WRL to host presentation on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

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Cumberland Island
               Cumberland Island (Williamsburg Regional Library)

Williamsburg-area residents will have a chance to experience the beauty and rich history of Georgia’s Cumberland Island on Nov. 16 at the Williamsburg Regional Library’s Stryker Center.

Sandy Towers, director of Williamsburg Regional Library Youth Services, will give a free presentation on Cumberland Island as part of the library’s Talks@2 series, according to a library news release.

The presentation is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Cumberland Island, the largest and most southernmost barrier island in Georgia, is comprised of nearly 10,000 acres of designated wilderness, including shorelines, woods and marshes. The island also “boasts a fascinating cast of human inhabitants throughout its history,” the release said.

Towers lived on Cumberland Island for one year while her husband worked for the National Park Service, the release said.

“Sandy’s year living on Cumberland Island provides her with a unique perspective because, though the island attracts thousands of campers and visitors each year, less than a dozen families live there year-round,” the release said.

Towers’ firsthand experience with the geography, ecosystems, flora and fauna of Cumberland Island makes her “uniquely qualified” to discuss what life there is like, the release said.

“There’s a belief among those who visit or live on Cumberland that the island has a magical appeal that draws you in,” Sandy said of her one-time home. “Maybe it’s the natural, undisturbed beauty of the landscape. Maybe it’s the feeling of being completely remote from the rest of the world – no phone, no television, no noise pollution. Whatever the case, visiting the island is transformative, and whether you’ve had the opportunity to visit or not, come hear stories of the island, told through photos and natural artifacts, to experience for yourself some of what the island has to offer.”

The presentation will include information on the island’s history of people, including Native Americans, missionaries, enslaved Africans, wealthy industrialists, Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene and steel industry leader Thomas Carnegie.

The island was also named a National Seashore in 1972, meaning it is protected by the National Park Service, the release said.

“From its breathtaking ocean views to its pristine maritime forests, Georgia’s Cumberland Island is unlike any place in the world,” the release said.

The fall season of the Talks@2 series will end in December with a presentation about two ships that now rest at the bottom of Hampton Roads.

Visit www.wrl.org/events for more information about the Talks@2 series and other similar events taking place at the Williamsburg Regional Library this fall.