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Land and Legacies Tour
Description: The National Park Service on Cumberland Island gives a tour of the northern part of the island as well as Plum Orchard. At the north end of the island is the First African Baptist Church and the Settlement. The Settlement is where the newly freed slaves and the generations after them lived while working for the Carnegie family until 1972. Plum Orchard is one of the Carnegie mansions on Cumberland Island. Lucy Carnegie built Plum Orchard as a wedding present for her son, George Lauder Carnegie. The tour also takes the passengers through the wilderness area on Cumberland Island. While on the tour, our tour guide gave us bits and pieces of information about every spot we visited. The tour really gave the group a perfect outlook on what life on Cumberland Island was like not only for the Carnegie’s on the island but the newly freed slaves and their descendants.
Reflection: While listening to our tour guide tell us facts that I can no longer remember, I thought to myself ‘Why didn't the newly freed slaves leave the island?’ Well, I discovered that Cumberland Island was all that the former slaves knew. They had never been anywhere but Cumberland Island and they only knew a certain skill or two focusing mainly on agriculture. When I realized this, I began to appreciate the opportunities I have been given in life to explore and try new things. The former slaves on Cumberland Island only knew Cumberland Island, nothing else. Me on the other hand, I have opportunities to my left and right every second of the day. Now, I can either choose to take advantage of those opportunities, which I usually do, or just let them pass me by. I realized that people should take every opportunity he or she is presented with if given the chance, myself included.
Analysis: The Land and Legacies Tour is crucial to Cumberland Island because the tour allows visitors to see and learn about the people and culture of the island from roughly 1865 to 1920. The passengers of the tour get to see how the former slaves lived and made a living on the island. The passengers also get to see how the Carnegie’s used and built Cumberland Island to their liking. The tour also gives visitors of Cumberland Island a perfect view of the wilderness area. While on the tour, passengers see and learn about the people, their culture, and the environment of Cumberland Island. Without the tour, visitors may not have the chance to experience the north end of the island, which is vital to explaining the role of the black community on Cumberland Island. Overall, the tour is a perfect way to display Cumberland Island’s environment, people, and the culture those people developed on the island.