Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hidden Gem in Savannah

Another great hidden treasure that we came across today, it’s just a short ten minute drive from downtown Savannah to the Oatland Island Education Center, even though the center is owned and run by the County Board of Education it is open to the public.

The sixty-acre forest was once cleared farmland where the McQueen family, made famous in Eugenia Price’s (one of Cathy’s favorite authors) novel Don Juan McQueen, grew cotton during the 18th and 19th centuries.

As you drive up the palm lined divided drive to the center you spot the center, the building alone has a very interesting history.
It was built in 1927 as a retirement home for the Brotherhood of Railroad Conductors, then during WWII it was used as a hospital. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then used it as a laboratory, and when it was declared surplus in 1973, the Chatham Board of Education took it over and created the education center. The building was used in the movie The General's Daughter, starring John Travolta.

The center has about two miles of trails that take you to the various animal exhibits, the river boardwalk, a heritage home site and the farm with its barnyard. We spent about three hours walking the trails which were lined with azalea’s that were close to full bloom.

When we first saw this nest hatching we went crazy thinking how lucky we were to be here at just the right time, until we looked a little closer and discovered that it was fake.

Boardwalk & Richardson Creek

Bob Cat and a sleeping Black Bear

Two American Icons

The wolfs were great, there were five of them and they were waiting for their feeder to come so they were very active think everyone that came down the path had food for them.

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