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This is the second southern-most barrier island in Georgia, approximately 30 miles from the Florida border. Its cultural and natural history makes it quite a remarkable place.
Shortly after the founding of Georgia as a colony, Jekyll Island Georgia received its name officially. By 1738, Major William Horton had taken up residence on the island, raising cattle and corn for nearby settlements.

Individuals attempted to farm the island up into the 1880’s when a new plan was devised for the development of the island. In December of 1885, Newton Finney with his associate Oliver K. King incorporated the Jekyll Island Club. The club was incorporated as a private resort retreat for many of America’s wealthiest families.

For over 50 years families such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Macys, Vanderbilts, and Goodyears spent time on Jekyll Island Georgia during the Winter and early Springs of each year. The island was a draw to most for it’s temperate climate, and multitude of outdoor activities that are available at this winter resort.

The Jekyll Island Club flourished through the 1920’s, but with the onset of the Great Depression, interests in the Club began to decline. World War II was the final blow to the life of the Jekyll Island Club. The club opened as usual for the 1942 season. However by the beginning of March it was announced there would be an early close to the season due to the club’s financial situation as well as the strain the war had placed on available labor to keep the club open.
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The island was officially purchased by the State of Georgia on October 7, 1947. In 1950 the State of Georgia organized the Jekyll Island Authority, a management governing board. This board consists of nine gubernatorial appointed members. This board was charged with the operating and care of the island. This management structure continues today.

The island affords many opportunities for visitors who wish to come to the island. Some of the advancements made by the Jekyll Island Authority include the Convention Center, 63 beautiful holes of golf, miles of public beaches, a Soccer Complex, and the preservation of a National Historic Landmark District. By legislative mandate, sixty five percent of the island is, and will remain, undeveloped.

The most recent initiative of The Jekyll Island Foundation was the development of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The Center, now open, provides immediate medical assistance and long-term rehabilitation for injured sea turtles, as well as a venue for educating visitors about the importance of protecting these magnificent creatures and their natural habitats.

Fact: People began visiting Jekyll Island Georgia 4,500 years ago: When the first French and Spanish explorers arrived on Jekyll Island in the mid-1500s they found it already occupied by Native Americans, first by the Timucua and later by the Guale. Archaeological evidence further suggests that Native Americans first began using Jekyll Island Georgia as a seasonal retreat about 2,500 BC.
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