Friday, December 19, 2014


In the last post about our visit to the Reynolds Mansion/Lodge on Sapelo Island, we left off with the basement. The original house had no basement and is the brainchild of Howard Coffin.

Coffin, a prosperous automotive person from Detroit, came down to Savannah in 1911 for automobile races and heard the island was for sale. He bought the plantation ruins, added a top story, and had a full basement dug out from beneath the house. It had to be done without machines since the house was already built. Can you imagine those poor workers, digging up the sandy soil and trucking it out by hand?

Nowadays, a pool table, ping-pong table, and bowling alley (there were once two lanes but now only one) are housed down there along with the gun room. Also there's a large bar that I'm sure was well-appointed in Reynolds' time.

Menaboni, the artist known for his birds, did murals down here for Reynolds as well as upstairs. Unfortunately, the humidity all but destroyed them. The only way to save them was to take them up, copy them, and hang them back in frames like this one. The ship reflects something of the pirate theme Reynolds seemed to have liked. There are other pirates and ships all along the basement walls.

There is also a surprise for anyone needing a restroom while partying down in the basement. Open the bathroom door and this confronts you!

A bit of whimsy that had our group jostling each other to get to where they could see her.  The actual john is behind the screen.


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