DescriptionFrom treasure-smuggling pirates to commercial fishermen, St. Marys' past blends into its present. Many shrimp and fishing boats line the docks along the St. Marys River. It's the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore and also is home to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, the Atlantic Coast home base of Trident nuclear submarines.
McIntosh Sugar Mill Tabby Ruins, on Spur 40, is the largest structure in the region constructed from tabby, a building material made by combining oyster shells, sand and water. Built by John Houston McIntosh in the 18th century, the mill was used for cane grinding and the boiling and processing of sugar products. Ten miles north on SR 40, Crooked River State Park offers year-round recreational opportunities.
The Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum, a block from the waterfront at 129 Osborne St., has an exhibit about one of the last battles of the War of 1812, which was fought not in New Orleans but 5 days later at Point Peter, where British troops vanquished a fort that had defended coastal Georgia. Artifacts retrieved from the site tell the story of the “forgotten invasion”; phone (912) 882-4336 or (877) 860-6787. The 1812 Binational Heritage Peace Garden commemorates the war, and the adjacent St. Marys History Walk features 24 interpretive panels that describe community milestones.
Howard Gilman Memorial Park on the waterfront hosts a variety of seasonal festivities, including fireworks on the Fourth of July. Near downtown, the St. Marys Aquatic Center, a water park featuring slides, pools and seasonal activities, opens in May; phone (912) 673-8118.
Visitor InfoSt. Marys Convention and Visitors Bureau 400 Osborne St. ST. MARYS, GA 31558. Phone:(912)882-4000 or (800)868-8687
Self-guiding toursMaps and brochures for a walking tour of the National Historic District featuring houses dating from 1801 are available at the welcome center.
Things to SeeOrange Hall House Museum