Jekyll Island was named in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, a British financier who was a close friend of Colony of Georgia planner James Oglethorpe. Throughout the late 19th century, the island became an exclusive resort hunting area, attracting luminaries such as the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Morgan families. In 1947, the island was designated as a state park, and in 1972, the island’s historic buildings were designated as the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, which is one of the largest historic restoration projects in the American Southeast today. Tourist attractions on the island include the Jekyll Island Museum, the historic Horton House, and the Wanderer Memorial, which honors the last documented cargo slave ship of the transatlantic slave trade. Family attractions include Summer Waves Water Park and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the state’s only sea turtle rehabilitation facility.
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