Saint Simons real estateÂ wasnâ€™t always the site of vacation homes, primary residences and yachts. At one time, it was looked upon as the place to set up a thriving lumber business. And that is precisely what one, albeit notorious, man did in the 1800s with the help of his family members. The familyâ€™s patriarch was none other than Wall Street merchant prince and carpetbagger, William Earl Dodge.
Dodge was a complex man of great wealth, influence, philanthropy and notoriety. On one hand, he worked admirably as a rights activist and U.S. Congressman. On the other, his actions and that of his cohorts, helped spawn whatâ€™s widely considered to be one of the longest and most debated land disputes in all of the Peach Stateâ€™s history. Known as the Dodge Land Troubles, it involved far more than just Saint Simons real estate. But thatâ€™s a South Georgia tale for another day.
As for Dodgeâ€™s connection to our islandâ€™s lumber industry, his son Norman was one of the men behind the Georgia Land & Lumber Company, which was based here. During the course of the familyâ€™s milling heyday, they contributed lumber towards the construction of many ships and buildings. The list of the famous ones includes the USS Constitution, NYCâ€™s Brooklyn Bridge, Saint Simons Islandsâ€™ Christ Church and Lovely Lane Chapel.
Although the mills stopped producing lumber in the early 1900s, their legacy continues to live on through the buildings and historical sites that remain. Take for example the Lovely Lane Chapel and Christ Church. Both are still standing and continue to attract visitors from far and wide. Other remnants associated with Saint Simons earliest industry may be found at Gascoigne Bluff, Hamilton Plantation and the Retreat Plantation.
To see firsthand what attracted lumber industry magnets, like the Dodge Family, to establish thriving businesses on Saint Simons real estate, please contactÂ our DeLoach Sothebyâ€™s International Realty Saint Simons real estate agents today.