Oatland HASELL TRACTS
These environmentally important tracts of land are part of the former Oatlands Plantation and show evidence of human occupation for nearly 5,000 years. During the Civil War era, Oatlands was owned by Dr. Robert Grant, a Scottish immigrant who became a wealthy planter-physician. Dr. Grant also owned Elizafield, a river plantation on the mainland between Brunswick and Darien.
The property was once part of a 300-acre tract owned by Captain Douglas Taylor. Taylor was the caretaker of Little St. Simons Island between 1908 and the 1960s. He and his wife, Alberta Gould Taylor, acquired the property in exchange for property at Frederica, which is now part of Fort Frederica National Monument.
The property was later bought by Buddy and Jackie Hasell, who built their retirement home on the property after Buddy – a St. Simons native and pre-World War II manager of the McKinnon St. Simons airport – completed his career as a Miami-based Eastern Airlines Captain. After the deaths of Buddy and Jackie, the properties were inherited by their daughters, Jackie Hasell Davis and Barbara Hasell Murrah. Bascom Murrah, Barbara’s husband, inherited Barbara’s property upon her death.
Oatland Hasell North Tract (OHNT, 35.7 acres) is contiguous to Cannon's Point Preserve. It runs from Lawrence Road east to the marsh and is known by many island residents and visitors as The Farm at Oatland North, an animal rescue farm. The Farm at Oatland North is an inholding and will continue in operations for the foreseeable future. Oatland Hasell South Tract (OHST, 34.7 acres) is the southernmost tract. There are two one-acre inholdings on this property which include two existing homes.
In February of 2021, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the 35.7 acres of OHNT as well as a little more than 63 acres of marshland were added to Cannon's Point Preserve. This additional acreage brings Cannon's Point to more than 700 acres of permanently protected maritime forest, salt marsh, tidal creek and river shoreline that provide habitat for wildlife such as oysters, birds, fish, and manatee and is part of the globally important Altamaha River corridor. The addition to CPP was made possible by a $1 million National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and administered by Georgia DNR's Wildlife Conservation Section.
Closings on the Oatland Hasell Tracts, which took place in May 2018, were made possible by the Land Trust’s Canopy Campaign and by contributions from Pennies for Preservation, the organization's voluntary 1% giving program. Future program contributions are earmarked for payments on these two environmentally and historically important properties.