The Emmeline Ferry and Franklin’s Walk
Having grown up on St. Simons Island and Sea Island now raising my family here as well, I am especially fond of the rich history and beauty of this area. I am excited to have the opportunity to share some of my experiences, memories, and historical insights with you through these blogs. For as deeply rooted as I am and as much as I love living here, it is only natural that my real estate career has led me back home, and that I have a uniquely vested interest in using my profession to ensure that my clients love it here as well. Along with the special interest stories to come, I will also be sharing valuable market data for neighborhoods, ocean and marsh front homes and new construction which I hope will serve as important decision tools if you are considering selling or buying real estate in the Golden Isles.
This is the iconic boat in St. Simon’s history that also holds a special place in my heart. As one might assume, before there was a causeway leading cars to the Island, the main mode of transportation to and from St. Simons was provided strictly by ferryboat. In the early 1900’s, those boats were owned and operated by my Great-Grandfather, Franklin Aiken. The two trusted ferryboats were named the Emmeline and the Hessie, and they were the sole source of transporting people and goods to and from St. Simons and surrounding areas.
Stories have been told that each morning, my great-grandfather Franklin would leave his home at 103 Frazier Street to take the ferry over to his office in Brunswick. Because he was in fact the owner of the ferry, it would make sense that the ferry would not leave for Brunswick until Franklin actually arrived on the boat. Thus, the local residents at the time would watch out for Franklin to make his "Walk" across the pier village, and upon spying Franklin heading that direction, folks knew it was time to hustle forth and board the boat for Brunswick.
Franklin’s Walk” became a famed attraction in its day; one you could set your watch to, and in fact was captured in a now famous photograph (above). Later, the beloved picture of “Franklin’s Walk” was memorialized by a local artist who painted a rendition of the photo on the brick wall outside at the Sandcastle restaurant at the end of the Village. Restaurant patrons enjoying Sandcastle’s fantastic breakfast buffet can take this “walk” down memory lane still today.
Franklin’s beautiful ocean front home at 103 Frazier Street, just south of the Village was originally built in 1925 for the Aiken Family. My grandparents (Ike & Alice Aiken) lived in the house until the early 90’s. It has recently been renovated and added to by the Corti Family. It sits on one of the largest ocean front lots on St. Simons.
Besides the Emmeline and Franklin’s Walk, visitors to the pier village will find several other places also named after ancestors in my heritage, many of whom were original, founding families on St. Simons Island. Places like Retreat Plantation, Mallery Park, and King Street are all reminiscent of the roots in my family tree. In the coming weeks, I will write about these and more of our island’s historical tidbits that I’m personally familiar with, and I will share real estate market trends, beautiful homes for sale and highlight new developments to keep an eye on.
W. Page Aiken specializes in Coastal Georgia homes with a focus on St. Simons and Sea Island and the spectacular lifestyle that both have to offer. He works with buyers and sellers and leverages his local knowledge with over 30 years of real estate experience. He is dedicated and focused, always working hard to ensure the best outcome for every client he represents.