Golden Isles 2017 Visitor Guide Page 29 Heritage & Culture

Heritage & Culture 29 F ollowing the Revolutionary War fourteen working plantations were established on St. Simons Island. Additionally, several plantations along the tidal marshes of the Altamaha River and on the mainland in Brunswick, were established for the cultivation of cotton and rice with slave labor. The slaves imported from West Africa by way of the Caribbean brought the knowledge of rice production from their homelands and provided significant labor to transform swamps into rice and cotton fields. They also brought the songs, language and traditions of their various African tribes. After emancipation, the descendants of the slaves from coastal plantations such as Cannon's Point, Retreat, Hampton Point, and Hofwyl, settled into their own communities where they kept their African traditions alive. Churches, cemeteries, and home sites can be found throughout the Golden Isles. The songs sung by workers in the fields, by boatmen on the waters, by stevedores at the docks, and by domestics washing clothes made their way to archives at the Library of Congress. The Georgia Sea Island Singers have preserved their heritage and shared their songs across the U.S. and the world. For nearly thirty years the Georgia Sea Island Festival (held annually in June) has celebrated the African American music, food, and crafts of the coastal barrier islands. The Golden Isles is part of what is known as the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which has been designated and recognized by an act of Congress to memorialize the significant cultural and historical African-American contributions from this area. For more information about the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, please visit www. During your visit in the Golden Isles, be sure to explore these various sites, which have played a significant role in our African-American history: Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins (pg. 33), First African Missionary Baptist Church (pg. 87), Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation (pg. 35), and Harrington School House (pg. 33). To learn more about local efforts to protect our area's African American heritage, please visit the Coastal Georgia Historical Society (www., the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition (www.ssiheritagecoalition. org) and the Coastal African American Historic Preservation Commission ( Harrington School House, St. Simons Island

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