Cannon’s Point

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The ruins of the big house at Cannon’s point are visible from the Hampton River, at green marker #19 The foundation and chimney are about all that is left.

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Just a few yards away to the west is the tabby floor and chimney where the kitchen stood. It had a huge brick hearth, that is still intact, with multiple ovens and fireplaces for constant meal production.

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There are tabby ruins of slave cabin foundations, and an ice pit, lined with tabby, where they packed block ice in sawdust. A long unpaved avenue runs up the center of the peninsula, to the old home site. The dock is long gone, but you can still row ashore at any of several bluffs along Jones Creek on the west side. It is best to go in cool weather when there are no snakes

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Most of the St Simons Island inhabitants fled the coast during the War for Southern Independence. The following account is from the diary of a Col. Dean, a Union blockader, who was stationed off the Georgia Coast in 1861. It was Copied from T Reed Ferguson’s John Couper Family at Cannon’s Point

… We anchored in the Altamaha Sound in December 1861, after the fall of Port Royal to our cannon.The dark woods on a marshy spine of land could not hide from view a large home on a bluff above the river and, as we had been so long on board our ship and desired to explore this wild mainland, Henry and I took a dingy and rowed ourselves land-ward. We tied up at a dock beneath the house and walked through a large garden. On all sides were what appeared to be palm trees of several kinds, many with dark red fruits growing from spiky projections of a strident yellow.

The first story of the house was constructed of the same rough stone and shell [tabby], we had seen in several coastal buildings, and the wooden house, white painted with green shutters, rose high above this foundation. Crossing a wide piazza, Henry and I entered the front door, and in some haste, for the house, though deserted, seemed full of its former occupants, made a tour of inspection and left. As we departed, I picked up from the library floor several old letters amongst the papers scattered there. Their dates showed to be some 75 years old, and I thought to keep them as souvenirs…

These letters turned out to be correspondence to John Couper. The really remarkable thing about this tale is that it did not end there. Almost 50 years later, In 1909, this same Col. Dean, by then retired and living in New York, made a chance acquaintance at a social gathering, with James Maxwell Couper, John Couper’s great grandson. Upon learning the latter’s name, Col. Dean recalled the letters, went home and found them, and then returned them to the Couper descendants! They are now an invaluable primary source material for historians and authors.