Island Time
An Illustrated History of St. Simons Island, Georgia

Jingle Davis
Photographs by Benjamin Galland

Capturing the history and beauty of a key destination in the land of the Golden Isles


"Many Georgians have long suspected that St. Simons Island packs more interesting history and colorful characters per square, sandy inch than almost any other place in the Deep South. Now there's written proof of it. Island Time is a deeply researched, lushly photographed new book that tells the beginnings-to-present-day story of the small island south of Savannah that was first occupied by Paleo-Indians nearly 5,000 years ago."
—Jill Vejnoska, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Island Time is well researched, engagingly written, and beautifully presented. It's an essential book for anyone interested in the story of St. Simons Island conveyed by two people who know it well and love it deeply."
Elegant Island Living

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Eighty miles south of Savannah lies St. Simons Island, one of the most beloved seaside destinations in Georgia and home to some twenty thousand year-round residents. In Island Time, Jingle Davis and Benjamin Galland offer a fascinating history and stunning visual celebration of this coastal community.

Prehistoric people established some of North America's first permanent settlements on St. Simons, leaving three giant shell rings as evidence of their occupation. People from other diverse cultures also left their mark: Mocama and Guale Indians, Spanish friars, pirates and privateers, British soldiers and settlers, German religious refugees, and aristocratic antebellum planters. Enslaved Africans and their descendants forged the unique Gullah Geechee culture that survives today. Davis provides a comprehensive history of St. Simons, connecting its stories to broader historical moments. Timbers for Old Ironsides were hewn from St. Simons's live oaks during the Revolutionary War. Aaron Burr fled to St. Simons after killing Alexander Hamilton. Susie Baker King Taylor became the first black person to teach openly in a freedmen's school during her stay on the island. Rachel Carson spent time on St. Simons, which she wrote about in The Edge of the Sea.

The island became a popular tourist destination in the 1800s, with visitors arriving on ferries until a causeway opened in 1924. Davis describes the challenges faced by the community with modern growth and explains how St. Simons has retained the unique charm and strong sense of community that it is known for today. Featuring more than two hundred contemporary photographs, historical images, and maps, Island Time is an essential book for people interested in the Georgia coast.

A Friends Fund Publication

Page count: 288 pp.
171 color photos, 47 b&w photos, 3 maps
Trim size: 10 X 9

Read more about St. Simons Island at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $34.95

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Jingle Davis is a retired journalist who worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, often covering south Georgia and the coast. Benjamin Galland is a photographer and partner with h2o Creative Group in Brunswick. Davis and Galland are both St. Simons natives.