by Bruce Piatek, JIA Director of Historical Resources
We have continued the restoration and improvement of Hollybourne Cottage. Tabby paving is now in place and it restores the carriage drive, also referred to as the “welcoming arms.” Now Hollybourne Cottage is connected to the road system in the Historic District and no longer appears to be the Cottage isolated in a lawn. The carriage drive and the walkways mimic the original shell-paved drive and foot paths.
Another Hollybourne improvement is the addition of a climate control system to Hollybourne. This major improvement will make the building useable for public activities year-round. We are installing a new type of air conditioning system which is a high air velocity system that has smaller ducts thereby reducing the damage to the historic building. Once the system is fully operational we will slowly cool and dehumidify the building. If we change the interior environment of the building too quickly it could cause damage. The next steps will be to rehabilitate the windows and add insulation to the attic.
The primary project for our winter volunteer work crew was the re-creation of the drying yard. Guests to the Historic District often wonder about the sunken areas that look like swimming pools behind the cottages. These were drying yards and they were sunken to help conceal the laundry that was hung on clotheslines. They were also surrounded by fences or lattice. Historic preservationist Taylor Davis, assisted by volunteer Brian Beauchamp, researched the photographs and determined the correct drying yard surround was lattice. Our volunteer team decided to build the lattice themselves to match the original. This required a customized jig, multiple router bits, and thousands of router cuts, to manufacture the interlaced lattice pattern. Once the build was complete, they added preservative, primer, and paint. This new addition to Hollybourne significantly improved the historically-accurate appearance of this beautiful cottage.
Our heartfelt thanks to volunteers who helped construct and the many generous donors who provide the materials needed for this project. If you wish to donate, please visit jekyllislandfoundation.org