Signs & a Wonder in St. Marys, Georgia

It’s true! St. Marys, Georgia is idyllic. Only a 40-minute drive north of Jacksonville, Florida . . .



. . . historic St. Marys has a storybook setting on the St. Marys River – white picket fences, charming Victorian inns, and majestic magnolia trees and live oaks welcome you to an atmosphere perfumed by fragrant salt air. Here you’ll discover legends of forgotten battles and daring pirates as you kayak by moonlight with sea turtles for company.


The History

Treasures in the historic district include the Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Cumberland Island Seashore Museum the gateway to ferry departure point for the Cumberland Island adventure, the southern-most barrier island in Georgia. St. Marys Submarine Museum, showcases the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base located about three miles north of St. Marys, a town of just over 17,000 people.

Near where we had lunch at Cedar Oak Cafe was an old Victorian house nestled among trees draped with Spanish moss, typical of the historic residences.


Lunch at Cedar Oak Cafe on Osbourne Street where even the bacon attempts to hold a  shape . . .


The Cumberland Island Seashore Museum leads down to the St. Marys River harbor where travelers can board the Cumberland Queen for a unique day-trip adventure to the Island.


We are bound for Jekyll Island farther up the coast near Brunswick . . . JekyllIslandClubHotel

. . .  but first, time out for cherry licorice, a dab of chocolate candy and a look at some show-stopping sayings at Market on the Square Shop at the end of Osbourne Street.

Some Signs We Found

Some wisdom
Words of wisdom

An admission


An anatomical figure of speech, to be sure . . .


And finally some refinement . . .



This sign and others spotted at Market on the Square on Osbourne Street, St. Mary's, Georgia
This sign and others spotted at Market on the Square on Osbourne Street, St. Marys, Georgia

Elsie de Wolfe’s signature is displayed on other quotable lines too: “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.”  Elsie De Wolfe

Ms. de Wolfe is said to have invented the art of interior design with the publication of The House in Good Taste (1913) along with standards for manners, yet Ruth Franklin in a New Yorker magazine article suggests that she had a wild side. At “the age of fifty-six, she was plucky enough to perform headstands in public.” She furnished homes from Manhattan to Paris, Saint-Tropez to Beverly Hills and liked “to wear short white gloves and to carry at least one little dog.” In her old age, she tinted “her hair blue or lavender to match her outfit–one of many trends that she initiated.”

As an activist, she fought “for woman’s suffrage, and during the First World War . . . offered the Villa Trianon to the Red Cross for use as a hospital and volunteered as a nurse in a burn unit (for which she received the Légion de’Honneur).”

Along the street  . . .


Aha, he (or she) took the hint . . .


These photos including the one below were snapped on November 7, with Christmas about seven weeks away and temperatures in the mid-80s!

A Wonder


Is it just my imagination or do holiday decorations surface earlier and earlier every year?

Another saying or quote to add to the signs above?

Coming next: A Random Act of Kindness, Pudgy Hands and an Invitation


49 thoughts on “Signs & a Wonder in St. Marys, Georgia

    1. Yes, it’s a lovely place. The hostess at one bed and breakfast hotel, a lovely Victorian mansion, said that writers often come and stay to get away from the hustle and bustle because St. Marys is quiet with few distractions. If you choose to cross the “pond,” Spencer House Inn awaits along with other delights.

      It would probably suit you just fine, David. Massive Hugs back to you!


  1. It looks like a beautiful town, and a fun trip!
    What a great collection of signs!
    The funny signs made me laugh, but I love the sign about making everything beautiful. She may have been talking about interior decorating, but I like the idea of it just being everything.


    1. Remember “She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies . . .” Sort of like that, I can imagine. Your writing always reflects the magnitude of such beauty.

      I’m glad you enjoyed a tour of the signs. This shop had ’em all! We both bought candy, and I bought some cards, so I didn’t feel (too) guilty taking shots of the plaques.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marian — I loved the virtual tour of historic St. Marys that you’ve taken us on. Based on what you’ve shared, I’m pretty sure I would have liked being friends with Elsie De Wolfe. I enjoyed ALL of the signs, but “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful — that will be my life,” is my favorite!


    1. That sign sort of tucked away caught my eye, and since I had never heard of this woman before, I had to find out more. She had a mischievous, crafty side, which you could find more of in the article, but the fact that way back then she thought that interiors could be something other than brown and dark shows her creativity and vision. Yeah for Elsie!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful place. Your blessed that it’s close to you. I would love to one day visit for a weekend. Love the signs especially the one on forgiveness. Also to make it my life to make everything beautiful. I would have loved to be this lady’s friend. I think we would have clicked. Thank you for this wonderful post.


    1. When our children both lived in the Chicago area, we got to visit many beautiful places too. I miss seeing the pretty leaves and snow. One winter we even “skated” around on a frozen pond. Yes, Elsie de Wolfe is quite a lady, and ahead of her time with decorating and design. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Gloria!


  4. What a beautiful place,Marian, and you capture it so eloquently through your exquisite photos and words. The quotes ore priceless. It reminds me how we all went aroundJanet’s cabin and snapped all those witty sayings. Thank you for this delightful virtual tour. And,yes IMHO,signs of Christmas come way too soon. Thanksgiving deserves much more attention for the beautiful holiday and meaning it represents,


  5. You’re right – I do remember our going around Janet’s house capturing her sayings, some of them sensational – ha! And I agree, Merchants pass lightly over Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, right onto Christmas where they think is more lucrative. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your family, Kathy!


      1. We´ve seen a few cute signs out and about. I must remember to take pictures. Found a great one in Malta outside a bakery. It said “Cake is the answer, no matter the question”


  6. Marian, this post gave me a happy mini-vacation. The beauty of the Cedar Oak Cafe started it off, and by the end of all those fabulous plaques I was laughLaughLaughing! Especially the one about stupidity not being a reason for handicap parking. Brava!


    1. You got that right, Fatima. The historic section is only about 4-5 blocks long on either side, so travelers get a warm and cozy sensation, along with a philosophy lesson, as you say. Maybe your travelers will take you here sometime, who knows!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went to States back in 1991 and visited Florida and New Orleans. It was a wonderful trip and I found American people to be very friendly and welcoming. I’d love to go back and visit other states, so I’m sure I will sometime in the future.


  7. Ooooh, I loved this! I want to visit there … I know I’d be smiling all the time. Ms. de Wolfe is one real lady .. thank you Marian for the brief escape into a place of beauty, charm and style.


  8. Looks like a wonderful place to spend a day. Aren’t the signs fun? My hubby always gets a kick out of reading signs like that when we encounter them somewhere like at a home show or a fun little shop.


  9. St Mary’s looks like the sort of place I would like to visit thank you for the virtual tour …loved it . I would love Elsieb de Wolf at my next dinner party …what fun she would be . I am off looking for witty signs …let you know .


    1. Elsie would be the perfect dinner parties, witty and full of life . I would live to see some of you examples of signs about town. Cherry. I’m sure you would come up with some good ones, for sure! Thanks!


  10. Thanks for sharing this great tour and the inspiring memes. And no, it’s not your imagination. Holiday sales are being pushed out earlier every year it seems. 🙂


    1. So it’s not just Americans that jump the gun on early Christmas decorating. Ah, I guess our only choice is to keep ours “in the box” and realize others get joy from rolling out the festivities we consider a bit premature. Enjoy the holidays whenever you choose to celebrate. I wonder if you have returned from Canada. What a journey you have had – wow!


      1. I am back home now and surrounded by Christmas decorations (not my own I hasten to add). We went to town at the weekend and a giant Santa on a sleigh was flying from the Bargate into the precinct.


    1. I’d love that! Actually, I don’t know where you live exactly, so that would be a surprise too. Your posts recently about Sage are so sweet. He and my grand-boys would really entertain each other, that’s for sure. Peas in a pod . . . so to speak.


  11. Great photos, Marian. I loved the signs. Many smiles from them. And the gorgeous Spanish moss and old homes. I’ve never heard of St. Marys, Georgia. All these hidden treasures wherever we live or travel. I went to Cuba and Georgia today. Thanks for taking me along.

    If it’s your imagination about Christmas decorations, it’s mine, too. When I was a kid, the tree went up on Christmas Eve and came down on New Year’s Day. I sound like a very old woman, don’t I? I am, but not compared to my mother-in-law.


    1. I love those last lines. Sometimes I think you don’t realize how much you tickle my funny bone even when you say things with a straight face.

      Yes, I remember when I thought women in their 70s were old, old, but now that I’m there myself the number sounds like late middle age. At least I delude myself into thinking so – ha!


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