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Descendants Day Trip to Ossabaw Island, Sat. May 11

Price: $50.00 Fee includes lunch and transportation.
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Who are your people? Please tell us how your family is linked to Ossabaw Island.
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Descendants of Ossabaw are invited to spend a day on Ossabaw Island, Georgia’s third largest barrier island.   

Did your parents, grandparents or other ancestors live, work or own land on Ossabaw Island from 1760 - 1980?
Were they tenant farmers, enslaved people, Torrey Family employees, land owners, Freedmen, hunting guides, timbermen, or cattlemen?

Please join us as the Ossabaw Island Foundation brings Ossabaw's people together for a day of food, friendship, history, and remembrance.

Travel one hour by pontoon cruising boat through the Moon River District's rivers and creeks, across Ossabaw Sound to the island’s North End. 

The day's events will include:

  • A walking tour of Ossabaw's North End, including the Club House, the Boarding House, and the three tabby cabins, all restored in the last 20 years.  Learn about Ossabaw's 5,000 years of human history, and where your people's roles fit into that timeline.
  • An optional driving tour to Middle Place, site of the founding of Hinder Me Not Baptist Church, by the Bond brothers. Also the site of the stables for the Torrey family, and of a sawmill owned and operated by the Torreys.
  • Share your stories:  professional interviewer Orlando Montoya will make audio recordings of 15-minute interviews with former island residents or their children and grandchildren.  Times will be available throughout the day. (Specific information will be sent ahead of the trip.)
  • A catered lunch by Lesley Varnedore, featuring smoked pork prepared by Roger Parker, one of Eleanor "Sandy" Torrey West's island managers.  Meal also includes recipes from Nelle Torrey, Sandy West's mother. 
  • An optional driving tour to the Main House and grounds, still under the management of Eleanor "Sandy" Torrey West.  (Eleanor "Sandy" Torrey West will not be present,.)
  • Or, relax on the porch of the Club House or the Boarding House, for quiet reflection or to get to know other Ossabaw descendants.
Date:  Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time:  Depart at 10:00am.  Please arrive by 9:45am.
            Return at 4:00pm  (this is an approximate time.)  

 Departure Location:  Rodney J. Hall Boat Ramp, Savannah, GA 
Who should attend:   Descendants of people who lived, worked, or owned land on Ossabaw Island from 1760 - 1980. Minors must be accompanied by supervising adult.  Recommended for age 12 and up. Tell us who your people are when you register!

Weather:    Trip occurs rain or shine, unless canceled by the boat captain due to weather advisory. If canceled due to weather, we will reschedule.

Mobility requirements:  Visitors will travel to Ossabaw by boat.  Boarding the boat is via a ramp that might be steep.  On Ossabaw, transportation will be available to and from the dock and on the walking tour for people who can walk with additional assistance.  Ossabaw Island is not accessible to people using wheelchairs.

Fee:  $50.00    Fee includes transportation by boat to and from Ossabaw Island, admission to Ossabaw Island, a catered lunch, interpretive tour of Ossabaw Island’s North End, and optional trips to Middle Place and the Main House. Reservations and prepayment required. No onsite registrations.

Please include your best email address.  All participants will be sent an information email one week before the trip with detailed information about the day. For those without email, we will send information via US Postal Service.

Refund policy:  No refunds. Credits for future trips to Ossabaw will be issued if you cancel at least 48 hours in advance.

Questions?  Call 912-233-5104 or email  

Sponsored by: The Ossabaw Island Foundation

ABOUT OSSABAW ISLAND: Ossabaw Island is a 26,000-acre undeveloped barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean, owned by the State of Georgia and located in Chatham County. Georgia's first Heritage Preserve, accessible only by boat, is undeveloped and set aside by an Executive Order for natural, scientific and cultural study, research and education; and for environmentally sound preservation, conservation and management of the island's ecosystem.

ABOUT THE OSSABAW ISLAND FOUNDATION: The Ossabaw Island Foundation (TOIF) is a non-profit 501 (c)3. Through a partnership with the State of Georgia, TOIF inspires, promotes, and manages exceptional educational, cultural, and scientific programs that are designed to maximize the experience of Ossabaw Island, while minimizing the impact on the island's resources.

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