that this is a matter which we cannot drop.  The release of Kings Bay is of vital economic interest to the Camden County area and remains a top priority for me in Congress."
            Callaway has said in the past  Kings  Bay  must be retained for emergency ocean shipping of ammunition to U.S. forces in the event of a major land war in Europe.
            The Secretary said in his letter to Ginn, "We are always willing  to  consider leasing offers (for property at Kings Bay), whenever they might be submitted. I understand the reluctance some individuals might have to enter into an agreement wherein they might have to vacate the installation on short notice.
            "It is always possible, however, that someone may come forward with a proposal which he feels will be compatible with our requirements.  If so, we will listen very closely to what he has to say."
            No viable lease proposals have been made for Kings Bay, Ginn said, because no businesses have wanted to accept the restrictions  required by the Army.  The Army requires that any lease property would have to be vacated within a matter of weeks in the event of a national emergency thus restricting any private construction on the property.
            Callaway told Ginn that the need for Kings Bay and "the contingency situation  is of intense interest to the Army and is something we have under  virtually continuous scrutiny.  Should I someday find that the situation has changed to the point that the Army no longer has a need for Kings Bay I assure you that you will be among the first to know."

 

11 March 1976; The Southeast Georgian
researched by Marcelo Ballve

TORNADO RIPS THROUGH ST. MARYS

            A small tornado dipped down into a residential section of St. Marys Tuesday afternoon leaving behind a half million dollars worth of damage and a quarter of the city without power for nearly six hours.
            No one was injured in the storm but hundreds of trees were sheared off at the tops and houses and power lines suffered minor to moderate damage.
            The twister hit the southwest corner of the city about 3 p.m. according to police officer Larry Goolsby.  There were reports that the funnel shaped cloud had bee sighted by truck drivers near 1-95 and the Georgia-Florida line.
            Electrical service to the entire city was cut off for about an hour by the storm hit.  Georgia Power and city crews worked late into the night to restore power and remove blocked trees form the worst hit area of the city.
            Donald Hanner, local manager of Georgia Power, noted that power was restored to the rest of the city by 10:30 p.m.
            "We had about a half dozen poles down and individual service to houses down." Hanner said.
            Hanner described the area hardest hit as the southwest area including East Conyers and Margaret Streets.
            "We had three crews from Brunswick, one from Kingsland and all the local service men, including managers working," Hanner said.
            The only injury reported was during the clean-up operation, according to Civil Defense Director Robert Mumford.
            "A Georgia Power man cut his arm on an insulator," he said.  The cut was described as minor.
            "The clean up campaign is going on now," Mumford said.
            He said there was a small problem with the water system, but that it was switched to emergency power shortly after the storm and that the few leaks were now being repaired.
            Mumford noted that 11 houses suffered extensive damage," he said.  Another 50-60 houses suffered minor damage, he said.
            The city's trees took the brunt of the storm through, oaks, cedars and pines lay scattered on the ground, blocking streets.  Many were sheared off at the tops or split down the middle.
            The tornado came from the south-west of town, straight along Conyers Street for almost a mile then skipped across Osborne Street, just missing the City Hall.  A city policeman, Larry Goolsby described the scene looking out the rear of the police station:
            "We saw it pick up a big oak tree at the church, left it straight up and drop it again, just like somebody had it by a string," he said.
            One resident, of Conyers street, Jeff Hargraves said that the tornado lopped off the tree tops above his house and dropped them on the roof, leaving gaping holes.
            "This is the second time this has happened to us," he said.  "Hurricane Dora put a tree through our roof when we were living in the house across the street."

 

7 June 1979; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

COMMISSIONERS PURCHASE MOSQUITO EQUIPMENT

            Camden County dignitaries Tuesday morning agreed to invest an initial $2,500 for equipment as the County starts a major battle against mosquitoes.
            The money will go for the purchase of a mosquito-spraying kit, one that will be attached to an air chopper and used to stamp out the insects.
            The helicopter, to be used, however is not the one the County purchased earlier this year.  The aerial spraying unit belongs to Glynn Co., a representative of which has said their pilot would spray into Camden County if the Commission would first purchase the kit, one designed to exterminate adult mosquitoes.
            Camden is currently using a truck fogger that will start nightly rounds this Week.  Per week, the cost is about $240.
            County Administrator Craig Root told the Commissioners Tuesday morning that such a joint effort between the counties would help Camden start a mosquito control program of its own.
            The need for a program was brought in focus by UGA County Extension Agent Maxie Nolan, who started control programs in Glynn and Chatham counties.
            He pointed to the 30,000-plus population influx over the next 10 years as a reason to begin a program of mosquito control in Camden.
            There has "been a lot of talk , about this county," Nolan said.  He said Camden could expect to be cast ' into a metro area group like Brunswick and Jacksonville with the Kings Bay submarine base coming in.
            Nolan said Camden is "fixing to have a lot of folks down here.  And a lot of them aren't used to a lot of mosquitoes.
            "You've done good up to now.  But the time will come when you'll have to have a mosquito control program.  The one now is not going to be enough to handle what's coming down the road," Nolan predicted.
            He told the Commissioners that Camden could probably get by with paying less for a full-scale program than does Glynn County.
            "I don't see the county going $250,000," Nolan said in revealing the annual cost of the Glynn County mosquito control program, "but I  see it going to 70 or 80."
            He said a mosquito control program would make advice available to builders as to how they might situate a structure without leaving excessive mosquito habitats.
            County Administrator Craig Root will be working with Nolan to prepare a mosquito control budget for Camden.
            Over the course of his presentation, Nolan made two other relative suggestions to the Commissioners.  He called for establishment of a mosquito control committee, and he recommended the hiring of a full-time entomologist.
            The Commissioners indicated they would favor a representative committee, but said that the hiring of a county entomologist would have to come later.

 

3 January 1980; The Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

SATILLA RIVER SEARCH IS STILL ON FOR MISSING PILOT

            Attempts by rescuers have failed to find the body of the fifth victim of a light plane crash near Woodbine that apparently perished an entire Ohio family.  Wednesday will be 12 days ago.
            Camden rescue leader Harvey Amerson said another massive search for Kenneth Mattix, 37, will begin Wednesday morning.
            The plane, carrying five members of the Mattix family of Mount Gilead, Ohio, crashed around 8:25 Friday night, December 21, in a wooded swamp on the northern outskirts of Woodbine and the accident has gained state and national attention.
            Bodies recovered the following Sunday were those of Kenneth Mattix's wife, Jenine, 36, and the couple's three sons, Michael, 15, Ryan, 12 and Allen, 9, referred to by rescuers as "the baby."
            Two helicopters were brought in Monday after the air disaster to search for Kenneth Mattix after fog hampered the search over the weekend.
            Amerson and the search company Saturday drained the deep hole created when the plane came plunging to the ground "belly-up" or upside-down.
            Mattix's body was not found in the pit, as careful searchers once thought it would be, and Wednesday the 13-person search party planned to comb a 300-yard radius of the crash site.
            Rescue efforts have carried the search team east to I-95 and west of Hwy. 17.
            "It's the hardest search I've seen," Amerson said. "Dragging for a man in the river is easier than this."
            Amerson said Mattix is probably within the 300-yard area, but insisted the search would not conclude until he is found.
            The FAA is studying the accident every day.  It is believed that the Mattix plane, enroute from Ohio to Jacksonville, Fla., suffered from an act common under heavy fog conditions.
            Apparently, officials say, the Mattix aircraft came out of a dense fog bank and began to lose attitude.
            Theoretically, the pilot then tried to pull the airplane back up, at which point the aircraft starts a violent vibration and breaks up.
            This is the theory officials are using to explain why the Mattix's plane's left wing is in another location from the wreck.
            Officials somewhat believe the left wing was shaken off, and that Kenneth Mattix possibly was thrown out at that point and the plane went crashing into the Satilla River swamp.
            The Satilla River swamp is likened in adversity to the Okefenokee Swamp.  The Mattix plane wreck is almost inaccessible.
            Last week, two four-wheel drive pickup trucks bogged down and the passengers, all rescuers, made the rest of the way on foot to the crash site through the muddy, balmy, swamp.
            The site of the crash is eerie.  In one location is the hull of the plane's abdomen, wrecked and ripped; in another is the plane's engine, smashed shapeless and caked with mud; and all around for a 75-yard radius is debris that was once all parts of an air adventure to Florida for Christmas.
            The Mattix plane buried itself in 12 feet of mud upon impact.
            Jenine and Michael Mattix were found at the point where the plane hit, and the two other sons were found about 40 yards from the site.
            Efforts to search for victims have been slowed as rescuers avoid quicksand pits in the woods.
            The Mattix family, including a pet dog, made the same trip from Ohio for Thanksgiving.
            This time, they were enroute to spend Christmas with relatives in Jacksonville.
            Reports said the Mattix aircraft pilot, believed to be Kenneth Mattix, radioed for weather information moments before the plane went down.

 

3 March 1983; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

RADIO STATION TO BE BROADCASTING BY SPRING

            Camden County's First local radio station will be on the air this spring.
            Lois Casey, president of Casey Broadcasting Co., Inc., was awarded a license Feb. 23 by the Federal communications Commission to build a new FM radio station.
            Mrs. Casey's Firm was one of four groups originally applying for the license, but two groups dropped out after a 1981 Board of Review decision.  Radio Charlton, a group from Folkston, headed by Jack Mays, appealed the award of the license and the decision was not final until last week when the FCC unanimously voted in favor of Casey Broadcasting.
            "I have worked a long time and real hard on it," Mrs. Casey said.  "This is my dream that I can do it by myself.  This is going to be my baby."
            The new station will broadcast in stereo at 93.5 on the FM dial.  The format will be soft country or adult contemporary with a special emphasis on local news.  The music consultants for the station will be T.M. Productions of Dallas, Texas, who will provide the prerecorded music.
            Studios will be located at 302 Osborne Street in St. Marys and the transmitter tower will be located on Highway 40 between Kingsland and St. Marys.
            "It's a Kingsland-St. Marys station," Mrs. Casey said.
            The broadcast signal will cover a radius of 35 miles, including St. Marys, Kingsland, Woodbine and Kings Bay in Camden County; Fernandina Beach and Yulee in Nassau County, Fla. and the northern section of Jacksonville, Fla.
            The station's proposed call letters are WLKC and the station's logo will be "KC-93, Your Georgia-Florida Connector," Mrs. Casey said.
            "We've still got to get the call letters approved," Mrs. Casey said, a process that takes about 45 days.
            Mrs. Casey said that about eight persons would be employed at the station.  It will broadcast from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and include some local programming.
            Work has already begun and Mrs. Casey said that she hopes to have the station on the air by May 1.
            "We are really working for the May 1 date," she said.
            Mrs. Casey's station will be the first local radio station in Camden County, but the county has been home to radio broadcasts before.  A Fernandina Beach radio station had offices, first in St. Marys and then in Kingsland, in the early 1970s and did regular broadcasts from Camden County.

 

3 July 1986; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

WOODBINE HOLDS TOWN HALL GROUNDBREAKING

            "This building is dedicated to the citizens of the City of Woodbine and will long serve as a reminder of what can be accomplished when many Woodbine people work with a single purpose.  This project represents the combined efforts of many groups such as the employees of the City of Woodbine, the members of the City of Woodbine Citizens' Steering Committee and staff of the Kings Bay Impact Coordinating Committee."
            These words were a part of the groundbreaking ceremonies held for the new Town Hall in Woodbine Thursday morning.  They sum up nearly four years of work and effort on the part of all the parties mentioned.
            In 1981, Buford Clark, who was at the time, the Mayor of Woodbine, was approached by a representative of the Department of Community Affairs and asked if Woodbine would participate in the "Governors Project Competition."  This was a program to help promote community pride to better the overall environment in cities. Cities throughout the state competed in categories determined by population.
            Clark approached some members of the community who were active in community affairs and in 1981 the City Council of woodbine appointed a seven member Woodbine Citizens' Steering Committee.
            The Steering Committee immediately set about surveying the citizens of Woodbine to determine just what as wanted and needed in the area.  As a result of the survey, the committee set as their goal the building of a community center.  Three acres of land was donated to the city by the county and the fundraising prefects began.
            Although the committee originally appointed by the City, and is sponsored by the City, they appoint their own members, and handle their own projects.  The original members of the Woodbine Citizen's Steering Committee were Kay Jenkins who served as the first Chairman Katie Cooler, Alice Sue Crews, Don Bentley, Dixie Griffis, Eudell Gooding, George Hannaford and Libby Bass.
            In 1982, Kay Jenkins resigned as chairman and Dixie Griffis took the job.  She served as chairman of the committee for three years until 1985, when Robert Baird took over the leadership.  He served a one year term and turned the seat over to Jimmy Vann, whose term ends in late 1986.
            The Steering Committee began doing fundraisers to raise the money needed to build a community center.  In the meantime, a study done by the Kings Bay Impact Coordinating Committee determined that a new city hall would be needed in Woodbine.
            Members of the Committee went to the City Council with a proposal to increase the size of the City Hall to include a general community area with kitchen facilities and call it a Town Hall.  The Council agreed to this proposal and in 1984, the Steering Committee donated $9,000 they had raised towards the cost of building the new Town Hall.
            In the past, the Steering Committee has used chicken dinners, turkey shoots, arts and craft shows and the Fourth of July celebration as fundraisers.  This year they introduced the First Crawfish Festival which has been adopted as an annual event.
            They have decided to reduce the size of their Fourth of July celebration and to concentrate primarily on the Crawfish Festival as their main money raising function.
            The new Town Hall is a Community Impact Assistance project and is receiving $169,000 in impact funds.  The cost of the land, $34,000, was paid by the City of Woodbine, which is also paying the remaining $198,834 cost of the project.
            In addition to being a Town Hall that "love and caring" built, the new building is unique in that it is the first project being partially funded by impact aid that has been awarded to a minority contractor.  The owner of the Coast Contractors, Inc., is a woman, Patricia Crosby. The completion date is scheduled to be Dec. 26, just in time for a belated Christmas present, but officials hope to see the building completed before that date.
            The written program ends with the statement, "The Woodbine City Council gratefully acknowledges the help and support of all these groups in making the dream of a new Town Hall a reality."  That says it all.

 

12 November 1987; Camden County Tribune
researched by Pat Neleski

BRYAN-LANG HISTORICAL LIBRARY OFFICIALLY OPENS FOR PUBLIC USE

            Residents young and old from throughout Camden County gathered in Woodbine Sunday afternoon to take part in a bit of Camden history by participating in the ribbon-cutting and ceremonies which marked the opening of the Bryan-Lang Historical Library in Woodbine.
            Guest speakers for the day were Terry Floyd, President of the Camden County Bar Association and Mike Girvin, Chairman of the Coastal Highway District of Georgia.  
Eloise
Bailey, Chairman of the Bryan-Lang Historical Library told those gathered that the Library had been made possible because of the new District, the county and the many donations, large and small, from private citizens.
            Beatrice "Bebe" Lang was guest of honor at the ceremony.  The library is named after Ms. Lang and her friend, the late Mary Givens Bryan.  Both women worked for the Department of Archives and History in Atlanta and gathered, over the years, a vast collection of county records, family histories and rare books dealing with Camden County and Coastal Georgia.
            Ms. Lang is a former resident of Woodbine.  Ms. Givens developed a love for the area during her work and is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Marys.
            This collection was donated to the citizens of Camden County, with the stipulation that it be made available to the public for research purposes.
            In addition to housing the Bryan-Lang collection, the Library will also house the law library, and recently received a donation of the Ruby Wilson Berne Collection.
            The Berrie Collection of books and papers contains information on coastal and natural history.
            Mrs. Bailey said that the information contained in the Library will be of interest not only to residents of Camden County but to people in South Georgia and North Florida.
            The Library, believed-to one of a kind in the state, has been in the works for years.  Two years ago, groundbreaking ceremonies were held and the work of many public officials and private citizens began to become a reality.
            The Historical Library was established as a county wide library for two purposes: the first to serve as a depository for documents, books, maps, photographs, and other records of historical and genealogical value pertaining to Camden County and its residents, and also to provide a research center for the study of those items.
            One of the rooms in the Library is called the Coastal Highway District Room, another the McCaskill Room.  There is another room yet to be named.  For a donation of $10,000 to the Library, an organization or family can have this room named after them.
            Although the initial expense of constructing the Library has been taken care of, there is an ongoing need for donations to enable the library to obtain material for equipment and operation of the facility.
            Mrs. Bailey said that the Library also recently received newspapers for the past 50 years and is currently seeking donations in order to have them microfilmed.
            Ms. Lang sat in the lobby of the Library after the ceremony, talking with friends old and new.  She said, "It is a wonderful thing that they're doing here."
            While the opening of the Library was in itself a historical event, those gathered seemed to step back in time to another era when people gathered, renewed friendships and recalling past memories, shared themselves over a glass of cool punch while children played in the trees and a soft wind blew.
            Generations to come will be able to study their past or just learn about Camden County because of the efforts of many people, both public officials and private citizens who realize the importance of preserving the past for the use of those in the future.

 

5 October 1990; Camden County Tribune
researched by Amelia Hart

CAMDEN RESIDENTS MAY LOSE $3 MILLION DUE TO COUNTY VOTE

            In a move which may cost Camden County residents $3 million, Camden commissioners approved a resolution to officially withdraw from the Public Service Authority.
            According to commissioner Dan Williams who, along with commissioner Preston Rhodes opposed the resolution, the county may lose the $3 million already allocated in the 1991 budget for recreation.
            Both the Senate and the House have approved $10.3 million in impact assistance for 1991.  Approximately $3 million of the total is targeted for recreation.  However, the actual dispersion of those funds is based on Navy program approval.
            According to KBICC Director Roger Alderman, the Navy has made a commitment to fund recreation projects based on a consolidated effort.  Without the Public Service Authority, the Navy may regret programming of those funds for recreation.
            Hardest hit by the $3 million would be county schools who are relying on the 1991 impact funds to support their athletic programs.  Significant losses would include the stadium and athletic complex proposed for the new high school, scheduled to open in 1992.
            The split vote was broken by commission chairman Kenneth Gay who announced that his tie-breaking decision was based in part on the fact that two new commissioners will take office in January, at which time the tide of opinion may turn.  He added that he had been told that the recreation funds would not be lost to Camden County.
            "I've talked to Navy officials, and those who represent the Navy, and we are not going to lose any public funds," said Gay.  "These are public funds that have not even been allocated at this time."
            According to commissioner Dan Williams, it is in the Navy's interest to limit the impact funding for Camden County.
            "You said that you spoke with the Navy folks and they indicated that we wouldn't be losing any money.  That's the Navy's job to indicate that we won't be losing money. But according to our Washington people, we will be losing those funds."
            Navy spokesperson Lee Roberts was unavailable for comment.
            The decision to pull out of the PSA was spearheaded by Commissioner Jack Sutton who, along with every other member of the commission, voted to join the PSA in March.  In a non-binding vote in August, Sutton, Gay, and commissioner E.B. Herrin votes to withdraw from the authority following a PSA-funded study which blasted the county Emergency Medical Service.
            Although the viability of PSA has been jeopardized the withdrawal of the county, the three Camden municipalities have agreed to continue in spite of the opposition of the county.
            In a conference held Sep 21, the three mayors announced their plans to pursue consolidation of recreation fire and emergency services.

 

19 June 1991; Camden County Tribune
researched by John La Boone

ORGANIZERS WANT TO SAVE HISTORIC CHAPEL

            Ben and Shirley Thompson want to save Burnt Fort Chapel for a second time.
            The historic church located in northwest Camden County is in need of immediate repairs.  Although the chapel was rebuilt in 1976, the structure is collapsing under the weight of the tall wooden roof.
            "We lost it one time and we'll lose it again if we don't make these I repairs," said Mrs. Thompson, a Waynesville resident who attends monthly worship services at the chapel.
            The Burnt Fort Chapel board of  trustees is seeking donations to cover repair costs which are estimated at $10,000.
            From the outside of the church, it is evident that the A-frame roof is sagging and pushing out the side walls.  Thompson said the chapel needs additional ceiling beams to support the roof.
            Mrs. Thompson said church members have been aware of the problem for about one year. In the last two months, the board of trustees has located a commercial contractor who can fix the roof.
            "We realized we had to do it or it would fall in completely," she said.
            To raise money for the repairs, church members plan to reprint and circulate a dedication program that was used when the church was restored in 1976.  The program includes a history of the church and the area.
            Copies of the program will be available through the Bryan-Lang Historical Library.
            In hopes of raising money, the board of trustees is also in the process of contacting the families of those who are buried at the cemetery outside of the church.       John M. McClurd, board of trustees chairman, said the church hopes to receive donations from others who have worshipped at the chapel or have a special interest in its preservation.
            Since the church does not have a formal membership, all maintenance and repairs are supported by tax-deductible contributions, McClurd said.
            Burnt Fort Chapel holds sere vices for 30 to 40 area residents on a the first Sunday afternoon of each s month.  The church is temporarily being used by Raines Landing Baptist Church for regular services.
            The church sits at the end of a dirt road in a heavily-wooded area that was once known as New Hanover, according to Mrs. Thompson.           As many as 300 Quakers fleeing from northern states settled in the area and built a fort.
            The area is the site of one of the oldest settlements in Camden County.
            "It has been a settlement for a long time," Mrs. Thompson said.
            Evidence indicates that at least f three forts have been built in the area, she said.
            The local legend is that Indians burned one of the forts.
            "That's how the area got its name," Mrs. Thompson said.
            Records indicate the property for the original church was first deeded in 1872.
            Mrs. Thompson said, however, that local historians I have evidence a chapel was there before then."
            The church remained active until the mid-1940s, she said.  Although the structure deteriorated heavily in the next three decades, an architect was able to prepare a design for the new chapel around 1976.
            The architect used the same measurements as the original church, but the restored version was built about one-third larger.
            The church was not equipped with electricity until five years ago.  In keeping with the church's history, worshippers used kerosene lamps for light.
            Summer temperatures prompted the church to install lights and ceiling fans, Mrs. Thompson said.
            Some features from the original church remain in the restored version.  The pulpit was created from wood that was used in the original church, and all of the wooden pews were made from trees that were cut from around the church.
            For many years, the original Burnt Fort Chapel was used as a school.  In the 1920s, a one-room school house was moved to the lot where the chapel sits.
            The school is still standing in a wooded area visible from the church.  Mrs. Thompson said she has been told that it is the only one- room school house still standing in the county.
            Thompson said there has been some talk of renovating the old school, but nobody has done anything yet.

 

13 May 1992; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

HOSPITAL GROUNDBREAKING, LEADERS WELCOME NEW FACILITY

            Dirt was flying Saturday afternoon as approximately 150 people gathered at the site of the future Kings Bay Community Hospital in St. Marys for groundbreaking ceremonies.
            During the 2 p.m. ceremony, held on Kings Bay Road approximately one-half mile from Highway 40, several members of the community addressed the group to express their appreciation for all the dedicated work leading up to the day's event.
            Leland Roberts, chairman of the hospital's governing board of directors, said the hospital project has been a high priority for a long time.
            "At times we were almost ready to throw in the towel," Mr. Roberts said.             "However, members of the governing board have always had the goal of quality healthcare, a hospital the community could be proud of, and have confidence in when that healthcare was needed."
            Mr. Roberts also announced the street leading to the hospital from Kings Bay Road will be named in honor of the late Dr. Dan Proctor, one of the initial proponents of the new facility.
            At the conclusion of his welcoming remarks, staff members of The Southeast Georgian presented Mr. Roberts with an original cartoon drawing designed by Staff Artist Brian Stegner.  The cartoon was published in the May 6 issue of the newspaper.
            Other community leaders welcomed the new facility as a cornerstone to the area's continued development.
            "This hospital can be compared to a critical tool in a workman's toolbox," said Camden/Kings Bay Chamber of Commerce President John McDill.  "When we at the chamber talk to prospects looking to move their business to Camden County, the first things they want to know is about our recreation facilities, school system and healthcare.
            "They are looking for a high quality of life for their employees," he continued.  "With the completion of this hospital we will be in competition with other communities looking to bring in a new industry."
            St. Marys Mayor Jerry Brandon commended the governing board members and hospital owners for their dedication to the hospital project.
            "Today's activities are a tribute to (hospital owner Roberto Sanchez's) perseverance and dedication to this community."  Mayor Brandon stated.  "He named a very capable, qualified and enthusiastic board of directors.  I now look forward to a day in the not too distant future when we'll all be back for a ribbon cutting ceremony."
            Coastal Bank Vice-President Wayne Johnson said his lending institution is proud to be a part of the hospital's development and gave local physicians a great deal of credit for the day's events.
            "I have no doubt that without the help of local physicians this day may not have been possible," Mr. Johnson said.  "This project shows growth is still alive in our community and I'm here to issue a challenge to all the citizens of Camden County to not only support and utilize our local physicians but also our local Kings Bay Community Hospital."
            The hospital will be built on property donated by Kings Bay Properties.  The first phase will include the ancillary building, which will contain maintenance, housekeeping and in-house laundry facilities.  Construction on the main hospital will begin shortly thereafter.
            The new hospital will be a three story, 40-bed state-of-the-art facility.  There will be expanded areas for emergency room care and birthing rooms to accommodate the needs of the growing community.
            "There is still a lot of work ahead of us," concluded Mr. Roberts.  "We need the support and encouragement of the people of Camden County, as we see this project through.  This hospital will provide necessary service in a facility well equipped to handle what ever the needs of the community may be."

 

15 July 1995; The Tribune & Georgian
researched by John La Boone

WOODBINE DEDICATES WATERFRONT PARK

            Local dignitaries and state officials gathered in Woodbine on Friday to dedicate the city's new downtown walkway and river boardwalk.
            The  dedication  ceremony included introductory remarks by Woodbine Mayor W. Burford Clark, Jr., a speech by Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Wayne Shackelford and a religious dedication by Rev. E.G. Roberts of the Woodbine Circuit United Methodist Church.
            A ribbon-cutting ceremony concluded the program.  After the ribbon-cutting, the heat quickly drove spectators into the air conditioning of Woodbine's City Hall for an elegant catered reception.
            The ceremony was held at the walkway's west entrance on Fourth Street, one block west of U.S. 17.  The dignitaries assembled on wooden benches arranged in a semi-circle around the podium.  Behind them, the finished walkway, flanked by streetlamps and shaded by trees, curved north into the distance towards the Satilla River.
            The orators who spoke at the podium addressed dozens of spectators who milled about on Fourth Street.  The street was closed to traffic by Woodbine police during the dedication ceremony.
            In his opening remarks, Clark thanked everybody involved in the project, although he said they were too numerous to name individually.  He said the walkway project was a "blessing" to the city of Woodbine.
            "This is a total quality of life project from one end to the other," said Clark.
            Clark added that an extension of the walkway from Fourth Street to 11th Street was being planned by the Woodbine city council.
            The paved walkway begins at Fourth Street and meanders between landscaped lawns and under stately oaks until it reaches the Satilla River.  There, it turns into a wooden boardwalk which hugs the southern shore of the river and connects the walkway with the boat ramp and dock at the Satilla Waterfront Park on the east side of U.S. 17.
            Additionally, a fishing pier, constructed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, juts out into the river at the point where the boardwalk and walkway join.
            In his speech, DOT Commissioner Shackelford noted that tourism has grown into Georgia's second largest industry, second only to agriculture. He predicted that the walkway would help Woodbine attract a portion of Georgia's tourism.
            "My theory, having grown up the son of tenant farmers on a cotton patch is — pick Yankees, not cotton," said Shackelford. "I think this project will help Woodbine pick Yankees and not cotton."
            In his dedication, the Rev. Roberts called the walkway a place of refreshment, rest and meditation.  He blessed the walkway with holy water from the River Jordan in Israel.  After sprinkling the holy water, Roberts offered a tribute to Portrait Porcine, the 7-year-old boy who drowned in the Satilla River four days before.
            Porcine drowned after he jumped into the river from the dock at the Satilla Waterfront Park.
            "Lord, we pray that as we dedicate this facility it will be for the glory of and the remembrance of Portrait Porcine," said Roberts.  "We know he is with you now, Lord."
            The walkway portion of the new facility is built on the abandoned bed of a railroad line which used to run through the middle of the city.  Woodbine was founded a century ago by J.K. Bedell when this railroad line was part of the Peninsular Railroad Company.  The city of Woodbine purchased the land in 1991, a year after CSX Railroad announced they would no longer use the rails.
            Soon after, the city formulated plans for a "rails to trails" project that would convert the abandoned railroad tracks into a recreational facility.
            After Woodbine settled on a design for its walkway project, the only thing missing was the money.
            Dee Tompkins, of Camden County's PSA (Public Service Authority) wrote the application for an ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transport Efficiency Act) grant from the state.  The grant, which made the financing of the project possible was approved by the Georgia DOT in 1995.
            The total cost of the completed walkway project was $790,000.
            Of this amount, $536,550 was provided by the ISTEA grant administered by the DOT.  Camden County's PSA chipped in with $193,950.  The city of Woodbine and the Woodbine Citizens Steering committee contributed $36,000 and $24,000, respectively.
            A new ISTEA grant would also finance the planned extension of the walkway to 11th Street.  During his speech, Shackelford invited Woodbine to submit another ISTEA grant application.
            Peg Blitch, a Georgia state senator who was present at the dedication, called the walkway and the riverwalk project a "masterpiece."  "That the entire community was invested in the project is most unusual but it's typical of Woodbine.  It is such a close-knit community," said Blitch.
            Local residents Jane and Clark Heath, who recently relocated to Woodbine from Atlanta, praised the walkway.
            "It's wonderful," Ms. Heath said. "We've walked it several times with our dogs."

 

19 July 1995; The Southeast Georgian
researched by John La Boone

RAINER NAMED STATE’S TOP SUPERINTENDENT

            After 29 years as Camden County school superintendent, David Rainer received the highest recognition of his career this week by being named Georgia's Superintendent of the Year.
            On July 16, Mr. Rainer was presented the award by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (G.A.E.L.) at the organization's annual conference held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.
            The award came as a complete surprise to the local superintendent who didn't even know he had been nominated.
            "This is the first time a Camden County superintendent has ever been recognized as superintendent of the year," said Edwin Davis, assistant superintendent for personnel and public relations.  "This is the most prestigious award Mr. Rainer could win."
            The local superintendent was unanimously selected for the honor by last year's Curriculum Specialist and Superintendent of the Year as well as the Elementary School, Middle School and Secondary School Principals of the Year.
            "We're just ecstatic about it," Mr. Davis said.  "This is a tremendous award for the school system as well as for Mr. Rainer."
            During last Sunday night's presentation to the school officials, Frank Thomason, president of the Georgia School Superintendent Association praised Mr. Rainer for his unique capacity to evolve his leadership style to meet the changing needs of the Camden County School System over the course of his 29 years as superintendent."
            Mr. Davis said Mr. Thomason recognized Mr. Rainer as "an example of unwavering consistency in a leadership post that in recent years has become uncharacteristically unstable" and acknowledged him as "the most competent superintendent in the state regarding the all important area of educational finance."
            The award, first presented in 1977, is one most superintendents cherish more than any other, Mr. Rainer said at a press conference at the Board of Education building on Monday.
            "This is something a lot of superintendents have wanted to achieve, and I'm real proud to be on the list," he continued. "This is a real thrill."
            "Any superintendent would be more proud of this award that any that exists," he said, "especially one from an organization that has such a tremendous impact on education in Georgia."
            Mr. Davis said the selection committee looked at several factors in choosing the award including fiscal and planning foresight, St. Marys Elementary School and the USS Tennessee winning a national award, school technology and the adoption of all local students by a segment of the community.
            "We are truly trying to live up to the idea of community involvement in education," Mr. Davis continued. "Mr. Rainer was the clear winner and this is his crowning achievement."
            But Mr. Rainer refused to allow himself to bask in all the limelight.
            "The most important thing to me is that this award gives recognition to the local school system," he concluded.

 

27 March 1996; Tribune & Georgian
researched by John La Boone

CAMDEN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NABS $1.6 MILLION

            Thanks to a Friday traffic stop, deputies learned how much $1.6 million weighs.
            The Camden County Sheriff's Department is laying claims to the state's largest seizure of cash from suspected drug dealers — approximately 160 pounds of it.
            The combination of $5 and $20 bills were neatly bound when officers found the currency in hidden compartments inside two Lincoln Town cars with New York license plates.
            Sheriff Bill Smith said the seizure is the latest example that drug interdiction efforts by officers are effective.
            "Working together does pay off - literally," Smith said.
            Three men with suspected ties to South American drug cartels are facing charges in the case.
            Orlando Santana, 35, of Brooklyn, Jose Baez, 41, of New York City, and Miguel Angel Hernandez, 21, of Caracas, Venezuela, were released after each posted $375 in bond.
            They are each charged with one count of possession of drug-related objects for driving vehicles altered to carry drugs or suspected drug assets.
            "They are trafficking this money back down to Florida so they can export it to South America," Smith said.
            Inside the vehicle, officers found passports and documents tying the men to South America.  All three were born outside of the United States.
            Before being released on bond, the suspects were interviewed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents from Savannah.
            The money was seized after an unidentified deputy initiated a traffic stop on southbound Interstate 95 near Harrietts Bluff Road around 6 a.m.  The sheriff's department does not release the names of deputies working drug interdiction for fear they may become targets for drug dealers.
            The deputy stopped the gray 1996 Lincoln Town car for weaving and driving suspiciously.
            When the driver of the first car stopped on the side of the interstate, he bolted from the vehicle into the nearby woods. The deputy immediately called for additional backup and a canine tracking unit.
            Approximately three hours later, deputies located Santana, the driver of the first vehicle.
            After the second car was stopped, the two passengers consented to a search of the vehicle.
            While examining the vehicles, deputies immediately noticed the trunks of the cars were not as long as they should be — an indication the vehicles had hidden compartments, Smith said.
            The sheriff said officers regularly attend DEA drug interdiction schools to learn what types of unusual behavior to watch for in suspects as well as signs that vehicles have been altered.
            "The schools that the Camden County sheriff's deputies attend and their experience in dealing with the drug dealers leads to the success of this program," the sheriff said.
            Behind a window panel in the rear of the vehicles, officers located switches which control hydraulic lifts.  The switches hydraulically lift the backseat dashes to reveal compartments between the backseats and the trunks.
            Smith said the hydraulic mechanisms were professionally designed and installed.
            Following a press conference, two officers struggled to carry the currency inside two duffel bags to a sheriff's vehicle.
            Deputies said a bank in southeast Georgia initially expressed concern about accepting the deposit.  Fearing would-be robbers may target the branch if word of the deposit circulated through the community, bank officials decided to spread the money between several branches until it could be transferred elsewhere.
            After the money was counted by bank tellers, a cashier's check was turned over to the DEA which will handle forfeiture proceedings on the cash.
            If no one files a claim for the money, approximately 80 to 85 percent of the funds could be returned to the sheriff's department within three months.
            The money can be used to purchase law enforcement equipment.
            "We'll use this money to combat drugs in our community," Smith said.
            In addition to the cash the sheriff's department seized both vehicles used to transport the cash.  Condemnation proceedings are under way on the cars.
            The latest seizure follows a February case in which officers seized more than $824,000 during a traffic stop.

 

20 November 1996
by Dr. John H. Christian

ANOTHER ASHLEY FIGURES PROMINENTLY IN COUNTY HISTORY

            Among the group of men who met on Cumberland Island on that November day in 1787 to sign the Articles of Agreement that started the town of St. Mary where three men by the name of Ashley — a father and two sons.
            Lodowick was the eldest son of Nathaniel and the older brother of William Ashley.
            Lodowick was born in Anson County, S.C., about 1760.  He served in the Revolutionary war.  Near the close of the war, the Ashley family moved to South Carolina for a short period of time.  In a few years they moved to Georgia, coming to Camden County around 1787.
            Lodowick first appeared in the public records of Camden County in 1787 when he signed the Articles of Agreement.  The next year he appeared before the Land Court and requested and on his headright and that of his wife.  He was granted 250 acres on the St. Marys River.
            Records seem to indicate that he did not live here for some time.  He was a resident of South Carolina and east Florida before we find him as a resident of Camden County.
            In the 1790s there are three deeds in Camden records that show him as a resident of South Carolina.  In these three deeds he bought more land in Camden County and then used some of his land to settle debts of his father, Nathaniel Ashley.
            One of these deeds tells us that he sold a lot in St. Marys — Lot No. 28 — which was one of the lots he received as a draw of one of the original proprietors of St. Marys.
            After his father's death in 1800, he came back to Camden County for a short period of time.  According to the 1803 and 1804 voting records and legal advertisements, he was a resident of Camden at that time.
            He is listed among the voters in the 1803 election and was named in a legal advertisement in 1804 in the Savannah Advertiser applying for the administration of the Daniel McGirt estate.  This was the infamous Daniel McGirt of Revolutionary War fame, and also Lodowick Ashley's father-in-law.
            Dr. Rembert Patrick, in his book Florida Fiasco, made several references to early settlers of St. Marys and Camden County who became wealthy from raiding below the Georgia-Florida border — lumbering, smuggling and engaging in the slave trade. Patrick names Lodowick Ashley as one of these men.
            Gen. George Matthews sought to lead a revolt among the Americans living in east Florida against Spanish rule and to turn the Spanish colony over to the United States.  In 1811, he set out to gain financial support from men of wealth in Camden County and east Florida.
            Among the list of men and wealth enlisted was Lodowick Ashley.  What made him join this risky venture?  Probably it was the promise of a military command and the promise of land.  We know he was referred in the venture as Col. Ashley, and that he was in command of Patriot soldiers.
            There was more of a class system in those days.  If Matthews had known that Ashley had once served as an overseer of a South Carolina Plantation, the general might never have given him such a high place, for overseers fell far short of the elite in the South.
            After a few years, this attempt to take east Florida from Spain came to failure; hence the name of Patrick's book, Florida Fiasco.  Ashley was labeled as a rebel by the Spanish, so he had to leave his lumber business and plantation in Florida.
            He joined his brother William in Telfair County where he appeared on the 1820 census.
            While he was living in Telfair County, he disposed of some of his property in Camden County, according to county records.  During a visit to Camden to take care of these business transactions, he and his wife must have gotten a desire to return here.
            Certainly this would have good news for his wife.  She could now be near her folks, for the Peeples family was moving from South Carolina to Camden County.  Descendants of the Peeples family are still here today.
            By the time of the 1830 census they were living in Camden County.  Not long after this, Lodowick Ashley died.  It was Jan. 3, 1837, in the Inferior Court of Camden County that his will was probated.  His widow, Tabitha Peeples Ashley, qualified as executrix.
            It is unfortunate that the will book for this period of time is missing from Camden records.  It would be interesting to know the worth of the man who had owned a large part of Camden County and to know how he disposed of his estate.
            We do not know the burial lace of Lodowick Ashley.  It could very easily be at the cemetery in Jefferson, which the county seat in those days.  We do know that he owned property near there at the time of his death.
            His widow remained in Camden County.  She is listed in the 1840 census as head of household.
            It is true that the Ashley men did participate in some unethical activities while they lived here, but we should not forget them just because of this.  We remember them in St. Marys, for there is a street named Ashley in honor of these three men who played a part in the founding of this southern-most Georgia city.

 

29 January 1997; Tribune-Georgian
by Dr. John H. Christian

SCANDALS MENTIONED IN CAMDEN’S HISTORY

            We sometimes long for what we call "the good old days" when everyone was thought to be honest and everyone attended church on Sunday and then helped their neighbors through the week.  That is probably an idyllic dream.  Old records do not bear out this dream.
            "The Georgia Gazette," an early Savannah newspaper that is found in the Georgia Historical Society Library in Savannah, tells us in its issue of July 28, 1791, that charges of fraud and irregularities growing out of the Congressional race held on Jan. 3, 1791 were contained in affidavits that were published.
            The election returns from Camden County showed that General Anthony Wayne received 79 votes and General James Jackson received 10 votes.  The returns were certified by Henry Osborne, J.P., James Armstrong, J.P., Habbackkuk Wright, J.P., Langley Bryant, J.P., and Robert Seagrove, J.P.
            The published affidavit of Samuel Smith, sheriff of Camden County, and of Alexander Young and Daniel Miller, dated July 5, 1791, says that they do not believe 70 voters reside in the county.  Smith, in a separate affidavit, said that the polls at St. Patrick (the county seat in those days) closed about sundown, and less than 40 votes were cast.
            Miller swore that he was a clerk in the election and the polls were closed about sunset, and 25 votes were polled, of which 15 were for Wayne and 10 for Jackson.  He said he went home, two miles away, and after dark, was sent for by Judge Osborne, and when he arrived, he found that the managers had re-opened the poll and closed them and new results as stated above were certified to.
            In the Gazette of Aug. 4, 1791, the Grand Jury in Chatham County said in their Presentments they had indicted Messers Bryant, Wright, Osborne, Seagrove and Armstrong for re-opening the polls.
            Judge Osborne
was one of the early judges of the Supreme Court of Georgia.  But because of his participation in some of these election stinks, he was forced to resign his judgeship or be impeached.  He chose to resign.

 

 

 

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