Jekyll Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Beach Pavilion
Historic St. Andrews Beach
The Beach Pavilion in front of you opened on September 25, 1955 to great fanfare, as St. Andrews Beach became the first public beach in Georgia to welcome African Americans. Celebrations included a motorcade, dedication ceremony, and music by the Risley High School Band.
Known during segregation as the "Colored Beach House," the pavilion originally had dressing rooms, a concession stand, and a covered picnic area. A man called "Jelly" ran the pavilion's food stand, selling hot dogs and wrapped sandwiches to beach-goers. At the time, soft drinks cost just five cents each.
African Americans often visited the pavilion to listen to music and enjoy a picnic lunch. Locals held parties and danced to the jukebox here. The pavilion remained an important gathering spot for the black community until 1964, when integration made the segregated space unnecessary.
In 2016, the historic pavilion was restored to provide a fun space for recreation in the present. Efforts to preserve this landmark and share the story of St. Andrews Beach have ensured that the legacy of this special place continues alongside modern facilities
The site's new facilities offer a variety of engaging experiences on Jekyll Island through the Georgia 4-H. History continues to be made here as new generations create memories of Jekyll Island at historic St. Andrews Beach.
Jim Bacote was a local youth who remembers time spent at the St. Andrews Beach Pavilion as a coming of age moment.
The pavilion had a jukebox. It played Little Richard singing "Lucille" and "Long Tall Sally," and kids would get together to dance. At that time, he said, boys and girls dancing together amounted to doing "The Twist."
Bacote also remembers line dancing at the pavilion to Al Brown's "The Madison," a popular dance craze of the 1950s and 1960s. Everyone would line up. Blessed with a loud voice, Bacote would call out the steps, shouting: "Two up, two back!"
During fun times like these, Bacote found that he had grown out of the "He-Man Woman-Haters Club" to discover that he liked girls. In fact, his future wife, Pat, worked nearby at the Dolphin Club Lounge!
Erected 2016 by Jekyll Island Authority.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights Parks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 31° 1.025′ N, 81° 25.567′ W. Marker is in Jekyll Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker can be reached from South Beachview Drive 2.3 miles from Jekyll Island Causeway (Georgia Route 520), on the left when traveling south. Marker is located directly in front of the subject historic Beach Pavilion, inside the grounds of Camp Jekyll. Enter Camp Jekyll from South Beachview Drive, then proceed (on foot) southeast through the commons for a short distance to the Beach Pavilion. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 South Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island GA 31527, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Dolphin Motor Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dolphin Club Lounge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Beach Access (about 300 feet away); St. Andrews Beach (about 500 feet away); Separate But Equal? (about 500 feet away); Wanderer Memory Trail (approx. half a mile away); What Was Here Before? (approx. 2.3 miles away); Jekyll Island Boat House Site, Shipshape for the Season (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jekyll Island.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Historic St. Andrews Beach
Also see . . . Segregation on Jekyll Island, Georgia.
In 1955 a beach pavilion was constructed on the south end of Jekyll. The structure, called the Negro Beach House, was one of only a few places in the South where a black person could spend leisure time near the beach. The Negro Beach House included dressing rooms, a concession stand, and a covered picnic area. Today, the building is part of the Camp Jekyll 4-H Center's Environmental Education facilities on Jekyll Island. (Submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.