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Brown Cottage

Georgia Historical Marker:

BROWN COTTAGE CHIMNEY McEvers Bayard Brown, New York Banker

This chimney is all that remains of the cottage of Bayard Brown, original member of Jekyll Island Club. In his gay, young days, he built this cottage at Jekyll, overlooking the marshes. He erected a bridge to reach the isolated home, built stables for his horses, and furnished the cottage elegantly for his bride-to-be. But the wedding never came off. The house deteri- orated and was torn down.

This eccentric millionaire was known as "The Hermit of the Essex Coast" in England. At the age of 37, he became an exile from America, sailing on his yacht Valfreyia. "Unrequited love" is said to be the cause of his renouncing his native land to become a legendary port-bound yachtsman for 36 years. On the Essex Coast, his yacht engines were always in readiness for a sea voyage. His crew of 18 waited in vain for the order to put to sea.

One thing was certain. Mr. Brown had plenty of money - a million dollars a year, according to one account. Sometimes he would toss gold sovereigns from his yacht for anyone to pick up. Anyone who mentioned "America" in his presence was dismissed.

He died in 1926 requesting that his body be returned to America on the Valfreyia.


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