Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to the Basement

Last week while I was in my basement searching through boxes for old photos, I came across a red tool box.  That is when it hit,  flashback - 1990. Savannah, river street, Mrs. Wilkes - you'd never eat at Paula Deens again, college, Crystal Beer Parlor, techno music, piggly wiggly, Pinky Masters, etc............
Back then, I was a student at The Savannah College of Art and Design studying Historic Preservation. I took an elective course in jewelry design.  Roxanne Reep was the professor that taught the course and oh boy did she make it fun.  As a matter of fact, I took the second course the very next quarter.  Inside the tool box was all of my jewelry making tools.  It was really amazing that I had forgotten about the red tool box and it's supplies.

 The forgotten red tool box and it's supplies.

This find has me thinking about starting to design and create jewelry, once again.  I'm sure that I will be giving the tools from this box a work over.

Now, on to the next blog.............

What I Found In The Basement - But First.................

It is like the Nazareth song,

"I woke up this morning
And my cat had died
I'm gonna miss her
Sat down and cried"

Check it out

But first, I'll get to that song and my cat Eldin later.
The good news about my ramblings on Cumberland Island is that the island has a new park superintendent named Fred Boyles.  Mr. Boyles moved from my hometown of Americus to St. Mary's to become the manager of the island.
Mr. Boyles was "very" well liked and loved by the Americus community and it was and still is a great major shock to this area that he is no longer here.  If  I'm remembering correctly, he even served a term in Iraq {under the 2nd G Bush) while serving as the park superintendent of Andersonville National Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, all located within this county of Sumter.
Having not lived on the island but keeping abreast of the events since a small child, I do hope that he can make a difference in the history of the island.  There is so much going on within this island and they can not even keep up and have enough money to cope with it.
The State of Georgia Governors from Maddox to Carter, even the governors and legislative politicians of the 1950's, have let the citizens of Georgia and the USA DOWN along with Nixon and our national government. Our Congress appointed no "real" money to the NPS to mothball or to even preserve the more important architecturally structures of the island except for the renovations of minor buildings of the Dungeness Estate, and to providing for the control of private properties.
Does anyone know what just a new roof and mothballing a structure could mean?  Check out The Pool House in the previous blog posts.
I would like to know, for whom the people or persons are, making the decisions as to what little money is spent on: research in general, oral research, and research of the history at the Georgia Archives within the Carnegie Collection. 
Not anything better has been done for Cumberland by the NPS than the 1970's Research Study of the island by Louis Torres and the forced "late" management plan of the Cumberland Island Seashore by the NPS in the late 80's. I guess all of this was just for the sake of stopping a public development of a private island and for the NPS trying not to have another state park like Jekyll Island.  I understand why, but not just how.
The NPS can get all the property they want, but can the NPS afford to preserver it?
Can't you just imagine what Teddy Roosevelt is grimacing about at this moment.

It has been a long day so I will get with you on my basement find tomorrow.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plum Orchard Carriage House

At the Georgia Archives last week, while researching through the Carnegie Collection, I came across a folder with letters of correspondence between the architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns in Boston, Massachusetts and the Carnegies. The letters were mainly addressed to William E. Page, the estate manager for Lucy Coleman Carnegie. The Page family lived in "The Grange" on Cumberland as an occupier and not as an owner.

The Grange around 1970.

Peabody and Sterns was responsible for designing additions to Dungeness, The Pool House, and the building of Plum Orchard around 1898 and it's additions on Cumberland Island for George Lauder Carnegie.

Plum Orchard mansion

Below: A Couple of Reader's Digest Tales

My graduating senior class in 1986 made no plans for a senior class trip, so I decided to get the heck out of dodge. I went to Cumberland Island by myself and stayed at Greyfield Inn. Greyfield is another story in itself; the history, architecture, clan, and the NPS avoidance of the Fergusons.

Now, back at the archives, there was a letter in the folder talking about how nice the simplistic nature of the carriage house's structure would be and how they could make changes to architectural details of the building "to sweeten it up" at a low cost.

Photo of Carriage house in 1986.

As anyone can see,
the right side of the carriage house
is starting to collapse inside of itself.

The year was 1986, on record - twelve years after the park service was officially established, but not necessarily only 12 years after the NPS took control of the island properties.

My father, mother, brother, sister, Uncle John, Aunt Brenda, Uncle Joe, Aunt Doris, and other relatives visited the island on the last week before the NPS took control of the southern end of the island. My Uncle Joe, who worked at NASA - actually in a certain division of it, had contacted Charles Fraser the owner of the southern tract at that time and obtained permission to camp on the island. I guess Uncle Joe had seen the writing on the wall for Fraser was selling the land to the NPS at that time. My Aunt Mallette (really a kin cousin) cried for years because her young son Jamie was sick and she couldn't go and camp out on the island with them. My mother still talks about catching the fish and cooking them. Daddy, that is a different story.

They were on Cumberland the summer of 1970 when the NPS officials actually started to arrive on the island. They were told by the officials that the NPS was taking control of this section of the island the next day and then were told that they had to leave the following morning. That is your Reader's Digest version. Kinda interesting, is it not, if you are a history loving fan of the island.

Below, is a photo series taken by Troup Nightingale of Brunswick, Georgia. Troup has graciously allowed me to post a series of photos of the Carriage House at Plum Orchard from his site on Smug Mug. Please check out Troup's site at: http://www.southeasternphotography.com/History/Plum-Orchard-Area-Cumberland/8119245_CYjU5#529369316_Ar3Yg

Troup Nightingale is a direct descendant from Phineas Miller Nightingale, the owner of Dungeness mansion and property before and after The Civil War. Thomas and Lucy Carnegie, after buying the property, tore down this Dungeness and built their own mansion on this site.

This is the Plum Orchard's Carriage House today.
It is like Austin Power's saying, "yea baby, you complete me."

Or better yet!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How To Make The Most Of A Day Off

The definition for "A Day Off" probably would mean; a day for replenishing your energy and to keep yourself from burning out. I'm sure my bosses would appreciate myself more if I were to follow that rule................
I'm probably not the best person in the world to tell someone how to have a day off from work. Generally, planning ahead is probably the first step to enjoying your time away from work. Well, I sorta kinda got around to think about it, but just never got around to it. Planning ahead would have meant not waking up to this!

I know, you don't have to say it, but I was also out of whole bean coffee.

I'm generally working on Saturdays so my "weekend" day is usually Wednesday or Thursday's. Does anyone know how hard it is to find a friend on your weekend off when your weekend is a weekday? So today, I decided to do this for you.
Americus is a town that is graced with antebellum and victorian architecture. I thought I would share the gem of the city with you.

The Windsor Hotel was built in 1892 and named after a prominent local citizen.
Below are a few interior and exterior details.

When your in Americus, you never know whom you just might run into.

You know, they just live 9 miles from here over yonder in Plains.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Pool House

The Pool House, also known as The Casino or The Recreation Guest House, was architecturally a significant example of the Queen Anne Shingle Style. The building was utilized for recreation and was complete with a pool, sauna, recreation room, squash court and guestrooms.

After Decades of neglect, The Pool House is collapsing and now stands in a state of ruin.

The two turrets which stood wraith like could not guard against its inevitable destruction.

An Evolution of over Forty Years of Decay and Ruin.

Lets concentrate on this section of the structure.

The Indoor Pool is next.

Now we have the apartments.

The last of the photos shall be the north view, opposite of where we started.

Yes sir re folks, regardless of the termites the NPS keep telling us about or storm damage that knocks the columns off the front entrance porch, you can definitely see that the structure falls from the top down due to neglect. It's all about the money. If only you could see the photos at the Georgia Archives of the carpentry shop on the Dungeness Estate in it's state of condition before the NPS renovated it, you'd understand.
Some of the photos are mine, friends, and others that I'm not sure about. Let me know if you find one of yours and I will gladly removed it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reasons For Concern

  1. The loss of the Pool House
  2. The deterioration of the antique vehicles
  3. The loss of the stables at Plum Orchard
Starting soon, I will blog about #1.
But first, I see where The Coal Miner's Daughter is on CMT and I really need to watch it once again. BTW, did anyone ever realize that Larry of the "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl", played Lee Dollarhide in this movie. Never clicked until now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYELCO5e_0M&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yyB06HvAjI

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stafford Beach Cottage

Stafford Beach Cottage and approximately one acre of property came into the hands of the National Park Service around the year 2000.

First I need to explain a RPA. There are two types of property owners on the island: life estate holders and those with a term for a specific number of years. These owners have what is called a Reserve Property Agreement (RPA) that was granted to them during the governments land acquisitions of the late 60's and early 70's.
The RPA expired and now belongs to the NPS. The NPS has included the cottage into what is termed the 2010ers. The 2010ers are a group of RPAs that will come into the possession of the NPS. They will be determining which property and structures will be beneficial to the NPS.

The Stafford Beach Cottage , built by the Carnegie's, helped shape the character and identity of Cumberland Island through the Carnegie's outdoor activities and with experiences of their everyday life on the island estates. The value of the property and beach cottage is determined through the landscape and it's vernacular design. The main structures principal features from the period in which the cottage was built are still intact and visually, there are no major structural damage. The setting has only changed through the typical natural process of environmental changes. The Stafford Beach Cottage and surrounding property still has historic identity.

The floor plan was drawn from researching photographs.
It is important to preserve the cottage because it's cultural value served as a recreational venue for the Carnegie's and their friend's social activities and traditions. The purpose of the structure was to be a place devoted to recreation and not as a residence.

Site Plan
From a list of five, a decision will be made upon this cottage: (1) use for park housing, (2) administrative offices, storage etc......., (3) public use such as a visitor's center, environmental research station etc......., (4) tear the structure down, and (5) Have the structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We need for citizens to contact their local, regional and national political officials and let them know that the cottage needs to be preserved. Next, contact and email the NPS at their web site here. http://www.nps.gov/cuis/contacts.htm
Thank you to my friend for the use of her photos of the cottage. Check out her web site. The name says it all!http://www.cumberlandislandquiltchick.com/

Project Cumberland

Earlier, I had mentioned about a project that I am working on. That project involves Cumberland Island National Seashore. Ever since my first visit to the island as a boy scout in the late 1970's, I have been intrigued by the ruins, fascinated by the architecture, and this essentially became my passion.

I'm the one on the right.
ness ruins were once a mansion owned by a Littlefield. Hummmmm, little did I realized at the time that little kin I was, and the ruins were of the Carnegie's residence and not that of Catharine Littlefield Greene Miller's residence. Below is an old postcard of Dungeness which is from a collection that I have.

Imagine a father telling his son that the Dunge

Dungeness before the fire.

My family at Dungeness in 1968.
View of the ruins in 1986.
I will be getting into the history of Dungeness and other structures at a later date. First I need to discuss an urgent pressing matter that needs your attention.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Troy's Mini Burger

Ever gone to a restuarant and ordered the mini burgers on the appetizer section? Ordered Ruby Tuesday's Mini Combination with the endless garden bar? Slyder's at White Castle or Krystals? Well, there is a famous landmark attraction in Montezuma called Troy's Snack Shack. You havn't had a mini burger until you had a Troy's mini.

A photo of Troy's burgers doesn't tell the storey. You'll have to go stand in line, smell the grease and order your mini burger to understand. Get the double burger all the way. No tomatoes or lettuce here, just your basic cheese, onions, and mustard sauce! Maybe one day I'll try the famouse chili cheese burgers.

The photo of the bag with the grease spots tell's the storey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Casserole Soup

Must have been that hash brown casserole I made last night. Sorta kinda ticked me off that the thing would never gel. What I should have told the parents, "oven fried chicken, corn on the cob, okra, and hash brown soup". Should of taken a picture of it. Maybe I'll go back over to mama's refrigerator and snap one for ya.

Heading out to Folkston tomorrow with my father for a relatives funeral. His father's side of the family is from that area and it's located in the southeastern part of the state. Afterward, we will check out the ghost town of Newell where he was raised as a small child. It will be interesting to see where he was raised! Sure nothing is left.

Yep, I was right. My father is pointing to the area where his Grandfather's commissary once stood. Their house once stood to the left of the commissary close to the trees. To the right and back of the commissary was their turpentine steel.

Look what I got last weekend. Ever since I saw them in an older friend's house twelve years ago, I have always remembered them and wanted them. She is selling her house, downsizing to a condo, and was about to have an estate sale. Made a phone call and walla a set of eight abalone glasses are mine. The story is, she purchased them in Mexico and hand carried them on the flight back.

Working on a project, I'll tell you later. Gotta get ready for work!!!