by Amy Hedrick
Richard Teller Crane, Jr. built Crane Cottage on Jekyll Island in 1917, and it was the most expensive and elegant home ever built on Jekyll. Richard was born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois on 7 November 1873 to Richard Teller and Mary Josephine (Prentice) Crane.
Richard, Jr., after graduating from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, started working at his father's company, the Crane Company. Founded in 1896, this company produced elevators, steam engines, pumps, plumbing fixtures, drain and pipe fittings, and many more plumbing equipment.
In 1914, Richard had taken control of the company until his death on 7 November 1931, becoming the second wealthiest man in Chicago. Crane joined the Jekyll Island Club on 2 March 1911 and remained a member up to his death, his widow, Florence (Higginbotham) Crane was elected a member in 1919 and remained until 1940.
Originally Crane was to buy lots north of the Maurice Cottage, but when Ms. Baker, who owned Solterra which burned, decided to sell her lots, Richard was happy to buy them, as they were on the river, right next to the club.
The home was built in Italian Renaissance style with an enclosed courtyard surrounded by arcaded loggias, 20 bedrooms, 17 baths, and to the south of the house, and a beautiful garden.
Today Crane Cottage is a bed and breakfast, part of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, with a restaurant, Courtyard at Crane, which has indoor seating, and courtyard seating under the loggias.
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