Category Archives: Kingsland GA

Steffens Restaurant, 1948, Kingsland

Steffens Restaurant has been a Kingsland and Highway 17 landmark since it first opened in 1948. Trellis Crews writes: I owned & operated Steffens Restaurant from August 23, 1989 until December 31, 2007. This is the original location which is about 4 miles from the Florida line. As a note of interest I worked there as a waitress in the late 60’s before the interstate I 95 came through & in the 80’s (a fire shut it down in the 70’s) with the previous owners Darrell & Willie Mae Dyal who purchased it from the Steffens family 23 years earlier. It retains much of the charm of the roadside diners that once thrived along the Coast Highway when it was the main route to Florida on the Eastern Seaboard.

The restaurant is almost always busy, attracting both locals and road trippers.

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Shotgun House, Kingsland

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Camden Hotel, 1935, Kingsland

The old Camden Hotel was renovated for use as the City Hall in 1993.

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Seaboard Air Line Depot, 1916, Kingsland

Recently moved and restored through grants from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Kingston Depot now serves as the downtown welcome center. It’s so nice to see small communities restoring these icons of the railroad era and understanding the impact they have on tourism.

Kingston Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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International Style Commercial Block, Circa 1940, Kingsland

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Prince House, Circa 1900, Kingsland

I believe A. H. Prince was the first owner of this Kingsland landmark, also known as the Prince-Fleming House.

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Kingsland Clinical Laboratory

This seems to be where it all began, in 1949. When blood tests were required for marriage licenses,  Kingsland saw an opportunity. Make it easy to get a blood test and a license  and reap the revenue. It was a good idea and it led to Kingsland’s distinction as the “Marriage Capital of the South”. Georgia hasn’t required blood tests for licenses since 2003, so the old sign is just a nice reminder of what helped put Kingsland on the map.

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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The Original Kingsland Wedding Chapel

I believe this was the first one-stop wedding business in Kingsland, opened some time in the early 1960s.

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Pantheon Gazebo, Kingsland

Heritage Gardens, where this gazebo is located, was the brainchild of florist Pauline Butler, who saw opportunity in the hordes of Floridians who come to Kingsland to circumvent their state’s more complicated marriage laws. In 2005 she told Florida Times-Union columnist Roger Bull a great story of an 81-year-old groom and 75-year-old bride from Melbourne who came up to avoid their wedding announcement being published in their local paper. “They didn’t want anyone to know,” she stated. The gazebo is modeled after Rome’s Pantheon…the Latin on the frieze reads: M. Agrippa L. F. Cos. Tertium.Fecit (trans. Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it)

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Centennial Mural, Kingsland

To commemorate Kingsland’s centennial Folkston artist Tim Bass, aka Signsmith, painted this beautiful mural in 2008. It illustrates the community’s commitment to history and preservation in its downtown area.

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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