Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by Jekyll Island Authority. All opinions are 100% my own.
Our vacation to Jekyll Island was one for the books! You know how most of the time, school ends and then a couple weeks go by and you realize you didn’t plan any vacation yet so you frantically set something up the very last minute? It’s like the vacation that you slid into and by the time you get back….it’s time for back-to-school shopping?! Yes…that’s us every year. BUT blessed be Jekyll Island because this year we finished school and immediately headed to our favorite little coastal island. We have been telling everyone that it was the perfect way to kick off our summer.
The best part of this visit was that we got to experience something completely brand new – Mosaic, the new Jekyll Island Museum.
Back in September 2018, we had visited Jekyll Island and got to go into the historic stables that housed the previous museum and was being renovated for this very special project.
So a little history for you….in the late 1880’s, Jekyll Island was turned into a private club that was the playground for the ultra-rich many decades ago. This island was where Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer and Baker families would come to hunt, relax, ride, and summer and it was ULTRA exclusive and very inaccessible.
The island has amazing buildings – one of which was the historic stables. This building has the original wavy-glass windows and the most beautiful doors and is framed by grand trees.
The building has survived all these years with incredibly high ceilings and beams and was being converted into the coolest museum to share island history and wildlife and be interactive for kids and adults. Now that same building looks like this…
I have to admit that when they told us their plans and we looked at this building…my first thought was “How are they possibly going to jam-pack all of that into a kid-friendly space?!”. It’s the mom in me….always thinking my kids will break stuff 🙂
But guys….they did it and it’s something that you just have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate it!
So first – I was so so glad I took photos when we visited it back in September because now I get to share the Before and After shots! People always think I’m crazy because I’m constantly taking photos but this time I don’t look so nuts. You can’t understand my excitement without seeing the renovation and the fact that this all happened in such a short amount of time!
Let’s just get to it before I share all we did here.
Here are some fantastic BEFORE AND AFTERS of this space taken from the same vantage point…..
Nuts right?! I mean….it looks incredible and they did an amazing job of making it look like a legit space just BURSTING with information.
My family got to see it and interact with the exhibits this past week and I am so happy we took the kids (we debated but it was in fact, PERFECT for all ages!)…
When you first go in there was lots of native bird displays and geographical information the moment you stepped inside. Jekyll Island is known for it’s unique geographies and it’s incredible birding so it’s only natural to start the museum with the info about the ecosystems and wildlife.
The museum itself takes you through the complete history of the island….starting with the Native American Era….
The kids loved the hand carved artifacts….
That canoe replica was actually hand-carved by the Director of Historical Resources on Jekyll Island from an old pine tree that fell during Hurricane Irma and was then repurposed for this exhibit! DIY power!
There was also a section for the Colonial Era, Plantation Era, Club Era and early part of the current State Era – all with interactive ways to learn and play.
There also was lots of information about the natural resources on the island and how we can help preserve that integrity.
My parents were so engaged in different areas and I feel like the museum had something for everyone!
Hello Louis! This is actual luggage from a club member!
And this is the original sign from the Club Hotel – complete with original bulbs! It’s amazing that they were able to preserve this!
The boys loved these replicas of “red bugs” – vehicles that were used by Club members to explore the beautiful areas of this barrier island. Maybe we could DIY one for our yard? 🙂
The kids (and my dad too) thought that this 1947 Studebaker was a perfect photo op! The radio played music and ads that were popular in that day.
Honestly I could go on and on about the information – how much there was and how interactive it was – but the thing I really loved was that the people here preserved that history for all us….for my children to learn from. I appreciate that so much!
GIFT SHOP STABLES
Since the building was originally a stable for horses, it obviously had stalls for the horses with the name of the owner on the posts. This is now the gift shop area for the Mosaic and it was FANTASTIC. No joke – probably the most historic gift shop I’ve ever seen 🙂 This was the BEFORE:
And the AFTER:
J.P. Morgan, a successful finance banker, had his stamp on these stalls – and now they are home to all sorts of beautiful jewelry and wares. I am sure he would be proud to see how the stall appreciated in value 🙂
My favorite feature in the gift shop was the historic replicas of the clothing on display from the flapper era and the stall in the back with the horse.
That was my kids favorite too! The horse had a motion sensor that made a neighing sound when you came close which of course delighted the boys to no end.
I can’t believe how cohesive Mosaic was and also how fast it was done. It looks just incredible and makes me feel a little more motivated to preserve as much as we can for our own local historic home! That rich history is for us to hold dear!
Also – I just want to say thank you to the fine people at Jekyll Island for allowing me to get the behind the scenes look at this awesome facility and share that with you! I feel like that was a huge privilege and honor. This building was FILLED with life through history and that preservation is something to be very commended. But more than that….the renovation honors the original features of this place and showcases how the empty footprint can be a guide for us in the future! Thank you Jekyll!