Wild Horses of Cumberland Island


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An excerpt from the book Wild Horses of Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island, the largest of Georgia’s barrier islands, provides a reversed luxury. Life experienced here is a tender yet forceful reminder of bygone times. It is at once a welcome escape from modern life, a place to unplug and reconnect with the natural world within a veritable isolated paradise. The captivating scenery, fragrant jasmine, and hypnotic rhythms of the surf provide a therapeutic alternative to a household of ringtones and reminders.

Cumberland has a rich history of pioneering residents who have long treasured the unspoiled grace of this coastal sanctuary. The natural wonders from within have made Cumberland Island an escape for a select few of America’s most influential and wealthiest families seeking the ultimate in decadent natural beauty and utmost privacy. They include members of the Carnegie family, who acquired most of the island in the late 1800s and later turned their prized treasure to the National Park Service. The island will now forever be a preserved wilderness, an isolated sanctuary within a world erupting into modern landscapes.

 

Cumberland Island is the largest and southernmost island in a cluster of barrier islands that skirt the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to northern Florida. Seventeen and a half miles long and 3 miles wide, the island is approximately the same size as that of Manhattan. The entire western boundary is an extensive salt marsh and tidal creek system flowing from the Cumberland River. Its waters rise and fall with the tides like a slow, infinite pulse, each cycle replenishing the mud flats with new life. The eastern coast is a vast shoreline descending from the dunes and stretching to the Atlantic. While only 3 short miles separate east from west, the habitats look and feel as though they are worlds apart.

 

What makes Cumberland Island so special is that so many wildly varying creatures with vastly different needs and demands can all co-exist, isolated within such tight quarters together in seemingly peaceful harmony. The island is a paradox; while a sense of peacefulness prevails and time seems to stand still on Cumberland, the competing wildlife creates a constant tension and the surrounding environs are in constant motion. No two days are the same and every visit reveals something new and unexpected.

 

These breathtaking encounters with nature are all remarkable in their own right, but it’s when you get your first glimpse of the island’s mysterious and majestic wild horses that your heart will start racing. Surprisingly, the horses themselves are never in a hurry. They move about casually, their regal gait slow, elegant, and deliberate, without a concern for your presence. These horses represent a window into a life in which all of our simplest needs and desires are realized. We envy their ability to live on their own terms, seemingly at peace among themselves, surrounded by such extraordinary beauty, with the natural wonders and rich variety that can only be found on Cumberland.

To read the full article, subscribe now or pick up the January/February issue of South Magazine.

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Greatest Chefs 2019

Chefs are invisible artists. They keep us salivating, our minds fixated on the last time we ate at our favorite restaurant, and when the next time we plan on going. Nominate your favorite chef now!

Greatest Pets 2019

Man's Best Friend can be South's Greatest Pet with the right amount of love. Enter your pet and get those votes! Limited to southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry. Voting begins June 10 and ends July 1.
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Events Calendar

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

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    Jul 18, 2019
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  • Girl Scout QuestFest 2019

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  • Harper's Desserts Birthday Party

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  • Disney Summer Classics: The Aristocats

    Jul 21, 2019
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre for the Arts

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  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

    Jun 27, 2019
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    The Arts on the Coast (AOC) is proud to present its 2019 Annual Exhibit hosted by the Photopoint Gallery and Elmgren's Garden Center in...

  • French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

    Jun 15, 2019
    All Day @ Consumer Museum of Art and Garden

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  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

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  • Summer Sea Camp

    May 27, 2019
    9:30 AM - 4:00 PM @ Tybee Island Marine Science Center

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  • Summer Reading Program

    Jun 01, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:15 PM @ Live Oak Public Libraries

    Reach for the stars with Summer Reading Program at Live Oak Public Libraries! Explore "A Universe of Stories" from June 1 through July 31...

  • FREE Info Session: Costa Rica Yoga Camp 2020

    Jul 22, 2019
    7:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

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  • Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Hunter Jumper I

    Jul 23, 2019
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Broyhill Equestrian Preserve

    See competitors complete the courses in several Classics and Divisions. Outdoor show on grounds adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • "Spider-Man: Far From Home"

    Jul 24, 2019
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • 8th Annual Savannah Ambucs/Vaden Nissan Celebrity Bowlapalooza Kickoff and Auction

    Jul 25, 2019
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  • Literary Love: Authors Rock Savannah

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  • Blowing Rock Tour of Homes

    Jul 26, 2019
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Various homes & gardens

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  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
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    Jul 19, 2019
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Scenes of the South

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!

Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine

Brews for a Cause at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was pack as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Churchill's! We joined Southern Eagle and The Coastal Heritage Society. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer, Sista Rae Rae performed live, and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction — including a diamond necklace from International Diamond — benefitted the Coastal Heritage Society.

Nine Line Foundation Dinner

On Friday, May 17, Nine Line hosted their Foundation Dinner that included special guests WWE Superstars Mark Calaway aka The Undertaker, Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust, John “Tig” Tiegen, hero of Benghazi portrayed in the movie “13 Hours,” Chad Prather, comedian and social media celebrity, and Graham Allen, social media celebrity. Guests mingled with the superstars and bid on auction items to raise money for the foundation. Matt Lyda put on a stellar performance as the MC of the event and kept the crowd entertained and bidding.

6th Annual Nine Line Run for the Wounded

The Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel celebrate Armed Forces Day for their 6th Annual 5K/10K Run for the Wounded in Savannah, Georgia. Proceeds from the race go directly towards their newest initiative: building a transitional community, a Veterans Village, for homeless veterans right here in Savannah, Georgia. With both 5K and 10K options available, this twilight run turned out to be another great success.