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“One of the many must see locations on Cumberland Island” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Plum Orchard Mansion

Plum Orchard Mansion
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
121 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“One of the many must see locations on Cumberland Island”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

Both Plum Orchard and the ruins at dungeness were very impressive. Its a step into the past. Be sure to visit the first First Baptist Church on the island as well.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank SportingClays3200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Flagler Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2014

The plum orchard mansion is a beautifully maintained historic Carnegie family home. I have rented a bicycle the last couple years I've been camping on the island and made an afternoon out of biking out to plum orchard. The tours are given by volunteers or park rangers. A brief history of the island is provided as well as history of the property. Each year I've learned something new from the different individuals providing the tours. Can truly appreciate the extravagant lifestyle the carnegies' were living 6 months out of the year! The tour guides also discuss the island's journey to become a national park which is an interesting glimpse into the country's political history.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Casey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
893 reviews
406 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,748 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

This is a stop on the National Park Service's Lands & Legacy Tour, a van tour that requires advance reservations due to limited space on the two 7-passenger vans.

This 20,000 square-foot, 30-room Georgian Revival mansion rivaled other Gilded Age mansions in Newport, RI.

Lucy Carnegie had it built for her son, George Lauder Carnegie and his wife, Margaret, as a wedding present in 1898. It was designed by Peabody & Stearns of Boston. George did not live long enough to enjoy a normal lifetime here. He died in 1921 of a dreadful disease. I believe it was M.S. or a related disease. He was in his mid-40’s. A few years later, Margaret married a French peer and moved to Africa. Most of the furniture and gold fixtures were removed from the house, shipped to New York City, and auctioned off. When Johnston descendants of the Carnegies---from George's sister Nancy Trovillo Carnegie Heaver Johnston's branch of the family---moved into the mansion, they furnished it with items from Dungeness, home of Thomas and Lucy C. Carnegie.

The main entrance hall was lavishly decorated. It was designed to impress the many guests that they entertained, often for extended periods. The parlor/library, gallery, drawing room/music room, and dining room were also on the first floor. Of course, the house has glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. On the second floor, the tour goes to bedrooms, bathrooms, walk-through closets, and dressing rooms. It was a long walk to the closet in the morning. Then, the tour returns to the lower floor to see the kitchen, plating room, and wine cellar. The house also had an indoor pool 10 feet deep. The pool room had cabanas, too. There was also a squash tennis court.

I thought that the mansion was very well-kept after a major restoration.

A footnote on handicapped access:
Only the first floor and basement of Plum Orchard are wheelchair accessible.
For the Lands & Legacies Tour, a van can accommodate up to two wheelchairs.
In St. Marys, the visitor center, bookstore/gift shop, museum, restrooms, and ferry are all wheelchair accessible as are the ferry, the Sea Camp Ranger Station and its restrooms, and Dungeness Dock.

Visited January 2013
5 Thank Maurene_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Plum excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stopped here on a tour from the Greyfield Inn. It was supposed to be closed to our tour that day but a Parks service rep saw us staring in the windows and said "It would be a shame not to see the inside." And then proceeded to take us on a half hour tour of the entire building. Amazing luxury for the time with I think 19 bathrooms, indoor swimming pool, squash court, and a kind of primitive air conditioning setup in the basement. If you are on Cumberland Island you have to see the Plum Mansion. Also kudos to the Parks Service.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank DMilesD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flemington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

Not to be missed.. Amazing piece of history on Cumberland Island. Very interesting... Loved the neat things the Carnegies added to this house... So futuristic, and before it's time.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank Holly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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