Professor pens book on history of Kingsland

From the The Brunswick News

KINGSLAND -- "The City of Royal Treatment" is the slogan Kingsland uses to brand its marketing efforts. But the city's name has nothing to do with European settlers getting a land grant from royalty in exchange for naming rights.

Instead, the city gets its name from William Henry King, whose great-grandfather, John King, was an American Revolutionary War veteran who, in 1788, owned a large amount of land in south Camden County that he named Woodland Plantation.

When the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad laid tracks on King's property, in 1893, the railroad named the area King's Land. King mapped out a town on his property, which was named in his honor.

The city's history is the focus of a new book, entitled "Images of America: Kingsland." The author, Patrizia Fama Stahle, a history professor at College of Coastal Georgia, says she became interested in the city's history after she joined the Guale Historical Society, of which she is now president.

"Ever since I moved here, I've been interested in the area," she said. "Tourists come to St. Marys and ignore Kingsland."

The book is mostly a collection of old photographs, with a caption several sentences long to explain the images. Rather than explain the history chronologically, Stahle divides the content starting with the city's early days, its people, businesses, transportation, sports, recreation, schools, churches, special events and cultural affairs.

The photos show such images as construction of railroad tracks, family portraits of some of the prominent families that still live in Camden County, old buildings, some of which are still standing, and a horse racing track that closed in 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Stahle said it took two years to compile the photos and get the information for the captions. Descendants of the city's first families were helpful by providing old photographs and the stories behind them, she said.

"It takes time to have a layout with narrative," she said.

Kingsland Mayor Ken Smith says the book will bring back memories for longtime residents and educate new ones about the city's history.

"People will be able to see some of the historical pictures in one book that have been archived over the years," he said. "It makes the mind travel."

City tourism director Tonya Rosado says she and other city officials helped Stahle by giving her old photos that were compiled for the city's centennial celebration, in 2008. The book is on sale at the city's visitor center and the historic train depot.

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Release Date: 10/2/2013
Source: The Brunswick News

By GORDON JACKSON