History
of Brunswick, Glynn Co., Georgia
by Amy Hedrick

 

BRUNSWICK HISTORY

The first European to inhabit what is now known as Glynn County, was Mark Carr. His settlement was near the river between what is now Dartmouth Street and First Avenue comprised of about 1000 acres and called Plug Point as it was on a peninsula and it is surmised that tobacco was grown in this area, hence the name.

After having cleared 300 acres of land, in 1771 the Provincial Council decided that this would be an optimal place to lay out the city of Brunswick. In exchange for Mark Carr’s land, the Provincial Council gave him 500 acres on Blythe Island, 500 acres at the Hermitage, and 500 acres at Cowpen Creek. Soon after, Mark Carr left the area and moved to what is now know as Liberty County.

Glynn County is comprised of lands that were once part of St. James, St. David, and St. Patrick Parishes.

The province was divided into parishes under an act passed by the General Assembly of the Province of Georgia in 1758. St. James Parish included Little St. Simons, St. Simons, Long (now known as Sea Island), Jekyll, and Hunting (now known as Rainbow) Islands.

England acquired the territory lying between the Altamaha and St. Mary’s from Spain through the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1765. The land was annexed to the Province of Georgia and then divided into four parishes; St. David, St. Patrick, St. Thomas, and St. Mary’s.

St. David was bounded on the north by the south bank of the south branch of the Altamaha River, on the east by Frederica River, on the south by Buffalo Creek and the center of the Buffalo Swamp, and on the west by the Indian Boundary Line. In 1858, the Rev. E.T. Brown was rector of Christ Church on St. Simons and at Cartaret Point in St. David’s Parish. He traveled from St. Simons to Cartaret, then back to Brunswick to hold services every Sunday for the townspeople, who until then, had no place of worship.

St. Patrick was bounded by Buffalo Creek and the center of the Buffalo Swamp on the north, Wallace Creek (now know as Jekyll Creek) on the east, on the south by the Little Satilla and the center of the Little Satilla Swamp, and on the west by the Indian boundary line.

St. Thomas and St. Mary’s Parishes became Camden County before they were ever fully organized.

In 1789, the lands in the old Parish of St. James was annexed to Glynn County, thus making the boundaries on the north the south bank of the south branch of the Altamaha River, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the south by the Little Satilla River and the center of the swamp, and on the west by the Indian Boundary line, which would later become Wayne County in 1805. Thus making the western boundary of Glynn County the Old Post Road (Barrington Road).

The Old Post Road was formerly known as Barrington Road as it led from Fort Barrington (which later became Fort Howe) on the Altamaha River south to the Little Satilla River Swamp.

Between 1819 and 1860, the northeastern boundary of Glynn, running west, was changed, other than these minor changes, the boundaries stand today as they were in 1805. In the early 1920s, Brantley County was formed from a major part of Wayne County.

The parishes soon became Militia Districts. St. James was the 25th G.M. Dist., St. David’s was the 26th G.M. Dist., and St. Patrick’s became the 27th G.M. District. Later, the southern portion of the 26th District, with the Canal for the dividing line, became the 1356th District. The upper part of the 27th district, the dividing line beginning at the intersection of the Turtle and Buffalo Rivers, following the Turtle River and the center of it’s swamp until it intersected with Barrington Road north of the Coleridge Station (highway 99 area today) on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, became the 1499th District.

James Edward Oglethorpe is considered the “founder” of the Colony of Georgia, and realizing the advantage of a city in this area, the Royal Province of Georgia held a meeting in 1771 in Savannah and laid out the plan of Brunswick. The city was named after King George III who was of the house of Hanover or Braunschweig (translated Brunswick). George Street and Hanover Park were named in his honor also.

Some of our streets and parks were also honorably named after the following:

James Edward Oglethorpe; Earl of Egmont, the first Board of Trustees president; George Carpenter, one of the Trustees; Earl of Hillsborough, Commissioner of Trades and Plantations; Duke of Richmond, who aided the colony; Duke of Gloucester, member of the King’s Cabinet; Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Secretary at the time of the founding of Georgia; Earl of Halifax, Colonial Secretary at the time of the founding of Brunswick; James Habersham, President of the Colonial Council; Gen. Wolfe and Col. Grant, heroes of the Battle of Quebec; John Reynolds, Henry Ellis, and Sir James Wright, all past governors of the Colony of Georgia; Gen. Monk, who was known as the “King Maker and later the Duke of Albemarle; and the Chief Justice of England, Lord Mansfield. Union Street was named for the union of England and Scotland as one kingdom.

In order to receive lands in the town, the petitioner bound themselves to build a dwelling house at least 30 feet in length and 18 feet in width with a solid brick chimney. If this was not done, the land would revert back to the King.

Brunswick contained about 383 ˝ acres bounded by F Street on the north, Cochran Avenue on the east, First Avenue on the south, and on the west by the river front. On 30 June 1772 the first lot was granted and 179 after that up until the Revolutionary War, when the citizens, mostly being Tories, fled to Florida or back to England for protection. According to an early indenture book located in the Superior Court here in Glynn County, a couple of men lost vast amounts of property and possessions due to the Confiscation Acts for being a traitor to the country during the War. The lands were re-granted in 1783, and the confiscated lands were auctioned off to the highest bidder, and in the case of the two men who lost their lands, James Spalding was the highest bidder.
 

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