Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
Status: Archived  
Sapelo Island’s Reynolds Mansion Open for Holiday Brunch and Tours

SAPELO ISLAND, GA, December 3, 2012 -- Visiting Georgia’s Sapelo Island is a rare treat in itself, but visiting during the holidays can be a special opportunity. This December, the island’s Reynolds Mansion is opening its doors for seasonal dining and tours. Reached only by ferry, the Reynolds Mansion is a historic home normally open only to private group retreats.


During the holidays, day visitors can explore this historic home and pristine island during two meals, either brunch or lunch.  Pancake brunch is offered on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, followed by a tour of the unique home.  A baked chicken lunch is offered Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – including tours of the mansion, island, beach, lighthouse and Hog Hammock community.   While touring the home, visitors will see the famed “circus room,” murals by Athos Menaboni, a bowling alley with original wooden bowling pins and the original 1850s pool table.
The Reynolds Mansion has a rich history dating back more than 200 years.  The original home was built by Thomas Spalding, an architect, statesman and plantation owner who purchased the south end of the island in 1802.  After the Civil War, the mansion fell into ruin and was later rebuilt by Detroit automotive engineer Howard Coffin in 1912. Tobacco heir Richard Reynolds purchased the property in 1934 and allowed the University of Georgia to use its facilities for marine research. Following Reynolds' death in 1964, the mansion and most of the island were obtained by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 
Today, the DNR operates the Reynolds Mansion as a group rental facility, while day visitors can take guided tours.  The university’s marine research facilities are still located on the island, and descendants of former slaves continue to live in Hog Hammock community. 
The cost is $10 for the ferry ride, plus $15 for brunch or $30 for lunch.  Reservations are required by calling the Reynolds Mansion at 912-485-2299.  Trips leave at 8:30 a.m. from the ferry dock in Meridian, Ga.  To learn more, visit

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