As I mentioned before, with Mom and Dad here we explored some of the places we didn’t visit last year. One of the places we missed was Gascoigne Bluff and the Tabby Slave Cabins. So we headed there on a Sunday afternoon to check it out.
Historically, Gascoigne Bluff was the harbor on St. Simons Island. Gascoigne Bluff has been the headquarters for a military invasion, a Sea Island cotton plantation, the site of a lumber mill and a shipping point for timber. Live oak timbers milled here in 1794 were shipped out to build “Old Ironsides,” the U.S.S. Constitution.
Restored Tabby Slave Cabins are located at Gascoigne Bluff. The Cassina Garden Club restored the cabins from the Plantation Era and maintains them today. The Garden Club and slave cabins seem like an ironic pairing to me. We walked around the cabins located beside the Frederica River.
Today Gascoigne Bluff is a popular fishing pier for locals. There is a Southern Red Cedar tree that is the second largest of its kind in Georgia and a beautiful stand of live oak trees. Across the Frederica River, you can see three “ballast hammocks,” small islands formed from ballast dumped by European ships before taking on cotton or lumber. There is a six-hole disc golf course, a fitness trail, restroom facilities, and a picnic pavilion. The Georgia Sea Islands Festival is held here each year in June.
We enjoyed walking around the park and viewing the Marshes of Glynn from the pier. I’m not sure I would have named it Gascoigne Bluff – the shoreline is only a few feet above the river at high tide. But few of the places around here that are called bluffs would be so named in any other place. Although a lovely place, Gascoigne Bluff doesn’t seem to be any higher (or lower) than any other part of the island.