Kingsland and Camden County have seen exponential growth in the past couple of decades due to the location of the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base nearby, but Kingsland retains much of its historic past and makes for a fun day trip if you live in South Georgia.
Category Archives: Kingsland GA
To commemorate Kingsland’s centennial Folkston artist Tim Bass, aka Signsmith, painted this beautiful mural in 2008. It illustrates the community’s commitment to history and preservation in its downtown area.
Visit Tim here:
I believe this was the first one-stop wedding business in Kingsland, opened some time in the early 1960s.
This seems to be where it all began, in 1949. When blood tests were required for marriage licenses, Kingsland saw an opportunity. Make it easy to get a blood test and a license and reap the revenue. It was a good idea and it led to Kingsland’s distinction as the “Marriage Capital of the South”. Georgia hasn’t required blood tests for licenses since 2003, so the old sign is just a nice reminder of what helped put Kingsland on the map.
This was the brainchild of florist Pauline Butler, who saw opportunity in the hordes of Floridians who come to Kingsland to circumvent their state’s more complicated marriage laws. In 2005 she told Florida Times-Union columnist Roger Bull a great story of an 81-year-old groom and 75-year-old bride from Melbourne who came up to avoid their wedding announcement being published in their local paper. “They didn’t want anyone to know,” she stated.
The gazebo is modeled after Rome’s Pantheon…the Latin on the frieze reads:
M. Agrippa L. F. Cos. Tertium.Fecit
“Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it.”
According to Mayor Kenneth Smith, Kingsland was once known as the marriage capital of the South. An upcoming Oprah Winfrey Network/BBC reality series, Lovetown, USA, attempts to answer the question, “What happens to a community when you focus on love?” I think it’s a good idea and Kingsland, with its history of one-stop weddings, was an appropriate choice for shooting this series. While I’m not a fan of reality shows, I’ll try to watch this one, if only to see the beautiful scenery of Camden County in the background.
For many years, Art Deco, Art Moderne, and Streamline-style buildings built in the mid-20th century were considered eyesores and I know of several which have recently been demolished as a result. As these styles have become more interesting to architectural historians and aesthetes alike, however, it would be nice to see some of these structures restored and put to new use.
Recently moved and restored through grants from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Kingston Depot now serves as the downtown welcome center. It’s so nice to see small communities restoring these icons of the railroad era and understanding the impact they have on tourism. To see photos of the depot before its restoration, please visit Steve Storey’s Georgia railroad history site: