Historic Cottages of Millionaire’s Village
Nestled among the ancient live oaks of Jekyll Island’s Historic District are some of the island’s true treasures. Not pirate chests gleaming with stolen gold, but beautiful buildings, former homes to some of the most famous (or infamous) men of America’s past – historic cottages that once belonged to industrial giants that clawed their way to the top of their fields and became some of the nation’s elite millionaires.
These are the Jekyll Island millionaire’s cottages, the former residential section of what became known as the Millionaire’s Village.
Jekyll Island is now a favorite vacation spot for folks from all over. Some lucky few can even call the island home. But in the Gilded Age, Jekyll Island was the exclusive playground for elitists, a private club that was closed to normal folk. The Jekyll Island Club, as it was known, included men like the Rockefellers, Pulitzers, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Morgans and others, who fled the frozen North in winter to Jekyll Island – more to get away from their frantic, high-stress lives than to escape the cold.
Between 1888 and 1928, the millionaire’s not only built their clubhouse (now the Jekyll Island Club Hotel ), but also homes – their “cottages”. While not as elaborate as their permanent homes, these cottages would be mansions anywhere else. Their styles run from Victorian to Queen Anne to Spanish to Italian to Mediterranean.
Laid Back Elegance
The Jekyll Island Club members built simply and with muted taste. None of the cottages could be more grand than the clubhouse. All must fit into the island ecology as unobtrusively as possible. Architectural one-upmanship was discouraged (though it did rear it’s ugly head in later days).
The members insisted that Jekyll Island remain undeveloped, and their vision persists. To this day only 35% of the island can be developed.
The Jekyll Island Club disbanded following World War II, and the state of Georgia acquired the island. The elegant Jekyll Island clubhouse, once abandoned, forlorn and fallen into disrepair,was converted into a hotel. Many of the gracious cottages have been restored to their original condition, and others are awaiting restoration.
General FAQs about Jekyll Island’s Historic Cottages
To whet your appetite, here are some fun facts about Jekyll Island’s cottages.
- Most of these elaborate second-homes did not have kitchens. Instead, the millionaires and their families ate most of their meals at the Jekyll Island clubhouse.
- Though deemed cottages, they had all the comforts of home – these millionaires didn’t want to stray far from the creature comforts!
- Many of the historic homes have had their landscapes renovated to reflect landscape design of the period
- Several of the restored homes are on Jekyll Island’s “Holiday Tour” , and are decorated in Christmas finery during this festive time
- Some say ghosts haunt a few of the cottages
Showcase Historic Cottages
Here you can meet the millionaire’s cottages, and learn more about their spectacular, storied history.
Step inside and experience
- Rockefeller’s “Indian Mound” Cottage
- Hollybourne Cottage
- Goodyear Cottage
- Crane Cottage
- Moss Cottage
- Cherokee Cottage
- Frederick Baker’s “Solterra Cottage”
- DuBignon Cottage
- Mistletoe Cottage
- Indian Mound Cottage
- Villa Ospo Cottage
- Chichota Cottage (now only ruins)
- Furness Cottage
- Villa Marianna Cottage
On your next trip to Jekyll Island, make like a millionaire (without the cost!) and visit each of these historic cottages. It’s almost like living in a Monopoly game!