By Patrick Carmody, JIA Museum Educator
When Jekyll Island was still an exclusive Club for the wealthy and powerful, there were two members of the club that had the strength of character to stand out from the crowd, and those members were J.P. Morgan Sr. and J.P. Morgan Jr. Both men were titans of industry, with J.P. Senior, or Pierpont as he went by in conversation, expanding his father’s banking house in London and the US to become a corporate financial empire. J.P. Junior, or Jack as he preferred to be called, took what his family had built and made the Morgan family’s finances and influence into a global enterprise. Under the guidance of the Morgans, US Steel was formed, the General Electric Company was brought to life, and the bank now known as JPMorgan Chase & Co became a financial powerhouse.
Both men were massively influential on the course of American history with Pierpont playing a part in the foundation of the Federal Reserve, and Jack having privately contributed more money and material to the Allied powers in World War 1 than anybody else. Both men wielded a significant amount of influence financially and socially, with Pierpont in 1895 single handedly saving the gold standard by controlling the flow of gold into and out of the United States.
With these titans of power utilizing Jekyll Island as a resort for their winter vacations, Mosaic now offers a spotlight on the pair. The museum’s newest rotating lobby exhibit displays multiple interesting pieces including a model of the Corsair IV, one of the biggest yachts built in the United States, life-sized models of Pierpont and Jack, and a giant-sized Jekyll-inspired monopoly board with accompanying pieces including Mr. Monopoly himself!
Jack Morgan was the basis in design for Uncle Pennibags, the “Monopoly Man” as most know him. Visitors will find a fun twist on the game when they step inside Mosaic, as the game board shows off various locations of Jekyll Island including Horton House, Moss Cottage, Beach Village, and many more recognizable landmarks! Now through December, visitors can EXPLORE the fascinating lives of both J.P.’s, ROLL THE DICE on a new historic tour, or take a CHANCE learning something new. And be sure to COLLECT a souvenir from the gift shop!
The Jekyll Island Foundation is proud to support preservation initiatives like Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum, so history can be brought back to life. Learn about ways you too can support historic preservation HERE!