Originating near the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys River forms the boundary of Georgia and Florida from Charlton County to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also the southernmost point of Georgia. When “discovered” by Jean Ribault in 1562, it was first called the Seine River. It was later changed to St. Marys in honor of a nearby mission. The name given it by Native Americans was Thlathlothlaguphka, meaning rotten fish.
It’s a typical “blackwater” river so common throughout South Georgia and North Florida and it bears close monitoring as the human population in its watershed expands exponentially.
Though pollution is an increasing problem (so bad that it’s advised to only eat one Largemouth Bass per month and only one Redbreast per week) I saw two fisherman testing their luck yesterday. Just seeing bank-fishing is getting to be a rare thing these days. Perhaps we should revive the name given it by the Native Americans, Thlathlothlaguphka, in honor of the misdeeds and inaction of our state government which seems to care nothing about the health of any of our rivers or natural ecosystems.
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:
This beautiful home sits on the banks of the St. Marys River, with wonderful views of the tidal marshes. I believe it’s available as a weekly rental.
This beautiful fountain is the centerpiece of the busy but relaxing waterfront park named in memory of the late timber baron and art patron Howard Gilman. Bring your camera, as grackles, crows, and cowbirds make seemingly endless appearances in the fountain’s cool water. This park is one of the best to be found anywhere in Georgia and illustrates St. Marys recreational commitment to visitors and locals alike, a cue other communities would be wise to take.
The historic Riverview Hotel rests on the banks of the St. Marys River. It’s the hotel nearest to the Cumberland Island Ferry and Visitor Center for Cumberland Island National Seashore. It has been owned and operated by the Brandon Family since the 1920’s. Sallie Brandon purchased the Hotel with the help of her two sisters, Miss Semora and Miss Ethel.