Historic Markers Across Georgia

Ossabaw Island

Marker ID: GHS 25-
Location: South end of island where boats arrive
County: Chatham
Coordinates: N 31° 45.58194    W 081° 9.60756
  31.759699    -81.16012
Waymark: None


Ossabaw Island was home to Native Americans for four thousand years before the arrival of Europeans in the sixteenth century. Planter John Morel began indigo cultivation and timbering in the 1760´s. Four separate tracts were owned by various Morel descendants late in the nineteenth century. By reconstruction (1865-1867), the island was occupied by the Freedmen´s Bureau. Dr. Henry Torrey and Nell Ford Torrey of Grosse Point, Michigan bought the island in 1924. Their daughter, Eleanor Torrey West, established the Ossabaw Foundation in 1961. In 1978 the Torrey and West families sold and gift-deeded Ossabaw to Georgia, making it Georgia´s first Heritage Preserve.


Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Ossabaw Island Foundation