Superlative in appearance and history, Hollybourne is the only tabby-walled house to have been built in the cottage colony and the Maurices were the only family associated with the Jekyll Island Club from its inception until its disbanding in 1948. Charles Stewart Maurice was a Union midshipman in the Civil War, seeing service on several ships. After the war he took a job with the Lower Hudson Steamboat Company and was involved for a time in a tannery business with a childhood friend.
Around the time of his marriage in 1869, Maurice worked as a timber supplier to the Oswego Midland Railroad for the construction of bridges. He entered into a partnership with Charles Kellogg in 1871 to build railway bridges and soon, the firm of Kellogg and Maurice was pioneering the construction of iron bridges. In 1884 the firm merged with several others to form the Union Bridge Company. Union Bridge built some of the best-known bridges of the era and made Maurice a very wealthy man. The Maurices lived in Athens, Pennsylvania, during much of this time.
When Maurice became one of the first members of the newly formed Jekyll Island Club he enlisted architect William H. Day to build his cottage. Day’s design for the house is of a style referred to as Jacobethan. The term was coined by Sir John Betjeman in 1933 to describe a Renaissance/Tudor Revival form blending Jacobean and Elizabethan elements.
The Maurices spent all but two Christmases at Hollybourne from 1890-1942 and had a great love for the home and the island. Joan Hall McCash notes in The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony (Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1998) that the family was generous with others on the island at Christmas, and from about 1900-1920, Hollybourne was the center of life during the club season.
Hollybourne is the most architecturally interesting home on the island and its preservation should be commended.Though there has always been a desire to save it, its future was uncertain for many years.
Jekyll Island Historic District, National Register of Historic Places + National Historic Landmark