Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Melting Pot of St George Island Florida

Another weekend and another adventure. This one close to home but in a more northern direction from the usual jaunt to St Augustine. And yet St George Island has just as much history as St. Augustine with rich relics of the native population that inhabited the area and numerous tales of the back and forth ownership between the Spanish, French and British. Couple that with a roaring 20's seaside resort and you have the makings of a really good story. As always, click each photo for a better view.

Nothing embodies St George Island more than the Ribault Club which was a high end resort during the 20's and is now a cultural center for the island. It is on the same stretch of the island as the Kingsley Plantation and has a great view of the inlet.

Entering the main building, you are instantly transported back in time to the era of flappers and grand parties. I could imagine young people back then sitting in these chairs listening to music or some radio program.

Or this long hall, it must have all kinds of stories to tell about conversations that occurred leading to the ball room at the end. One can just imagine great parties and flappers in this corridor.

I could not resist taking a picture of these dark golden chairs that seemed to occupy a special place in the hall. There was something old and beautiful about them in that spot.

The major difference between this region and St Augustine is its emphasis on the native population that inhabited the area along with the British,French, and Spanish. One whole side of the resort is dedicated to the island's ever changing history...

and how the club came to be named Ribault.

The beauty of the place truly amazes you and has numerous spots for you to stop and just take it all in. There is a plaque tribute to a local environmentalist that sits at the base of this oak tree. The tribute invites you to take a moment, sit down on the bench and soak in the calm of the area.

And finally, this little church caught my eye on the drive out. It is a classic example of Carpenter Gothic (steep gable roof, narrow rectangle shape, pointed windows and bell tower) which used local materials and was the preferred form of construction in the area after the civil war until 1924.

But, it is only once you walk a little around the side that you realize just how narrow the church actually is.

And there you have it... St. George Island and the Ribault Club!