Dungeness on Cumberland Island, Georgia, is a ruined mansion that is part of a historic district that was the home of several families significant in American history. James Oglethorpe first built on Cumberland Island in 1736, building a hunting lodge that he named Dungeness. The next Dungeness was the legacy of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene, who had acquired of island land in exchange for a bad debt. His widow built a four-story tabby mansion in 1803, over a Timucuan shell mound. During the War of 1812 the island was occupied by the British, who used the house as a headquarters. In 1818 Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, a dashing cavalry commander during the Revolutionary War and father of Robert E. Lee, stayed at the house until his death on March 25, 1818, cared for by Greene's daughter Louisa, and was laid to rest in nearby cemetery with full military honors provided by an American fleet stationed at St. Marys, Georgia. The house was abandoned during the U.S. Civil War and burned in 1866. In the 1880s the property was purchased by Thomas M. Carnegie, brother of Andrew Carnegie, who began to build a new mansion on the site. The 59-room Queen Anne style mansion and grounds were completed after Carnegie's death in 1886. His wife Lucy continued to live at Dungeness and built other estates for her children, including Greyfield for Margaret Carnegie, Plum Orchard for George Lauder Carnegie, and Stafford Plantation. By this time, the Carnegies owned 90% of the island. The Carnegies moved out of Dungeness in 1925. In 1959 the Dungeness mansion was destroyed by fire, alleged to be arson. The ruins are today preserved by the National Park Service as part of Cumberland Island National Seashore. They were acquired by the Park Service in 1972. Greene Cottage or Tabby House The main house comprises a portion of the larger historic district, which includes servant's quarters, utility buildings, laundries, cisterns, and a variety of other structures. The district forms a planned, landscaped ensemble. The most significant supporting structure is the Tabby House or Nathanael Greene Cottage, which dates to the Greene family's tenure.
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Dungeness Historic District
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