When sunny days turned into overcast afternoons, we packed up our beach blankets and headed a few miles down the road to a Victorian estate named after the island it took root on: Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
As a newcomer to Jekyll Island, I regarded the entire experience with wide, curious eyes. Latching onto every sight, taking in every breath of salty air, and enjoying the music of the island birds trilling to each other in the treetops, hoping to never forget the wild splendor of the private island.
Walking through the grounds of the hotel, we came upon a piece of the past when the green boxwood arches gave way to the Crane cottage. The pristine lattice trimmed hedges lined a perfectly smooth lawn and dotted with springs prettiest pink florals, welcomed us all but with a glass of champagne and a coterie of ladies in fine hats and silk dresses huddled on the patio discussing the latest high-society gossip.
The Hotel seem to be juxtaposed in a time long forgot where you can conjure up sounds of jazz music pouring out of open verandas, piano men playing their songs at nightly dinner parties, business men in seersucker suits discussing economics with a cigar hanging halfway between their mouth and their wildly expressive hands, and ladies spending afternoons on the sideline of the croquet field sipping Pimm’s cups and champagne, not truly knowing of any greater luxury.
It’s easy to get lost in that daydream of an era forgot, but the beauty of the Crane cottage enables the imagination to go wild with the types of extravagant parties that it used to be host to. It only seemed fitting to throw on a pretty frock and pretend like we were back in time, rubbing elbows with J.P. Morgan or William Vanderbilt.
I could linger a lifetime at this place and never grow tired of how the moss hangs delicately from the limbs of great oaks which give shade to the cottage in the hot summer months. While I may never be the man-of-industry as Rockefeller or Vanderbilt were who stayed here frequently, I can trace their footsteps and get a glimpse into their lifestyle by walking the grounds and reveling in the splendid pieces of architecture they’ve left us to enjoy.