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Development of the Jekyll Island Authority

Development of the Jekyll Island Authority

Initially, Jekyll Island was part of the State Park system. But by 1950, as costs associated with getting the island ready for visitation begin to mount, the island was taken out of the state park system and organized into a separate authority in order to become self-sustaining.

The Jekyll Island Authority was created in 1950, and was designed to be a governing board. This board consists of nine gubernatorial appointed members. The board was charged with the operation and care of the island. This management structure continues today.

The island affords many opportunities for visitors who wish to come to the island. Some of the advancements made by the Jekyll Island Authority include the Convention Center, 3 12 Golf Courses, miles of public accessible beaches, a Soccer Complex, bicycle paths, and a Historic District registered with National Historic Landmark Status.

By legislative mandate, sixty five percent of the island is and will remain undeveloped, and left in its natural state.

Role in the history of the Federal Reserve

Jekyll Island was the location of a meeting in November, 1910 that may have hastened the creation of the Federal Reserve and affected the 1912 presidential election. Following the Panic of 1907, banking reform became a major issue in the United States. Senator Nelson Aldrich, (R-RI) the chairman of the National Monetary Commission, went to Europe for almost two years to study that continent's banking systems. Upon his return, he brought together many of the country's leading financiers to Jekyll Island to discuss monetary policy and the banking system, an event which some say was the impetus for the creation of the Federal Reserve.

On the evening of November 22, 1910, Sen. Aldrich and A.P. Andrews (Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department), Paul Warburg (a naturalized German representing Baron Alfred Rothschild's Kuhn, Loeb & Co.), Frank Vanderlip (president of the National City Bank of New York), Henry P. Davison (senior partner of J. P. Morgan Company), Charles D. Norton (president of the Morgan-dominated First National Bank of New York), and Benjamin Strong (representing J. P. Morgan), left Hoboken, New Jersey on a train in view of a group of confused reporters, who were wondering why these bankers, representing about one-sixth of the world's wealth, were gathering at this particular place and time and leaving together.

Forbes Magazine founder Bertie Charles Forbes wrote several years later:

"Picture a party of the nation's greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily hieing hundred of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking onto an island deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned, lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance. I am not romancing; I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency system, was written... The utmost secrecy was enjoined upon all. The public must not glean a hint of what was to be done. Senator Aldrich notified each one to go quietly into a private car of which the railroad had received orders to draw up on an unfrequented platform. Off the party set. New York's ubiquitous reporters had been foiled... Nelson (Aldrich) had confided to Henry, Frank, Paul and Piatt that he was to keep them locked up at Jekyll Island, out of the rest of the world, until they had evolved and compiled a scientific currency system for the United States, the real birth of the present Federal Reserve System, the plan done on Jekyll Island in the conference with Paul, Frank and Henry... Warburg is the link that binds the Aldrich system and the present system together. He more than any one man has made the system possible as a working reality."

Sen. Nelson's biography claims that they were going duck hunting in "Jamaica," which may have been a code word for Jekyll Island. Some speculate that not only was the Federal Reserve created during the Jekyll Island meeting, but also plans to alter the 1912 presidential election. The attendees knew that the popular incumbent, William Howard Taft (R-Ohio) was not in favor of creating a central banking system, so they decided to split the Republican vote by convincing former president Theodore Roosevelt out of retirement to form the progressive Bull Moose Party. The Jekyll Island attendees' chosen candidate was Woodrow Wilson. Wilson gained the Democratic Party nomination and the presidency. On December 29, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law.

Many years later, the Jekyll Island meeting was all but forgotten. However, author Eustace Mullins was talking to his friend, poet Ezra Pound, and Pound brought up the subject of some friends of his who had died in World War I. According to Mullins, Pound wanted to know why they died. He also said that he suspected that the Federal Reserve had something to do with it. After months of poring through the economics section of the Library of Congress, Mullins found an obscure article about the meeting and took it to Ezra Pound. Pound, according to Mullins, was thrilled. "You have uncovered the greatest detective story of the 20th century," said Poun

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