Runtrails' Web Journal
Previous       2013 Journal Topics       Home       Next




Continued from the previous page.


Ranger Rene invited us to join her for her talk/tour of the Dungeness ruins but I opted out of that. Several of us went on ahead to the ruins. I wanted to get photos without a dozen people around. Even though I saw people occasionally during the day I was often alone -- my choice.

It's about a half-mile walk to the ruins through the shady, lush maritime forest:





There have been two large homes on this foundation.

Revolutionary War Hero General Nathanael Greene purchased land on Cumberland Island in 1783. Following his death his widow, Catherine Greene, constructed a four-story tabby home that she named Dungeness.

Thomas Carnegie and his wife Lucy began building another Dungeness on the original foundation in 1884. I don't know when the Carnegie family last occupied the mansion. It had been abandoned before someone set it on fire in 1959.

Now only ruins remain, preserved by the National Park Service. I was fascinated with the remaining walls and took numerous photos of the structure:










I had the Dungeness ruins and other buildings on the grounds mostly to myself.  I spent almost an hour wandering around the large estate and down to the estuary.

One structure that is still intact is the tabby house built for the Greene's gardener in 1800:

Tabby is a type of concrete made of materials abundant on the island -- oyster shells, lime, sand, and water. An interpretive panel indicates it is the oldest house on the island. After the Carnegies bought most of the island this building served as their office to manage the estate.

Nearby is a large pergola that was a pleasant shady spot covered with flowering vines:





The three Carnegie mansions on the island, including this one, all had extensive formal gardens with clipped hedges and sculptured fountains, surrounded by massive live oaks, magnolias, palmettos, and marshes.

Only the hard structures and trees remain on the grounds at Dungeness but they are still attractive.

As I walked around the grounds I passed by a spring house and large, dilapidated greenhouse with low tabby walls. There is a lower terraced area between the house and the marsh, with a nice view back to the ruins:

Next I came to a boat house by the wetlands on the Cumberland Sound side of the estate:


I walked back up to the level of the mansion and came to some buildings that were used for recreational activities:


The two intact mansions on Cumberland Island were also owned by the Carnegie family. One remains in family hands and one is now owned by the National Park Service.

Greyfield Inn was built for Thomas and Lucy's daughter Margaret Ricketson in 1900.

Since 1962 it has been a private inn managed by Margaret's daughter Lucy Ferguson and her family. It still contains many of the original period furnishings:

Greyfield Inn (photo from their website)

Plum Orchard was built in 1898 for Thomas and Lucy Carnegie's son George and his wife.

This Georgian Revival mansion is eight miles north of the Sea Camp dock and closed most of the time. The best way to see it is on the Lands & Legacies van tour:

Plum Orchard  (photo from NPS website)

Continued on the next pageCumberland's white sand dunes and beaches

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

Previous       Next

2013 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil