Jekyll Island’s Early Years
From Prehistory through Reconstruction

June Hall McCash

Discover the rich and surprising past of a popular destination on the Georgia coast


"Once again, June Hall McCash exceeds all expectations with her remarkable sense and feel for the history of Jekyll Island. Her impeccable research, combined with a clear and perceptive understanding of her topic, has resulted in an unusually fine study of Jekyll’s early history. This book will appeal both to serious students of the colonial and antebellum history of tidewater Georgia and to the general reader, and has been needed for a long, long time . . . well done in every respect!"
—Buddy Sullivan, author of Georgia: A State History

"From Jekyll Island's beginnings as an Edenic wilderness through exploration, settlement, revolution, and Civil War, June Hall McCash provides a fascinating foundation for understanding the historical origins of this coastal paradise."
—James C. Cobb, Spalding Distinguished Professor, University of Georgia

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From the foremost authority on the famed Georgia barrier island, here is the first in-depth look at Jekyll Island’s early history. Much of what defines our view of the place dates from the Jekyll Island Club era. Founded in 1886, the Club was the private resort of America’s moneyed elite, including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers. In this book, which ranges from pre-Columbian times through the Civil War and its aftermath, June Hall McCash shows how the environment, human conflict, and a desire for refuge shaped the island long before the Club’s founding.

Jekyll’s earliest identifiable inhabitants were the Timucua, a flourishing group of Native Americans who became extinct within two hundred years after their first contact with Europeans. Caught up in the New World contests among France, Spain, and England, the island eventually became part of a thriving English colony. In subsequent stories of Jekyll and its residents, the drama of our nation plays out in microcosm. The American Revolution, the War of 1812, the plantation era, and the Civil War brought change to the island, as did hurricanes and cotton farming. Personality conflicts and unsanctioned love affairs also had an impact, and McCash’s narrative is filled with the names of Jekyll’s powerful and often colorful families.

A Wormsloe Foundation Publication

Page count: 296 pp.
74 b&w photos
Trim size: 6.125 x 9.25

Read more about Jekyll Island at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $31.95

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List price: $28.95

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June Hall McCash is a professor emerita at Middle Tennessee State University and the author of The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony and coauthor of The Jekyll Island Club (both Georgia). She was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2011 and 2013.