George Clark brought Methodism to St. Marys in 1799 as a circuit-riding missionary. He organized the first congregation here as St. Marys Methodist Episcopal Church. They met in random locations until the construction of the first church building in 1812. It was a simple wood-frame structure, which had few improvements until the addition of a bell in 1838. It was replaced by the chapel illustrated here in 1858 and given to the black Methodists who moved it to a site near the current city hall. It was used until it was heavily damaged by a storm in 1949. A portion of the original altar, as well as the bell, were secured by Pastor Lynwood Jordan and can be seen in the chapel today. Modifications over the years saw the removal of a balcony (perhaps a slave gallery) in 1892 and the addition of a recess in 1913. I was very lucky on Easter Sunday to meet Karen Hoylman, who graciously gave fellow photographer Mike McCall and me a wonderful tour of the place, as well as a peek inside the modern church just next door, built in 1964.
Text of historic marker:
There were originally six wells one in each square, the only source of pure water for St. Marys, (until the tidal wave of 1818). On the day that the Father of the Country was buried at Mt. Vernon local services were also held throughout the nation. St. Marys citizens marched to the dock to meet a boat bearing a flag draped casket; bore it up Osborn St. and with due ceremony and firing of guns, buried it where the Well known as the “Washington Pump” now is.
To mark the spot, four oaks were planted and have since been known as the “Washington Oaks”. Only this one remains. This well was driven the year of Washington´s burial and has ever since been called the “Washington Pump”.
In 1987, the last remaining “Washington Oak” was removed.
General Floyd was born on 3 October 1769 in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he learned carpentry. In 1791, he moved with his father to Camden County and engaged in boat building. He served as a brigadier general during the Creek Wars from 30 August 1813 to 8 March 1814 and from 17 October 1814 to 10 March 1815.
From 1820 to 1827, Floyd was a member of the Georgia House of Representative. From 4 March 1827 to 3 March 1829, he served the state as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. He died near Jefferson, Georgia on 24 June 1839.
This is currently being used as a beauty shop.
Founded as the non-denominational Union Church, St. Marys First Presbyterian is the oldest Presbyterian church in Georgia. Reverend Horace Pratt, who built Orange Hall, was the first minister.
For another view:
Also referred to as the “Aaron Burr House”, a WPA plaque placed in 1936 indicates that Burr was given refuge here by General Archibald Clark while fleeing capture after his duel with Alexander Hamilton. During the War of 1812 British soldiers arrested Clark and established their headquarters in this house. It also played host to General Winfield Scott after his Indian campaigns in Florida. General Clark was Collector of Customs for the Port of Saint Marys from 1807 until his death in 1848. It is likely the oldest house still standing in St. Marys.
For another perspective and information on other occupants of the house:
Built as a bank circa 1840, this chapel was purchased after 1847 by Lewis and Marie Ponce Defour, an Acadian couple from Nova Scotia seeking religious freedom. It served the diocese until 1957, when a new church was built, but is still used for special services. The steeple was added during the 1952-54 renovation or at some time thereafter. Note the 1954 image below without the steeple:
Courtesy Georgia Archives, Office of the Secretary of State
I really like the May Queen (Mary) icon in the window. This tradition has made a recent comeback in Catholic ceremony.
Built in 1872, Spencer House was, in its time, distinguished as the finest hotel in St. Marys and southeast Georgia. Today it is an exquisitely preserved example of Victorian-era architecture. Spencer House is named for Captain William T. Spencer who, along with his wife Harriet Louise, built the hotel while he was serving as the collector of customs for the port of St. Marys from 1871 to 1873. Today, it serves its original purpose once again as a bed and breakfast.
This landmark vernacular cottage is now the home of the Blue Goose Wine and Coffee Shoppe. I believe the structure has undergone several additions since 1821, including the bay window seen in the lower image.