This book is another in a continuing series of studies incorporating the theme of environmental influences on life and labor in McIntosh County, Georgia. Previous volumes have covered rice cultivation in the Altamaha delta, and barrier island agriculture as embodied in the ecological awareness of Thomas Spalding of Sapelo. The present study looks at Sapelo Island from a twentieth century perspective, covering a time span of 1912 to 2015.
Herein are four separate stories within the overall story: that of Howard E. Coffin, Detroit industrialist who owned most of Sapelo from 1912 to 1934; Richard J. Reynolds, Jr., at Sapelo from 1934 to 1964; scientific research at Sapelo Island from 1953 onward, resulting in a new understanding of the salt marsh ecosystem; and the human dimension as seen through the twentieth century generational and cultural legacy of the people of Sapelo, many of whose ancestors were enslaved laborers on the antebellum island plantations. Theirs is a story of permanence and perseverance on Sapelo and it will be told here, often from a personal perspective.