Jekyll Island: Savoring an idyllic past
In the late 1800s, Jekyll Island was the private getaway of America's millionaires. The captains of industry and their families -- the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Morgans, Pulitzers and Goulds -- escaped there. By 1900, the Jekyll Island Club membership was reputed to represent over one-sixth of the world's wealth.
The turmoil of the 1930s led to the club's closing in 1942. Five years later, the State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island. Thirty-three of the old Wall Street families' mansions have been restored and can be visited by tram or by a walking tour of the Island's Historic District. The original clubhouse also has been restored to its turn-of-the-century grandeur and is now a hotel, once again called the Jekyll Island Club. State-ownership keeps the island more reasonably priced than in its glory days.
Jekyll -- southernmost of the Golden Isles -- is known for it's easy-going, family atmosphere. Bike-riding and beach-combing are popular pastimes. On the island's northern tip, there are small inlets where visitors can catch crabs.