Driftwood Beach Sunrise, a Historic Island, and a Capsized Cargo Ship

The morning after our anniversary celebration, Henry slept in while I got up early to watch the sunrise at Driftwood Beach.

Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA
Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

A Brief History of Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Club:

  • 1886 – The island was purchased for $125,000 by wealthy American industrialists to create a hunting retreat, the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1888 – The Jekyll Island Club opened.
  • 1896 – The San Soucie (meaning ‘Without Care’) was built with six units. It is one of the earliest condominium buildings in the United States. William Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were two of the owners.
  • 1910 – A plan was made for the Federal Reserve Banking System during a secret meeting of the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1915 – The first transcontinental call was made by one of the club members.
  • 1947 – The State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island for $675,000 and the island became a state park.
  • 1972 – The Jekyll Island Club was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1985 – 1986 – The Jekyll Island Club was completely restored and opened in 1986 as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
  • Today, Jekyll Island is a popular beach destination on Georgia’s coast with several hotels, a campground, easy access to miles of beach, and many activities to enjoy.

Here are a few images from around today’s Jekyll Island Club Resort. Click on an image for a closer look.

We took some scenic drives around the 7 1/2 mile long and 1 1/2 mile wide island. At the fishing pier on the north end of the island we had a great view of the Sydney Lanier Bridge and the Golden Ray cargo ship.

Sydney Lanier Bridge

We came across some birds as we wandered around the island.

Osprey on nest, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Tri-colored heron on Jekyll Island near Driftwood Beach

On September 8, 2019 the Korean cargo ship the Golden Ray left the port of Brunswick loaded with cars shortly before it ran aground in the St. Simons sound. The ship caught fire and thankfully, all of the 24 crew members were rescued. Since then, a special response team has been working to remove the ship. Recently, the team has put the efforts on hold because of COVID-19 and hurricane season. For more information go to St. Simons Sound Response.

22 thoughts on “Driftwood Beach Sunrise, a Historic Island, and a Capsized Cargo Ship

  1. Awesome pictures and blog post! We’ve been following the cargo ship issue for a while since we’re in St Augustine. It’s probably still going to be there when we take our trek out in the spring. We may be able to see it. Thank you for your great blogs!

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  2. Wow! I loved your pictures of your Anniversary Get Away. And it’s quite interesting I had not heard about the Cargo ship. Thank you for all the information! Happy week to you.

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    1. Thanks Nancy! The ship made national news last fall right after it ran aground and the crew members were saved. We hear about it in the news here because it is just down the coast from us.

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  3. Such a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary. I wish we had time when we were there a few weeks ago to explore more of Jekyll Island. LOVE Driftwood Beach! I read somewhere, they are putting off any removal of the Golden Ray until at least Oct. Luckily, so far, it isn’t posing an ecological hazard.

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  4. You certainly had one amazing anniversary celebration. The scenery and the architecture are truly beautiful. That ship is fascinating to think that it is still sitting there because it’s hard to think that this type of accident could still happen.

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  5. I can’t believe the Golden Ray is still sitting there! Let’s hope they figure out how to safely get it out of there before too much longer. We are looking forward to a trip to St. Simons once travel opens up again and I was hoping it would have been salvaged by then. But it doesn’t look too promising.

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    1. Brenda, last I saw they postponed the work until after Hurricane season. I was amazed when we walked out on the pier and saw how huge it is. I hope you will be able to travel soon. People are traveling to Tybee and Jekyll from other states. Not sure about St. Simons.


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