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Gascoigne Bluff

Arthur J Moore Drive

St. Simons Island GA 31522

Georgia Histocial Marker:

Throughout the ages Gascoigne Bluff has been the gateway to St. Simons Island. An Indian village was located here. Capt. James Gascoigne of HM Sloop-of-war, HAWK, which convoyed the Frederica settlers on their voyage across the Atlantic in 1736, established headquarters for Georgia's naval forces and had his plantation here. In the invasion of 1742 the Spaniards landed at this bluff.

Live oak timbers for the building of USS CONSTITUTION, better known as "OLD IRONSIDES," and the other vessels of our first US Navy were cut on St. Simons and loaded here in 1794 for shipment North where the vessels were built.

During the Plantation Era these lands became the sea island cotton plantation of James Hamilton. A wharf here was the shipping center for the St. Simons Plantations.

1874-1902 this Bluff was lined with great mills, where cypress and long leaf yellow pine timbers were sawed into limber and shipped to all parts of the world.

The causeway built in 1924, connecting St. Simons with the mainland, has its terminus here.

In 1949 the Methodist Church acquired the upper part of the Bluff and established EPWORTH-BY-THE-SEA as a Conference Center.


A plaque at the St. Simons end of the F.J. Torras Causeway reads:

In 1736 Captain Gascoigne, of the British Sloop-of-war Hawk, established here at Gascoigne Bluff the base for the naval defense of the colony of Georgia. The Spaniards landed here in the invasion of 1742.

In 1794 live oak timbers were cut on St. Simons, loaded from this bluff and sent to Boston to be used in the construction of the frigate Constitution, better known as "Old Ironsides"


Gascoigne's Bluff St. Simons Island, Georgia

Epworth-By-The-Sea is located on Sea Island Causeway and is a Methodist Conference Center that is also home to many of St. Simons Island's historic sites. Nearby Gascoigne's Bluff, named after Captain James Gascoigne who brought settlers to St. Simons Island, was the site of the Spanish invasion during the War of Jenkins' Ear in 1742. In the late 1700s, live oaks from this area were cut down and used to build the first ship of the United States Navy and the USS Constitution or Old Ironsides. Hamilton Plantation, described by Fanny Kemble as "by far the finest place on the island," developed here in 1793. After the Civil War, the plantation became the center of lumber mill operations in St. Simons. As the lumber industry declined on the island, so did the state of the plantation; so in 1927 Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Lewis purchased Hamilton in order to restore the plantation. The main house had burned down in 1885 so the Lewises lived in a house built during the mill era. In 1949, the South Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church purchased Hamilton Plantation. Since then, the conference center has been responsible for maintaining the area's lovely history. It was given its new name after Epworth, England, the birthplace of Charles and John Wesley, founders of Methodism.

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