St. Marys Magazine Issue 31

Page 1




Page 8 St. Marys—The Seduction of Serenity Page 10 Flights of Fancy—Museum of Aviation Page 20 The Legacy of a Vanished People Page 24 A Glimmer of Hope—Return of the Right Whales

Why Live Anywhere Else? Carefree Lifestyle. Resort-like Setting. Downtown St. Marys.

The newly-renovated Hickory Plantation Apartments are the PERFECT choice for those seeking easy living in a storybook setting. Nestled among ancient oaks, Hickory Plantation’s enviable location is within easy walking distance to the enchanting St. Marys’ Waterfront. Hardwood floors, designer cabinets with granite counter tops, pool, picnic and BBQ area enhance your carefree lifestyle. No other downtown property offers this oasis

setting and picturesque Low Country architecture. CALL TODAY for special offers and military discount.


Hickory Plantation


Bring Your Retirement Dreams to




Call Toll Free (855) 540-5433 (LIFE) or Visit Our Website A Community of Life and Living!

Letter from the Mayor


mayor letter 23 q


9:42 AM

Page 1

his season always brings increased visitors to St. Marys as those from cold climates seek St.milder Marysweather fared better mostactivities of our coastal neighbors when Hurricane out wherethan outdoor are available in all seasons. While Matthew there mayswept through last fall. Our beautiful city and neighboring Cumberland Island were in Letter from the Mayor be an occasional nippy evening, sunny days are the norm here in St. Marys, and back visitors business almost immediately following the storm. If you are thinking of visiting in these find they can enjoy the same options as our residents. Whether kayaking, fishing, boating, cooler months, our weather is still abound warm and inviting so we encourage you, your hiking,winter or camping, outdoor opportunities in our fair city. friends and relatives to come on down! St. Marys fared better than most of our coastal neighbors when Hurricane Matthew swept 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 Cumberland Island, Crooked River State Park, andthinking our beautiful Park attract business almost immediately you are visitingWaterfront in these Georgia Welcome Centerfollowing at Exitthe 1 storm. just asIf you cross fromofFlorida into Georgia has been visitors from all over, the iscity perfect for self-directed walking cooler winter months, ourand weather stilliswarm and inviting so we encourage you, tours. your I encourage re-furbished and to has re-opened to welcome all to our great state and offering dozens of ideas friends and come on down! people to relatives start at the south end of Bartlett Street near our historic cemetery. Informative for spending time in St. Marys. Or up, as the case may be as we have many visitors arriving from Florida as well. The markers highlight ouratcity’s beginning in the 1500s and Island arehas designed appeal Georgia Center Exit 1history justand as you cross from into Georgia been WhileWelcome our waterfront, rivers entryway toFlorida Cumberland remaintoour mosttopopular attractions, we enjoy re-furbished has re-opened tovenues welcome allthe to our great and dozens ideas youngstersand as well as adults. It will set stage forstate the restoffering of your walkofthrough our historic year-round entertainment like steam train rides and community theatre presentations at Theatre by the for spending timemarkers in St. Marys. streets where designate historic homes, churches, and touring buildings. Please check the city’sWalk website Trax. Kayaking continues to grow in popularity as do bicycle and races. Our History is proving to be an While our waterfront, rivers and entryway to Cumberland Island remain our most popular attractions, we enjoy ( for more details. 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. Kayaking growFebruary in popularity as do bicycle and races. Ourof History Walk isGras. provingOur to behistoric an parades and continues festivals to with featuring our touring very own version the Mardi hotel, modern enjoyable historical stroll its through the history long history our waterfront village. Wetastes are known for ourgeography family friendly motels, and charming bed and breakfasts lodging for all and budgets while restaurants in midtown, St. Marys is all about unique andofprovide love of nature. Because of our coastal and mild climate, we enjoy the 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. outdoors ideal place tolodging call home anand enticing for peopleintomidtown, visit. While I meet many first-time motels, and year-round. charming bed It’s and an breakfasts provide for alland tastes budgetsplace while restaurants Whether are here for aan outdoor or with just want enjoy timeSt. inMarys a peaceful, quiet, laid back and from downtown andyou the west side offer variety of casual dining options. visitors when I stroll downtown, most of adventure those I speak have to been visiting for years as they seek refuge friendly community, St. Marys is the place to spend a week, weekend or longer. Many will fall in love and move here Whether you are here for an outdoor adventure or just want to enjoy time in a peaceful, quiet, laid back and big cities and snowstorms. We have that small town ambiance that makes them feel welcome, and you can be confident 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. that residents will go out of their way to make sure they enjoy their stay in St. Marys. to callour St. 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 of if you stop by City Hall and say “hi” or “hey” depending on where you are from. We are proud ourhave citytime, andplease it shows!

Sincerely, Sincerely,

John John

John Morrissey, Mayor

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

Gentle Loving Care Made Fresh Daily Patricia Dunn Carter D.D.S. SPECIALIST IN PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Ana Bernard D.D.S.


912.882.4040 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm

• Dentistry for Children from Infancy up to age 18 • Special Needs Dentistry • Preventative Dentistry • Traditional Restorative Dentistry • Restorative Dentistry with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) • Intravenous Sedation Dentistry Located in Mariner’s Village

2475 Village Drive • Suite 114 Kingsland, GA 31548

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.”

FEATURES 8 10 14 18 20 24 30 34 40 47 49 52 58 61

St. Marys: The Seduction of Serenity Flights of Fancy: Museum of Aviation A Closer Look at Nature In Loving Memory: Arlene Norris The Legacy of a Vanished People A Glimmer of Hope: The Return of the Right Whales Culinary Stars Rising in St. Marys: Collard Valley Cooks Traversing the Tides of Time: St. Marys Little Theatre Historic Milestones of St. Marys The Talk of the Town: Southern River Walk Bar & Grill Treasure Hunting in St. Marys Epicures Take Note of Camden’s Mediterranean Gifts A New Kind of Clean Mountain Spring: Ellijay has the Ticket

PHOTO: View from St. Marys Street West

DEPARTMENTS 28 Mailbag 46 Media Darlings

Having cancer is tough. Now, treating it is easier. Southeast Georgia Health System is the only location in Georgia using the next-generation CyberKnife® M6 with MLC technology, a faster, more effective treatment option. • CyberKnife treats more cancers, including: prostate, lung, breast, brain, pancreatic and liver. • More precise targeting delivers higher doses to the tumor and spares surrounding tissue. • Treatments take as little as 15 minutes and can be completed in one to five sessions. • This outpatient, non-invasive procedure means no anesthesia, no pain, and little to no recovery time. For more information, call 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447) or visit

2500 Starling Street • Brunswick, GA 31520 •

Publisher ’s Note There’s Something About St. Marys “You may leave St. Marys, but St. Marys will never leave you.” 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 Barbara Ryan Pamela Keene Contributing Photographers Wayne Morgan Dave Webb

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 2021. All rights reserved. Letters to the Editor or other Correspondence Email: St. Marys Magazine 208 Wheeler Street St. Marys, GA 31558 For general information, advertising, or subscription service, call 912-729-1103 or visit

There truly is “something about St. Marys.” Today, visitors are enchanted by her storybook setting on the St. Marys River. Her white picket fences and beckoning front porches. Her magnolias and wisteria. Her captivating streetscapes framed by canopies of majestic oaks draped in Spanish moss. Fragrant salt air and alluring waters. Quaint shops and charming Victorian inns. There is an unmistakable softening of life’s edges in St. Marys— an undeniable allure of history, romance, and gentler people. Yet, an ever-present invitation to adventure as well. Some say she’s the “jewel in the crown” of the Colonial Coast. Some speak of the intrigue of pirate lore and natural treasures that abound in and around her riverfront setting. Whether it’s beauty, tranquility, romance, excitement, or mystery that calls one to St. Marys, it is a siren song few resist once they’ve made the lady’s most gracious acquaintance. Warm smiles and kind words are second nature to St. Marys’ residents and business owners. There is the true essence of the Old South in St. Marys, and visitors are enchanted by the wry humor and embracing gestures that make them feel so welcome. Subtle southern idiosyncrasies emerge from the unassuming nature of the people. She has been called “the best of the South” and “the best of a small town.” She has emblazed her name upon the hearts of visitors and those so fortunate as to call her “home.” She has that quality once seen in every Norman Rockwell painting. If you are discovering St. Marys for the first time, let us assure you that “you may leave St. Marys, but St. Marys will never leave you.” Long into the future she will remain in your heart and mind, and it will only take the swift scent of a lone gardenia, the golden glow of a waterfront sunset, or the gentle smile of a stranger to bring her back. There is “something” about St. Marys. And I am so very proud to call her home.

Barbara Jackson Ryan Publisher

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

On the cover Great White Egrets photographed by Wayne Morgan


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


have found peace here,” is the oft-quoted reply when newcomers are asked why they moved to St. Marys. There is an indefinable “softening of the edges” that seems to permeate life in St. Marys. To live in St. Marys is to come face to face with serenity on so many levels. St. Marys’ enviable location just across the river from Florida puts it in an aquatic embrace with marshes, rivers, creeks, the Intracoastal Waterway, and just across Cumberland Island, the waters of the great Atlantic. Native Americans believed that for every day you spend around water, a day is added to your life. Could it be the water that is the source of St. Marys’ serenity?


Put yourself in this picture: The day is almost over. You take a lazy stroll down to the waterfront park and settle into an old-fashioned wooden swing hung beneath a vine-covered arbor. Before you, a setting sun casts a million points of gold onto the surface of a tranquil river. Dolphins dance in the distance. Seagulls and pelicans soar and laugh in flight, their gracefulness mesmerizing, leaving you yearning for wings of your own. Is it the sunsets that hold the secret to St. Marys’ serenity? On an early morning walk through St. Marys’ Downtown Historic District, you catch the tranquilizing scent of gardenia and marvel at the fragile blossoms peeking through a pristine white

picket fence. Stately magnolias and moss-draped live oaks canopy St. Marys’ fertile yards, parks, and streetscapes. In the distance, you hear the baritone echo of the Cumberland Queen as she sets sail for another day of adventure on Cumberland Island. You stop for a moment, close your eyes, listen to the lulling birdsongs—more distinct calls than you’ve ever experienced at one time. You lean across another picket fence and trace the Braille marker of a regal Victorian home replete with splendor that so defines the southern landscape. Is it this—the feast of the senses—that gives us the spellbinding sense of serenity? Or could it be the people? You’ve noticed the warmth in the voices of the

merchants who happily open their stores to you— browsing perfectly acceptable. You’re stricken by the respect and politeness of the waiter at the little cafe on the corner whose singular mission in life seems to be to make you happy. You immerse yourself in the friendly greetings and kindness of strangers you encounter on the streets, rich with the wisdom of this Norman Rockwell-like setting and passionate in their eagerness to share. There is quietude about the town that bespeaks calm. Tranquility. Serenity. You have found peace here in this little town of St. Marys, Georgia. Perhaps for a day. Perhaps for a lifetime.



By Barbara



f you are in love with flight as much as I am, perhaps you’ve been inspired by John Magee’s poem, “High Flight.” (See box.) His final words in the poem— “Put out my hand and touched the face of God”—has always given me chills and at the same time portrays the perfect feeling of a pilot in flight. I know because at one time, I flew Cherokee 140s (as a hobby). Flying a plane solo is the scariest and most thrilling experience I believe a person can have. Luckily, just a few hours’ drive from St. Marys is the nation’s second largest museum in the United States Air Force where voices of the past connect to stories of the future and it’s a great place to experience (second hand) “thrilling adventures.” continued ...


P High Flight

by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Flights of Fancy Opened to the public in 1984, the Museum of Aviation is a place that honors our veterans and their families and reminds our Airmen of their legendary Air Force heritage. Their mission “to meticulously preserve our Nation’s military history while growing exceptional future leaders through education and inspiration” has been sustained through the years by the Robins Air Force Base, where it is located right outside its gates.

Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.


Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along

and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. “Up, up the long delirious burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle, flew;

and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space,

put out my hand and touched the face of God.”

The facility includes four large exhibit buildings which house some of the 85 historic U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and award-winning exhibits. continued ...






Flights of Fancy It is also the home of Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. The Museum of Aviation, originally the Southeastern Museum of Aviation, was founded in 1980, after World War I aviator Guy Orlando Stone offered his collection of aviation memorabilia to Robins Air Force Base if the base could build a museum to house it. The Air Force approved the museum in late 1980, and the Southeastern Museum of Aviation Foundation was incorporated in 1981 with the support of local civilians and base officials. Also in 1981, the Air Force Logistics Command, under General James P. Mullins, created its Heritage Program to preserve the history of Air Force logistics. The museum became part of the base’s contribution to that program. The Museum of Aviation is owned and operated by Robins Air Force Base and hosts numerous Air Force events throughout the year for Robins personnel including retirements, anniversary balls, promotion ceremonies and many other meetings. Robins AFB leadership is heavy involved in acquiring new aircraft and designing of new exhibits. For more information, visit, or call 478-926-6870.

Some notable aircraft on display include:

Providing Conservative Therapies to Optimize the Function of the

Brain & Body

The actual SR-71 spy plane that set the World Absolute Speed Record of 2,193 mph B-29, B-52 and B-1B bombers as well as an UH-1F “Huey” climb in Several cargo planes including a WWII C-46, a KC-97 air refueler, a C-54 used in the Berlin Airlift, an AC-130 gunship, a C-130 Hercules and a C-141 Starlifter A large number of fighter aircraft including a P-40, P-51, F-100, an F-15, an F-4D which recorded two MiG Kills in the Vietnam War and a “Thunderbirds” F-16 Numerous helicopters, trainers and utility aircraft F-105 and F-15 open cockpits

Accepting New Patien ts Call TODAY !




• Spine & Body Pain • Concussion & Brain Injury • Wellness & Optimization • Headache & Migraine • Dizziness & Vertigo • Chronic Pain

Marc Case, DC, DACNB Board Certified in Chiropractic Neurology


775-A Kings Bay Road, St. Marys, GA @CaseChiroNeuro



serious lover of nature, Wayne Morgan is an award-winning photographer whose photographs hang in some of Georgia’s most prominent homes, businesses and government offices. He has six books in print and calendars for 2021 as well. A Brantley County resident, Wayne’s love of nature inspired him to hone his craft and share his talents and also serves him well as a serious environmentalist. Often, he can be spotted along the Satilla River, removing trash. The gallery of photos shown here are but a few samples of Wayne’s stunning work. To treat your eyes and soul to more, visit



TO STAY CONNECTED INTERNET: With speeds up to 1Gig available, there’s virtually no limit to what you can do. TV: Stay entertained with a channel package featuring the hottest channels, plus local favorites. PHONE: Get a crystal-clear connection you can count on with plenty of calling features.

Get in touch today! 1-888-290-9528 |

Internet speeds are “up to” and not guaranteed. Delinquent accounts may lose service. Certain services not available in all areas. Services subject to TDS Terms of Service at, TDS Privacy Policy at, and TDS Acceptable Use Policy at TDS Telecom®, TDS TV®, and TDS® are registered trademarks of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. Copyright © 2021, TDS Telecommunications LLC, All Rights Reserved. 204156/12-20/12385

S pecializing in:

• Real Estate Photography • Stabilized Video Walk-Throughs • Construction Progress Photos • Roof Insurance Photos



By Barbara



ur community lost a most beloved person this year. Mrs. Arlene Norris was 95 years old when she left our world. Until a few years ago, she was still substitute teaching and mowing her own grass. And she was the most selfless person I have ever known. One of the beauties of selfless people is that they so often are unaware that they’re doing something special. Optimists like Arlene Norris always see the good in people and live their lives in a way that brings joy to others. She brought much joy to others while enriching the lives of many. You would often catch her in her iconic blue jeans out mowing her lawn or doing other yard work—when she wasn’t running around performing community service like serving dinners at the Rock Shrimp Festival. Arlene Norris was one of Camden’s most beloved teachers who taught in the public schools for 55 years. “She has left an indelible mark on children of three generations,” Superior Court Judge Bert Guy, a former student, said. “She was the most dedicated and engaged teacher, and she earned the respect of every student because they knew she really cared about their learning. She was


the kind of teacher any parent would want their children to be taught by.” Arlene was the teacher who arrived first at school and was the last to leave, imbuing her students with a strong sense of honesty and respect for others while plying their brains with mathematical formulas (math was always her favorite subject). She had the honor of turning the first shovel to break ground for the new St. Marys Elementary School. Arlene was married to Tilden Norris, an early St. Marys leader and visionary, for 58 years. Their love laid a strong foundation that anchored their two sons—Dewaine and Tommy. Both boys graduated from University of Georgia and inherited the family work ethic. Mrs. Arlene Norris was the quintessential teacher and most stellar example of how one should live their life. She will live in our hearts and minds for generations to come. “I just want to live every day, and enjoy every day of living,” she once told me with that familiar twinkle in her eyes. And that, you can bet on. With carpe diem emblazed on her soul, Arlene Norris is an inspiration for us all. So, let’s champion her ideal and do just that—“enjoy every day of living” the Arlene Norris way.

Shop local. Eat Local. Spend local. Enjoy local. Support the local businesses who support the area where we live, work and play!

Come and prosper in a town where




ong before the European explorers discovered America, the Native American tribes of Timucua and Guale roamed the lands of Georgia and North Florida—from the St. Marys River and Cumberland Island to the Satilla River and the Great Okefenokee Swamp to St. Augustine. More than 20 centuries ago, the Timucua were the largest indigenous group in the area and consisted of about 35 chiefdoms, many leading thousands of people. The various groups of Timucua spoke several dialects of the Timucua language. For thousands of years, the Timucuans enjoyed a rich culture,


continued ...

walking the grounds of Coastal Georgia and Northern Florida, feasting on the bounty of the ocean and the rivers. In Camden County, two burial mounds were discovered near Kings Bay—one at Bedell’s Landing, and another near Owens Ferry—giving evidence to how the Timucuans lived and died. Here’s their story. The first Native Americans came from Europe possibly as long as 75,000 years ago. Two types of Indians were found in Camden County—the Guale and the Timucua. Guale settled north of the Satilla River, and Timucua could be found south of the river. There were three divisions of the Timucuans. Tacatacoru was the name of the tribe that settled on Cumberland Island and around the St. Marys area. They called Cumberland Island “Missoe,” meaning “sassafras.” The Timucua were described by the French Huguenot explorer Rene de Laudonniere as “tawny or olive in color, large of body and well proportioned, without deformities, hawk-nosed, and with continued ...

A Treasury of Sweet Memories Await!

Spend days or weeks in this charming cottage just blocks from St. Marys beautiful waterfront. • One block from main street • 2 blocks from golf cart rental • 8 blocks from Cumberland Island Ferry


954-290 -9873



Coming in 2020!

Water Taxi

between St. Marys & Fernandina Beach

Immerse yourself in the rich history and natural wonders of mystic rivers, salt marshes, and legendary waterways as you cruise scenic Amelia Island & along Cumberland Island. Tours Depart from Fernandina Harbor Marina

***Will come to St. Marys for Private Charters***

• Nature/History Tours • Summer Shrimping Eco Tours • Adult Twilight BYOB Cruises w/ live music • Available for weddings, receptions, and private charters

904-261-9972 Visit our Website for schedules and pricing

FREE Use of Truck with Move-in Wide choice of sizes Climate controlled & non-climate controlled 24-hour internet access Covered RV/Boat/Vehicle Storage On-site manager Packing supplies 10151 Colerain Road • St. Marys, GA 912-576-1776 Just one mile from the main gate of Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base






D O W N TO W N S T. M A R Y S AT 1 0 5 W E S T S TA B L E A L L E Y

pleasant countenance.” The men were well over six feet tall and wore their hair long, tied high up in a bun. They sported long fingernails, tattoos, shell ornament jewelry, loin cloths for the men, and Spanish moss garments for the women. Timucuans were housed in a village setting of beehive-shaped huts with domed roofs they used for food storage. The only furniture inside the homes was platforms used for sitting and sleeping. At the center of the village were ceremonial squares, round council houses, and public granaries. Skilled hunters and gatherers, the Timucua lived mostly on wild game, fish, wild fruits, roots, acorns, and berries. They planted no more than what was necessary for six months—maize, beans, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, and tobacco—then moved to the woods for three to four months where they built shelters using branches and palm fronds. For hunting, they made hoes of whelk shells and short sticks and used spears, snares, and bow and arrows as well. Fish traps and fishing lines with bone hooks brought in a bounty of fish to round out their diet. An important ceremonial drink for the Timucuans was made from cacina leaves and consumed while very hot—similar to coffee in terms of the amount of caffeine. The cacina potion caused the Indians to break out in a heavy sweat and alleviated hunger and thirst for 24 hours. Just as in most cultures, the Timucua had a structured society with both noble and commoner classes. Nobles participated in decisions, could collect tributes, had a seating order in the Council House, and were exempt from manual labor and demeaning punishments. Commoners could advance to noble status by being a talented speaker or warrior, or by being appointed by the chief. With the exception of the chief, the Timucua were a monogamous tribe. After a marriage, the husband would move to the wife’s village. (Female chiefs were not the norm, but they were not uncommon.) Rule passed on through the chief’s eldest sister’s children. The ceremony for a chief wedding included both warriors and the most beautiful women in the tribe. It was a common practice for both spouses (commoners and nobles) to sleep with the other’s family members. A Timucuan chief was buried with his drinking cup and arrows. Some subjects killed their children as a sacrifice to be buried with the chief. Subjects mourned the chief’s passing for days, cutting their hair and fasting. And for six months, chosen women wailed and lamented three times daily. His house and household items were all burned. Villages had charnel houses and a structure for the bones as a final resting place for the deceased. These practices were given up when Christianity came about, but burial mounds can still be found. The Timucua of Coastal Georgia first encountered continued ...

Europeans in 1562 when French settlers arrived. They were friendly, at first, offering food and even helping the French build a fort. But when Spanish rulers drove out the French, they began to impose their own culture on the Indians, including spiritual beliefs through the Spanish mission system and forced the Timucua to convert to Catholicism. Indians who didn’t convert became the property of Spain. Some of the Timucua rebelled, and the Spanish suffered attacks. There were also wars between the various Indian tribes in which the Timucua suffered much bloodshed. But ultimately, it was the European diseases to which the Timucua had no immunity that devastated the population. Only 550 Timucua were recorded in 1698, from a population once in the tens of thousands. In 1763, the Spanish left the area, and the remaining 83 Timucuans were sent to Cuba as slaves. But without having a concept of a tomorrow, the Timucuans made very poor slaves, and most of the 83 died shortly after being confined—the last one being , Juan Alonso Cabale. At one time, it is estimated that there were more than 200,000 Timucuan speaking people scattered over 19,000 square miles of South Georgia and North Florida. Today, there is not one remaining person known to be a descendent of the Timucua. The total extinction of an entire people once native to Georgia is a tragic part of our nation’s history. Editor’s Note: Please visit the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum and the Cumberland Island Visitors Center in Downtown St. Marys and the Museum of History in Fernandina Beach to see Timucuan displays. Visit to learn more about the Timucua and the Timucua Preserve in Jacksonville.

Honesty • Integrity • Excellence • Family

Actual Patients

912-576-2677 •

2400 St. Marys Road, Suite A, St. Marys,GA 31558

Experience. Integrity. Passion. These are the qualities of an attorney most qualified to assure a good outcome for your case. With more than 34 years of experience on both sides of the desk (prosecution and defense), Bill Cromwell knows what it takes to get the job done and is driven by a passion for maximum results.

Call for a FREE Consultation


Cromwell Law

William G. “Bill” Cromwell, Attorney-at-Law



In 2020, North Atlantic right whales were officially listed as critically endangered, and recent estimates put their population at a precariously-low 366 individuals. But it looks like these gentle giants ended the year on a high note as two newborns were recently spotted off the coasts of Georgia and Florida.

By Alex


One of the calves was born to a whale named Chiminea, a first time mother who is thought to be around 13 years old. Chiminea and her baby were seen off the coast of Cumberland Island on December 4. The other baby belongs to a 16-year-old whale known as Millipede, and the pair were spotted near Florida’s Vilano Beach, Florida, on December 7. Biologists are celebrating the births of these two critically-endangered creatures, understanding that every individual counts in the struggle to come back from the brink of extinction.



he waters of Coastal Georgia are a paradise of thriving and diverse life. Teeming with the creatures of the sea and the air, our marsh-and-ocean cradle offers an incomparable opportunity for those who seek to observe the intricacy and magnificence of the natural world. Dolphins, manatee, crabs, loggerhead sea turtles, fish (from the miniscule to the awe-inspiring), sea birds, and countless others create an ever-changing dreamscape of birth, death, renewal, and endurance. But it is the North Atlantic right whale— the official State Mammal of Georgia—that most intrigues and enthralls. From November to April of each year, our area plays (most honored) host to the right whale as they perform their annual pilgrimage from the far northern waters to continued ...


their ancient calving grounds. Unheard by human ears, unseen (for the most part), this vast—but infinitely fragile— creature travels through the oceanic depths with single-minded purpose: the survival of its own species.

During mid-summer and into the fall months, large numbers of right whales migrate to Canadian waters, where they are frequently observed in the Bay of Fundy and the western Scotian Shelf. Here they feed and gain strength while fully protected. Although most (about two thirds) of the population can be found in Canadian territory during this time, the rest of the population is unaccounted for, and those that elude the tracking and measurement of science represent one of nature’s greatest mysteries. They leave the northern feeding grounds but do not show up in the Florida/Georgia waters during the time that the pregnant females are there. Where do they go? Why do some travel the time-worn paths and others disappear into the great unknown? At this point no one knows the answer. And there is something redeeming and magical in that fact alone. Majestic animals of intelligence and beauty, their fate rests in the precarious balance between conservation and human development as these regal and peaceful behemoths traverse the miles between their feeding territory and the calving-home in a cycle that is older than time itself. It is a journey that is fraught with peril, for these are some of the most densely congested shipping areas of our oceans—but the biological imperative will not be denied or altered by mere human interference. And so the circle remains—though ragged and endangered, unbroken. continued ...


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.


73 Hawthorn Lane • St. Marys, Georgia


Trust Your Vision to the Visionaries! Your eyesight is too precious to not give it the best of care.

The professionals at Seaside Ophthalmology are dedicated to the highest level of patient care in a compassionate and state-of-the-art environment. From annual exams to comprehensive diagnosis to surgery and beyond, our team of visionaries have the experience and qualifications to ensure the most positive outcomes. BRUNSWICK ST. SIMONS ISLAND KINGSLAND WAYCROSS

912.466.9500 912.357.0047 912.576.4466 912.584.0047

KINGSLAND OFFICE • 1891 HWY. 40 EAST • SUITE 1102 • 912.466.9500


Scientists believe that the worldwide population of the North Atlantic right whales prior to 1700 (the start of commercial whaling) was, roughly, 300,000. Right whales were given protection in 1935, when researchers estimated that there were only about 100 right whales left in the North Atlantic Ocean. Many feared that the northern right whale would become extinct – and their predictions are perilously close to being realized. Right whales were so named because early whalers considered them the “right” whale to hunt. In the early centuries of shore-based whaling, right whales were, virtually, the only large whales the whalers were able to catch. Often found very close to shore where they could be spotted by lookouts, they were hunted from beach-based whaleboats. Man benefitted from the gentle presence of these creatures and, as is often the case, did not count the eventual loss. Right whales can grow up to 60 feet long (one and half times the length of a school bus), and weigh up to 100 tons. Their rotund bodies are primarily black, with distinctive callosities (roughened patches of skin) on their heads, a broad back without a dorsal fin, and a long, arching mouth that begins above the eye. The strongest long-term bond in right whale society is that between mother and calf. This is also this increasingly threatened species’ most fragile link for, in the presence of ocean-going vessels, sonar “noise,” and other human interference, the calf may wander from its mother and become disoriented and lost. Thus, the chain is tragically broken. Very little is known about the life span of right whales for they are so scarce that scientists cannot fully study them. One of the few pieces of evidence is the case of a mother North Atlantic right whale that was photographed with her baby in 1935, then photographed again in 1959, 1980, 1985, and 1992 (Callosity patterns were used to ensure that it was the same animal.) Finally, she was photographed in 1995. She was approximately 70 years of age at the time of her death—a death caused by a ship-strike, not “natural cause.” continued ...

Vocalizations made by right whales are not elaborate compared to those made by other whale species. The whales make “groans, pops, and belches” that are typically around 500 Hz. The purpose of the vocalizations is not known, but is thought to be a form of communication between whales within the same group. When danger is present, a group of right whales “call out” to one another rapidly, and then come together in a circle with their tails pointing outwards, to deter a predator. Rare, yes. Endangered, certainly. But there are those who devote their lives to studying and fighting to protect these creatures. As with all things, public awareness and action is the key, for it is only when we value something that we dedicate ourselves to its preservation. From the Bay of Fundy in Canada to the Georgian shores, we watch and wait for the arrival of the North Atlantic right whale. It is in their survival that the true measure of our humanity is weighed, and our answer to their ghostly cries echoed.



SMOKIE’S BLUES February 26,27, 28 March 5, 6, 7

EVENING WITH THE STARS May 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17

Discover more reasons to smile! VOTED BEST DENTIST 2015 2017 2018 2020 NOW OFFERING: • Same Day Crowns & Bridges

No more temporaries !

• Extractions • Root Canals • Laughing Gas

Gentle dental care with leading edge technology in a state-of-the-art office environment.

( nitrous oxide )

• Preventative Care for Adults & Children

Stanley M. Prince DMD, PC

124-A Andrews Way, St. Marys, GA 31558


Visit us at


Theatre Trax P E R F O R M E D






We love our new St. Marys Magazine we received Monday. It is beautiful from cover to cover and all of the interesting stories and pictures, especially the Riverview Hotel story. We stayed there many times when we visited St. Marys after we moved to Virginia. Ray and Carolyn Mitchell Williamsburg, VA

My dad fell in love with your magazine while visiting us in St. Marys and said he would love a subscription. Thank you so much. Melissa Armentrout St. Marys, GA


I am writing to thank you for creating and publishing St. Marys Magazine. I have every issue! The beautiful pictures and well-researched articles accurately depict our idyllic Camden community. Our citizens are proud of our community and grateful to you for your vision and hard work. Thank you for your amazing contributions to our beloved St. Marys. Jeanne Legner St. Marys, GA

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

Our Doctors



New Patients For:


Ahmed Elsharkawi


Jose Reyes Oliva, MD

Pamela Hinson, NP-C Vicky Alday ANP-BC

40of Years Co


mbined Experience

ephrology of the Golden Isles providers have over 40 years combined experience treating patients with kidney disease and hypertension. We also provide care for dialysis patients and patients who have received a kidney transplant. We take pride in providing courteous and compassionate care, helping patients with kidney dialysis management and treatment of HTN, kidney failure and other renal issues. Lab and ultrasound services onsite. All insurances accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Colette Lee-Lewis MD

3025 Shrine Rd.• Suite 270 • Brunswick, GA 31520 2040 Dan Proctor Dr. • Suite 200 • St. Marys, GA 31558 823 South 1ST Street • Jesup, GA 31545 105 East Tollison St., Suite B • Baxley, GA 31513. O U R P ROV I D E R S:

Ahmed Elsharkawi MD, PhD Jose Reyes Oliva, MD • Colette Lee-Lewis, MD Vicky Alday, ANP-BC • Pamela Hinson, NP-C

912.262.2723 • 912.262.2724 FAX 877.244.5666

By Barbara



t’s no secret that people in St. Marys love to eat and we have some great home grown cooks in our midst to satiate our appetites—especially when it comes to down home cooking. Recently, our community was graced with new celestial culinary stars whose fans are turning their shining from bright to brilliant. Enter—the Collard Valley Cooks. Tammy and Chris Nichols moved to St. Marys in 2020 to be near their daughters


continued ...

in school and also near desirable fishing spots (Chris is an avid angler). Tammy grew up on Collard Valley Road in Collard Valley, Georgia. Now the name has nothing to do with the semi-bitter dark green leafy vegetable that is a southern staple especially in cold months. Collard Valley in Polk County, Georgia (northwest) is named for an old Indian Chief who lived there. The name “Collard Valley Cooks” just seemed to fit when Tammy first took to sharing her cooking skills via the internet. Here’s how that happened. Tammy is a cancer survivor. After going through many surgeries and serious health challenges, it came to her that she wanted to leave a legacy for her daughters and what better way than to share her love of and skills at cooking. She was taught well by her mama, her Granny Benefield, and her MawMaw Howard. “When Mama’s feet hit the floor, mine hit the floor,” Tammy said admitting she never wanted to miss out on anything. She started Collard Valley Cooks as a Facebook and YouTube cooking tutorial. Her real-life practicality and country style of cooking appealed to viewers, and she soon had a large following. Husband Chris—a great cook in his own right— joined the effort and next thing you know, they were being featured on ABC’s “Family Food Fight” where they came in second. Cookbooks were the next natural progression, and to date they have published three. You can get the cookbooks at their website as well as other kitchen products endorsed by Collard Valley Cooks.

continued ...


St. Marys Office 1819 Osborne Road


Brunswick Office 2323 Parkwood Drive


Waycross Office 401 Lister Street



Buying, selling or renting? Serving Camden County over 28 years. We are a full service team dedicated to quality service with a passion to exceed your expectations. Let us help make your next real estate move the Ginny Jacobs best experience ever. ABR, CRS, GRI Certified Residential Specialist

ERA KINGS BAY REALTY 1612 Boone Street Kingsland GA 31548 912-552-4766 • 800-542-4388

Great Mortgage Rates and So Much More!

We provide financing for both Purchases and Refinances. VA, FHA, USDA and Conventional loans.

Theresa A. Richards, Mortgage Loan Originator and Owner

Call now to pre-qualify!

912.882.7660 32

87-A Hawthorn Lane, St. Marys, GA 31558 Theresa A. Richards, MLO, NMLS #168616/GRMA #24345 Genesis Mortgage, Inc., Broker, NMLS #168494/GRMA #15801

“Two pearls in a bowl of grits,” is how I would describe the epicurean duo as I watch them flit about in their kitchen in St. Marys, preparing one of their mouth-watering dishes. (If you’re not from the south, you might not know that that is a compliment of the highest order.) Tammy takes mainstage while Chris throws in bon mots from time to time that make you chuckle and add to the deliciousness of the experience. “I make mistakes, live, on air,” Tammy said, “and people seem to like that— thinking, ‘well, if she can do it, so can I.’” Tammy assures everyone, though, that the recipes in their cookbooks are “tried and true.” “She’s just real,” one viewer remarks. “I feel like I’m sitting right there in her kitchen with her.” Tammy says she’s teaching people how to cook not just how to make a recipe. And her formula is certainly working.

As one fan said, “Y ’all are just sewing great seeds of love.” Collard Valley Cooks now have more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube garnering 30 to 60 thousand viewers a day. One video surpassed 2 million viewers already and still climbing. What started out as a 30-minute a day effort has segued into three to four hours daily as her audience expands and demands more. “We do take requests,” Tammy said. “One viewer recently requested sweet potato pudding which we happily obliged.” As one fan said, “Y ’all are just sewing great seeds of love.” That sounds about right. After all, love blooms where you plant it, and watching an episode of “Collard Valley Cooks,” one can’t help but feel the love. After all, they are cooking like Mama did, and nothing says love like Mama. Editor’s Note: Enjoy daily videos on YouTube at the “Collard Valley Cooks” channel. Or visit them on Facebook or on their website where you can order cookbooks and other kitchen products. www.collardvalleycookscom.

When a chronic wound disrupts your life, we can help.


HEALING POWER WITH A HUMAN TOUCH Millions of Americans suffer from wounds that will not heal. If you suffer from a chronic wound, our Wound Care Centers in Brunswick and St. Marys provide highly specialized wound care with the latest technologies and treatments to help you heal. For more information, please call us at 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447), or visit



he sound of distant drumbeats melds into the last minute chatter of an audience growing restless with anticipation. The drums beat harder. And louder. Ascending into a heart-thumping crescendo as the ancient Indian chief unfurls from his embryonic pose upon the stage. A hush falls across the cantilevered audience platform. The wise old Timucuan tells the tragic story of his lost people and how the white man’s diseases and white man’s demands diminished a nation until there was only one survivor—Juan Alonso Cabale—banished to slavery in Cuba. And then there were none. So began an evening at Theatre by the Trax where St. Marys Little Theatre opened its 10th season by bringing history alive in the reprised production of “River of Life.” Fifty people came together for a live collective experience that shut out the woes of political upheaval and Covid (social distancing observed) and closed its mind to the tedium of the recent work week. For two hours, they shared a journey designed to enrich their souls continued ...


and inspire their spirits. And they exit, bonded, with a heightened awareness of their stalwart connection to the past and the legacies that blazed a trail to their community’s future. Melding past into present, “River of Life” began with the earliest of times and the Timucuan Indians, then traversed hundreds of years portraying the trials and triumphs of St. Marys’ founding fathers, the tragic Acadians, early settlers, railroad and 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 St. Marys’ iconic Waterfront park. The original musical brought together all the great cultures that contributed to the diversity of Coastal Georgia, and did it in an entertaining and memorable way. Through the eyes of those who came before us, a powerful story unfolded, showing how everything fit into the big picture that brought us to who we are today. Barbara Ryan, author of the original play and music, told how the production initially was born. “As chair of the St. Marys Convention & Visitors Bureau many years ago, my son and I designed a 40-foot mural for the welcome center that depicted major milestones in St. Marys’ history,” Ryan said. “One night I dreamed that the mural came alive in the form of continued ...


~State Park ~Biking & Kayaking ~Train Rides & Theatre ~Historic District ~Submarine Museum ~Cumberland Museum



I-95 ~ EXITS 1 & 3


Smokie’s Blues It’s the 1940s and Juke Joint singer Smokie done shot her man in this story about love, loss, and redemption. Drama, soul-stirring music, and lots of laughs. Debuting February 26 at Theatre by the Trax.

an opera, so the next morning, I got up and wrote it.” According to Ryan, writing “River of Life” was one of the high points of her artistic endeavors. She said she is particularly proud of songs like “Soul of a Slave” sung by Starlette and Fred Myers and her “Good, Better, Best” song inspired by her 8th grade teacher and featured in the founder of black history scene. “This play will always hold a special place in my heart because it not only reflects the riches of our local heritage; it also celebrates the building of a community.” Ryan said that theatre is often a mirror of our history, our heritage. It is the nexus that can bridge generation to generation and culture to culture. But, most important, theatre can be “an adventure, an exploration, a journey well worth the taking—and sometimes simply lots of fun.”












s the nation continues to live with the lingering effects be concerned with child care (because the child is also of Coronavirus, the spirit of giving during the Christmas involved). These programs also give families opportunities holidays persevered. Dr. Brent Ray of Ankle & Foot to spend quality time and the opportunity to bond, learn Associates, LLC in St. Marys together, and celebrate success has always been dedicated to together. The support from giving back to his community Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC during these difficult times. will enhance opportunities This year, Dr. Ray chose to and educational programs support the St. Marys Little to give the families common Theatre and the Kingsland learning grounds.” Police Department’s “Shop Robert Jones, Chief of Police with a Cop” event. for Kingsland Police Department, Barbara Ryan, Chair of the received the donation for the St. Marys Little Theatre, event “Shop with a Cop.” This received the donation and program rewards children (ages stated, “Due to COVID-19, 5 to 18) with the opportunity to today’s families have very few purchase clothing and other Dr. Brent Ray of Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC opportunities to experience necessities while shopping presents check to Barbara Ryan, Founder and Chair meaningful extracurricular with a police officer. of St. Marys Little Theatre to help with SMLT’s activities in a safe environment. Children who participate are Multi-Generational Cultural Arts Program. We are writing plays that are identified by the local Department inclusive for the entire family, of Family Services Office as from grandparent to grandchild. This kind of program has those needing assistance. Chief Jones stated that Dr. Ray’s enabled parents to be involved in cultural arts and not contribution would be able to help five children.

“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


Sam Lockamy & Cassie Clayton Great Smokey Mountains, NC.

Wayne Burton & Sylvia Zielinski Lookout Mountain, GA.


erendipity played a role in the opening of St. Marys’ latest eatery. Chris and Madonna Awad came to St. Marys to visit Cumberland Island. They liked what they saw. Selling one of his businesses in Jacksonville, Chris purchased a building at the corner of Church and Osborne and opened his Magic Market which is as close to a general store as St. Marys has. Part of Magic Market’s success has been the delicious food served up including their famous fried chicken. People kept asking Chris why he didn’t open a full-sized restaurant until finally he said to himself “Why Not?” When the Fulford’s Fish house location became available, continued ...


Chris took advantage of the opportunity and now Southern River Walk Bar & Grill is the talk of the town. With a large variety of taste-tempting offerings including American and Mediterranean, Southern River Walk quickly made its way into the hearts and bellies of St. Marys residents and visitors. One of the few restaurants in the area to be open seven days a week, Southern River Walk is a boon for the emergence of a more vibrant downtown. And that was an important motivator for Chris to open. “We wanted to help St. Marys grow in prosperity,” Chris said. “Our vision is to add to the spirit of St. Marys.” From appetizers like Fulford’s Fish Dip and Fried Kibbeh to succulent steaks, creative pastas, and trademark dishes like their Shrimp & Grits, the new restaurant has something for everyone plus daily specials. With a casual and inviting atmosphere that includes indoor and outdoor dining, Southern River Walk’s décor reflects its name. Inspiring murals painted by local artist Amanda Moore grace the patio and interior. Chris says his goal is to attract families and those who will enjoy the live entertainment provided nightly. Expanding his business to additional space in the French Quarter building, a family sports bar is also underway utilizing the same kitchen. “Giving families more activities to do together is an important goal for us,” Chris said. “We will have video games and table games like pool and air hockey so people of all ages will have something that appeals to them.” When asked his philosophy about food, Chris smiled and said, “Love makes good food.” And we all love the fact that this wonderful Syrian family discovered St. Marys and has added to the magic of our downtown and waterfront. Editor’s Note: Southern River Walk Bar & Grill is located in the French Quarter building at the corner of Osborne Street and Stable Alley just a few steps from St. Marys’ waterfront. Call 912-439-3806 for more information. 48


unting grounds for yesteryear’s treasures are fertile in St. Marys—even more so with the recent re-location and expansion of Salt River Antiques & More. More than 40 vendors share the spacious building that formerly served as an entertainment venue called “Southern Junction” located at the entrance to downtown St. Marys. The Chapman family still owns the building and at the front desk you will see a photograph of Al and Mary Chapman. Their passing left a big hole in the hearts of many people in Coastal Georgia, but their legacy of caring for a community continues through their children. You’ll need an hour or so to really explore all the great finds at Salt River. While many antique stores are crammed with hodge-podge displays making it continued ...



Acce New Papting tie Most Insu nts ra Acceptednce


The professional team at Family Matters offers you and your family the finest and most comprehensive mental health services available. • Individual Counseling • Psychotherapy • Family Counseling • Marriage Counseling • Family Assessment & Court Services • Trauma and Complex Trauma Treatment • Hypnotherapy • EMDR • Veterans Counseling & Give-An-Hour members SLIDING SCALE FEE AVAILABLE

912.825.8488 FAX




Camden Behavioral Wellness

to bring more comprehensive psychiatric care to Camden County. FIND US ON

605 Osborne Street, St. Marys, GA • 507 Ocean Blvd • Suite 203 • St. Simons Island, GA

difficult to see the treasures within, Salt River Antiques & More has wide aisles and organized display areas that make it easy on the eye. Just walking through the door awakens your senses to the thousands of stories that lie within. To your left, your eyes are immediately drawn to a hand-crafted wooden box with a real fountain pen and inkwell. That is just one of Jim Galvin’s many items that could easily be displayed in a museum. Your journey through time will take you to every era including Victorian and Deco—even primitives. There are lamps from many different eras, beautiful rugs, jewelry, and African masks. Fine china, dolls, crystal geodes, and furnishings of every imaginable style. Salt River manager Karen Lee says to come in and not find at least one item that they just can’t live without is rare. Collectors, especially, appreciate the wide variety and unusual assortment of merchandise that range in price from $3 to hundreds of dollars—all surprisingly and affordably priced. “We have the best collection of local crafters,” said K-Lee (as her customers know her).

Salt River Antiques & More manager Karen Lee.


Local candlemakers, macramé artists, embroiderers, a blacksmith, jewelry makers, and more proudly display their creations. One booth displays exquisite Lucite purses. Beads galore beckon to continued ...

beading artists. Antique jewelry and dishes, military collectibles, LPs and 45 rpm records. Farm implements, lanterns, heritage quilts—there is something for everyone, even a section for Georgia Bulldog fans. The Irish Scott features handmade leather accessories that would make any clan proud. Unique items that would not be found elsewhere abound like one vendor’s hand- crocheted “Messy Ponytail Hats.” Award-winning photographer Roger Graw displays his beautiful pieces there as well. Salt River Antiques & More is a destination in itself—truly the quintessential grazing spot for anyone interested in history and/or antiques. There’s a story around every corner just waiting to unfold, and as you explore all the one-of-a-kind items in this treasure mecca, you’re sure to rediscover yesteryear. Salt River Antiques & More is located at 1600 Osborne Road in St. Marys. For more information, call 912-882-5798.

Did you know? St. Marys

was named a winner in the


The Coolest Fun Around!

Birthday Parties • Swim Lessons Private Park Rentals • Season Passes

10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for

Best Coastal Small Town. St. Marys was selected as a nominee by an expert panel, partnered with 10Best editors, for the contest which launched online. The contest gave the public four weeks to vote for the nominated candidate of their choice.



301 Herb Bauer Drive, St. Marys, GA



homas Jefferson once said, “The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven.” Olives have been cultivated for more than 6000 years and Jefferson, perhaps, was onto something as the fruit of the olive tree has become the darling of foodies, especially in the form of olive oil. For cooks who embrace the many talents of a beautiful olive oil, knowing there is a source for high quality olive oil right here in their own back yard is priceless The Branch Olive Oil is produced by Robbie and Theresa Cheek just a few miles up the road from St. Marys in Waverly, Georgia. Robbie and Theresa were never farmers. They did some gardening growing up (both are from Camden County). But it was their mutual admiration for all things Mediterranean that drew them to the olive oil industry around 2012. With original plans to plant about 8 to 10 trees on their property in northern Camden County, they now cultivate more than 1800 olive trees. Their three acres of high-density plantings are a challenge. “Traditionally, olives like an arid climate,” Robbie said. “Rainfall here has been a challenge and frosts are always troublesome when they interfere with the growth of the buds. A late freeze gets blooms sometimes in March or April.” Robbie said he and Theresa “babied” their trees the first two winters. And it paid off. The Branch offers an extra-virgin olive oil that continued ...


has been lauded by professional chefs and home gourmands locally and regionally. Extra-virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy with very specific standards that have to be met to receive the label “extra-virgin.” Because of the way extra-virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste and has a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties. It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. “I take me a tablespoon of our oil every morning,” said Robbie, whose vibrancy alone seems to signify the health benefits of such a regimen. Indeed, studies have shown that good olive oil can reduce inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Extra-virgin olive oil lowers blood pressure, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, and improves the function of blood vessels—all pointing to less risk of heart disease and strokes. By replacing chemically-extracted, refined oils such as margarine, shortening, canola, corn, and vegetable oils with extra virgin olive oil in everyday cooking, you can also increase your family’s overall nutrition and add more depth and flavor to foods your family enjoys. “Our oil is cold-pressed,” said Robbie. “The fruit has to be ‘milled’ within 24 hours from the vine.” continued ...


THANK•YOU From your car.

Thank you for having me bathed with jets of water and cleaning stuff that rids my body of grease and grime. Thank you for helping me avoid damaged parts, scratches and paint chipping. Thank you for that fabulous finishing sheen that makes you feel proud every time you drive me.

Thank you for taking me to Coastal Clean Car Wash!

912.439.3102 2722 Osborne Rd

(in front of Winn-Dixie)

Coastal Clean Car Wash The Touchless Wonder


It’s tricky timing for the Cheeks who hand pick every olive (with a little help from their family) but depend on outside sources for milling. Future plans involve having their own mill so they can be more flexible on picking times. The Branch variety of olive actually self-pollinates (which is a good thing thinking of our bees that are in such peril now). According to Robbie, it takes 70 to 80 pounds of fruit to make up one gallon of oil, making their product even more precious. But it is in the tasting that one understands the specialness of The Branch olive oil. “Good olive oil presents a buttery taste in the back of the throat,” Robbie said. “Then a slight peppery aftertaste.” Interestingly, though the olive oil has a pale golden color, it is the result of combining both green fruit and ripe fruit—green olives and black olives—a 50/50 mix. Area restaurants are discovering more and more the desirability of The Branch Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. And retail wise, it’s easy to see why selective stores like The Southern Charmer in Kingsland enjoy displaying the Cheeks’ impressive product. The 8.5 ounce bottle is graced with a chic label featuring a quote by Shakespeare—“Peace puts forth her olive branch continued ...

FAST. FRIENDLY. LOCAL! Since 1916 Auto-Owners has been teaming up with local agents – people focused on you, the customer. That’s the quality of your Agent and the company that stands behind them.

The BEST Local Insurance Agency in St. Marys, GA

912.882.5656 54

Epicures Take Note everywhere.” A dove holding an olive branch is an appropriate label graphic because the olive branch is a symbol of peace, victory, friendship, tradition, and putting down roots. “We at The Branch Olive Oil wish you peace, victory, friendship, and many traditions,” is the greeting from Robbie and Theresa Cheek. Next up for the Cheeks is an offering of infusions which they are now experimenting with, projecting that people will enjoy giving infused olive oil as gifts. “It’s fun,” they say about their Mediterranean venture. For now, they’re keeping their day jobs—Robbie a civil engineer and Theresa an occupational therapist. But the future for their Mediterranean passion looks bright as more and more people discover the delights and benefits of a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. You can pick up your own supply of The Branch Extra-Virgin Olive Oil at The Southern Charmer in Kingsland, or text the Cheeks at 912-674-3119 for ordering information.

Give Your Pool Bragging Rights! Full Service Pool comPany - DEcKInG - LAnDScAPInG - PooL SuPPLIES - TILE - PooL FInISH - HArDScAPES

call today to see how we can save you

money and 1/2 the time.


III Palms Plaza 1621 F Hwy. 40E. Kingsland, GA 31548

Did you know? Cumberland Island National Seashore consistently has the most sea turtle nests of any beach in Georgia. Miles and miles of undeveloped beach provide one of the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the state. In 2020, Cumberland Island saw a record-breaking year for sea turtle nests reaching a milestone of 1017 nests.

BRANDS WE CARRY: Breezesta, Chicago Wicker,

Erwin & Sons Wicker, Frankford Umbrellas, Gensun Casual, Lloyd Flanders, Tropitone, Castelle, Casual Line PVC, Oriflamme Fire Tables, Treasure Garden Umbrellas, Royal Teak, Windward Design Group.


Open Tuesday – Saturday

Located 1.7 miles East of I95 at exit 3 in the Three Palms Plaza, Kingsland.


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

912.510.0639 FIND US ON

Miss Julie’s House In Downtown St. Marys

Have you enrolled your little ones yet? M-F: 6:30 am - 6:00 pm 501 Osborne Street • St. Marys, GA




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

Shrimp Your Way! Fisherman’s Favorites. Steaks, chicken, pasta and more!

Catering Available!

1837 Osborne Road • St. Marys, GA • 912-467-4217

Jacksonville North / St Marys KOA Full Hook-up – Pull-thru RV Sites Deluxe Furnished Cabins • Tipi Village Clubhouse (Rentals Available)


• TENT SITES • HEATED POOL with 50’ wATErSLIDE • FrEE BrEAKFAST • 18-Hole Miniature Golf Course


(Open to the Public)

There’s Camping. And there’s KOA.

2970 Scrubby Bluff road, Kingsland, GA 31548 (I-95, GA Exit 1) www.

Spouses Bakery & Deli

Old World Techniques with Lots of Love!

Artisan Breads • Cakes • Pies • Croissants • Soups • Sandwiches • Salads B r e a k fa s t • L u n c h • ta k e o u t


901 Dilworth Street • St. Marys, GA • 912.322.7357

Celebrating 25 years in 2021!!

St. Marys Submarine Museum

We work hard for you! Home, Auto, Life, Recreational, Business, Flood and Senior Plans.


2201 Osborne Rd Suite B, St. Marys, GA 31558 Licensed in GA, SC and Florida License #W203678.

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

Where History Surfaces Every Day !

207 osborne street • st. Marys, Ga


912.882.7350 FinD us on FaceBook

102 St. Marys Street West • St. Marys, GA 31558 912-882-ASUB (2782) •




eeping your canine clean has never been easier than with St. Marys’ Coastal Clean Dog Wash. Located in front of the Winn-Dixie on Osborne, this business is a testament to some creative thinking and answering a real need—how to clean your dogs without the hassle and mess in your own home. When you enter the double doors, you immediately sense a feeling of welcoming. The electric fireplace is inviting and sets the stage for a comfortable and easy experience. The community board shows the interest in and support of our community that Doug Altman and his father, Larry, (owners) have embraced. Then the fun begins. You set your pooch up on the stainless continued on page 59


he future has arrived and it’s called “Touchless Car Washes.” You can find one just a few minutes from St. Marys waterfront in the Winn-Dixie parking lot— Coastal Clean Car Wash.

What is a touchless car wash?

Traditional car washes use spinning brushes and wet cloths to slap against your car and scrub dirt away. They directly come in contact with the surface of your vehicle and utilize friction to wipe off residue. Touch-free car washes, on the other hand, do not use these brushes to wipe your car. All that touches your car are jets of soap and water. This method uses sensors to scan the car’s size and shape, continued on page 60

Dog Wash steel bathing platform, punch a button and voila! First a deep cleaning shampoo. Then a moisturizing conditioner that leaves your doggie’s coat soft and shiny. (With soothing rinses in between of course.) You have the option of flea and tick relief shampoo that helps repel those pests as well. And all with reverse-osmosis water—no hard water. And it’s all hypo-allergenic. Then the drying cycle which every pup seems to love. It’s kind of like a spa experience for your best friend! Towels provided of course. An attendant makes sure that the facility is cleaned between uses. Owner Doug has two rescue “mutts” of his own so he knows the struggle of washing dogs at home. He and his father are both military veterans and own the adjacent Coastal Clean Car Wash as well. “We just thought a dog wash would be a great companion for the car wash,” Doug said. So after you wash your doggies, treat them to a ride through the Altmans’ touchless car wash. They will love that too.


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.

The Glass Family from Atlanta enjoys an outing in the 1929 Model A Ford from The Federal Quarters in Downtown St. Marys. 59

Car Wash and then sprays jets of high-pressure water and cleansers to break up the grime. In many ways, it’s like running your car through a dishwasher rather than scrubbing it in the sink.


Christian Adult Comtemporary Music, to Encourage, Inspire, and Bring Light to our Lighthouse Family!

To connect with us scan the QR- Code!

Shining the Light of God’s Word 24/7 to Southeast Georgia & Northeast Florida, and around the world online!

The Lighthouse WECC FM 5465 Highway 40 East | St. Marys, GA 31558

The Lighthouse WECC • 800.577.WECC • 912.882.8930 •

St. Marys is the perfect storybook setting to begin your new life together. From breathtaking vistas and antebellum mansions for your ceremony to our charming bed and breakfasts and inns for a romantic honeymoon, your happily ever after is just a click away.

It’s safer for your car. With touch-free, you are far less likely to have any problems with damaged parts, scratching, or paint chipping since your vehicle is never touched during the process. It accommodates a variety of vehicles. Because they use sensors, touch-free car washes can adjust to many different kinds of vehicles. Plus, there’s more space in the bay since there aren’t all of those large brushes. Owners Doug and Larry Altman invite residents and visitors to do their car a favor and try “touchless.” It’s the wave of the future. And Coastal Clean Car Wash is the ONLY touchless car wash in Camden County.

St. Marys has been lauded as one of the most desirable locations for destination weddings in the Southeast. Beautiful natural backdrops and romantic places to stay overnight draw brides from all across the country looking for their perfect “Happily Ever After” launch.

Visit for an informative resource guide on everything from caterers to photographers to ministers and more. 60

By Pamela

A. Keene


pring comes early to the North Georgia Mountains of Ellijay. Hillsides brushed with the gentle pinks of apple blossoms and mountain laurel, the whites of dogwood blooms, plus the bright green of newly sprouted leaves welcome visitors to enjoy the cool days and nights surrounded by nature. But spring in Ellijay is just the beginning of good times in this riverside mountain town. “As soon as the weather warms a bit, we begin our festival season,” says Lisa Salman, tourism manager with the Gilmer Chamber of Commerce. “From celebrating the end of winter with our Apple Blossom Festival to seeing even more visitors come here to hike our wildflower trails or enjoy a change of scenery, late winter and spring are popular times for our area.” Ellijay and its neighbor East Ellijay are the epicenter of the region, with numerous rental cabins, bed-and-breakfast lodging and camping from primitive to elegant glamping opportunities. Elatse’Yi mountain retreat is located on a small farm. Offering accommodations ranging from Airstreams and a geodesic dome to a creek-front cabin, it offers private getaways immersed in nature, tall hardwoods, mountain streams and trails for hiking and biking. Breakfasts include farm-fresh eggs, laid by the farm’s chickens that morning, fresh fruit, coffee or tea and juice. “State parks in our area, plus a wide range of cabin rentals and nearby hotels, offer guests many ways to stay overnight in our area,” Salman says. “And depending on the time of year, we have many exciting events, festivals and outdoor activities for families, couples and other travelers to enjoy.” continued ...


Festivals and Fun

Ellijay and Gilmer County, known as the Apple Capital of Georgia, celebrates its signature crop in the spring and the fall. While apples are ripe for the picking from July through December, depending on the variety, there are plenty of legitimate excuses for revelry. “When the apple blossoms burst into bloom here in late April through May, we know it’s officially time to celebrate spring,” Salman says. “Our annual Apple Blossom Festival the first weekend in May brings together talented arts and crafts people, family activities and, of course, yummy food.” The festival takes place on Craig Street in East Ellijay at the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center. More than 60 juried artists from across the Southeast offer handmade products from pottery and paintings to jewelry and woodworking. Music, children’s activities and festive food round out the weekend. And ever-growing in popularity is the big Apple Festival the second and third weekends in October.

Wine and Breweries

A visit to one of the area’s wineries or breweries is as impressive as the mountain landscape. Grapes are a passion here, and the clusters in the vineyards produce continued ...

St. Marys newest culinary star invites you to eat, drink & be merry. • Lots of food choices to please everyone • Casual inside and outside dining • Live Entertainment • Family-friendly

Just steps from St. Marys Waterfront on the corner of Osborne St. & Stable Alley

912.439.3806 62

Southern River Walk Bar & Grill

Find us on

award-winning wines, which are gaining national recognition and fueling the emergence of North Georgia as a prominent wine region. Many of North Georgia’s wineries are open year-round for tastings and tours. Some offer music or entertainment on select dates. One local brewery—Cartecay River Brewing Co. makes nearly two dozen hand-crafted beers, including seasonal selections.

The Great Outdoors

In addition to lodging options from cabins and yurts to RV pads and primitive campsites, Georgia’s State Parks, include scenic trails and overlooks, waterfalls, hiking and biking trails of varying difficulty. “We have some of the most scenic waterfalls and diverse wildflower trails in the state,” Salman says. “Amicalola Falls, just a short drive from downtown, is the tallest waterfall in the South, and is one of the state’s most popular state parks.” The falls cascade nearly 729 feet and are viewable via a 600-step staircase, which provides the best views of the falls. Other trails nearby include Springer Mountain at the Southern end of the Appalachian Trail. Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge in Dawsonville, between Ellijay and Dahlonega, is an adventure lodge continued ...


People. Power. Progress.


• Clubhouse w/ FULL Kitchen • 5 Mi. N. of FL Border • 2 Mi. from Folkston Funnel • 9 Mi. from Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge

with ziplines, naturalist-guided hikes, 3D archery and geo-caching. Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Visitors can fish, swim or paddle in the 17-acre lake with a sand beach or learn about the history of the area, which was once home to the Cherokee Indians. “The trails at Mulberry Gap, in the Chattahoochee National Forest are a mountain-biker’s paradise,” Salman says. “You can book overnight accommodations, enjoy home-cooked meals and try your hand at the skills course.” For golf enthusiasts, book a tee time at White Path Golf Course, an 18-hole public course with mountain views and rolling terrain. It’s open seven days a week all year long, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. “No matter what your preference, we have it here in Ellijay and North Georgia,” Salman says. “This is the perfect get-away to give you a chance to unplug, kick back and enjoy life from a different perspective.” For more information about Ellijay, lodging, dining, events and activities, visit

252 Bowery Lane • Homeland, GA


2000 Osborne Rd in St Marys

Serving Camden Since 1943

Dr. Richard L. Spencer takes great pride in giving your family more reasons to smile. Relaxing Atmosphere • State of the Art Equipment • Cordial and Experienced Staff NOW OFFERING!

Oral cancer kills one American every hour. Its high mortality rate is due to late-stage discovery. This simple screening procedure could save your life.

Free Checking ♦ Mobile Deposit ♦ Online Banking Online Bill Pay ♦ Loans ♦ Drive-up ATM Federally insured by NCUA

Dr. Richard L. Spencer FAMILY DENTISTRY

2101 Osborne Road • St. Marys, Georgia

912-882-6072 • Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


160 N. Gross Rd in Kingsland

Build Your Dream Home Here

Custom Homes from $300s to $500s Nature Trails + Walking & Biking Paths

Neighborhood Events + Social Gatherings

24-Hour Fitness Center + Soccer Fields

Book Club - Wine Tastings - Holiday Parties -

Zero-Entry Swimming Pool + Playground

Movies by the Pool - Aqua Zumba...something

Community Clubhouse

for everyone!

Niccole Wildes, REALTORÂŽ Winding River 102 Meandering Way St. Marys, Georgia 31558

Cell: (912) 552-4432 Office: (912) 882-9124

(912) 729-7900