“the ruins of a Revolutionary War hero's home”
Believe it or not, one of the most interesting and important estates in American history is this ruined mansion out on Georgia's Cumberland Island, part of the Cumberland National Seashore. More than one famous figure occupied the island (as far back as the 1730's!) and yet the remains have been left to crumble. James Oglethorpe, the man who founded the state of Georgia, was the first to occupy the island. He built a hunting lodge he called "Dungeness" there in 1736. After that, the next major owner was Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene, who acquired the land in repayment for a bad debt. Greene built another iteration of Dungeness on the estate in 1803. The island played a big role in the War of 1812, when the British occupied it and used it as a headquarters, and Robert E. Lee's father stayed in the mansion for a few years before his death. The island was abandoned during the Civil War, and Dungeness II burned down. The next people to live on the land were Thomas Carnegie, brother of wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas's wife, Lucy. They commissioned another Dungeness to be built, this time a 59-room Queen Anne-style mansion. Sadly, Thomas died before it was completed, but Lucy lived there until 1925, when the Carnegies left. Of course, such a lavish mansion cost (literally) a fortune to keep running smoothly, and when the Great Depression rolled around, the place was outright abandoned. It sat there, rotting away, for nearly 30 years, before a fire made quick work of most of what remained-- but the skeleton of the building still stands. The Dungeness Ruins are all overgrown and covered in ivy and generally look super eerie. If you're rather see a historic mansion that isn't mostly destroyed, then you're in luck! The Carnegies had another mansion on the island: Plum Orchard/ Lucy had it built for her son George and his wife, and it's still in pristine condition. You can visit the stately mansion and take a guided tour of it after you check out the Dungeness Ruins... so you can get an idea of just how epic Dungeness would have been in its prime! Visiting Cumberland Island National Seashore: The only way to reach the island is to hop on the ferry at St. Marys. While there's nowhere to buy food or supplies on the island (pack accordingly), you will find campsites and hiking trails! -Roadtrippers
How exciting!! :D
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