Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Although I enjoyed Ft. Pulaski and the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, the more personal history is what I like best.  I found it on Tuesday afternoon at the Wormsloe State Historic Site. 

The Wormsloe Plantation Tabby Ruins (tabby is the name of a local building material that utilized oyster shells) are the oldest standing ruins in the state of Georgia, the remnants of a small plantation house built Nobel Jones in 1736.  He was among the first British settlers in Georgia, the surveyor of both Savannah and Atlanta.  He died just before the Revolutionary War began.

The family cemetery Wormsloe Tabby Ruins

The family cemetery

Remnants of a tabby wall

In 1828, a descendent of Nobel Jones built a larger, much grander, plantation home, which is still occupied by descendents today – adjacent to, but not part of, the Wormsloe Plantation Historic Site.  The original tabby house fell into ruins, of which a few walls remain today.

For me, this oak-lined driveway, a mile and a half long, is the highlight of the site and it’s history.  According to the information at the visitor center,  Wimberley Jones De Renne, a descendent of Nobel Jones, planted these oak trees in 1891 “with the birth of his son”.  Can you imagine?  There are over 400 huge oaks lining this drive. 

Over 400 oaks line the lane to the plantation house.

What faith in the future it takes to plant 400+ trees down a lane to your home!  Did he picture his children, grand-children, and future greats enjoying them?  Did he picture them grown to this amazing size?  He certainly never pictured me driving my Jeep Grand Cherokee down this lane, then walking back to snap a photograph with a pocket-sized digital camera, which I would download onto a computer and share with the world.

I loved walking down this lane, thinking about the farsighted man who planted 400 oak trees when his son was born.  How he must have loved his land!   It brought me great pleasure to walk his beautiful lane and contemplate his long-ago life.  That’s when I really enjoy history!


  1. We stopped at Wormsloe one day figuring that we would be there maybe an hour, ended up spending almost three hours. This is truly one of the hidden gems of Savannah and never seems to be crowded.

  2. Oh Laurie,
    Doesn't a shot like that trasport you back to the 1860's and the 12 Oaks Plantation from "Gone With the Wind"? Your right, a man with that much vision must have loved his land a lot. We're so glad you took that picture to share with all of us.
    Happy Trails....

  3. Jim and Cathy, I planned a stop at Wormsloe on my way to Bonaventure Cemetery, which I didn't want to miss. Well - I missed it! There were about six people at Wormsloe, so I ended up taking the long trail through the woods and just hanging around, soaking up the quiet and imagining the past. It was a great afternoon. I agree - it's one of the hidden gems, a knockout.

  4. Great post Laurie with lots of terrific info. That picture of the trees lining the lane is beautiful and does take one back in time for sure. I'm sure the owner was a far-sighted man and loved his land - but he was also a plantation owner and that just makes me wonder who had to plant all those trees and under what conditions? That fact doesn't take anything away from the beauty and history of the site for sure and I'm just glad that everyone is able to visit and enjoy this place today.

  5. Rick, I had the same thoughts you did about the planting of those trees. It occured 25 years after the end of the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression), so it wasn't slave labor - but probably not much above!

  6. Loved the oaks. Great picture. Equally interesting musings about the mind-set and motivations of the owner.

  7. What a fabulous Oak lined road... How it just screams history & romance of the land... I loved these pictures and even though I have visited Savannah many many times I missed this... I won't miss it again thanks to your post! And this is why I love blogging and following my favorites! Have a SUPER day & travel safe!!!

  8. Brenda and I planted over a thousand trees in the wind break around our home and even though we did it ourselves it was pretty much slave labour. Can't imagine doing it in the heat of Georgia. Hope my great grandchildren enjoy them cause they are only about eye height so far.

  9. Great post and a needed reminder of the history. I always enjoy these drives when I see them, but never think of the motivation of the planters. Thanks.

  10. JB, questions from my sister via email: "He planted 1000 trees??? As a wind break??? Where does he live????? What kind of trees?? How long did it take???"

    See, you are a living legend already. :)

  11. It's also amazing to me that he had the foresight to plant the trees wide enough so that even when they had matured they wouldn't encroach on the driveway. It's amazing how many professionally landscaped yards have not had that foresight!