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Saturday, January 18, 2014

One of the first Georgia Plantations

Mark Carr

The Hermitage Plantation

The earliest plantation in this vicinity was "The Hermitage" owned by Colonel Mark Carr. It was located amidst vast live-oak trees on the corner of First and Union Streets in Brunswick facing the river. One afternoon in 1736 while Colonel Carr was out in the patrol boat with General James Oglethorpe, some Spanish pirates landed and burned down the house while Carr's wife and children hid themselves in the corn crib. Carr and Oglethorpe spotted the fire from their vessel and rushed to the scene but when they arrived, the pirates had departed, taking with them some farm animals. Thus, his family was brought to Fort Frederica for safety. After the war was won with Spain (1742), Colonel Carr was granted hundreds of acres in Liberty County for his valiant service. It was in Liberty County that he built a new plantation and established the port city and resort town of Sunbury. Carr owned at least two other plantations, Carrsfield and Blyth. Here is the description he gave to the trustees of Georgia on May 12, 1752- "...that all sorts of garden stuff grow extremely well, and particularly asparagus, all the year round without dunging the lands...That he himself (Col. Heron) occupied one field on St. Simons four years. That on three or four acres, he had 53 bushels of Indian corn cleared, besides a third more at least spoil or lost at the time of the invasion (Spanish). That vines thrive extremely well and that he himself grafted European vines on the wild ones on the island. And that in one year, there have been shoots of twenty seven feet from the grafting as big as his finger. That cotton grows on the land by one great necessity...that he has while mulberry trees which grow very well, but they are not the natural product of the country. That he thinks silk, wine oyl, and cotton may be raised very well there...that the wood of St. Simon's is chiefly Live Oak...." Just as Oglethorpe planned and laid out Savannah, he also planned Brunswick. The original squares remain intact, although the city has suffered many long years of economic depression. 

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