Off the coast of Georgia on Cumberland Island, tourists can visit the sprawling estate ruins of Dungeness that include the Nathaniel Greene Tabby Cottage.
Cumberland’s first Dungeness was a hunting lodge built by James Oglethorpe, Georgia’s founder, in the 1730s. Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene was granted much of Cumberland Island in 1783, but he died in 1786.
Greene's widow, Catherine, and her second husband, Phinneas Miller, built a tabby cottage that still stands today. Constructed around 1800, the tabby cottage served as a temporary home for Catherine and her family until her tabby mansion was completed. Now called the Tabby House or Nathaniel Greene Cottage, the structure became the gardener’s home.
Catherine named her four-story tabby mansion Dungeness after Oglethorpe’s hunting lodge. This Dungeness tabby mansion was abandoned during the Civil War and burned in 1866.
In the 1880s Thomas and Lucy Carnegie tore down the ruins to construct their own Dungeness mansion. Their Queen Anne style mansion was built with revival tabby (crushed shells poured into Portland cement), granite, and brick. The Carnegie family abandoned Dungeness in 1924, and it burned in 1959. In addition to the Dungeness ruins and the Nathaniel Greene cottage, the estate grounds also contain the ruins of a recreation building, pergola, carriage house, cemetery, servant quarters and work areas.
In 1972 the National Park Service acquired the island, and it is now the Cumberland Island National Seashore.
GPS: N 30°44.910 and W 81°28.254 (Dungeness ruins)
Address: The visitor center is located on the mainland by the Cumberland ferry boat at 113 St. Marys Street, St Marys GA 31558.
Accessibility: Cumberland Island is accessible only by ferry. For more information see the Cumberland Island National Seashore website.