by Allison Dupuis, JIA Museum Educator
It’s hard to miss Hollybourne Cottage on a trip through the Historic District. The Cottage’s unique structure, enormous side porch, and tabby exterior attract curious visitors every day. These same features speak to the Maurice family’s love for Hollybourne and their devotion to preservation on Jekyll Island. Charles and Charlotte Maurice spearheaded the first rehabilitation of Horton House and the Dubignon cemetery, two other tabby structures on the island, in 1898. Even after Charles’ and Charlotte’s deaths, their children, especially their daughters Marion and Margaret, maintained their devotion to Jekyll Island and spent every winter season at Hollybourne until 1942.
Today, Hollybourne Cottage is a fascinating preservation work in progress. Throughout the past year, Jekyll Island Authority Historic Preservationist Taylor Davis and a host of volunteers have worked to make important improvements to the cottage’s exterior and interior features.
The most visible project from the outside is Hollybourne’s roof—the cottage’s original shingles were made of old growth cypress, and the team recently undertook a major roof preservation project. Hollybourne gained new, high-quality cedar shingles that are fire, rot, and bug resistant, aiding in the future preservation of the cottage.
Several interior features were upgraded as well. A stove hood in the service wing of the house had been removed from the building for eight years for stabilization and paint sampling to retain its original color. Volunteers rehung this stove hood in early 2022, along with the original basement door, which also underwent significant preservation.
In the dining room, the team continues work on the ceiling, including new lath (wooden strips) which will be left exposed. The ceiling project, along with several other projects in the dining room, aim to return the room to an interpretable level while leaving “windows to the past” to highlight construction methods.
Hollybourne Cottage’s story is ongoing. The most recent issue of 31•81, the Magazine of Jekyll Island, highlighted one of the cottage’s remarkable preservation stories. As Preservation Month approaches in May, make sure to visit Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum for opportunities to explore Hollybourne’s unique place in Jekyll Island history or click HERE to participate in the restoration of this beautiful piece of history.