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St. Simons Real Estate: Where German and Irish Immigrants Once Settled

Have you ever been to Lawrence Road, Village Drive and Frederica Road?

St. Simons Real Estate: Where German and Irish Immigrants Once Settled
Picture by: James Smith

It’s there where you’ll find St. Simons real estate that was once a historic, German settlement and the plantation home of Irishman Alexander Campbell Wylly. The Germans arrived first, in the early 1700s, and the Irishman’s family took possession of the land in the early 1800s.

Here’s a quick look at their stories:

The Germans were natives of Salzburg. It’s an Austrian Province that was home to devout Protestants in the 18th century. Persecuted by the government for their religious beliefs, they were eventually exiled. A fraction of the group went to Augsburg, Germany, where they made plans to travel to Georgia.

They departed for America from Holland in 1733 and eventually landed in the Peach State during the spring of 1734. The first group settled in Effingham County and subsequent refugees made their way to St. Simons real estate, which was located within close proximity to Fort Frederica. They didn’t stay long though. By 1749, the majority of them had left for South Carolina in the company of Surrey, England’s famous reformer, James Edward Oglethorpe. That freed the land up for other immigrants to move in, like Irish men and women from Belfast.

Ironically enough, although they were from two different countries, the Wylly Family and the Salzburg immigrants had something else in common besides a choice piece of St. Simons real estate. It was the feeling that comes from being exiled. In the Wylly Family’s case, some of them were exiled in the late 1700s from Savannah, Georgia, for their political beliefs. They initially went to Nassau in the Bahamas and became part of the political scene there.

Then in later years, they traveled back to the Peach State and claimed the Salzburg exiles’ old settlement for their own. Several books and magazine articles mention the Wylly Family’s perio d in exile and their subsequent relocation to St. Simons Island. The long list includes A.T. Bethell’s Early Settlers of the Bahamas and Colonists of North America and Dr. C Kozy’s Fall 2010 Times of the Islands’ article, All the King’s Men.

To discover which homes may be available for sale or rent in the area where the Salburgs and Wylly Family once roamed, please contact DeLoach Sotheby’s International Realty. Our St. Simons real agents would be pleased to show you multiple listings as well as the historical marker that shows were the groups once lived.

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