Coastal Georgia History

Cumberland Island

Stephen Doster- Cumberland Island Footsteps in Time
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Hardcover Book Available on  Amazon 

        Stephen Doster

Cumberland Island is the southernmost and largest barrier island on the Georgia coast, with a history that predates the arrival of Western civilization in the Americas. Currently, it has few full- time residents, but its beauty brings thousands of visitors each year from around the world. Day hikers and overnight campers bask in Cumberland's tranquility and marvel at its natural treasures, walking beneath canopies of live oak trees draped in Spanish moss.

Comprising three major ecosystem regions, Cumberland is home to large areas of salt marshes and a dense maritime forest, but its most famous ecosystem is its beach, which stretches over seventeen miles. The island is also home to many native and nonnative species, such as white-tailed deer, turkey, feral hogs and horses, wild boar, nine-banded armadillos, and American alligators, as well as many species of birds.

Aside from wild horses and the remains of Thomas M. Carnegie's estate, most visitors are unaware of the details of the island's varied history. Cumberland's past tells a rich and complex story, one of conquest by indigenous tribes, French and Spanish explorers, English settlers, cotton planters, and occupation by British and Union naval forces.

Cumberland Island: Footsteps in Time is the first book about the island that offers readers a complete history of the island combined with stunning photography and historical images. Richly illustrated with more than 250 color and black-and-white photographs, it is a comprehensive history, from native occupation to the present. Author Stephen Doster takes the reader on a chronological journey, outlining the key events and influential inhabitants that have left their mark on this stretch of Georgia's coast.

Each chapter focuses on a specific era: indigenous occupation; Spanish occupation; English occupation; the colonial period and War of 1812; the planter era and Civil War; the Gilded Age; north-end settlements and hotels; and the creation of a protected national seashore.