Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jekyll Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Dolphin Motor Hotel

Historic St. Andrews Beach

 
 
The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2018
1. The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker
Inscription.
The St. Andrews Beach Corporation formed in early 1956 to build a motel and restaurant here on Jekyll Island's once segregated South End. The company included many successful black business owners from Brunswick. In partnership with the Jekyll Island Authority, it created a notable resort destination for African Americans on Jekyll Island.

The St. Andrews Beach Corporation began building the Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel at this location in 1958. By August 1959, the motel was open for business. The enterprise was short lived due to financial difficulties, and the Jekyll Island Authority soon bought the resort for $299,000.

In 1960, the Jekyll Island Authority leased the Dolphin Club property to Dave Jackson, a prosperous and respected black farmer, banker, and businessman from Adel, Georgia.

Jackson relied on his family to help run the Dolphin Club resort. His two sisters, Annabelle Robinson and Betty Chandler, managed the Dolphin Club's hotel, while his nephew, James Chandler, oversaw the restaurant and lounge.

Under the Jackson family, the Dolphin Club became a popular vacation destination for African Americans. The Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel offered 58 rooms, available for $8.50 per night, at one of the prettiest beaches on the island. However, the segregated beach resort was eventually
Marker photo detail: Dolphin Motor Hotel, circa 1960 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker photo detail: Dolphin Motor Hotel, circa 1960
declared unprofitable following integration. The property reverted back to the Jekyll Island Authority after Jackson's lease expired.

(sidebar)
New Life for the Dolphin

The life of the facility as the Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel was short lived due to the integration of the island's amenities. Dave Jackson closed the operation in June of 1966, due to lack of business.

The Jekyll Island Authority reinvented the site as a Group Camp and Youth Center in 1968. The buildings hosted church groups and youth oriented organizations. By 1970, sports fields were added to the northern side of the complex.

The Georgia 4-H first leased the site in 1983, beginning with limited courses for youth groups and schools. By 1987, the organization offered a successful year-round environmental education program that continues to this day.
 
Erected 2016 by Jekyll Island Authority.
 
Location. 31° 1.011′ N, 81° 25.597′ W. Marker is in Jekyll Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker can be reached from South Beachview Drive 2.3 miles south of Jekyll Island Causeway (Georgia Route 520), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located inside the grounds of Camp Jekyll, near the northeast corner
Marker photo detail: Dolphin Motor Hotel and St. Andrews Beach Pavilion, 1960 image. Click for full size.
3. Marker photo detail: Dolphin Motor Hotel and St. Andrews Beach Pavilion, 1960
of Camp Jekyll's Heron Cabin. Enter Camp Jekyll from South Beachview Drive, then proceed (on foot) along the walkway through the commons to the Heron Cabin (former site of the Dolphin Motor Hotel). Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 South Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island GA 31527, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Beach Pavilion (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dolphin Club Lounge (within shouting distance of this marker); Beach Access (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Andrews Beach (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Separate But Equal? (about 500 feet away); What Was Here Before? (approx. 2.3 miles away); Jekyll Island Boat House Site, Shipshape for the Season (approx. 2 miles away); The Boat House Site (approx. 2 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 . . .
1. Triumphs and Challenges: The Segregation Years of Jekyll Island.
Construction began in October of 1958 and by August of 1959 the Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel was in operation. In the early 1960s a room at the Dolphin Motor Hotel cost $8.50 a night. Numerous school groups
Marker photo detail: Jekyll Island Group Camp & Youth Center, 1968 image. Click for full size.
4. Marker photo detail: Jekyll Island Group Camp & Youth Center, 1968
from around Georgia flocked to the facilities by the busload and many of the teachers and children viewed the Atlantic coast for the first time in their lives. (Submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Camp Jekyll Center History.
(Link includes photos of the Dolphin Motor Hotel, through it's various stages and renovations.)
Several African-American business owners formed the St. Andrews Beach Corporation and built the Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel, a motel for the African-American visitors to the island. The motel was opened in August 1959, but in late 1959, the corporation was dissolved and the hotel sold to the Jekyll Island Authority. The Dolphin Club and Motor Hotel closed in June 1966. The building was used off and on for a group camp and youth center from the late 1960's until the late 1970's. (Submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansParks & Recreational Areas
 
The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2018
5. The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker (tall view)
The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2018
6. The Dolphin Motor Hotel Marker (wide view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. 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.
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