St. Marys Magazine Issue 30

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PAGE 8 Symphony of St. Marys PAGE 16 Camden County More Cinemagical Than Ever! PAGE 56 Megalodon in Your Back Yard? PAGE 60 Cowboys & Goblins & Elves—Oh My!

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Letter from the Mayor


mayor letter 23 q


9:42 AM

Page 1

t. Marys has always been a popular weekend destination for city dwellers seeking to St. Marys fared and better thanofmost ourbig coastal neighbors whenambiance Hurricane Matthew swept escape the hustle bustle life inofthe city. Our small town and beautiful through last fall. Our beautiful city and neighboring Cumberland Island were back in Letter from the Mayor coastal environment provides an opportunity to relax and recharge while enjoying our business almost immediately following the storm. If you are thinking of visiting in these natural assets. cooler winter months, our weather is stillbed warm and inviting encourage you, The wide variety of lodging from quaint & breakfast innsso to we historic lodgings to your friends and relatives to come on down! St. Marys fared better than most of our coastalSt. neighbors when Hurricane Matthewtoswept modern motel accommodations makes Marys especially attractive those with different through lastas fall. Our beautiful neighboring Cumberland were back Or up, the case may city be and as we have many visitorsIsland arriving frominFlorida as well. The tastes and budgets. The menus ofthe our restaurants are equally varied with plenty of options. business almost immediately you are thinking visiting in these Georgia Welcome Centerfollowing at Exit 1 storm. just asIf you cross fromofFlorida into Georgia has been cooler winterregional, months, our weather is still warmare andalways invitingasobig we draw encourage your on our rivers is Our local, and national parks and you, kayaking re-furbished and to has re-opened to welcome all to our great state and offering dozens of ideas friends and relatives come onpopular down! outdoor adventures. Our expanded and improved boat becoming onetime of our most for spending in St. Marys. Or up, as the case may be as we have many visitors arriving from Florida as well. The docks are now able toataccommodate more andinto fishing enthusiasts. Weour all most take great Georgia Welcome Center Exit 1 justand as you cross boating from Georgia has been While our waterfront, rivers entryway toFlorida Cumberland Island remain popular attractions, we enjoy re-furbished and has re-opened tovenues welcome all to our state andvisitors offering dozens of ideas pride in protecting our natural resources andgreat know that will respect those treasures as well. year-round entertainment like steam train rides and community theatre presentations at Theatre by the for spending time inare St. Marys. Our residents proud of the recent enhancements to the downtown waterfront andHistory welcome visitors to jointo them with Trax. Kayaking continues to grow in popularity as do bicycle touring and races. Our Walk is proving be an While our waterfront, rivers and entryway to Cumberland Island remain our most popular attractions, we enjoy walks in the park or bird watching at sunset along with easy access to a cold drink or ice cream cone. enjoyable historical stroll through the long history of our waterfront village. We are known for our family friendly year-round entertainment venues like steam train rides and community theatre presentations at Theatre by the Trax. continues growFebruary in popularity aslocal do bicycle and races. Ourof History Walk isGras. provingOur to behistoric an parades and festivals with featuring our touring very version the hotel, modern YouKayaking can always findto information about events andown happenings on ourMardi city Tourism website enjoyable and historical stroll through the breakfasts long history of our waterfront village. Wetastes are known for our family friendly motels, charming bed and provide lodging for all and budgets while restaurants in midtown, New activities are added regularly so please check when you come to town or stop in at the Visitors Center where our well parades and festivals with February featuring our very own version of the Mardi Gras. Our historic hotel, modern downtown and the west side offer a variety of casual dining options. trainedand staff will help find those activities that interest youbudgets the most. motels, charming bed you and breakfasts provide lodging for all tastes and while restaurants in midtown, are here for aan outdoor adventure or just want to enjoy time a peaceful, quiet, and and downtown the side offer variety of casual dining Whether With alland ofyou ourwest natural assets and amenities as aoptions. small town destination, mostin visitors comment onlaid howback friendly friendly St. the place to spend week, weekend or longer. Many Whethercommunity, you are here for anMarys outdoorisadventure or just want toaenjoy time in a peaceful, quiet, laid back will and fall in love and move here welcoming our residents and businesses are. That friendliness continues to be a major draw for St. Marys regardless of the friendly community, Marys is the place to spend a week, weekend or longer. Many will fall in love and move here to call St. Marys St. home. season. to St. Marys, the best kept secret in Georgia! to call St.Welcome Marys home. Welcome! And if you have time, please stop by City Hall and say “hi” or “hey” depending on where you are from. Welcome! And if you have time, please stop by City Hall and say “hi” or “hey” depending on where you are from.

Sincerely, Sincerely,

John John

John Morrissey, Mayor

John City ofMorrissey, St. Marys Mayor City of St. Marys

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FEATURES 8 10 16 22 36 42 45 48 52 56 60

Symphony of St. Marys Everything Old is New Again: Historic Riverview Hotel Camden County More Cinemagical Than Ever! Living History. Making History. Tales of a Bookseller Have Heart will Travel Magnificent Horseshoe Crab Grape Expectations: Roots Wine Bar Robotics Team Puts the Awe in Awesome. Megalodon in Your Back Yard? Cowboys & Goblins & Elves—Oh My!

DEPARTMENTS 20 Party 29 30 Mailbag 32 Media Darlings

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Publisher’s Note After re-reading my Publisher’s Note in the last issue of St. Marys Magazine, I realized how uncannily timely it was.

Publisher Barbara Jackson Ryan Creative Director & Designer Jerry Lockamy Contributing Artists Steve Saley Editor Robin Cross Director of Public Relations Kristen Lockamy Contributing Writers Alex Kearns Robin Cross Kimberly Nesteruk Contributing Photographers Roger Graw Dave Webb Ashley Alexander Matt Johnson Lindsey Nicole Hicks

“You’ve Got This!” was the message that I wrote before Americans ever even heard of the word Covid. I said, “You are stronger than you think. “ I truly hope my readers took the message to heart as the next day dawned and the world had completely changed. We fell asleep in one world and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney was out of magic. Hugs and kisses became weapons. And not visiting parents and friends became an act of love. Suddenly we realized that power, beauty, and money were worthless. Suddenly our community came together like never before. Feeding those who needed fed. Helping people pay their rent. Everyone leaning on each other in a virtual way—no physical touch, just over-the-top kindness and love. We watched old movies. We did a lot of yard work. Learned new skills like playing a guitar. We worked jigsaw puzzles and did needle work. We took naps. We re-connected with family. And we went on. As this publication goes to press, we are still not out of the woods. It is my highest hopes that we will continue to help each other and continue to discover what is really important in life. Perhaps this was a “time out” for us all. Perhaps we all required a “reset.” When the world becomes safe again, we can move forward with a desire to heal ourselves and our planet. And through it all, this resounding message, I hope, will ring loud and clear. Really, “all you need is LOVE. LOVE is all you need.” Stay safe. Stay strong. You’ve still got this!

Historic St. Marys Magazine is a LowCountry Publishing publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of official representatives of LowCountry Publishing. All contents Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

Barbara Jackson Ryan Publisher


Letters to the Editor or other Correspondence Email: St. Marys Magazine 208 Wheeler Street St. Marys, GA 31558

Email me anytime with your thoughts or ideas for the magazine:








On the cover


For general information, advertising, or subscription service, call 912-729-1103 or visit

St. Marys River Boardwalk Photo by Matt Johnson


of St. Mar ys


Camden Cou nty More Cinemagica

PAGE 16 l Than Eve r!



in Your Bac k Yard?

& Goblins

& Elves— Oh





t’s easy to get to St. Marys no matter what mode of transportation you use. By land, St. Marys is located just 8 miles east of I-95 off Georgia Exit 1 or 3. By sea, an easy sailing up the Intracoastal, and into the St. Marys River just north of Florida, gets you right into St. Marys’ Downtown Historic District. And by air, the Jacksonville International Airport is just thirty minutes away.


Waterfront Dining in the Historic Riverview Hotel

Appetizers Soups & Salads Children’s Menu Baskets with fries Burgers & Sandwiches Seafood & Steak Entrees Chicken & Pasta Entrees Homemade Desserts & more

Proms Weddings Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties Airport Services Special Occasions

Office: (912) 882-7904

Tom Mitchell

Cell: (912) 674-9102 7

By Alex


melody recalls a lost moment in time. A voice summons the complex nuances of emotions. The magnum opus of Nature serves as the accompaniment to our lives. Each separate space and place possesses a unique signature of sound and thus it is with St. Marys. Listen. Just listen. The tide turns, and with its indrawn breath the winds alter almost imperceptibly. The sighing through the live oaks is lowered to a soft whisper as the palmetto fronds pause in their chatter. It is the sound of an eternal rhythm. In the moon-glow of a southern night a dog barks, and the evening chorus begins—then falls silent. We often wonder at these canine conversations: do they regale one another with tales of sun-basking, swims in the park, the antics of their humans? Or is it simply the “all’s-well” call throughout the town as another day draws to a close? As with any symphony, one may listen to the totality or disseminate the parts. The kettle-drum of approaching t h u n d e r entwines about the alto notes of church bells that fall like soft prayers upon the streets and


Reprinted by Special Request


corners. The timpani of rain on a tin roof, the exhilarating woodwind cry of a hawk in full flight, the heartbreakingly lovely violin of high winds through ancient tree limbs, the gentle bells of boats in the harbor, the flutes of children at play, the oboes of slow, tranquil voices and quiet days: this is the music of Home. At times St. Marys is a lullaby that soothes the soul and redeems the spirit. She can also be the clarion call of a joyous brass band as festival throngs gather in the streets to celebrate our community. During the quiet dawn hours, the town is a sonata of infinite delicacy, while sunset is a concerto of such mastery and grace as to humble us all.

There is a certain indefinable magic here in St. Marys that heightens the senses and opens the mind. You will find yourself tilting your head to better capture an elusive…something. It may be the splash of dolphins at play as they leap from the silvery reflection of a full moon. It may be the silent unfolding of a magnolia blossom or the rustle of an armadillo in the palmetto understory. Perhaps it’s even subtler and is but the stretching of the world beneath a healing sun. One can almost believe that that which is assumed to be soundless, is not: the fall of azalea blossoms in February, the mist of jasmine in June, the fog that shrouds the river or the scent of an oncoming storm. Senses merge and transform in St. Marys, and that which is seen and felt is often heard. “I can hear myself think”—a rare and priceless gift in these hectic times. Hear your thoughts, your dreams, your hopes, your heart. Hear color and emotion and aspirations and community. Hear the symphony of St. Marys. Listen. Just listen.

“Places I love come back to me like music, to hush me and heal me”

–Sara Teasdale




ne of the first things you will notice when you enter the newly restored dining room of The Riverview Hotel is the vast tin ceiling. From corner to corner, nostalgia sheens above happy diners. The tin ceilings also cover the fifth wall of Riverview’s Speakeasy and Seagle’s Saloon. Tin ceilings originated in the 1880s and originally meant to emulate high-end decorative plaster. They also offered a measure of fire protection—a big concern at a time when home cooking, lighting, and heating were largely done with open flames. The panels were originally stamped out of steel continued ...


and called “steel ceilings.” It wasn’t until later, when the raw steel panels were plated in tin to help slow down rusting, that the colloquial term tin ceilings arose. The new ceiling décor is just one of many enhancements that Riverview owners Bert Guy and C. B. Yadav have set in motion—all with the idea of bringing the historic hotel back to its original physical allure. “We are preserving a treasure here,” Guy said. “We’re working to return the hotel to the majestic building it was when the Rockefellers and Carnegies stayed here.” With all guest rooms completely renovated and the downstairs common area metamorphosed, the grand old lady is well on her to way to her authentic self—the landmark she was at her first opening in 1916. Guy and Yadav have met the challenge of retaining a legacy’s charm while providing modern conveniences for guests. Their passion for history is continued ...


well vested into the living monument that will be enjoyed for another 100 years. “When you come inside, we want you to step back into 1916, and we have made sure the décor and furnishings are true to that era,” Guy said. Special touches to the interiors are working well to charm guests, like the English phone booth that serves as the entrance to Speakeasy, a quiet martini bar on the waterfront side of the hotel. The dining room entry sports the now much desired “Penny Table” which can comfortably seat a large family. A small informal bar now graces the Osborne side of the dining room. And, of course, the legendary Seagle’s Saloon retains its warm vibe and reputation for being “Where Good Friends Meet.” For those who haven’t experienced dining at The Riverview recently, you owe it to yourself. Every night, irresistible specials noted on the sidewalk chalkboard lure you in. And you won’t be disappointed. From blackened continued ...






redfish and crab sauce over Cajun rice to bacon-wrapped scallops nested by a top grade sirloin cooked to perfection, your taste buds will be dancing. Yadav and Guy have more plans to add to the continuous upgrade of The Riverview. One is to build a structure on the vacant lot between the hotel and the Submarine Museum that will feature a rooftop bar with unrivaled water views and casual dining. The breezeway for the inner atrium that has now been created by the installation of the antique doors on the second floor will eventually connect to the rooftop bar. An overnight stay at The Riverview Hotel by out-of-towners offers numerous pleasurable experiences, but locals count The Riverview as their own destination as well. With great dining, fun companionship, and lively entertainment, everything old is new again at 105 Osborne Street in Downtown St. Marys. The Riverview Hotel is THE place to get away from it all in the middle of everything.




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Lindsey Hicks as Jennifer Holmes in “The Key”


I Writer, producer, director Dave Webb checks storyboard for “The Key”

n a time when film production had dropped to almost nil across the nation due to Covid19, filmmakers in Camden County kept the momentum going, clearing the way for stepped up production this summer and fall.

The Key

Written, produced, and directed by Dave Webb, ZZ-1 Productions, “The Key” is a 114-minute murder mystery suspense movie set in Camden County. After multiple re-writes over a five-year period, the script is now finished and casting is complete. Webb got positive input from several Hollywood script readers encouraging him to move forward. “The Key” features private investigator Jennifer Holmes who finds a woman’s body outside her home then receives a mysterious key in the mail. She soon starts unraveling a continued ...


story that uncovers a long line of lies, secrets, and deceit. The film calls for a large cast which Webb is tapping from Camden County’s impressive pool of acting talent with the help of Coastal Georgia Film Alliance, the nonprofit organization that will also be assisting in securing locations.

Picture This

Another local filmmaker, James Foard, is delving into a genre that is new to him—suspense. Foard has written mostly comedy scripts—all shorts—and is looking forward to producing his original script that reads like a “Twilight Zone” episode. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Foard spent most of his life in Central Arkansas before relocating to Camden to accept a new position in media. Foard’s creative juices run fast and deep having just completed his first children’s book titled “The Happy Screaming Princess.” Foard says having people read his script and like it gave him the confidence to move forward. He, too, will be drawing from

Camden’s talent pool for cast and crew.

The Box

Brandon Herron is no stranger to filmmaking and is currently working on his 7th film, “The Box” which will be filmed locally. After working as a cinematographer in Savannah for the past five years, Herron is returning to his first love—filmmaking. “The Box” is a short suspense film also reminiscent of the “Twilight Zone” style. The opening scene finds local actress Stevie Conway trapped in a pitch black box. Her eventual escape leads her into the middle of wastelands, running for her life and getting the sense that she is the only person in the world. To further describe the film would be a sure spoiler, but you can be sure of an intriguing “twist” as is Herron’s style. George Ryan is Herron’s writing and directing partner for this project.

PSA Project in Folkston Filmmaker Brandon Herron

Not filmed by local filmmakers but worthy of a mention was the Public Service continued ...

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Announcement recently filmed in Folkston by a national crew. The PSA encourages people with the message, “Don’t Drive High.”

Film Tank included in Paper Mill Site Remake

PSA Project in Folkston

Local, national, and international filmmakers will be reaping the benefits of a proposed addition to the recently purchased paper mill site in St. Marys. Private developer Jim Jacoby who is known for facilitating the first successful transformation of a brownfield site (Atlantic Station in Atlanta), has big plans for the 700-acre site on the North River just blocks away from St. Marys’ core downtown. Understanding the value of the film industry as an economic driver for the state of Georgia, Jacoby is incorporating a feature in the revitalized site that is projected to draw filmmakers from around the world—a film tank. An existing concrete pond will be utilized to make the film tank. “There is no other open-water film tank like this in the entire United States,” said Doug Vaught, Chair of Coastal Georgia Film Alliance. “The film tank will be a welcome asset for Camden County and a valuable addition to our area’s already diverse film location opportunities.” Jacoby plans to brand the mill site property as “Cumberland Inlet.”





n September 2020, St. Marys Little Theatre (SMLT) debuts its 10th season opener with the reprise of “River of Life,” an original musical depicting the history of St. Marys. From the Timucuan Indians to the establishment of the Howard Gilman Memorial Waterfront Park, 20 scenes portray milestones of St. Marys storied past. Each scene is embellished by a colorful song (most of them original) that brings the story to life in a fun and memorable way. “You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll find yourself singing along with Admiral Cockburn, Aaron Burr, and other figures in history who have played a role in our area’s rich heritage,” said Barbara Ryan, “River of Life” author and director of the show. “River of Life” begins in the earliest of times, then traverses thousands of years portraying the trials and triumphs of St. Marys’ founding fathers, the tragic Acadians, early settlers, railroad and continued ...


paper mill workers, the founder of Black education, Carnegie descendants on Cumberland Island and more—all the way to the establishment of Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base and beyond. L. J. Williams, Vice Chair of SMLT, says “River of Life” will bring together all the great cultures that contributed to the diversity of Coastal Georgia. “Throughout the performance, the audience will be engaged by the many cultures that have had an impact on St. Marys and the surrounding area,” Williams said. “Through the eyes of those who came before us, a powerful story will unfold and show how everything fits into the big picture that is who we are today.” Williams went on to say that every school child should view the performance. “Here is an opportunity for students to absorb living history in an entertaining format that will stay with them long after the written word may have faded away,” he said. “Even those who don’t fancy themselves fans of history will enjoy the way fact has been woven with song and whimsy resulting in high art and wonderful entertainment.” By popular demand, the 2020 presentation of “River of Life” represents the 2nd reprise of the show after performances in 2011 and 2016. “River of Life” performances are September 11, 12, 18 & 19 at 7 pm, and September 13 and 20 at 2 pm at Theatre by the Trax in St. Marys.

INVISIBLE delivered powerful message.

Though SMLT’s Spring 2020 production had to be cancelled because of Covid19, their annual Black History Month tribute did go on as scheduled in February. An original dramedy written by The MonaLisa Harris and Vernal Morrison paid tribute to Black History Month by focusing on accomplishments of African Americans who changed the world in many ways. “Riveting stories of unsung heroes came alive through inspiring music, drama and lots of laughter,” said Ann Walsh, director of the production. “SMLT’s Black History Month productions have always been about sharing with our community the voices and stories that need to be told, that give people thought and at the same time entertain. ‘INVISIBLE’ delivered a powerful message and honored those who have made a difference in our world.” Walsh went on to say that “INVISIBLE” was an eye-opener for many. “Learning is a very potent thing,” she said. “When people walked out of the theatre after seeing ‘INVISIBLE,’ we heard many remarks like ‘I didn’t know’ and ‘I learned something important today.’” Most of SMLT’S productions are all about learning while delivering messages through entertainment of the highest order. The upcoming Christmas show (December 11-13) will showcase the usual magic with a story that will resonate for everyone who has experienced the saddest and most trying days of 2020. There will be a happy ending, of course, as is always the case for people who love the escape of live theatre. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit, or call 912-729-1103. 24



RIVER OF LIFE September 11-20


Theatre Trax P E R F O R M E D




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A note to let you know how much Roy and I are enjoying the new St. Marys Magazine. It’s a beautiful magazine that we keep out on our table for all our guests to see. You do a wonderful Job in putting this magazine together. Carolyn & Roy Mitchell Williamsburg, VA

Congratulations on 15 years of St Marys Magazine and on another great issue. I enjoy your magazine much more than other city magazines I have read. Looks like you’re getting some new restaurants and several exciting restoration projects. Great job! Ralph Perry Stuart, FL Fantastic, love reading, and the pictures wow! Jane Jeffcoat St. Marys I am so grateful for my new customers that have read the article in St. Marys Magazine and came to see for themselves. My bookings have increased significantly and 75% are new customers who read the article. Chef Cyd Salt.Pepper.Thyme

Honesty • Integrity • Excellence • Family

Send letters to: St. Marys Magazine 208 Wheeler Street St. Marys, GA 31558

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“St. Marys Magazine” makes a great travel companion. We’d like to know where you’re taking us. To become one of our media darlings, simply have your photo taken in a distinguishable location, holding a copy of the magazine, and email the photo with names and location to

Doug & Joy Cooper in Cozumel


Diver’s Den trip Bonaire. Chris and Terry Whitlock with divers and friends.

Ralph Talbott & Suzi Plaine at White Sands, New Mexico.

John Bell & Jill Miller in Ireland. Tiffany Ting. Providence, Rhode Island.

Scotty & Rose Langford. Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona.

Michelle Hondros & Jim Benton. The Grenadines.

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An old hobo lullaby goes like this: “Do not think ‘bout tomorrow Let tomorrow come and go Tonight you’re in a nice warm boxcar Safe from all that wind and snow.” 34

n March 18, 2020, Heaven gained an angel of the highest order, but we here on Earth were left with an empty place in our hearts that may never be filled. Many of you will recognize the face of Chris Field from your St. Marys Express train rides where Chris and his wife Krystal entertained passengers for many years. What you see physically is the “devil-may-care” glint in those twinkling blue eyes. His train wardrobe portrayed the persona of a hobo complete with bindle stick where we always assumed he carried his worries and troubles and the worries and troubles of those he loved. For that was his way. Just being in his presence was a comfort. Only seconds before the train would pull away from the station, Hobo Chris would climb over the wooden rails and with great stealth, take his place. On the train he danced with his beloved Krystal and shared her jokes about Mulligan Stew and possum grease. That was the Chris that most people saw. But few were privy to the depths of this extraordinary man. A few minutes of quiet conversation with Chris revealed the intelligence of a learned man—a man whose knowledge extended far beyond the average man. Chris had a heart of gold, an unfettered sense of adventure, and the optimistic outlook of a small child. He was an old soul with wisdom far beyond his earthly years. Chris seemed to have perfected the art of living in the present moment and knew intimately the delight of drifting along with the whimsicalities of chance. It has been said that a kind and gentle spirit is the most underestimated force on the planet. Chris Field was, indeed, a force. Few knew of his many talents—his mad drumming skills, his skills as a visual artist, and his lovely voice that he shared sparingly in productions at Theatre by the Trax. It doesn’t matter what world you live in; what really matters is the world that lives in you. The world that lived in Chris Field was one of humor, wit, compassion, unbridled passion for unconventional living, and his astounding love for his wife, Krystal. He will indeed be greatly missed by all who knew him while leaving an irreparable gaping hole in the hearts, minds and souls of his train family, his theatre family and his family-family.

Rest well, dear Chris, in that warm boxcar in the sky. We shall glow in the warmth of your memory that will live on forever.

By Robin



nce upon a time there was a friendly little Georgia town nestled near the Intracoastal Waterway where people fished, grew crops, and tended to their farms. In buckboard wagons they came down to the waterfront to see majestic four-masted schooners sail into port bringing fragrant bags of coffees and exotic spices from Paris, London, or Rio. Here, laboring dockworkers offloaded chests of precious leather-bound books destined to grace family libraries. Such a shipment from Europe may have included “Treasure Island” read by candlelight to the upturned face of a child born in our town of St. Marys. Today, after 200 years, candlelight has given way to electricity. Great clipper ships have evolved into ocean liners, and our small town has grown into a beloved travel destination. We share churches and beautiful waterfront parks, libraries, and bustling businesses with visitors from all over the world. Even with the advent of instantaneous global communication, the magic of the written word beckons anew to us in this enchanted place—and to, especially, Once Upon a Bookseller, the long-lived community bookstore located just steps from the waterfront. Once upon a time, there was no Once Upon a Bookseller, but when Rosalee Kelly rented a shop at Saturday Park, opportunity met destiny, and Once Upon a Bookseller came to life. The shop was quite successful for the first two years, eventually relocating to its present address near the St. Marys Waterfront. In 1991, Mrs. Kelly sold her store to Glen Smith, a retired Navy Captain, who enjoyed the literary trade for five years. When he sold the business to the enthusiastic and energetic continued on page 38




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Tales of a Bookseller family of Louise and Ernie Mancill in the summer of 1996, the adventure began in earnest. Just a few weeks later, in September, the National Hurricane Center warned that a huge unnamed storm was aiming for the Southeast Georgia coast. Panic set in. There was so little time to prepare. Being essentially a military town, St. Marys was home to veterans from around the world. As the new bookstore owners began hastily boarding up windows, a young soldier joined them with his wife and teenaged son. Soon, and without asking, the husband and son held plywood for Ernie while Louise and the wife went inside to prepare. For the next few hours, the two families worked feverishly until all the books were moved from the lower shelves to higher ground, and the plywood was secured on the plate glass windows—just in time. Now the wind began to increase, tearing down tree limbs and blowing unsecured property into the street. The Good Samaritan family left and the Mancills departed for home, but when darkness fell, Louise could not rest. Finally, at 2:00 a.m., she drove to the bookstore, managed to unlock the door and stood drenched and very much alone, listening to the shrieking wind shake the glass picture windows as water began to flow under the door. Suddenly, a booming voice shouted, “Who’s in there?” As Louise turned, Mayor Jerry Brandon pushed open the door and entered. continued ...


“You must be the new bookseller,” he said. “I was just making the rounds to check on businesses when I saw your light. Around here everybody looks out for everybody else.” Twenty-six years later, Brandon’s words still ring true for this tight-knit community. Now, customers from around the world browse leisurely through Once Upon a Bookseller at 207 Osborne Street, enjoying the rich fragrance of brewing coffee as they peruse books ranging from ancient history to the most popular mysteries. Children sprawling on the carpeted floor are absorbed in stories of pirates and unicorns because in this place, magic kingdoms are always a possibility. Near the back of the store is a large oak table used to unpack a continuous shipment of irresistible books. Sitting regally among them, Louise is planning the months ahead and discussing coming events as the future races toward her. In 2020, so far, Louise has hosted a book signing for “New York Times” bestselling author and hometown prodigy Steve Berry. When his newest spellbinding historical adventure “Warsaw Protocol” was released, Once Upon a Bookseller and the community were thrilled to welcome back this former Camden County commissioner and attorney and hear the inspirations of his book. The “Steve Berry Book Signings” were first orchestrated by Louise in 2003 upon the publication of “The Amber Room,” a meticulously researched and continued ...

Tales of a Bookseller


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Tales of a Bookseller powerfully written novel. Exultant in Berry’s success, Once Upon a Bookseller sold more copies than any other bookstore in America. Louise mailed books to Poland, Italy, England and many other countries around the world. Author of 19 novels, Berry’s books have been translated into 40 languages with 25 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of “The New York Times,” and “USA Today.” And Once Upon a Bookseller continues to host book signings of his latest works. In 1999, Louise expanded her staff to include “Snooker,” her majestic black Labrador that, for years, served as the bookstore’s welcoming ambassador. Once Upon a Bookstore has always held open arms for customers’ four-legged companions. Sadly, Snooker crossed the Rainbow Bridge four years ago. Sadly, as well, Louise lost her best friend, Ernie, recently. Befitting the avid fly fisherman and kayaker, Ernie’s final wish was that his ashes be mingled with Snooker’s in a unique reef ball and given to the sea off the coast of Sarasota where the couple enjoyed a lifetime of adventures together. Once Upon a Bookseller, this unique purveyor of literary dreams, serves St. Marys in remarkable ways. The store is Grand Central Station for local community theatre tickets and Haunted History Tour tickets. Serving as Mardi Gras Headquarters every year, the staff sells beads and acts as an information booth for the popular event. Even during the peak times of the pandemic, Once Upon a Bookseller held fast to its commitment to customer service, custom ordering books for those quarantined, assuring them doorstep delivery. Obstacles are seemingly just opportunities in disguise according to Louise Mancill’s philosophy. Indeed, through the years, Once Upon a Bookseller remains a “place where everybody looks out for everybody else.” Editor’s Note: Once Upon a Bookseller is located at 207 Osborne Street just one and a half blocks from St. Marys’ waterfront. Call 912-882-7350 for more information.

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know firsthand about invisible wounds and how it can affect the individual, their loved ones, and everyone they know,” said Michele Ladd, founder of National Veterans Resources. Ladd’s two sons have served in the armed forces—Tommy, a U.S. Marine combat veteran and Tyler, a Navy man. After Tommy’s second tour in Iraq, Ladd noticed some changes in him. He would tell her little things like how he had a hard time at the grocery store or how he couldn’t sleep at night. she recognized the symptoms of PTSD. Tommy is certainly not alone in his suffering. An estimated 5 percent of Americans—more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given continued ...


time. Military veterans make up a disproportionate part of this group, statistics showing 11-20% of veterans afflicted by what can be a debilitating condition. Women veterans suffer at a higher rate—more like 27%. As General William Tecumseh Sherman famously noted during the Civil War, “War is hell.” It’s hell for civilians caught in the cross-fire and can be hell for the political powers that petition for it. But most especially war can become an exceptionally cruel and lasting hell for the soldiers tasked with waging it. Thankfully, there are people like Michele Ladd who are working hard to provide positive resources for our veterans with a focused emphasis on preventing suicide. “As a mom who has had a kid deployed, you fear every time the phone rings or the doorbell rings,” Ladd said. “Parents, though, are seldom prepared for their children who come out of the military as “different” people, having seen things a human being should never have to see or having done things a human being should never have to do.” Originally, from Rochester, New York, Ladd initially felt a call to help veterans (and first responders) through her real estate business by giving them a significant discount. She solicited other businesses that provided services associated with real estate to do the same, eventually creating an impressive network through her company “Heroes Home Advantage.” But for her, it wasn’t enough. Travelling all over the United States, Ladd now propels her mission “Operation 22 to ZERO” through direct contact with veterans and their families. In a custom RV, she’s covered more than 65,000 miles in the last year, connecting those in need with those who can give. “22 to ZERO refers to our goal of decreasing the current 22 veteran suicides a day to zero,” Ladd said. You may have noticed her 32-foot Class A vehicle parked in St. Marys. It’s hard not to notice. And harder still to not get a lump in your throat as you gaze at the colorful patriotic wrap that features photos of her own two sons. continued ...

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stay at The Federal Quarters just steps away from St. Marys’ waterfront is an immersion in yesteryear. Though renovated and modernized, the oldest home in St. Marys still holds the enchantment of the past. Recipient of the “Excellence in Rehabilitation Award,” The Federal Quarters was built in 1801 and is registered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lots of amenities including the use of a 1929 Model A replica. Find photos of this exclusive historic inn, reservations and rates on most Vacation Rental websites, or call 912-729-7501 direct.


Ladd’s heart is big and her success stories even bigger. She meets mothers who have lost their children to suicide. She visits places where stricken soldiers are attempting recovery such as the “Camp for Heroes” in Fairmont, North Carolina. That is where she met severely wounded veterans including Tom McCrae, a triple amputee. Ladd and McCrae ended up going on tour together which required her to tow a 12-foot trailer that held his two custom-built wheelchairs. “My experience with Tom and other brave souls like him has changed my life,” Ladd said. “It has intensified my mission to help America’s heroes find resources for PTSD, suicide prevention, mental health and addiction recovery.” Ladd’s energy is driven by her own sons’ sacrifices and sustained by the tens of thousands of lives that have been impacted by conflict and trauma. “It’s all about never giving up,” she said. That is the message she hopes to instill as she drives her RV across America, often staying in VFW and American Legion parking lots. Her stops also include police stations, fire stations, and any service organizations that offer veterans resources outside the VA system. “I am one proud mama,” Ladd said, speaking not only of her own two hero sons but of all the men and women who serve our country and for whom she can make connections to resources that could save their lives. She’s a courageous and beautiful blonde lady who rides her own Harley, pilots a beast of a machine (her 32-foot RV) and keeps St. Marys as her home base. St. Marys’ heart just grew a little bigger when Michele Ladd decided to domicile in our community. If you see her out and about, a warm salute would be in order. And if you have a place in your own heart for our veterans and first responders, please visit her website at to see how you can help.


By Alex

n the spring, a Horseshoe Crab’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” (With apologies to Alfred Tennyson.) And now for a few words about one of our favorite Cumberland Island arthropods. Some shorebirds—like dunlins and redknots—time their migrations around the Feast of the Horseshoe Crab Eggs. During the spring season, huge numbers of mating crabs come ashore to deposit and fertilize their eggs at the surf’s edge. The males arrive first and patiently bide their time; waiting for the females and talking about guy things. When the ladies come ashore, they release pheromones that attract the gentlemen and send a signal that it’s time to “do the dance of looove.” Horseshoe crabs prefer to breed at night during high tides and new and full moons. But then, don’t we all?

Kearns If you find a horseshoe crab on the beach, don’t worry—it’s probably not a lonely loser at the game of love but a “wash-ashore.” The crabs also molt so the shells appear on the beach as the growth cycle continues: crabs can be up to 25% larger after molting. But if you see a live Horseshoe Crab that’s upside down, please be polite; turn the poor dear over and let it go on its way. Horseshoe Crabs are marine and brackish water arthropods of the family Limulidae, suborder Xiphosurida, and order Xiphosura. That’s a fancy way of saying that they’re not true crabs. They’re actually closer to spiders. (But they prefer to keep that a secret because a mating, scrabbling pile of arachnids on a beach could freak people out a bit.) Their legs are (again with the creepy arachnid thing) attached to their mouths. continued ...



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The spiny parts on the legs act like teeth as horseshoe crabs move food along their legs to their mouth. So, they eat while they move, or vice-versa, depending on the mindset of the horseshoe crab at the time. Because they originated over 450 million years ago, horseshoe crabs are considered “living fossils” and have been called “living dinosaurs.” The females are the larger sex and during the breeding season, a male selects a female and clings to her back. (No comment.) Often, several males surround the female and they all fertilize together. (Again, no comment.) The females dig holes in the sand and lay their eggs while the male(s) fertilize them. Those hardy girls can each lay between 60,000 and 120,000 eggs in batches of a few thousand at a time. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch (if they survive the bird-gluttony) and the hatchlings molt six times during the first year. These “living fossils” are also responsible for saving millions of human lives. Horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin to carry oxygen through their blood. (Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is a pure and beautiful shade of cornflower blue.) Horseshoe crab blood is a critical resource to the medical field due to its ability to detect bacterial contamination in minute quantities. In the simplest terms, the blood contains a special amebocyte that is separated and then used in FDA testing and other applications. This means that there’s a very high demand for the blood, the harvest of which involves collecting and “bleeding” the animals and then releasing them back into the sea. (Yes, the bleeding process is as barbaric-looking as it sounds so we won’t include photos of that.) Many of the animals survive the process but many do not: estimates of mortality rates following blood harvesting vary 10–30%. Approximately half a million crabs are harvested annually. Bleeding also prevents many female horseshoe crabs from being able to spawn or severely decreases the number of eggs they produce. continued ...

Approximately 30% of an individual’s blood is removed, and the crabs spend up to three days away from the ocean before being returned. (Pause to imagine how you’d feel if you were walking down the street, violently abducted, drained of 30% of your blood, held hostage for three days, and then dumped back by the curb. You probably wouldn’t feel much like spawning either.) Add to this the fact that many scientists are doubtful that some companies return the crabs to the ocean at all, instead selling them as fishing bait. Between those threats and ever-increasing development along shorelines, the Horseshoe Crab is in decline…and as goes the crab, so go many of the shorebirds. So, let’s spare a few moments to contemplate the magnificence of the Horseshoe Crab. And pledge to do all we can to ensure that its first 450 million years won’t be its last.



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n any given Thursday night, you can stroll over to 101 East Weed Street and join an eclectic assembly of locals and out-of-towners for the much-celebrated “Flight Night” at Roots Wine Bar. You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and superb wine offerings, but if you are—all the better. Jodi Anthony, a green-eyed beauty who roams her domain like a mama hen, is the proprietor of Roots. She is there to make sure everyone leaves with a smile on their face. “I love people,” Jodi said. “And seeing everyone enjoy themselves is the reward I get for building this business.” Jodi is part of a military family who found their way to St. Marys where she says “it feels like home.” continued ...


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There’s something about Jodi’s warmth and graciousness that makes her customers feel at home, and it’s clear that she loves what she’s doing. At the same time, one can easily imagine her success managing 120 people (which she did in Charleston where she was Plant Manager of a boat manufacturing company). Her friendly staff is well-trained and eager to bring Jodi’s vision of a topnotch wine bar to life. Boasting an impressive wine list that covers the globe from Napa Valley to France, from Italy to Argentina and beyond, Roots serves up an enviable fare that includes the savory (a generous cheese and charcuterie board) and the sweet (delectable desserts like her macaron trio and flourless chocolate cake). The Thursday “Flight Night” experience includes a choice of any continued ...

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three wines for just $10. The Roots menu also includes a generous selection of Craft Beers as well. The beers are a perfect excuse for “Bro” night, but it’s the ladies who have swarmed Roots and made it their own for the most part. With its inviting interiors—whimsical, fun, cosmopolitan, and cozy—women find Roots a fresh oasis for their gatherings. Many have taken to making Thursday night a regularly scheduled event for friend groups. Roots is especially attractive for wedding and baby showers, small wedding receptions, and other private parties. Couples applaud Roots as a great “date” rendezvous. The outside courtyard is reminiscent of an Italian piazza where live entertainment often brings a celebratory night full circle. “I’m amazed and thrilled at how popular Roots has become,” Jodi said. “I just want it to be a place where you always feel at home and enjoy a high-quality wine and food experience that will bring you back again and again.” Roots Wine Bar is located just a short stroll from St. Marys’ waterfront at 101 East Weed Street. Reservations are suggested by calling 904-548-7136.

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Local Robotics Team Puts the AWE in AWESOME! By Kimberly



Camden Robotics team members make adjustments to their robot in the pit area at the Dalton, GA, FIRST Robotics Competition.

ids talking in serious tones, machines whirring, excited applause—you may have just entered the realm of Robotics at Camden County High School (CCHS). Even though their season was cut short because of COVID-19, Camden Robotics recently won the FIRST Robotics Competition in Dalton, GA. It is easy to be humbled in the presence of the fine minds that comprise the CCHS Robotics class. Some people might envision that the robotics program at CCHS is like “Battlebots,” an American robot combat television series where competitors design and operate remote-controlled armed and armored machines to fight in an arena combat elimination tournament. But there is no comparison. Camden Robotics is part of a program called “FIRST,” which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Mr. Fred Mercier, one of the faculty sponsors of Camden Robotics, explains. “Robotics provides a platform to apply and reaffirm lessons learned in the classroom including Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, and Computer Science. Students become skilled in a design process which includes reading technical specifications, holding design reviews, making prototypes, meeting build and test schedules, and making design modifications,” Mercier said. Every year on the first Saturday in January, FIRST robotics students from all over the world are presented with an engineering challenge unique to that year. It is up to each individual team to decide how to approach the challenge: to design, build, program, and operate the robot to achieve the goal of the challenge. This year’s continued ...


Local Robotics Team Puts the AWE in AWESOME! challenge was for the team to design a robot to shoot balls into a target for points. Three teams worked together against three other teams to score the most points. There were three different sized targets, the smaller the target the bigger the points. At the end of the game, each robot had to climb up and hang from a bar, which also counted for points. Each robotics team participates in two district competitions each year, and if they finish high enough at the district competitions, they move up to the state competition. The winners of the state competitions go on to compete with robotics teams from all over the world at the World Championship. According to Harris Nesteruk, a rising junior at CCHS, competitions are his favorite part of robotics. “The general atmosphere at the competitions is surreal! It’s so cool to see a small stadium of people all with robotics on their minds,” Harris says. He also points out that competitions are a great place to meet members of other teams, network, and learn from other teams. Two core values of FIRST are Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. Winning the competitions is a big goal of each team, but helping each other and working together are just as important. At their last competition, one team helped rebuild and improve a part of Camden Robotics’ robot, and Camden Robotics team members, in turn, helped another team troubleshoot and correct their computer code for their robot. Camden Robotics isn’t just all about robotics. There are many other opportunities for all students’ interests. Kelly Tanner, the 2019-2020 Camden Robotics Team Captain, says, “We have opportunities in media, art, business, healthcare, etc. No matter your skill set, there is something for everyone.” Ms. Jacquelyn Davis, one of Camden Robotics’ faculty sponsors, agrees, adding that students also develop leadership and business skills. Camden Robotics team members also enjoy participating in the larger community. The team has marched as Grand Marshals in a local parade, continued ...


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volunteered at the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s, given demonstrations to youth at Kings Bay Submarine Base, and mentored younger students at their annual Robotics Summer Camp for students in elementary through middle school. Alumni of Camden Robotics have taken the skills they learned with them into careers on Kings Bay Submarine Base with Lockheed Martin, SWFLANT, and Trident Refit Facility. Alumni also have successfully graduated from West Point to become U.S. Army Officers, are working as research engineers in Baltimore, MD, and working as firefighters in Brunswick, GA. Camden Robotics Alumni also have the opportunity to serve as robotics team mentors on Camden Robotics or on other robotics teams anywhere in the world. When asked why they joined Camden Robotics, both Kelly and Harris said they had joined because some of their friends had joined. Both students emphasized the teamwork and camaraderie, and the feeling that they “belonged.” Mr. Mercier agrees. “It is important for students in a large school like CCHS to connect with a club, a group or a team,” Mercier says. “Camden Robotics provides an opportunity to be part of a technical, competitive team, but FIRST Robotics is not just for engineering enthusiasts. There are other sides to Camden Robotics and FIRST that require diverse skills. There are people on our team in charge of the website design, public relations for the team and even a student Team Captain that manages the overall organization. There is something for everyone, and everyone can learn something. Robotics students develop technical and interpersonal skills they’ll need to influence the future economy and become well-rounded adults.” Engineering, computer coding, design, art, public relations, public speaking, community service, the excitement of competitions, and friendships are some of the many positive benefits of Camden Robotics. Students participating in Camden Robotics learn about robotics and themselves, grow as a person, and build lasting friendships and skills they will use for a lifetime.

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Misty Bullock Lewis’ catch for a day.



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nd Chris Whitlock will attest to that fact. He’s the proprietor of Diver’s Den in St. Marys and has been conducting “fossil dives” for years around the St. Marys community and in Florida. A 6.75” megalodon tooth was one of the many treasures Whitlock’s diving expeditions have garnered in recent years. According to Whitlock, at one time, this entire area was covered with water. Sharks have been living on Earth for about 400 million years so it stands to reason that evidence of their existence has withstood the time continued ...

Brenan Sawyer’s prize teeth.

mostly in the form of fossilized teeth. But you don’t have to be a diver to be successful at shark teeth hunting. On Cumberland Island, visitors find shark’s teeth right on the main sandy road that stretches the length of the island. The roads are graded with sand that has been dredged out of the sound, so lots of shell fragments and fossilized shark teeth get pulled into the mix. Often, one need only look down to discover a tooth cradled among the tailings. Serious shark teeth hunters are drawn to Florida beaches just across the river. In fact, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the art of shark teeth hunting on Fernandina Beach. (Search “Shark Teeth Hunting on Fernandina Beach.) Shark teeth hunters like Misty Bullock Lewis and Brennan Sawyer have retrieved hundreds of shark’s teeth from Fernandina’s beaches—sometimes in one day’s outing. Hunters seem to have the most luck at Fort Clinch and North Beach. Sharks have been patrolling these waters since the Ice Age and show no signs of slowing down, ensuring an endless supply of shark’s teeth. A single shark can make between 30,000 and 50,000 individual teeth in a lifetime. continued ...

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What to look for?

Scan the tide lines where waves crash onto the shore for dark triangular shapes, especially after a storm. Low tide is best and sandbars where water is constantly shifting the sands tend to be hot spots. You might find teeth from white sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, and if you’re lucky, a tooth from the massive prehistoric megalodon. Patience is the key and can pay off if you spend a good amount of time in one place looking down. Some people use a sifter as well. A good way to know if you have a tooth is that the crown of the tooth is smooth and shiny and often reflects the sunlight. “Shiny and black, bend your back,” is a saying shark teeth hunters hold true. Sharks actually have really weird mouths. Their gums constantly produce teeth and are like conveyor belts. The oldest teeth are in the front which are used to chomp on food. These teeth are loosely connected and regularly fall out. Rows of younger teeth behind the older teeth replace them.

How does a shark’s tooth get black? When a shark dies and its cartilage dissolves, the teeth fall to the bottom of the ocean and get covered with sandy sediment. This sediment prevents oxygen and destructive bacteria from reaching the tooth, and it fossilizes over the course of about 10,000 years. That’s why most of the teeth that are found and collected aren’t white, but gray, black or brown—the color of the sediment. The tooth absorbs the minerals in the sediment and these minerals eventually replace the dentine and enamel that makes up the tooth. Voila, you have a fossil on your hands. That fossil could end up as a piece of jewelry, or as a weapon like American Natives made hundreds of years ago. Or maybe your treasure will make an interesting display in your home and a great conversation piece. No matter, the fun was in the search and discovery. And once you snag that prize tooth, you will be hooked for life. Happy shark teeth hunting! Photo Credits: Chris Whitlock, Misty Bullock Lewis, Brennan Sawyer. Editor’s Note: To learn more about diving opportunities with Diver’s Den, visit or call 912-882-7078.

A Diver’s Den treasure.




hen you ride the St. Marys Express, you never know who will be aboard. From Super Heroes to Santa Claus. From Fairy Tale characters to Hop Along Cassidy, kids from 2 to 92 thrill to the excitement that abounds as they ride the rails through woodlands and marshlands on the St. Marys Express. Good guys and bad guys, fairy Godmothers and hobos—the characters that entertain passengers who ride St. Marys Express special excursions love to put a smile on people’s faces. “If we can put a smile on your face, you are sure to put a smile on ours,” the train volunteers often tell passengers. Lots of folks ride the train to venture into yesteryear. Some just want to enjoy the great outdoors. Many have been train fans from childhood. No matter the continued ...


reason one opts to climb aboard the St. Marys Express, one thing is for sure— there will be lots of fun! “It’s a great adventure,” said Justin Jones, a visitor from Boston. “I got swept up in the story that came alive on the train. It’s high entertainment, for sure.” Families are especially grateful to have such a family-friendly experience in downtown St. Marys. The St. Marys Express is a product of St. Marys Little Theatre in partnership with St. Marys Railroad. “Every time you purchase a train ticket, you are helping our community,” says the narrator on the train. St. Marys Little Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts group that stages shows at Theatre by the Trax, the building that doubles as a train station. Actors from St. Marys Little Theatre participate in short dramas on the train and at the turn-around point that match the theme of the day. Less than six percent of the population have ever ridden a real train, but the St. Marys Express and its volunteer staff continued ...


are changing that one railcar load at a time. Most all of the St. Marys Express train excursions sell out ahead of time. And many of the passengers have ridden before. Al and Ann Beach from St. Johns, Florida, have ridden every excursion since the inception of the train several years ago. Al was recognized as the “earliest serving veteran� on one excursion, and still qualifies for the honor on most train rides, but these days, he acquiesces to others. All military active and veterans are honored on every train ride. Upcoming excursions for St. Marys Express include the Halloween Express in October when you can witness good and bad witches vying to be recognized as the Queen Witch. In November and December, the very popular Santa Express returns for four weekends of old-fashioned holiday magic. Then February brings back the Wild West Express. Willy Whiskers, published author and member of the Cowford Regulators, always writes the drama for the Wild West Express that usually encompasses a re-enactment continued ...


Ride the Train! Get tickets now at


wonderland of compelling locations, Coastal Georgia serves up verdant marshlands, wilderness islands, the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, three rivers, the Great Okefenokee Swamp, quaint waterfront villages, and majestic maritime forests—captivating vistas at every turn. Add in the mystique of historic cemeteries, a world-class Navy Submarine base, the charm of antebellum mansions, the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, plus film-friendly city leadership, and you’ll discover the makings of a great film. We call it “Cinemagical”!

912-729-1103 Visit to hear what other producers have to say about filming in Coastal Georgia. 64

of a real-life event from the 1800s. Like all the entertainment on the St. Marys Express, the Wild West Express is filled with humor and excitement. St. Marys Express offers open air railcar rides, locomotive rides, and for the true railfan, an “at the throttle” experience that includes actually running the locomotive. St. Marys resident Fred Maynard was one of the first people to take advantage of the “at the throttle” offering. It was a surprise gift from his wife, Deborah. “I actually operated the diesel locomotive under the direction of a licensed engineer, of course,” he said. “It was great fun and besides the thrill of being the engineer, I learned some interesting facts and regulations about trains.” People come from hundreds of miles away to ride the St. Marys Express. “Every excursion is different,” said Paul Pleasant, St. Marys Railroad General Manager. “Our goal is to leave passengers with the sense that they have experienced something magical and unique. I believe our volunteers do a great job at fulfilling that goal because all you see are smiling faces when the passengers dis-embark.” Whether you’re looking for nostalgia, action, or just a relaxing way to spend some time outdoors, the St. Marys Express is a great option for all ages. Weddings and special events have also been staged on the train, and it’s a favorite for family reunions. For more information, visit

• Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® • Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint ® • Classes • Vintage Finds • Local Art

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Books are just worlds waiting to be opened. Discover your new worlD at:

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Storied treasures around every corner including beautiful antique furniture, collectibles, rugs, artwork, and great gift items. Gallery Featuring 13 Local Artists! Downtown St. Marys at 102 West Church Street 912-882-5861


912-510-0160 visit us on


A Neighborhood TrAdiTioN Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Coffee and Smoothies FREE WiFi, outside porch and inside seating. 912.882.9555 304 Osborne Street • St. Marys, GA • Open 7 Days • 7:30am – 2:00 pm


Find out what the locals are raving about! Extensive Menu & Daily Specials Catering Available!

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M I D T O W N Jacksonville North / St Marys KOA Full Hook-up – Pull-thru RV Sites Deluxe Furnished Cabins • Tipi Village Clubhouse (Rentals Available)

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The following pages represent St. Marys Magazine covers from the last 15 years.


Enjoy a walk down memory lane!


Enjoy a walk down memory lane!


Enjoy a walk down memory lane!


Enjoy a walk down memory lane!


Enjoy a walk down memory lane!


Next Time, Stay Here! Rockefeller Did!


tep into yesteryear at the newly renovated Riverview Hotel. This boutique hotel is the closest mainland accommodations to Cumberland Island, just steps from the Cumberland Island Ferry. With a storied past that includes steel magnates, literary greats, and famed admirals, the Historic Riverview is a destination in itself. Beautiful riverfront views from Captain Seagle’s, the main dining room, where fresh seafood, succulent steaks and creative cuisine abound…



Fun Entertainment in Seagle’s Saloon “Where Good Friends Meet,” and Sophisticated Evenings in the Speakeasy Martini Bar—it’s an overnight experience like no other. Come for a day, a week, a month—at the Historic Riverview Hotel, you will discover, in full, what we mean when we say...

“You may leave St. Marys, but St. Marys will never leave you.”