Cumberland Island is now part our national seashores, but it has a long and fascinating history. In the 16th and 17th centuries the island was part of the missionary system built by the Spanish. Later, General James Oglethorpe would build a hunting lodge on the south end of Cumberland which he named Dungeness. The widow of Nathaniel Greene, the Revolutionary War hero, built a mansion on the island which she named Dungeness to honor Oglethorpe. In the 1880s, the Sea Islands of Georgia were becoming a favored retreat of the rich and famous. Thomas Carnegie, Andrew’s brother, bought land on Cumberland Island and built a mansion on the site – also calling it Dungeness. He died before it was completed, but his widow and family lived there until the stock market crash of 1929. It was destroyed by fire in 1959.
Cumberland Island is accessible by boat – including regular ferry service from St. Marys, Georgia. It’s a great day trip from St. Augustine. For details, visit the Cumberland National Seashore site.