Monday, March 17, 2008

Old Florida Series: Part 2

Our destination on Ft. George island was a history lecture (yes, I'm a nerd - haha) being given at the Ribault Club.

The Ribalut Club (technically pronounced Re-bow, not Ree-balt as we locals call it) was originally opened in 1928 as a resort catering to wealthy locals and vacationing Northerners. At that time Jacksonville was the popular vacation spot in Florida as Miami and other points further South were nothing but malaria infested swamps.

The Ribault Club flourished for a while, adding an additional lodge in 1930 to accomodate the 350 members. Some ammenities included: a library, grand fireplace, numerous rooms, outdoor activities such as lawn bowling, and a 9-hole Scottish style golf course, not to mention easy access to sailing and boating.

The Great Depression put an end to most of the fun, however, and the club was sold numerous times until finally falling into disrepair by the late 1900's. In 1989 the State of Florida purchased the property and is in the process of revitalising the facility. It currently hosts many weddings and receptions, a museum, and will eventually be the main visitor's center for Ft. George island.

One other structure we stopped by briefly to snap a few photos of from the car is the St. George Episcopal Church, originally built in 1882-1883 and still an active parish. I would have liked to have gotten out to get some better photos and perhaps go inside, but some members were getting the facility ready for palm sunday and I did not want to disturb their work.

Next up: Fernandina, FL


RuneE said...

It is always of value to care of local (as well as more global) history. I suppose the mysterious Mr. Ribault was originally French?

(envy you the temperature...)

Carla said...

I just love exploring historical sites! This one looks wonderful.

Beach Weddings said...

Florida Beach Weddings are romantic anywhere

Donna said...

Historical sites are great for weddings . We photograph at many historical locations in our area as well as the beach . Couples come from all over the country to get married on our sandy white beaches , emerald waters and breath taking sunsets