St. Marys, Georgia – Home to the first pecan trees in the US.
St. Marys, GA is the second oldest community in the continental US. The oldest is in Arizona. In 1562, Jean Ribault, a French Huguenot, sailed up the St Mary’s River. A Spanish mission was established, but nothing remains of the initial establishment. The area was permanently resettled around 1765. Timucuan Indians, many over six feet tall, inhabited the area. They were semi-agricultural and had an elaborate system of government. Their diet also included large amounts of oysters. His tribe no longer exists. However, drawings of them were made and can be seen at The Timucuan National Historical and Ecological Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida.
Some of the interesting places include the Submarine Museum (based on the Kings Bay Submarine, the home of the Trident Class Sub is located nearby), Orange Hall (built for the first minister of the Presbyterian Church. It is more than twice the size of the church) , and Oak Grove Cemetery (c. 1780). They are all within walking distance of each other.
Worthy of a subnote in history, St. Marys is home to the first pecan trees in the continental United States. Pecan nuts were found floating in the sea and were later planted in the city. The nuts produced by these trees were taken from distant points in the eastern United States. They were famous, even before Texas nuts became popular.
The streets are lined with trees and lined with beautiful houses. Walking them is a real pleasure.
St. Marys is also the port of embarkation for the Cumberland National Seashore, home to a herd of wild horses and the ruins of Dungeness, the property of Thomas Carnegie. Other Carnegie family properties are also located on the island, one of which, the Greyfield Inn, operates as a B&B. However, most of the island is a vast wilderness limited to just three hundred visitors per day.