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Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Jekyll Square West

 

— City of Brunswick —

 
Jekyll Square West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
1. Jekyll Square West Marker
Inscription.  
Jekyll Square, originally called “Jekyll Place,” was named after Sir Joseph Jekyll (1663-1738), a member of British parliament. He was a friend of General Oglethorpe—founder of Georgia—and a financial supporter of the colony. It is a fitting tribute to Sir Joseph Jekyll that the square named in his honor has long been a center of law, commerce and finance in Brunswick. Portrait of Sir Joseph Jekyll courtesy of the Jekyll Island Museum.

A Center of Finance and Government
The population of Brunswick grew slowly. The city came into its own in the 1880s as the port became a national forest export leader, and businesses began to flourish along Newcastle Street.

When Oglethorpe National Bank was chartered in 1889, it built an imposing 3-story red brick building (right) with a distinctive cupola on Jekyll Square West. In 1893 , the bank failed during a national economic crisis, and much of the building was unused for years.

A major hurricane brought 16’ of storm surge into downtown Brunswick in 1898, flooding the old county courthouse and destroying valuable
Jekyll Square West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
2. Jekyll Square West Marker
property records. Although the cupola of the former bank was blown away, the sturdy structure main structure remained intact. The county purchased the building, repaired the cupola and moved all official business to Jekyll Square. When a new courthouse was built in 1907, the Brunswick Bank and Trust Company purchased the building. At the time, the bank held the distinction of having the only revolving door in town. Bank and 1898 hurricane photos courtesy of Coastal Historical Society.

A Growing City on the Move
The 1910 streetscape (above) showing Jekyll Square features Brunswick’s favorite modes of transportation; the old fashioned horse and wagon, “modern” trolley cars and the new craze-an automobile. By 1926, trolley service was discontinued and Newcastle Street was crowded with roadsters and touring cars (left).

A late 1930s view of Newcastle Street, looking north, shows a busy city recovering from the Great Depression. In 1958, the bank, now named American National Bank, built another facility and sold the building on Jekyll Square. Soon afterwards, the top two floors and cupola were removed, the arches were bricked in and a Mansard-inspired roof was installed. 1910 photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Historical Society; 1926 and 1930s photos courtesy of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association.

Looking
(Top Left): Portrait of Sir Joseph Jekyll image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
3. (Top Left): Portrait of Sir Joseph Jekyll
Courtesy of the Jekyll Island Museum.
Good

Several generations of Brunswick gentlemen benefited from the talents of Howard E. Battle, (right) of Floyd’s Barber Shop on the southeast corner of this square. Altman’s Feminine Attire, which sold everything from Girl Scouts uniforms to ball gowns, later occupied that space, plus several adjacent buildings. Courtesy of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association.

New Life in the Old Square
In 2008, the city of Brunswick and Signature Squares restored both Jekyll Square East and West. The focal point of this square is the fountain created from the base bowl of the original 1885 fountain in Hanover Square. The parks were dedicated on May 2, 2008. Photos courtesy of Troup Nightingale.

In 1771, the city of Brunswick. Georgia was laid out according to "the Oglethorpe Plan," named after the colony's founder. General James Edward Oglethorpe. The design featured a grid of 14 large and small squares. The intention of the plan was to create permanent, park-like common areas throughout the city. The squares still bear their original names, which reveal Brunswick's strong historic ties to England.

Signature Squares of Brunswick, a non-profit organization founded to restore and preserve the parks and squares within the historic district of Brunswick, gratefully acknowledges the
(Bottom Left): Oglethorpe National Bank circa 1889 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
4. (Bottom Left): Oglethorpe National Bank circa 1889
Photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Historical Society
research contributions of Mia Knight Nichols and the support of the City of Brunswick: Delong-Sweet Foundation: The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., Magnolia Garden Club; Jekyll Island Authority; Friends of Coastal Georgia History: Downtown Development Authority; Plum Creek Foundation; Jerry Spencer, ASLA, Landscape Architect.

 
Erected 2008 by Signature Squares of Brunswick.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 31° 8.9′ N, 81° 29.712′ W. Marker is in Brunswick, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on Newcastle Street south of Gloucester Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brunswick GA 31520, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jekyll Square East (within shouting distance of this marker); Machen Square East (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bernice Echols Grant (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Machen Square East (about 500 feet away); Machen Square West (about 500 feet away); Liberty Tree (about 600 feet away); James Edward Oglethorpe
(Top Middle Left): 1898 Hurricane damage image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
5. (Top Middle Left): 1898 Hurricane damage
Photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Historical Society
(about 600 feet away); Brunswick's "Liberty Ships" (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brunswick.
 
Also see . . .  Signature Squares of Brunswick. (Submitted on September 3, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
 
(Top Middle Right): Jekyll Square Photo 1910 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
6. (Top Middle Right): Jekyll Square Photo 1910
Photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Historical Society
(Top Middle Right): Jekyll Square Photo 1910 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
7. (Top Middle Right): Jekyll Square Photo 1910
Photo courtesy of Coastal Georgia Historical Society
( Middle): Roadsters and touring cars on Newcastle Street 1926 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
8. ( Middle): Roadsters and touring cars on Newcastle Street 1926
Photo courtesy of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Association.
(Middle Bottom Right) Barber Howard E. Battle image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
9. (Middle Bottom Right) Barber Howard E. Battle
Photo courtesy of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Association.
Renovation of Jekyll Square 2008 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
10. Renovation of Jekyll Square 2008
photo courtesy of Troup Nightingale.
(Bottom Right): 1771 Town Plat “the Oglethorpe Plan” image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
11. (Bottom Right): 1771 Town Plat “the Oglethorpe Plan”
In 1771, the city of Brunswick, Georgia was laid out according to “the Oglethorpe plan,” named after the colony’s founder, General James Edward Oglethorpe . The design featured a grid of 14 large and 14 small squares. The intention of the plan was to create permanent, park-like common areas throughout the city. The squares still bear their original names, which reveal Brunswick’s strong historic ties to England.
Jekyll Square sign image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, August 23, 2020
12. Jekyll Square sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 3, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   7, 8, 9. submitted on September 4, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   10, 11, 12. submitted on September 6, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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