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Island Waterway With Trees At Ossabaw Island

Ossabaw Island
is privately owned and is one of the largest of Georgia's barrier islands with an area of more than three times that of Bermuda. The mounds of oyster shells found on the island, thought to possibly be kitchen middens from its former inhabitants,  are a tell-tale sign of the Native Americans who once lived there. 

John Morel, the island's first landowner to clear and cultivate the property, developed the island into one of Georgia's first coastal empires. Hundreds of slaves had to be settled on the island in order to process and cultivate the plantation's main crop of indigo. 

During the Civil War, the island was evacuated and the fields were left uncultivated. After the war, the property was sold and the only inhabitants left were a few former slaves who chose to remain there.

Around the turn of the century, the island was owned almost entirely by the Wanamakers of Philadelphia who repaired some of the former buildings, built a clubhouse at the North End of the island and converted it back into a hunting island.

Pelican At Ossabaw IslandIn 1978 Ossabaw Island became Georgia's first Heritage Preserve. Today, extensive research, along with educational and scientific studies, are conducted on the island.  Seasonal hunting is only allowed by permit and access to the island is exclusively available by private or charter boat. For more information, call 912-262-3173.




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