10 August 2008

The Bells of St Marys

Ok, this is St Marys, the smaller but more interesting and slightly better known companion east of Kingsland. Originally founded as St patrick in 1787, the area had already been home to plantations and seen several skirmishes in the Revolution. On December 12, 1787, a group of locals bought the land from Jacob Weed, who had been granted the land by the state. Their purpose was to create a town to be the government center for the already organized Camden County. The twenty two founders each agreed to buy four lots of four acres each, and build a home on at least on of the lots within six months. The name was changed to St Marys in 1792 to match the river St Marys that it was located on. The town saw a number of Indian fights and raids over the next several years, and claimed a unique place in the War of 1812 that we will talk about later. The town was mostly abbandoned during the Civil War, and saw numerous raids by Union troops fom nearby Fort Clinch. The town and the county recovered from the war and now it lives mostly on tourists who come to see its small town charm. I thought I had a book that told more about the buildings in the old town, but I can't find it, so you just get the pretty pictures. Above is the Our Lady of the Sea Catholic Chapel, built in 1847.
Bank of Camden County, built in 1911

Canon from a nearby sunken Spanish vessel
The "Toonerville Trolley" that ran between Kingsland and St Marys in the early 20th century. Local lore claims it was the inspiration for the trolley in the Toonerville cartoons, but some internet research quickly debunks that story.

The elementary school, which has two of these canon out front, but I don't remember where they come from (and I can't find my book!! Grrr!)

Small cemetery near Point Peter, just north of old St Marys
The park downtown, built only in the last few years.
The marina, almost all that's left of what was once a busy seaport.

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