Monday, December 15, 2014


The Reynolds Mansion/Lodge on Sapelo Island was first built about 1802 by Thomas Spalding after he bought the island. He used a different formula for making tabby that allowed the walls (two feet thick) to stand through two hurricanes. When he died in 1851, his family held on until the Civil War when they fled to the mainland. The mansion was left to vandals and pretty much ruined after the war. The freed slaves originally imported to work the plantation remained and formed their own communities.

In 1912, Howard Coffin bought the island, excepting for what the slave descendents owned. He and his wife put in roads, reclaimed fields, and also renovated and enlarged the house. The restored mansion hosted Presidents Hoover and Coolidge as well as notables like Charles Lindbergh.

In the thirties, money was tight and Coffin sold it. A story goes that he invited a group of hunters for a sales pitch. Among them was R.J. Reynolds, Jr. When told the asking price, R.J. turned to the other hunters and said, "Hell, we ought to have enough pocket change among us to buy it," and started emptying his pockets. I don't know it that's true or not, but by 1934, he was the owner!

Here are a couple of pix of the library, a pretty room with a curved outside wall; even the windows are curved. The first shot shows one of the docents who took us around. Oh, and the books belonged to Reynolds; some of them even have his nameplates in them.

This is one the curved windows. I really like this room!


  1. I would be quite happy in that library!

    1. Since Reynolds died in 1964, the books are rather old. I noticed several classics though!


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