“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Cassina Garden Club Houses

Cassina Garden Club Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 20, 2008
1. Cassina Garden Club Houses Marker
Inscription. These houses were slave cabins on the Gascoigne Bluff section of Hamilton Plantation which was developed in 1793 by James Hamilton into one of the largest estates on St. Simons Island.

Eventually this Gascoigne Bluff area was given to Glynn County for a park honoring the first naval site in America. These cabins were given to the Cassina Garden Club in 1931 for preservation purposes.
Erected 1965 by Cassina Garden Club.
Location. 31° 10.26′ N, 81° 24.446′ W. Marker is in St. Simons Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on Arthur J. Moore Drive north of Hamilton Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Simons Island GA 31522, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Man Named Wesley Passed This Way / Lovely Lane Chapel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gascoigne Bluff (about 500 feet away); Epworth By The Sea / Epworth Pioneers (about 500 feet away); Hamilton Plantation (about 500 feet away); A Mission By The Sea / Susannah Wesley (about 500 feet away); Lovely Lane Chapel
Cassina Garden Club Houses and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
2. Cassina Garden Club Houses and Marker
Hamilton Plantation
Located on St. Simons Island, the remains of this antebellum plantation contain two surviving slave cabins, originally a set of four built before 1833. Among the better surviving slave cabins in the South, they are made of tabby, a cement consisting of lime, water, and crushed oyster shells. The cabins have built-in windows and a central chimney. James Hamilton Couper, namesake of the owner and manager of the plantation, was an architect and a builder. He designed and built the cabins to house the slaves who served in the plantation's main house. Utilizing a duplex plan to house more than one family, the cabins were originally part of a planned community of slave dwellings. (National Park Service)
(about 700 feet away); Captain Gascoigne (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Gascoigne Bluff (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in St. Simons Island.
Regarding Cassina Garden Club Houses. The foundation of the plantation system was made up of those at the bottom of the social hierarchy - the slaves. The cultivation of sea island cotton was labor intensive, and the planters were often outnumbered by their black charges as much as twenty to one. The slaves lived in cabins made of wood or tabby that were often duplexes large enough to accommodate two families.

The use of tabby had been discontinued in Georgia after 1762 until its revitalization by the coastal planters. Thomas Spalding, influenced by the ruins of Frederica, reintroduced tabby in 1805 with the construction of his home on Sapelo Island. Other planters followed his example, and tabby construction in the home of both master and slave thrived until the Civil War.
Also see . . .  The Coastal Georgia Experience, History - St. Simons Island. ( James) Hamilton settled on the southwestern portion of St. Simons and gave the plantation his own
Cassina Garden Club Houses image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 20, 2008
3. Cassina Garden Club Houses
This property has been
placed on the
National Register
Of Historic Places

by the United States
Department of the Interior
name. The main house, of simple colonial design with a shuttered veranda and latticed foundations, overlooked a wide lawn that sloped down to the Frederica River.

The Hamilton property included Gascoigne Bluff, where Captain John Barry of the fledgling United States Navy supervised the shipping of live oak timber felled on St. Simons Island in 1794 for the construction of the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides. And it was from the Hamilton wharf located here that most of St. Simons' sea island cotton was shipped to northern and European markets.

Hamilton's business interests were not restricted to St. Simons, and he was often away from his island home. In his travels, he sent John Couper seeds and plants from all over the world to test their adaptability on St. Simons Island. Hamilton took an active interest, however, in island affairs, and his plantation was noted for its efficiency and productivity. Eventually, Hamilton accumulated a fortune from his cotton fields, and retired to Philadelphia to pursue his northern business interests. At his death in 1829, his estate was said to be worth more than a million dollars. The other planters of St. Simons would not be so fortunate. (Submitted on September 27, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
Categories. Antebellum South, USLandmarksNotable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers
Cassina Garden Club Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
4. Cassina Garden Club Houses Marker
National Register Plaque can be seen at left of doorway. Information from the National Register includes:
Hamilton Plantation Slave Cabins ** (added 1988 - District - #88000968)
Address Restricted, St. Simons Island
Historic Significance: Information Potential, Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Couper, James Hamilton
Architectural Style: No Style Listed
Area of Significance: Architecture, Historic - Non-Aboriginal, Black
Cultural Affiliation: Black slave
Period of Significance: 1825-1849, 1850-1874
Owner: Private , Local Gov't
Historic Function: Domestic
Historic Sub-function: Multiple Dwelling
Current Function: Social
Current Sub-function: Clubhouse
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,247 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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